Granola bars have never excited me too much; most of them seem to have almost the same amount of sugar, carbs, and calories as a candy bar. I would prefer to just eat the candy bar and stop pretending that granola bars are healthy. Does anyone else agree with me on this?
I felt this way about granola bars until I learned that I can make my own. Now I can’t seem to get enough of them! What I love about making my own granola bars is that I can control the level of sweetness. Most store-bought granola bars have rice syrup and corn syrup in them to hold them together and sweeten them. Not these babies; they are held together and sweetened by sticky dates, honey, and almond butter!
The idea of homemade granola bars may be a little intimidating. Do you need to bake them? Is there some sort of mold needed to shape the granola bar? The answers are no, and no.
Granola bars are actually quite easy to make yourself. All you need is a food processor to create a nice sticky date paste, your hands for mixing, and an 8 X 8 baking dish to press your granola bars into. The best part, there is no need for baking the bars. Well except for toasting up the oats and seeds for 10 minutes, which is totally optional.
What I love about my Seedy Buckwheat Granola Bars is they are packed full of good-for-you ingredients.
There’s a lot of iron, magnesium and zinc from the pepitas. The sunflower seeds are loaded with vitamin B-6, vitamin E, and calcium.
Buckwheat, which may sound strange, isn’t related to wheat at all. In fact it’s a starchy seed, that when left raw has a nice crunch. Buckwheat contains copper and selenium. All of these powerhouse ingredients are packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats such as omega 3’s.
I know what you’re thinking (yes, I can read minds now): do these granola bars taste like bird feed?
Answer: No! Seedy Buckwheat Granola Bars are delicious. The dates and honey add just the right amount of sweetness. Plus there are dried cherries studded throughout the granola bars. These bars are chewy, crunchy, and are hearty and filling.
I adore Seedy Buckwheat Granola Bars. They’re great for breakfast, a workout snack, and on occasion they even satisfy my sweet tooth. They hold up nicely so they make the perfect on-the-go snack or are a great addition to any lunch box.I hope you give this recipe a try and if you do don’t forget to leave a comment below and rate the recipe. I love hearing your ideas and thoughts; it makes my day. Enjoy friends!
- ½ cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds; I find them in the bulk bins at my grocery store)
- ½ cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats (make sure they are gluten-free certified for gluten-free eaters)
- 1 cup pitted dates (soak in hot water for 10 minutes if they look dry)
- ½ cup raw, untoasted buckwheat
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dried cherries, roughly chopped (can sub any dried fruit; cranberries would be delicious)
- ½ cup smooth almond butter (could substitute sunflower butter to keep these nut-free, but I wouldn’t recommend peanut butter because it would affect the flavor)
- ¼ cup honey (can use agave nectar if vegan)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Evenly spread the pepitas, sunflower seeds, and oats onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until you can smell the oats and the seeds begin to brown and pop. Make sure to stir them halfway through to prevent burning. Allow them to cool slightly before proceeding. NOTE: In a pinch you can skip this step but it is recommended. Toasting the seeds and oats adds a great nutty flavor.
- Process your dates (soak in hot water for 10 minutes if they look dry, drain from the liquid) in a food processor until a date paste has formed. It should mostly have a smooth consistency, but some date pieces are okay. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes to process. Set the date paste aside.
- Grease an 8 X 8 baking dish and line with parchment paper. Don’t skip the parchment paper; it really helps things to keep from sticking. Also grease the bottom of a measuring cup.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cooled oats, pepitas, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, chia seeds, flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the cherries.
- Add the date paste, almond butter, and honey. Roll up your sleeves, remove any jewelry and get in there with clean hands. The mixture is so rich and sticky that a wooden spoon just isn’t going to get everything well incorporated; your hands are your best tool. Mix until everything is well combined and the ingredients stick together. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish and use your hands to press the mixture into the pan. You can also use the bottom of that greased measuring cup to help. You want to get everything pressed as tightly as possible so everything sticks together well.
- Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes, or until solid. Run a knife along the edges of the pan and turn the pan upside down onto a cutting board. You may have to shake the pan a few times for it to release.
- Using a sharp knife cut the large bar into 12 medium-sized bars, or whatever size bar you prefer. Store them in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper in the fridge. They last up to one week, maybe even longer.