These simple, soft, and chewy granola bars are the perfect quick homemade snack to provide you with energy anytime of the day. They are also vegan, gluten free and made with no added sugar.
There is nothing better than a homemade snack. Not only it helps you to plan ahead and prevents you from rushing to the closest Starbucks whenever you feel hungry, but it also gives you a much better control over the ingredients you are using (we all know that most of the snacks are loaded with unnecessary sugars, even the ones that pretend to be healthy for most of them).
Among my favorite snacks, there are two categories: all sorts of smoothies on one side, and all sorts of healthy snacks on the other side. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not obsessed with healthy snacks only and I can totally go for a huge cookie instead from time to time. However, these little homemade healthy snacks are usually the ones that leave me the most satisfied, as they are not too sweet, not too fat, and still very delicious.
Among them, my favorites so far are the healthy no-bake energy bites (that I sometimes turn into these mini healthy peanut butter pies), the raw spicy lime bites, and recently the lemon coconut energy balls. I usually prepare them in advance, on Sunday afternoon/evening, and store them in a airtight container or in individual ziploc bags, so that I have snacks planned for the entire week. I am definitely not the most organized person when it comes to meal planning (I believe it will come the day I will have a family… or maybe not we’ll see), but when it comes to a little (non-)guilty pleasure, I suddenly become the most organized person in the world!
As I was saying before, there are healthy snacks and unhealthy snacks. Today I am just in between, with these irresistible chocolate chip granola bars. Naturally sweetened with banana and dates instead of refined sugar (or even honey, agave, or maple syrup), they contain some mini chocolate chips and are drizzled with an additional touch of chocolate. Totally decadent, they make a perfect snack for your kids after school!
In my opinion, it’s totally ok to go for chocolate granola bars if you are an adult too, but in case you would like to avoid chocolate for any reason, know that you can adapt this version. Just skip the chocolate chips and replace them with cacao nibs, any kind of dried fruits (cranberries, apricots, raisins…) or nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts) for instance. You can even enjoy them as they are, they will be a great sweet energy kick after training.
Anyone with allergies will also love these beauties as they are naturally vegan, nut and gluten free (if you go for gluten-free oats of course). Their texture is chewy rather than dry and crispy, exactly as I like them, and it’s super easy to make: you just need one food processor (or a blender), one mixing bowl, and a baking pan. You’ve got everything at home? Now grab the recipe below and simply go for it!
- 5 unpitted dates
- 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
- 1 ripe banana
- ¼ cup (60 ml) coconut oil + 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2¾ cups (250g) gluten free oats
- ⅓ cup (60g) mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup (45g) chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Place the dates in a bowl and cover with the boiling water and leave to soak for at leas 5 minutes.
- After the dates are done soaking, drain the water and place the dates in a blender or food processor with the banana, ¼ cup melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and baking soda. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the banana-date mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the oats and the mini chocolate chips, and stir until well combined.
- Place the mixture into a greased 8x8 inch or 8x10 inch baking dish, and bake for 25 minutes until golden and firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- In the meantime, melt the chocolate chips with one teaspoon of coconut oil. Once melted, drizzle all over the bars.
- Allow the chocolate to set before slicing. Store in a airtight container up to 5 days.