How is it back to school season already? As much a I’ll be savouring the last rays of summer, there’s something satisfying about getting back into a routine. Call me OCD, but my favourite part of August by far was always going to Staples – the meca of school supplies. Hours spent choosing new binders the the fine-point black liquid ink pens…
Yesterday someone asked me if I had any ideas for a healthy on-the-go snacks that their kids can take to school. Hallelujah I do!
This is the first in a four part series of snacks perfect for tossing in your kids lunches, or grabbing as you run out the door.
Let me know how you like them!
I’ve tried loads of granola bar recipes, all delicious, but I can’t top Minimalist Baker’s 9-ingredient vegan and gluten free granola bars loaded with 4 kinds of seeds: hemp, sunflower, flax and chia! No modifications or substitutions needed, I absolutely love these!
Prep time: 15 mins
**Note: before you begin. I like to double this recipe and get 20 bars instead of 10. Trust me, everyone will love these and you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t just make a double batch from the beginning.**
- 1 1/2 C rolled oats
- 1/2 C raw almonds, walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 1/4 C dates, pitted (I use medjool dates since they are stickier and help the bars keep their shape)
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp flax seeds
- 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/4 C agave nectar
- 1/4 C peanut butter or almond butter
- Toast oats and almonds in a 350 degree oven for 13-15 min or until slightly golden brown.
- Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency.
- Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl. Add seeds and set aside.
- Warm agave and peanut or almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout. Use a spoon or your hands to thoroughly mix.
- Transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (Use 8×16 dish if you are doubling the recipe.)
- Cover with parchment or plastic wrap and press down with something flat to get them really packed tight.
- Chill in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
- Remove bars from dish and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.
Note: I like to individually wrap the bars in plastic wrap or Ziploc baggies and keep them in the freezer. This makes it easier to grab one each morning to add to your lunch and keeps them fresh for months.