I went to my home away from home the other day (Target) for some new apartment stuff (more on that coming soon!!). After wandering over to the snack section, I came across an entire aisle dedicated to snack bars. AN ENTIRE AISLE you guys.
Clearly we’re obsessed with bars. Granola bars, protein bars, energy bars, whatever you wanna call them-bars, we have a thing for them. Why? Because they’re easy, quick, filling and can taste like dessert if you choose wisely enough… BUT even in the healthiest of health bars, there are ingredients I could do without like soy protein isolate, added oils and “natural flavors”… whatever that means. Plus, I’m weary of bars with a lot of raw cashews, peanuts and almonds because unless they’re soaked or in a nut butter form, raw nuts hurt my stomach and don’t digest well in general.
Difficult decisions are made in the snack bar aisle.
These no-bake Chewy Almond Butter Granola Bars were created for extra staying power and are the best healthy fuel for a quick, wholesome, nutrient-dense, no sugar added snack bar containing only 7 ingredients – ingredients that your body will recognize. Nothing processed, oil-free, gluten-free and can be made nut-free by swapping out the almond butter for sunflower seed butter. You could also swap out the dried cranberries for goji berries or raisins if you have them on hand!
What’s in them?
Almond butter is everything.. so I used this Roasted Almond Butter from Naturally More with probiotics and flax, which I loved! Why not infuse nut butters with extra goodness? The probiotic strain supports digestive and immune health while providing enhanced protein absorption. They also have a heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread… Combine almond butter in the food processor with gooey medjool dates (buy them here) which are knows as nature’s sweetener – and you have the dreamiest creamiest and sweetest sticky mess to hold these bars together.
Pure yummy goodness and no added sweeteners or sugars.
Hemp Seeds: little nutrition powerhouses with plenty of plant protein, omega’s and endless minerals for extra superfood goodness. (I buy this brand of hemp seeds).
Chia Seeds: provide an abundance of nourishing nutrients including fiber, iron, plant protein, calcium, omega’s and the feeling of “fullness” as they expand and absorb liquid (get my favorite chia seeds here).
Cacao Nibs: one of the best sources of magnesium and iron as well as antioxidant flavanols and polyphenols. Great for an energy boost! The alkaloid chemicals like theobromine, phenylethylamine and anandamine help support mental well-being and enhance our mood. With an abundance of calcium, potassium, sulfur, zinc and copper, you’ll be feeling good and nourished. A nutrient-dense superfood necessity (my favorite brand here).
Do they make for the perfect post-workout snack too?
I think YES!
Depending on when you workout, a smoothie afterward isn’t always possible, or maybe you had one already that day which is another reason I created these chewy gooey bars. I usually run some quick errands after a workout when I’m already out and about, so I need something portable and not melty, which is why these are amazinggg. Making sure you eat a wholesome snack within a half hour of finishing a workout ensures that the protein and nutrients are utilized efficiently. Meals and snacks that compliment our workouts are key!
Hope you love these chewy gooey bars as much as I do 🙂
- 1 cup soft & gooey medjool dates (about 10-12)
- 1/2 cup roasted almond butter (or sunflower butter for nut-free)
- 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (can sub with gogi berries or raisins)
- Line a 4×8 loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well combined. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the dates and almond butter. Pulse and blend until smooth and creamy, but a few small chunks of dates is fine. Transfer mixture to large bowl and gently start folding into the dry ingredients until it’s combined. It will be very sticky!!
- Transfer granola mixture to the loaf pan and press it down firmly and evenly with a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 45 minutes until it’s set. Remove from freezer and slice into 8 bars. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
- If dates are not super soft, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes to soften.
- Can sub almond butter for sunflower seed butter to make a nut-free version.
- Can sub dried cranberries for gogi berries or raisins.
- Leftovers should be stored in refrigerator, up to one week.