No-Bake Granola Energy Bars (Vegan & Gluten Free!)

Dan and the pups and I got back yesterday from a spontaneous trip to Leavenworth!

If you’ve never been to Leavenworth, it’s an adorable Bavarian town about 2-ish hours outside of Seattle. And, it’s so dog-friendly!

We went on a few hikes along the Wenatchee river and near Stevens Pass, and took the puppies to a few outdoor lunch and dinner spots!

It was a great trip and we were all so tired when we got home yesterday. We’d been eating a really random selection of food (beer, sausage, burgers, etc) so this morning, I wanted to do something healthy and energizing to get my body feeling back to normal!

In an effort to do that, I went to yoga and made these delicious no-bake granola bars!

I’ve been making these for a while now, and love them because they’re customizable, easy, healthy, no-bake, and pack a hunger-killing energy punch!

The bars have a base of dates, oats, peanut butter, and a bit of maple syrup. On top of that, it’s up to you what you put in them! I used almonds, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, raisins, and just a bit of dark chocolate (like the 75% chocolate stuff–real dark chocolate!).

Other great variations are almond chocolate chip (swapping the peanut butter for almond butter), or bars stuffed with all sorts of seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) for a higher protein content.

The bars remind me a little bit of a cross between a Kind bar and a Larabar. Enjoy!

No-Bake Granola Energy Bars 

Ingredients:
1 cup pitted, chopped Medjool dates
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, etc)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dark chocolate, for sprinkling

Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a food processor, purée the dates until a paste forms. In a large bowl, add the dates, oats, nuts, dried fruit, and salt. In a small bowl, microwave the peanut butter and maple syrup for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the date mixture, and stir well to combine, making sure the dates and peanut butter are evenly distributed.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and press down evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate, if desired. Refridgerate the bars for 1 hour, then cut into pieces. Store the bars in the refrigerator.

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