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5-Ingredient Granola Bars (Sugar Free, Nut Free Option)

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Yields 10 bars   Modified from Minimalist Baker

Directions

1. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about one minute). It should form a “dough”-like consistency.
2. Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit (176-degree-Celsius) oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw.
3. Place oats, almonds, and dates in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
4. Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or Gefen Parchment Paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars. Adjust size of pan if altering batch size.)
6. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. I use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.
7. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
8. Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or nine squares, as original recipe is written). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Feel free to keep in freezer for extra freshness, but it isn’t necessary.

Notes:

Although not ideal, if your dates don’t feel sticky and moist you can soak them in water for 10 minutes, then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. But ideally, you can find fresh, sticky moist dates.