These are almost like eating a rich, chocolate brownie, but are made with some healthy ingredients that let you feel like you’re cheating. Packed with oats and nuts, these my friends, are Brownie Granola Bars.
These are not a baked or toasted granola bar. These are a no bake bar that are dense, rich and filled with crunchy nuts and oats. Almost a crunchy granola bar, but a softer cousin, rich with cocoa and sweetened with dates.
The base ingredient that binds all the nuts and oats together are soaked and then pureed dates. I had a tub of Medjool dates and put them to use. Dates are magical and I use them often in the kitchen as a flavoring and are a key ingredient in most of my no churn ice creams.
Medjool dates originated in the Middle East and North Africa and are prized for their size and sweet, juicy flesh. The ones I had still had their pit in them and I needed to remove them. It’s really easy, sometimes a small paring knife isn’t even needed. If you squeeze the center of the date to feel the pit the skin will usually split and squeeze another time for the pit to reveal itself and extract. Throw away the pits and soak the dried Medjool dates in warm water for at least 10 minutes.
While the dates are soaking, preheat oven to 350°F. to toast your oats, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds and pecans until slightly golden brown. This really adds a richness and layer of flavor to the mix.
We eat these often and keep them on hand in the refrigerator, they are perfect as an on-the-go, healthy snack.
Mixing all the ingredients is almost a workout and worth the elbow grease. I use my hands and fingers to get all of the honey, peanut butter, dates and nut mixture combined. Once all of the ingredients are mixed I press it into a parchment line pan and smooth out the top.
In the fridge to chill and firm up and in an hour you have gold. Lift the Brownie Granola Bars from pan and cut into 16 squares.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep fresh because they get sticky when left out at room temp.
I love the hint of cinnamon that works so well with the cocoa and date mixture, but adding that is completely optional. These Brownie Granola Bars are rich in flavor and will make you think you’re cheating, but these are super good. Lots of nuts and oats for texture and crunch.
I mean there are pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans and almonds mixed with cocoa, oats and dates.
Need I say more? Go make and these and let me know what you think. Guest hand model courtesy of Nagi. Enjoy!
Brownie Granola Bars
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast your oats, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds and pecans in the oven for 15 minutes until slightly golden brown.
- Crumble the walnuts and toasted pecans in a food processor until a loose meal is reached. Remove from bowl and set aside.
- Remove pit from dates if need be and soak the pitted dates for 10 minutes in warm water, then drain. Process until small bits remain for about 1 minute. It should form a paste like consistency.
- Add walnut meal, cocoa powder and cinnamon back in with the dates and process to combine. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the (toasted) oats and nuts and stir to combine.
- Warm honey and peanut butter in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 1 minute until combined. Pour over mixture and then gently mix thoroughly.
- Transfer to a parchment (see Note 1) lined 8x8" (see Note 2) dish. Press down firmly to even out the top. Refrigerate for at least an hour until firmed and hardened. Lift bars from pan and cut into 16 bars.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep fresh.
2. Sometimes I use a 9x9" or 9x13" baking dish for thinner bars.