No-Bake Granola Bars

I have been on a search for a good granola bar recipe for a long time.  They are nice to have on hand for lunches or a quick grab-and go breakfast or snack.  The price of granola and power bars in the supermarket is just going through the roof, and I refuse to pay so much for something I know is just a compilation of the ingredients I already have in my own kitchen.  Also, I like to know exactly what goes into the food I am eating, prefer organic, and cringe to read the long list of unidentifiable ingredients in most packaged products in the grocery store.

This recipe makes 12 – 16 good size bars.  They can be individually frozen or dehydrated if you prefer a crisper granola bar (I have found that dehydrating them is more successful if they are sliced thinner, so you will have more, but smaller, granola bars).  The recipe is very adaptable so feel free to experiment*.

Ingredients:

4 c. Old Fashioned rolled oats

1 c. raw sunflower seeds

1/2 c. chopped dates

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 c. raw honey

1/2 c. almond or cashew butter

1/2 c. almonds or cashews, chopped

2 Tbsp. tahini

juice of one fresh orange

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients.  In a smaller bowl blend together nut butter, tahini, raw honey, and fresh orange juice; pour over dry ingredients and stir well to mix until it starts to hold together almost like cookie dough.

Press mixture into an oiled 8″x8″ pan and refrigerate overnight.  Cut into bars, individually wrap, and enjoy.  (May be frozen or dehydrated after cutting).

*You can play with these ingredients by substituting pumpkin or flax seed for half the sunflower seeds, use a different type nut, add some dried berries in place of half the nuts, etc.  It will still make a delicious granola bar, so be creative!

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