No Bake Cashew Granola Bars
Anyone else always on-the-go? With a little one in tow, I make sure that I have snacks on hand, so these granola bars are great for our busy days.
Granola bars are loved by kids and adults alike. I tend to like the more expensive bars, so this recipe saves me some money. These granola bars are filled with oats, almond butter, and dates— and then turned up a notch with coconut and cashews. I think my obsession with no-bake goods, and anything granola, is due to the variations. You can add a lot of different flavors or keep it simple. These bars are chewy and naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup. I really like the sticky texture the dates add.
This recipe is very nutrient dense, so it will keep you satisfied all morning or afternoon. The bars are plant-based and completely vegan. They are filled with nutritious fats (my favorite), and a good amount of protein and fiber. Added benefits include being a good source of potassium, calcium, and iron. They are also made with simple and real ingredients.
My toddler even helps me make these. I am trying to be good about getting her in the kitchen when possible. She dumps the oats in the bowl and will stir things (albeit messily) and then she runs and hides from the food processor because the sound is well, very loud and scary. I hope to share my love of cooking with her as much as possible. Who wouldn’t want some extra helpers in the kitchen? I hope these fuel all of your on-the-go moments this week, and that you will add them to your list of nutritious snacks!
No Bake Cashew Granola Bars
1 ½ cups gluten free rolled oats
10 pitted Medjool dates
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup creamy almond butter**
2/3 cup whole cashews
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
In a food processor, pulse the rolled oats to break them up a bit, then set them aside.
Add the dates and coconut to the food processor and blend, add the almond butter, cashews, maple, vanilla, and salt. Process until combined, about 2 minutes or so. You will need to scrape down the sides at least once.
Take the sticky date mixture and add it to the oats and stir until well combined. I just used my hands because I have no patience.
Place mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and press down well.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, cut into bars and enjoy.
You can individually wrap them in plastic wrap and they will keep at room temp for 3-5 days, or in the fridge for a week. I take ½ the batch and freeze them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. You can take the frozen bars out and thaw them in the refrigerator when ready to eat.
** I use almond butter that has only almonds in the ingredients, because it tends to be smoother. If you are using a nut butter with added oils, or that is just thicker because it is “no stir”, you may need to add a bit more sweetener or water, because the bars will be dry. If you don’t have almond butter, you can use peanut butter instead!
Makes 16 bars: 1 Serving (1 bar): 236 calories, 14 grams fat (mostly monounsaturated), 107 mg sodium, 21 gram carbohydrate, 7 grams protein, 4 grams fiber.