homemade granola bars

Almond, Blueberry & Date Granola Bars

These homemade granola bars are a mishmash of almonds, dried blueberries, oats, cereal and coconut — all held together with a sweet almond butter-date paste.

Servings: 16 bars
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus a few hours to cool and set

Ingredients

  • 3 oz pitted Medjool dates (see note)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup unsalted creamy almond butter (see note)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2-1/2 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • Heaping 1/3 cup dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a 9-by-13-in pan with aluminum foil, so that it hangs over the edges, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the dates, melted butter, brown sugar, honey, almond butter and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or use a blender. Process until mixture is smooth and thick. Transfer to a large pot (or microwave-safe bowl) large enough to hold all of the ingredients; don’t worry if the butter separates. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stovetop (or in the microwave), whisking to combine. Take off the heat.
  3. While the mixture is still hot, add the oats, rice cereal, coconut, almonds, and dried blueberries. Use a large rubber spatula to gently fold the mixture until the wet ingredients evenly coat the dry ingredients. The mixture will be thick. Be gentle so as not to crush the rice cereal.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and, using the bottom of a glass or dry measuring cup, press firmly into an even, compact layer. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Set the pan on a rack and let cool completely, a few hours. (Please do not attempt to cut the bars while still warm, as they will fall apart.)
  5. Use the foil overhang to lift the uncut bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the block into 16 bars. Wrap the bars individually with foil or parchment paper for easy on-the-go snacking, or place them in an airtight container. The bars will keep for up to a week at room temperature.
  6. Note: You'll need about 5 Medjool dates for this recipe but it's best to weigh them if possible, as sizes vary.
  7. Note: For best results, use a smooth and creamy commercial almond butter. (I do not recommend all-natural or chunky almond butter.)
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The granola bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove them from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 264
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 113 mg
  • Cholesterol: 11 mg

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.