Taking traditional snacks and reworking them into something healthy has always been something I’ve loved to do. I love knowing my kids little bodies are being fuelled with real food and that I’m teaching them healthy can taste good.
We are in a constant struggle in our home over the amount of sugary snacks allowed, and have to wrestle the chip bag away so that dinner actually gets eaten! I wish I could tell you my kids would choose an apple over gummies, but honestly we are not in that stage and my kids love treats. So getting creative with their snacks and school lunches is essential .
These delicious bars can be used as an after school snack, dessert with some coconut whip, or the perfect pairing for that much needed cup of coffee.
Photography By: Meghan Bustard
Chewy Granola Bars
- 1 cup dates pitted & soaked for at least 1 hour
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk (add more if needed)
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup almond meal
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8×8” square baking pan with parchment paper and grease, set aside.
- Mix oats, coconut, almond meal, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl, set aside.
- Add the soaked dates and coconut milk to the container of your Vitamix (or other high-powered blender).
- Blend, starting on low speed and increasing to high until ingredients are well blended but not totally smooth.
- Scrape down the sides of your container and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract. Blend again until mixture is smooth.
- Pour wet mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients. Mix by hand until well-combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and spread until evenly distributed. If desired, add chocolate chips to the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are golden brown.
- Set dish on a wire rack to cool. Once completely cooled, cut into bars and top with homemade Nutella.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container!
Homemade Nutella Topping
I found this recipe on Savoury Lotus and loved it!
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup cacoa powder (like this) (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (where to buy BPA free coconut milk)
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 pinches unrefined salt
- Preheat oven to 375’F. Place hazelnuts onto baking sheet and roast for 12-15 minutes until nuts are fragrant and slightly brown. Remove from oven.
- To peel off skins, place roasted nuts into the fold of a kitchen towel and gently massage until most of skin comes off.
- Place peeled hazelnuts into food processor and process until creamy smooth – about 8-10 minutes. Be sure to scrape sides a couple of times.
- Add remaining ingredients and process again until smooth. This may take a couple of minutes. Adjust consistency with extra coconut milk if too thick.
- Store in airtight glass container for about a week. Enjoy!