Peanut Butter Goodness Granola Bars

Granola bars are perfect for solving that on-the-go hunger. These Peanut Butter Goodness Granola Bars are super easy to make and are a lot less expensive than buying granola bars. AND they’re also nutritious!

What’s great is that they’re super customizable. I used Peanut Butter Co’s White Chocolate Wonder peanut butter for the first batch, and Whole Food’s freshly ground peanut butter for the second batch. Both are super tasty!

These granola bars are only comprised of a few ingredients. Dates, pumpkin seeds, almonds, oats, nut butter, and your choice of honey or maple syrup for sweetener.

Dates act as the base for the granola bar. Once you grind them into a paste, it’ll act as a binder for all the other ingredients.  Nutritionally, they’re a great source of carbohydrates, iron and dietary fiber.

Almonds. I always try to eat my nuts raw! And even better, sprouted. A friend of mine worked on a study that found it’s possible that nuts can lose a good portion of their vital nutrients when they are roasted or cooked in some way! Don’t get me wrong, they’re still healthy for you either way, but you can unlock most of their nutritious power when they’re raw or sprouted. Almonds  are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, and protein. They’re also a good source of “healthy fats.”

Pumpkin seeds are some of my favorite seeds! Tasty, a great source of zinc, magnesium, healthy fats. These little green seeds pack a nutritious punch.

Nut butter is taking the world of nutrition by storm. Every day you have a new nut butter, whether it’s a twist on the original peanut butter, to then creating a variety of almond butter, pecan, cashew, hazelnut butter. Then you have your butters. They’re all tasty and have a different array of nutrients. I personally like raw almond butter ( Trader Joe’s ! ) and different varieties of peanut butter.  One of the most important things when picking out a nut butter, is to make sure that there are no partially-hydrogenated oils. These are trans fats. Trans fats lower your HDL (good cholesterol) and raise your LDL (bad cholesterol). Make sure you check your ingredient list! The peanut butters used in these bars are partially-hydrogenated oil-free. Peanut butter is a yummy source of protein and “healthy fats!”

Oats are a wonderful source of fiber. If you are gluten-free, make sure you get the gluten-free option! By nature oats do not contain gluten, but are often processed in factories that are contaminated with gluten, so you can’t know for sure unless it is certified gluten-free.

Honey and maple syrup are great sweeteners! Honey contains natural antibacterial properties. Maple syrup has shown to have a lower impact on your blood sugar than table sugar.

So, why not give this recipe a try!

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Peanut Butter Goodness Granola Bars

  • 1 cup dried dates
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter ( more to taste depending on the taste of the nut butter)
  • 1 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (optional depending on if your nut butter is sweetened)
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

*Optional: toast oats in oven at 350F for 10 minutes.

Grind dates into a paste with a food processor or blender. Mix in nut butter. Sprinkle vanilla and cinnamon evenly over mixture. Mix. Add oats. Add honey or maple syrup for desired sweetness. Mix in pumpkin seeds and almonds.

Press into 8×8 pan. I used the William Sonoma Snack Pan to make uniform bars.

Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Enjoy 🙂

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NaturallyLT

Hi! I’m Lauren, currently a Nutritional Sciences student at the University of Connecticut. My interest in food and nutrition started when I was about 13 years old. In some of my spare time I would research online the different food trends that were going on at the time. When my friends would come over we’d spend the day baking and cooking different creations we found on the internet or from our favorite cookbooks. At 13 though, it was somewhat difficult to decipher what was fact and what was fad. The internet is an endless virtual world of both legitimate and deceitful information. Throughout high school I took it upon myself to try and analyze what the best “diet” is to follow. I experimented on myself. Sometimes I felt great, sometimes I felt lousy, sometimes I was just plain hungry. I was in high school, I was following what the media and the internet told me to do. I didn’t justify it with facts, nor did I look for the hard science behind these “diets.” This is why I chose to go to school for Nutritional Sciences. I want the science, I want to know what the body does and how food nourishes it. I want to help people of all ages understand how nourishing your body and following a healthy lifestyle can change the way you feel. So they don’t have to struggle and experiment on yourself with the fad diets the media is constantly pumping out. I’m starting Naturally.LT to link you to articles, the studies, the passages to the books I’ve read all written by health professionals. I want to share with you recipes that I’ve found and created myself that are tasty and full of nutrients that will make you and your body happy. I will back up these findings with credible sources, there is no room for junk here. As you may have noticed on Naturally.LT, I have a link to running. Running has somewhat recently come into my life. Once I entered college, something just clicked. I loved the way running made me feel. I became happier, less stressed, and entered an awesome accepting community. Before I knew it I signed up for half and full marathons. Running is an interesting sport, both solitary and meditative, but can also be competitive and adrenaline pumping. This is something I want to explore on Naturally.LT. If you are a first time runner, or a seasoned veteran, I want to open discussion and help guide you with what can help you lace up your shoes or become a stronger runner and recover faster. So join me on this journey of nourishment and endurance.

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