NO BAKE GRANOLA BARS

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Servings: 10 bars

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)*
1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
1/4 cup Saratoga PB natural peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
Optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.

DIRECTIONS:
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a "dough" like consistency.
{Optional step: Toast your oats at 350° for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw .}
Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl - set aside.
Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8x8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Keep in freezer to extend freshness.

*If your dates don't feel sticky and moist, soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will ultimately help hold the bars together better.

Recipe by Minimalist Baker (Dana)