Super-Stoked on Sugar Free Granola Bars…

I am on some sort of bar kick right now, I swear.

But I’m good with it…I mean, that’s what I end up reaching for when I need a quick boost before a morning workout to get me through until breakfast, fuel for a 10 am feeding, or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. I mean, you can only eat so many almonds. (And I love almonds.)

So it was really nice to find this super-quick recipe for some easy granola bars, that don’t have any sugar and taste great, to boot. These little babies are sweetened with Medjool dates (you can use any dates, really, as long as they’re pitted), and also get a touch of sweetness from the cranberries (good for urinary tract health!). I like to use dried cranberries that are sweetened with organic apple juice…yummy!

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These also have chia seeds, which, if you’re a regular reader, you already know I’m a fan of when I’m looking for a super food to boost my energy and give me some extra staying power for whatever sport I’m pursuing on any given day.

A few notes: This recipe calls for gluten-free oats, but of course you could use regular rolled oats as well. Also, you can use roasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in a pinch…but it will definitely change the flavor of these bars.

Either way, they are tasty treats and could easily become a staple in your arsenal of quick snacks. Enjoy!

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Sugar-Free Granola Bars

Ingredients

3/4 c. gluten-free rolled oats
1 c. water
3/4 c. packed, pitted Medjool dates
1/2 c. chia seeds
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/4 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 c. dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. organic vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees; line a 9″ square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
2. Place oats in high-powered blender; grind into fine flour and place in large bowl.
3. Add water and dates to blender and process until super smooth. (Soak dates for 30 minutes if they are too firm.)
4. Add water, dates, and all other ingredients to th oats in the bowl and stir to combine.
5. Scrape into prepared pan and spread out flat. Bake at 325 for 23-25 minutes until firm. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack for 5-10 minutes more. Slice into bars. Freeze remainder if necessary.

I placed mine into small snack-size ziploc baggies; you can also wrap them individually with saran wrap for easy grabbing on the go.

Recipe courtesy of http://www.ohsheglows.com

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