Date Nut Granola Bars
These sweet, chewy granola bars are a perfect go-to snack to enjoy all week long. Popped sorghum adds a surprise ingredient that provides crunchiness. Dry-roasting the oats and nuts give these bars a delicious, toasted flavor.
Recipe Developed by the American Heart Association
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- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
- 1/4 cup almond slices or whole almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup uncooked whole grain sorghum
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup low-sodium peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Put the oats, almonds and pistachios on a large baking sheet. Spread them in a single layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly brown, stirring occasionally. (Watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Let cool slightly.
- In a food processor or blender, process the dates and cranberries for 1 to 1½ minutes, or until chopped and a clumpy consistency. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Put half the sorghum in a silicone microwave popcorn bowl or a clean, brown paper lunch bag. If using a microwave popcorn bowl, put on its cover. If using a paper bag, roll it shut and place it in the microwave, with fold facing down. Microwave on 100% (high) for 2 minutes, or until there is more than 10 seconds between pops. Repeat with the remaining half, microwaving for 1½ minutes, or until there is more than 10 seconds between pops. (If some of the sorghum didn’t pop, you can still include it into the mixture for some extra crunch.)
- Stir the popped sorghum, oats, almonds and pistachios into the date mixture.
- In a small saucepan, heat the honey and peanut butter over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the peanut butter is smooth and the mixture is warmed, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Pour over the date mixture, stirring to break up into small clumps. Transfer half to the baking pan. Using the bottom of a drinking glass or your fingers lightly sprayed with cooking spray, press down firmly to flatten and pack tightly. Repeat with the remaining half. Put in the freezer, covered, for about 1 hour, to firm up.
- Place a cutting board over the pan. Turn the pan over. Discard the plastic wrap. Using a knife, cut into 12 bars. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.