You know those people that get really angry when they are hungry? Well, I’m one of those. I go from fine to not fine in just minutes. I need to eat, and I need to eat ASAP. Lord help you if you are in my way when it hits. The world might as well be ending. Get me a snack … NOW. This, my friends, is something I like to refer to as ‘hangry’.
hangry (han – gree) adj: a state of anger caused by lack of food; hunger causing a negative change in emotional state
Think you might know someone that gets hangry? Maybe you aren’t 100% sure? Check out this article by the Huffington Post where they describe the symptoms of being hangry — CLICK HERE.
Dear everyone I know. I’m sorry.
Since I often get hangry, I tend to stash snacks … everywhere. My purse, my desk, my car (i.e. glove compartment, backseat and trunk), coat pockets, cabinets … basically anywhere. And this is where the granola bar comes in. It’s small, filling, and easy to eat on the run. Picture the row of granola bars at the grocery store, not only is it an easy snack, but there are literally an infinite number of flavors. SO MANY CHOICES.
The downfall of granola bars? Pick the wrong one, and it will be loaded with calories and preservatives. I hate when I can’t understand the ingredients in my food. If I can’t read it, I don’t want to eat it. It’s partially what sparked the blog. I’d rather just spend the time making my own versions of things, and know exactly what is in it, than buy prepackaged food.
Don’t let the grocery store fool you … you can make these things on your own! And that’s where the 6 ingredient granola bar came from. Make them, eat them, enjoy them. And remember ‘cook with what you have’!
What You Need
1 1/2 Cups rolled oats
8oz Dried, pitted dates
1 Cup almonds
1/4 Cup nut butter (almond or peanut)
1/2 Cup dried cranberries
And here is what it all looks like!
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats onto a baking sheet and toast for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. This step is optional, but I think it adds a lot of depth to the granola bars.
While the oats are toasting, get out your mini food processor to chop the dates. Can you tell I love my mini food processor? Be sure you purchase pitted dates. The pits are a pain to get out and would make this recipe a whole lot more difficult.
Never seen a date before? They are delicious and amazing, and if you don’t use them all for this recipe, you should stuff the rest with goat cheese and pour yourself a nice glass of wine.
Once they are chopped, they will look like this:
Mix the almonds, chopped dates, dried cranberries, and toasted oats together in a bowl. I actually didn’t have a full cup of almonds, but I had some walnuts left from another recipe so I threw those in. You could really throw in any kind of nuts or seeds you like (flax, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.).
In a microwave safe dish, warm the peanut butter and honey together. You could do this on the stove top as well, but I was in a rush because, well, you guessed it … I was getting hangry! Pour the honey/nut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well. You’ll have to gauge the consistency at this point. You’ll want it to be sticky enough to hold together, but not so sticky that the bar sticks to your teeth. If the mixture seems too dry still, just add a little more nut butter and honey.
Public service announcement: EAT LOCAL HONEY. Local honey contains trace amounts of pollen. Eating local honey, on a regular basis, allows you to build up immunity to the allergens around where you live and reduces allergy symptoms. Say goodbye to those itchy eyes and endless sneezing when Spring rolls around!
Line a dish with wax or parchment paper and transfer the granola bar mixture. The wax/parchment paper will allow you to remove the bars very easily once they are done. As you pour the mixture into the dish, press down firmly. You’ll want to pack these tightly so that they stick together well. Lay another piece of paper on top of the granola bars and press down. Let bars harden in the fridge at least 15 minutes. The longer they sit in the fridge, the better. But if you are hangry, 15 minutes should be enough.
Once the granola bars have set up, use a sharp knife to slice into individual bars.
Want to know why this recipe is great? You can literally add whatever dried fruit you want. Don’t have honey? Substitute out the honey for maple syrup. Craving chocolate? Add some chocolate chips. Either way, these granola bars will be cleaner than any you find at the store. Just ‘cook with what you have’!
I wrapped the individual bars in wax paper. This way you can grab them and go. Don’t forget, since we only used 6 ingredients, there are no preservatives. These will keep in the fridge for about 10 days. However, if you wrap them individually, you can also freeze them to increase their shelf life.