Hazelnut & Maple Granola Bars

hazelnut and maple granola bars via bacon is the way to happiness

Nom. Yum. Delish. Rrrrrrawr. I’m not sure what else to say about these granola bars. They are just so good. I made them to serve more as a fun treat with a little punch of goodness– that way you can spoil yourself with something deliciously sweet without feeling totally awful about it.

At one point during this recipe, you combine dates, hazelnut butter spread, and maple syrup together in a food processor. I was very half tempted… really 3/4 tempted to just simply end it there and ignore there was a granola/nut mixture, sit on the couch, and just go to town until I went into a coma. But, my conscience got the better of me. I told my son we were going to make yummy granola bars, so yummy granola bars we were going to make. I’ll save that date-hazelnut-maple mixture for when I have a bad day…. or a really good day…. or just a day… or am breathing, or something…

I like to make snacks like these and also those energy bites, if you remember, instead of buying them already made. There’s just something about doing the process yourself that feels a little more guilt-free.. and, not to mention, you’re less likely to eat it all in one sitting, since you’d have to go through the whole gotta-make-it-process to consume it again… I have found it enables more self control! And, these kinds of recipes are easy enough for you to include your progeny in the process, entertain them, and allow them to feel a sense of accomplishment… Win-win.

So go on and get your sweet-fix on without all the guilt.

 

Hazelnut & Maple Granola Bars
Yields: 12 servings
Time: Approximately 1 hour

hazelnut and maple granola bars

 

Ingredients
2 cups granola (I used Ezekiel Almond Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal)
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 TBS wheat germ
1 cup dates, pitted & chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup hazelnut butter spread
1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the granola, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, and salt.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the hazelnut butter and maple syrup, stirring frequently.
3. In a food processor, grind the dates until it forms a ball, add the hazelnut/maple mixture and process until smooth.
4. Add the date mixture to the granola mixture and stir to combine. You may need to get down and dirty and use your hands to mix it.
5. In an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper, pour in the granola mixture. Using a spoon, push down the granola until it is compact and evenly spread.
6. Cover lightly and place into the freezer for about 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and baking pan and cut into 12 squares. Store in refrigerator and eat within a week!

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