Who doesn’t love granola bars? Not fake, artificial granola bars, but real, nutrient-packed granola bars. They’re so good when done right. And as of late, I’ve been getting really frustrated that there are so many added sugars in things that do. not. need. them. It’s ridiculous!

For example, I look at jam and it has added sugar. Then you say, okay never mind, I’ll get sugar-free jam. Then, you’re faced with so much fake sugar. Honestly, I’d rather have the unnecessarily sweet real added sugars than the zero-calorie shit.

So, here we are faced with two options that…suck. Now, I realize I’m about to be talking about granola bars, not jam, but you get what I mean. The same thing goes for granola bars. I don’t want any white sugar in anything I make. Ever again.

And there’s no need for it! Take honey and maple syrup, for example. Complete, real, raw honey and raw maple syrup. These things are so, so, so sweet on their own, and they’re natural! And real! And unrefined! So bring them on (in moderation, of course, as they are still very high in sugar regardless). Can’t go guzzling this stuff.

Okay, so rant aside, I basically just want to make everything myself these days. Who knew I’d end up wanting to cook so much? Not me.

What you’ll need:

1 cup packed pitted medjool dates

¼ cup honey

1 tablespoon maple syrup

½ cup peanut butter

1 ½ cups rolled oats

1 cup brown rice crisps

¾ cups almonds

¼ cup flaxseeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

½ cup dried unsweetened tart cherries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, butter it and set aside.
  3. Blend dates in a food processor or blender.
  4. Toast oats, almonds and pumpkin seeds in oven for about 10 minutes. I like to do this to get the toasty oat thing going on.
  5. In a saucepan, heat peanut butter, maple syrup and honey over low to medium heat until it combines into one warm gooey sauce. Be careful not to burn.
  6. Combine oats, rice crisps, dates, almonds, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and cherries in a bowl, then pour the sauce over it and mix in.
  7. Pour mixture into pan, press down flatly and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Once they’re done refrigerating, remove the pan and cut up into bar-sized treats. And if you want to get real crazy with it, you can melt some dark chocolate chips and drizzle it atop the mixture once it’s pressed down in the pan and ready to go. Enjoy!

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