This chewy and lightly sweetened Essential Nut and Seed Granola Bar is perfect for sticking in a backpack or packing in a lunch. A 15 minute no-bake recipe, it’s a breeze to whip up when you need some snacks on hand (and vegan and gluten-free to boot!).
I know I’m not the only one already feeling the burden of the back-to-school grind. Packing bags with everything you might need for the day, thinking through packing snacks so you don’t resort to the chocolate drawer, deciding whether to splurge on lunch out or pack another tupperware with leftovers from the week.
It’s overwhelming – and it’s just the beginning of September.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Justin’s – a staple in my kitchen. I was compensated for my time in free product, and all opinions are my own.
Having spent a summer with a more laid-back schedule, getting back in the rhythm has been hard for me. I’ve forgotten how many snacks I like to have when I’m out and about!
Adding snacks into my food prep routine has been essential –> and is how these Essential Nut and Seed Granola Bars were born.
These bars have everything I love in them: different nuts + seeds packed with protein and healthy fats, rolled oats for a complex carbohydrate, and classic almond butter + brown rice syrup for a bit of sweetness and stick factor.
Today, I’m using my spoon’s favorite nut butter: Justin’s Classic Almond Butter. Buttery nutty perfection when paired with a dash of vanilla, cinnamon, and salt! Alternatively, you could use the vanilla almond butter and skip the flavor additions- but I wanted to stick to the lower sugar option.
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup dry roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- ½ cup brown rice syrup
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, mix together oats, almonds, seeds, and hemp hearts. Set aside.
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper covering the sides, and set aside.
- In a pan, heat together brown rice syrup and almond butter. Stir constantly until the mixture is well combined and the edges begin to bubble a bit.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
- Pour the liquid into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well. Dump it into the lined 8x8 pan and use an additional piece of parchment or wet hands to flatten the bars firmly until you have an even thickness.
- Freeze the bars for 30 minutes, and then remove the bars from the pan. Slice them into 12 rectangles (or your preferred shape) and wrap them individually in plastic wrap.
- Store the granola bars in the fridge for up to 10 days, or freeze them for up to 2 months.
Adapted from Angela Liddon's Classic Glo Bar recipe.
My biggest complaint with homemade granola bars has always been a crumbly texture, whether baked or not, and these move past that by using brown rice syrup (a recommendation from Oh She Glows’ Glo Bar).
After multiple taste tests (I love my job), the winning combo of nuts/seeds/oats/binder was found and detailed above in the recipe. It is worth buying the jar of brown rice syrup to make a few batches of these bars – it’s extra sticky and not overly sweet! You can stick these in your bag for the day and still come out with a chewy bar at 3 PM.
I left out fruit, because I’ve been bringing fruit as a snack as well, and prefer to use these bars as a handheld trail-mix of sorts. But you can substitute your favorite dried fruit in for some of the nuts/seeds if desired.
Remember to share a photo with me if you recreated the recipe at home – I love hearing from you guys.