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4.93 from 13 votes

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

Nut free school zone safe homemade granola bars that are fruit sweetened and definitely kid approved!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade granola bars, nut free granola bar recipe, school safe granola bars
Servings: 12 granola bars
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 6 large Medjool dates soaked in warm water to soften plus 3 tbsp of the date water to make the date paste (I find our dates in the produce section at our local grocer or at Costco)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds I buy coconut shreds in bulk at our local health food store
  • 1 cup raw pepitas aka pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped (I buzzed them up about 5 long pulses in my food processor)
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds coarsely chopped (I buzzed them up about 5 long pulses in my food processor)
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal I buy our flax seed meal at Costco
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds I buy our chia seeds at Costco
  • ¾-1 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp sea salt if your seeds or seed butter are salted, you will want to cut this back by at least half
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup tahini This is sesame seed butter. Sunflower seed butter should work too. Or if you tolerate nuts, use a nut butter of choice like almond or peanut butter. I think the biggest thing to keep in mind with the seed or nut butters is that you want something that doesn't have a bunch of other added ingredients/oils/sugar etc. Just check the ingredient labels.

Instructions

  • Fill a small bowl with warm/hot water from the tap and place the dates in the warm water while you prep the rest of the ingredients. They need to soak at least 5-10 minutes to moisten and soften.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees, and line a small baking pan with parchment paper. There is no need to grease the pan or the paper. Make sure the sides of the paper go over the sides of the pan so you can lift the granola bar mixture out of the pan easily.
  • Put the coconut shreds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax meal, chia seeds, raisins, salt, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl, and stir with a spoon to combine.
  • Pit the dates, and put them into a blender along with 3 tablespoons of the warm water that the dates were soaking in. Blend to make a smooth date “paste.” Put the date paste and tahini in a small sauce pan. Warm the date paste/tahini mixture until it melts and starts to sizzle a little, stirring along the way. This only needs about 1 minute to melt and warm so that it is easier to mix into the seeds.
  • Stir the warm date paste/tahini mixture into the mixing bowl with the seeds using a spatula. It will be thick and sticky. It will seem dry at first but do not add more moisture or they will not set right. It will start to combine as you mix.
  • Press the granola bar mixture into the parchment paper lined baking sheet. I use my hands – press it in tight. Press it into the sides and corners, and slide the edges and corners down to compact in.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, take them out of the oven, and use the back of a wooden spoon t gently press the granola down a bit more so it really compacts in to set. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then use the parchment paper sides to lift the solid bar mixture onto a cooling rack to finish cooling (I keep it on the parchment paper while on the cooling rack). Do NOT cut the bars until they are cooled – it sets up as it cools off, and it will fall apart if you cut it while it is still hot.
  • Once the granola is cooled, cut the bars into the sizes you want, and either freeze or store in an airtight container.