The alternate title for these bars was: ultra dense, doughy, chewy, soft, seedy, hearty, protein-and-fibre-packed granola bars, sweetened naturally with dates!
I can be a bit wordy at times. Anyway, these are not your average granola bars! Bursting with chia, sunflower, and pepita seeds, they pack a hefty amount of protein, fibre, and omega fatty acids and are naturally sweetened with date paste (a simple blend of water and pitted dates) instead of sugar. I like to think of these as an “adult” granola bar or a muesli breakfast bar of sorts, although I could also see my hockey-loving nephews enjoying these as fuel for the game. For those with nut allergies, you’ll be happy to know these are totally nut-free, just like my Super Power Chia Bread which this recipe is adapted from. If you’ve enjoyed the Super Power Chia Bread, the texture of these granola bars is the same – very soft and like an ultra dense, doughy bread.
I didn’t feel like calling them “chia bread” though due to the sweetness; granola bars just seemed to make more sense in my brain. I also debated calling these “energy bars” because they are packed with so many good-for-you ingredients and I’ve been enjoying them after exercise for a little pick me up. As you can see, deciding on a title is not my strong point! Whatever you call them, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Soft + Chewy Baked Granola Bars
Dense, chewy, soft, doughy, seedy, hearty, protein-and-fibre-packed granola bars, sweetened naturally with dates! Try them spread with nut or seed butter for a fun treat or just enjoy them plain. Adapted from my Super Power Chia Bread.
- 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a flour
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup packed pitted Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
- Add rolled oats into a high-speed blender. Blend on highest speed until a fine flour forms. Add oat flour into a large bowl.
- Add water and pitted dates into blender. Allow the dates to soak for 30 minutes if they are a bit firm or your blender has a hard time blending dates smooth. Once they are soft, blend the dates and water until super smooth.
- Add all of the ingredients into the bowl with the oat flour and stir well until combined.
- Scoop the mixture into the pan and spread it out with a spatula as evenly as possible. You can use lightly wet hands to smooth it down if necessary.
- Bake at 325F for about 23-25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then lift it out and transfer it to a cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
- I suggest freezing leftovers to preserve freshness.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
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Calories always missing from recipes
I made these bars for a second time yesterday. They are perfect snacks for hiking or an afternoon boost of energy at the office.
I’ve tried these before and absolutely loved them. I want to make them again but was wondering if the recipe would still work if i used whole oats rather than oat flour. What do you think?
I live in UK, love this recipe, but not sure how much is a cup??
Can you equate it to grams for me please?,
Hi, I was wondering if you can just leave them in the fridge, so no baking is done?
Just wondering if you have ever tried substituting the dates with any other dried fruit? All I have in the pantry now that would be the closest thing to dates is sultanas? Do you think it’d work?!
Hello! These look fabulous! I love cranberries. My problem is that here (Victoria, Australia) all the cranberries are ‘added sugar and vegetable oil’ (urghhh). Occasionally you can find organic ones but the last time I found some they were about AU$18 for about 250grams! So I guess raisins would work ok instead? (But not so enticing!)
Love this! Will be trying this recipe this weekend for sure!
I absolutely love how flexible Medjool dates are, I’d put them in EVERYTHING if I could, delicious!
Thanks for sharing:)
My daughter (19 mo) LOVES these! I use the dates, oat flour and chia seeds, then whatever seeds and dried fruit I have on hand. They always turn out great. I freeze the cut bars, so that I can pull them out for a quick snack any time. She is on a GF DF diet, and refuses the store-bought bars. This recipe is great!!!
I hardly ever comment in recipes I find online, but had to say thanks for this recipe, it’s awesome. I did substitute the cranberries for chopped prunes as that’s what I had in the pantry, but it’s so easy and tasty and my kids love them too!
I followed this recipe as closely as i could, only sub was raisins for cranberries but the final texture was very weird. So much so my normally tolerant and enthusiastic family would not eat them! I am trying to, so as not to waste, but they have a very strange rubbery texture which is presumably from the chia seeds. Now I like chia, can cope with the slime factor in puddings tho many people can’t, but this was just too much oddness! I did think it was a lot of chia when i added them, but i was trying to stick to recipe exactly (i am a natural improviser). So I’m not trying to be mean, honestly, but they just didn’t work for us!
These were great! I do not have a sweet tooth in the slightest, so I really struggle to find mid-morning snacks that are healthy but aren’t super sweet (apart from nuts etc.). These were great! I added linseed, goji berries, some desiccated coconut and mixed the vanilla with coconut essence (I really love coconut).
Thank you for the recipe – the dates with water as a binder/for moisture is a great idea!
Do you have to use chia seeds? They’re kind of pricey as far as I’ve noticed >.<
I’m going to use flaxseed instead of chia seeds (due to cost) but I was wondering how to prepare it before mixing it in? Am I supposed to grind them up and soak them in water or just throw em in whole? Doesn’t half a cup seem like a lot? Any help would be so much appreciated, I want to make these asap! ^-^
I just made these, but put half of the chia seeds and used flax seeds for the rest and they are delicious! I hate when granola bars are over-sweetened with honey, and these have just the right amount of sweetness for that afternoon snack fix. Will definitely be making these again and might try to sub half the date paste with pumpkin purée!
Can’t wait to try!
Can you post the total sugar count . Thanks TC
Hi Tanya, I haven’t calculated the total sugar count myself, but if you go to NutritionData.com and plug in the recipe information, you should be able to quickly find out what you need to know! :)
Do you by any chance know the nutrition information for these bars? Also, if I chose not to freeze the leftovers, would you recommend dry storage or refrigeration? Thank you!
I want to first say that I love your recipes…they are amazing. The cauliflower white sauce caught my eye and I noticed when I clicked on the recipe that there was an add for Cabelas….really? Cabelas…that big hunting store? I just didn’t understand why you would want to allow them to advertise on your site.
Just finished another batch of these amazing granola bars. I’ve tried several recipes and while there are tons that are pretty tasty, some are just too “sticky”. But the dates really hold this one together. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. I have to stop myself from eating the whole tray myself.
Hey Angela :-)) your recipes are absolutely inspiring and are changing my life one meal at a time!
I am so indescribably grateful for your culinary genius and willingness to share such goodness!
You’re an amazing, inspiration woman, thank you for these recipes, especially this one!
Just quickly, if freezing these, what do you do to thaw them out?
Hi Oliviah, thank you so much for the lovely heartfelt comment! :) Letting them thaw out on the counter for a few minutes should do the trick.
Hey, I was wondering if it would be ok for me to swap the cranberries for raisins or blueberries. Do you think that these bars would still taste as good?
Hi there, I can’t see why not! I know a few people have subbed in raisins and really enjoyed the results. If you try either swap, I’d love to hear how you like it! I think using different dried fruit could add a great twist to the recipe.
Turned out excellent! I was very excited to find a nut free granola bar recipe for my Preschooler. The only problem is, she said it’s too “seedy” (she’s not a fan of the chia seed texture). I may have to experiment using a flour instead of the seeds.
These look so good Angela! i cannot wait to try them out! Quick question do you happen to know the nutritional content of these yummy bars? I want to maje them for me and my hubbie because they would be a great snack for his lunch and he is a body builder and needs to track his food.
Thanks for all your amazing recipes :):)
Hey Ariel, I’m sorry, I don’t know the nutritional data offhand! But, if you head over to a free online tool like nutritiondata.com or caloriecount.com, or even an app like MyFitnessPal, and plug in the recipe info, you should be able to get it all calculated out for you fairly easily. I hope this helps!
Could you tell me how many calories these granola bars are ? I am currently on Weight Watchers and would like to add some vegan recipes in my day.
They look delicious !!!
Hi Terry, I haven’t calculated the calories for these myself, but if you head over to a free online tool like caloriecount.com or nutritiondata.com and plug in the recipe info, you should be able to find out the nutritional info you’re looking for fairly quickly. Hope this helps!!
Hello Angela,i want to know if i can try this recipe with a rectangular baking dish(8 X 12 inch) as i don’t have an 8 x 8,also i would be thankful if u can throw some light on the quantity of ingredients to be slashed for a 7 inch pan in case the 8 X 12 is not suitable.
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EXACTLY what I was looking for!! Dates, chia and seeds!!!
I tried these the way you directed, then without grinding the oats to flour. I prefer the second version better; it’s less doughy. Just a suggestion. Also, I only had about 1/4 cup of chia seeds left so I filled it out with flax seeds, and it worked out well. Thanks for recipe.
Thank you so much for making a granola recipe we can easily do. My son has fairly bad eczema and were currently doing an elimination diet which is working. We have had to eliminate wheat, dairy, eggs and due to allergies, nuts. It’s so hard finding any good recipes!
These are really good. I’m trying not to let myself eat another one, because I want to freeze some if them (or maybe I should just make another batch, I wouldn’t be totally against that idea). Glad that this recipe didn’t use maple syrup, as it’s pretty expensive and not widely available where I live. Was afraid that my dates and water mixture wasn’t thick enough, but they turned out just fine. Added some extra rolled oats for chewiness and mixed in sunflower seeds, raisins, flax seeds (gotta love flax seeds!), some crushed banana chips and a little bit of peanuts.
Thank you for the recipe!
Love from Poland.
I love how you blended the dates with water to make a paste as the sweetener instead of using honey or maple. What a great idea! I’m planning for snacks to bring on our upcoming vacation and I’ve gone down a rabbit hole of your healthy snacks!
I give this recipe 5 stars because of the inventive use of dried dates, soaked & blendered to consistency of applesauce, which adds a natural sweetness, and for the ability to modify the recipe depending upon what you have on hand, and because your instructions are incredibly clear and easy to follow. I modified this recipe because I was missing certain ingredients. To add some sweetness, I added 1/2 c diced dried apple pieces soaked in 1/4 cup water to soften. I added 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut. Because I don’t mind nuts and I had no chia seeds, I added 1/2 cup raw toasted cashews then chopped them. My sunflower seeds and pepitas (I used pepitas instead of pumpkin seeds) were already salted, so I did not add the 1/4 tsp salt. Also, my sunflower seeds were slightly old, so I recommend tasting the individual ingredients before you use them to be sure they aren’t stale (as my sunflower seeds were). I used less cinnamon and less vanilla, and I wish I had instead followed the original quantities of those flavorings. Soaking the dried dates long enough before blending is very important. Also, the instructions to bake until slightly firm in the middle is key. Otherwise the bars won’t cut well, and will be creamy & not chewy. Just check them in the oven often to be sure they’re the right firmness (but not hard) – as you would expect a store-bought soft granola bar to taste. (BTW, one added comment – it is nearly impossible to purchase UNsweetened dried cranberries, unless you want to buy in bulk and end up with stale cranberries because it’s impossible to consume that many! Much easier just to accept you’ll have a small amount of added sugar in the dried cranberries, which hopefully won’t hurt anyone.
Hey Karen, Thank you so much for the detailed feedback! I’m so happy you enjoyed the granola bars and that they turned out with your modifications! I’ll have to try this soon.
I made them and I love them! But do you know how many calories one “bar” is?
i didnt try this recipe yet, but looks delicious. wondering about its shelf life?
Hey Heba, I think these tend to dry out fairly fast, so I would recommend freezing them (tightly wrap them individually and then place in an airtight container or frezer bag) and just taking them out as you need them. Hope this helps!
Hi. My doctor recently had me switch to a whole food diet. This recipe looks great and I’m ready to make it tomorrow. I have to use dried blueberries instead of cranberries due to my husband’s dietary restrictions. My question is how much longer will I have to bake these as I only have 8”x8” pans, not 9”x9” pans?
Hey Mary, I’m not certain, but I would keep an eye on it while baking. It shouldn’t require too much extra time, if any.
I love to have healthy snacks on hand that actually taste good:D
These look delich!
Just wondering about the nutritional breakdown on these. How much protein is in each bar?
How many calories are in each bar?
Made these delicious granola bars for my family today for the first time, double batch, wow what a delicious snack! You are amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for the love you pour into your delicious recipes and allowing us to cook along side you. Sincerely appreciate the time, effort and energy that goes into each one of your precious masterpieces. Cheers! -Mishel
I have made these a few times before and figured it was about time I put in a review. These granola bars are sooooo good! They are soft and chewy, just as described in the title, and taste incredible. I highly recommend!
I love all your recipes that I have tried. My husband is allergic to nuts and sunflower seeds. Do you have a recipe for a snack type protein bar that I could make? Thanks!
I find these WAY too doughy, to the point that they seem like they aren’t cooked enough. Won’t be doing these again.
Can you use an egg instead of dates?