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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These are so packed with goodies, I love it! I’ve been needing snacks to tide me over between lunch and dinner while I’m at work, and these are perfect!
Hi Angela! What brand of dried cranberries do you buy? I have a hard time finding any that are sweetened with sugar, even at Whole Foods. Thanks!
i am so happy to find a granola recipe that doesn’t include honey!!!
I made these recently in a silicone mini cupcake tray- they were a hit with my boyfriend and my son! Thanks for another great recipe!
Tried these a couple days ago as we’re always on the lookout for nutritious and easily portable food to take on our bike rides. They taste great, but didn’t like the texture at all. Must be the chia seeds. I seem to remember the same thing happened when I made the chia bread. Will have to go back to your “lara bar” knock-offs, which we LOVE and are just as portable as granola bars.
Can I sub figs for dates?
Loving how nutrient dense these granola bars seem!
I’ve tried a few times over the past few days to subscribe to your book newsletter but am unsuccessful (looked in inbox and junk mail). Is there another way to subscribe?
Thanks! I’m excited for the book!
So, I love you…as usual. I’m making energy bars of some sort every week and I actually JUST made date paste for the first time 2 days ago, thinking how am I gonna use it? Great inspiration for me here!
How much prepared date paste do you think I can add if I have some already made?
i wanted to email you privately but can’t see an option to do so, so I will write you here! I gave up drinking alcohol for 6 months on New Year’s eve and I already feel amazing. This pushed me to clean up my eating aswell, and I have decided to also go vegetarian ( and alllllmost vegan!) for the remaining time aswell, the theory being if I feel amazing from vegetarianism in 6 months, hopefully I can let go of my fears and take the vegan plunge aswell. I’m following the book Eat To Live by Dr Joel Fuhrrman, which advises unlimited leafy green and all other veggies aswell as 4 servings of fruit per day and nuts and seeds…this is for 6 weeks to retrain your metabolism and lose some weight.. after than the diet reccomendations are a little more liberal , but still he advises to avoid ALL animal products. Anyway I booked an appointment with my Naturopathic Doctor and long story short she told me unless a patient is doing it for moral, ethical or religious reasons she doesn’t advise vegetarian or vegan diet. I am extremely shocked!!! I was sooo pumped to get some support from her and she totally shot me down. Do you have any advice on keeping your chin up even though some “doctors” may think it is a bad idea? She told me to eat grass fed meat 2-3 times per week or my iron levels will drop dangerously low. This is not true!! Ugh… anyway I am venting .. anything you can say to restore my faith will help me so much! i love your site and your recipes have been a major contributing factor to me changing my lifestyle to plant based foods. thank you!!
Thank you, Angela, for this wonderful recipe! I recently discovered your blog and find such inspiration from your words, photography, and recipes. Thank you for sharing your talents and vision. I have pre-ordered your book and can’t wait to open the pages.
These bars are delicious!! My husband said they will be gone by tomorrow….
Cheers and many thanks!
Angela, these are delicious! Although I’m addicted to your Quick n Easy No Bake Protein Bars, these taste like breakfast to go, especially if there’s not enough time to make a healthy smoothie. Thank you!
These are beautiful! Sugar Free and soft – YUM!
As you know, I made these yesterday with a few minor changes….and they turned out BEAUTIFULLY! I would definitely recommend, and they are perfect for my training as an alternate to my prior granola bars as a snack before or after a run. I will definitely make them again! How long would you say they keep?
Regarding signing up for the Cookbook Newsletter, I’ve tried with two different email addresses yet I haven’t received the confirmation email. Can you check that all is working as it’s supposed to be?
Hi Angela! I just made these granola bars at home yesterday and swapped out pepita seeds for chopped walnuts. I also used Vietnamese cinnamon instead of regular cinnamon. The result was SOOO delicious! I gave some to friends and family and they loved it! They kept asking for the recipe so I told them to check out ohsheglows :o) Thanks again for always sharing everything with your readers.
Hi Ange! Just wondering if you have an approximate volume for the pureed dates/water? I have pre-soaked/and pureed dates in the freezer I’d like to use to save time. I was intending to use them for your Rolo knock-offs ages ago, but I waaaaaay oversoaked the dates and now have a sticky goo (even straight out of the freezer). It’s great for smoothies though! Thanks :) Looking forward to trying this recipe. I LOVE dates.
I’m always looking for easy portable breakfast/snack ideas and these fit the bill! Just made them and liked them. However, I realised I don’t love the texture given by the chia. ( previously made your nut free energy balls and recognised the texture). Do you have a suggestion for something I could use instead of chia?
I’m trying to make an effort to make more of my own snacks instead of buying granola bars so I made these today and am so glad I found your recipe! They were super easy to throw together and I love how healthy and energy packed they are. Wrapped them up and threw them in the freezer for snacks the next couple weeks. Thanks for the recipe! :)
Hi Angela, these are perfect for my 2 year old daughter who I don’t like to give any sugar to! Thank you so much :) have you tried using flax seed instead of the chia seeds? If not, any recommendations for using those instead?
You’ve done it again! These are extraordinary! Ooh-la-la.
So there’s something that I don’t understand….what does the title of your book mean? “over 100 vegan recipes to glow from the inside out” — does that mean the recipes will glow? This is a bit of a glaring grammatical error that I’m surprised your editor didn’t catch. I’ve read it a couple of times now, and it makes no sense. It’s a shame, because the cover art looks beautiful.
Made these exactly as the recipe says and they turned out great. Just the right amount of sweetness for both my kids and I. My husband and I have been looking for an easy gluten-free breakfast idea for the kids and these are it. Yum! Thanks Angela!
Angela – I have been making your recipes for a very long time and this is my first post (for some strange reason). Anyhow, I made these last night and my husband and I went crazy over them. He has been eating KIND bars for a while as a quick snack…. they have nothing on these babies!!! We love your blog, our home basically lives on it! I just ordered your cookbook too!
Hi Nicole, Yay! So happy to hear this :)
I just found out I very unfortunately have a sensitivity to dates :(. Do you think that in most cases I can substitute raisins for dates? I am a bit concerned that maybe they have a lot more sugar. Is there something else you’d reco? I was thinking maybe figs, but I have never used them before.
love, love, love that you’re posting this recipe about granola bars. As I’m weekly making these for me and my boyfriend as a healthy treat for the day. I’m also always changing these up…ok almost every time I’m making them ;-) So I’m happy to see another take on these healty babies :D hahaha
I’d love for you to check out one of my “creations” …
Love from Germany,
I made these yesterday, as I’m trying to do no added sugars in my diet (most days…). I actually found that these are SUPER SWEET – they’re good, but I may enjoy them more if the sweetness factor was toned down. Any suggestions out there for swapping out the proportions to make them less sweet? It seems like the dates are a major binder so I don’t want to mess with it too much.
Just made these the other day and I love having them for breakfast slathered with a nut butter and jam for an extra oomph! I find that they are almost more bread-like than granola bar-like but they are delicious and hearty all the same!! I didn’t have the correct amount of all the nuts and seeds available so I just mixed and matched what I had lying around the house and they turned out great.
Yummo, they look delicious and I have all the ingredients at home! I love a recipe for a good granola bar.
Hello,can I substitute the chia seed?
Maybe with sesame seeds or can you suggest something else?
These look really good!!
Also … I miss your Glo Bars sooooooo much!! Any plans to start back up with them?
Yummy! I loved your chia bread, so I’m sure I’ll love these… I love packable healthy snacks :)
These look incredible – I love your blog! You have inspired me so much to just get in there and start putting things together. Because of your inspiration I’ve created some fantastic peanut butter oatmeal breakfast cookies and some almond butter oatmeal chocolate chip bars that my family loves. I’m bringing them to work because people keep requesting more fun treats that are healthy and gluten/dairy free. I’m going to try these for sure and your Chia Power Bread – I like having a savory thing as well. Thanks for all your inspiration Angela!
I just made these tonight using a combination of teff flour and brown rice flour. I had already started making them and realized I was out of oats, so I had to come up with a solution! I also pressed them into the cups of a muffin pan, so I could avoid having to cut them into bars. (: They came out sooo good!
These were easy to make and delicious! Perfect for an on the go snack!! Thanks!
Are dried cranberries sugar free??? If not, how can the bars be? Do they have sugar free cranberries
I have some in the oven right now!! Chia seeds in the UK are sooo expensive so I used what was in my cupboard and found dried coconut and ground almonds instead. I’m sure that they will be amazing whatever combo’s people use!
I just discovered your blog and I love love love it! I am just starting the vagan journey so I need all the info I can get. Keep up the awesome job.
I made these with raisins (was out of dried cranberries) and am tooootally obsessed! I wrapped them up individually and they we my afternoon snack all week. Just had one straight out of the freezer as I was impatient and it was delicious too! Anything goes with this bar. Thank you for the awesome recipe!
Made these today- AMAZING!! (And I forgot the vanilla, cinnamon and salt-oops!). We’re already planning to make a quadruple batch tomorrow to freeze. Thanks Angela for another great recipe!!
What a perfect recipe! These hold together beautifully! !!! I only had a few dates so I also used dried figs for the paste. I am in love. These will be in heavy rotation in my kitchen! Thank you:)
whohoo! So glad to hear that :)
Hi Angela, I makd a lot of your recipes but just had to comment on this one because of how extra pleased I was with how it turned out! I have a very busy toddler and am working fullI time, so my cooking thrills that I had on mat leave are no more and I have found myself on an unhealthy food train as a result, since returning to work. Then this recipe was posted! I had all ingredients sitting in my cupboard and this recipe is a great way to use up seed and nut odds and ends. I was able to throw it togetther in 5 minutes and for being so healthy, boy do they taste great! My toddler is also obsessed with them, which makes me happy since they are filled with so much good for you food! Another big win on this one Angela. Can’t wait for your book!
Looking forward to trying your vegan granola bar recipe.
Like you, have been on and off a plant base diet and should go back to it 100% since it was the time I felt at my best. Thank you for inspiring me to go back to it.
I just made these bust substituted dried cherry for the cranberries and chopped pistachios for the pumpkin seeds….even through some dark chocolate in my second batch! CANT WAIT!!
Hi there, just wondered how many dates you used? Thanks jenny
Since coconut flour is more absorbent would you still use full 3/4 ? Sorry if it’s a silly question. I’m trying to incorporate more coconut flour into my diet and I’m still learning. Great site and thanks for sharing!
My first try with one of your recipes, seems like a good one for a cold and snowy day here in WI..next up will be a soup….
Would love to sign up for the newsletter. Not sure where to click!!
Please let me know if I can do it this way.
Never mind…..I found it!
I am looking forward to the newsletter.
I just did both the Chai Fresca drink and the soft and chewy sugar-free granola bars and I have to say both are fantastic! The granola bars are baking momentarily, but the batter alone was soooo tasty and sweet! I couldn’t believe there wasn’t any sugar in it.
Thank you for sharing.
Help please :) I have a quick question – I was just all ready to go and make this beautiful recipe for a movie night tonight…. but I realize now that I don’t have any chia seeds! Anyone have any suggestions of what I could use to replace this essential ingredient? Thank you so much!