Hello everyone! This is Rita here. If you've been keeping up with us, you're probably happy to see we're FINALLY creating new snack recipes. See, we've got enough breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts and basics to keep you interested for a little while... But what about snacking? Truth is we always have delicious, healthy and satisfying treats and snacks in our pantry and fridge and there's really no valid reason as to why we haven't started sharing more of those with you. We've even had a few friends and readers specifically ask us for granola bars... So here they are!
I've loved the classic combo of hazelnut, banana and chocolate ever since I can remember. A couple of years ago you would find me indulging on huge stacks of (non-vegan) pancakes topped with buttloads of nutella and sliced bananas, with little to no concern whether this was a healthy snacking option or not. Fast forward to right about now and I might even enjoy this combo more thanks to all the plant-based, whole foods alternatives. I'm always looking for new ways to combine these three flavourful ingredients (at some point, there might even be a Hazelnut, Banana & Chocolate Marble Cake?) and these bars just hit the spot.
These are completely healthy because they are packed with natural, clean ingredients. They are 100% naturally sweetened and there is absolutely no need to worry about all those added sugars and nasties that are usually presented in store bought granola bars. They're chewy and gooey thanks to the dehydrated banana, the dates and the roasted hazelnut butter but they've still got that perfect crunch from the roasted hazelnuts, cacao nibs and vegan chocolate chips. This recipe is super quick to make and it will provide you with loads of bars to get your motors going in those lazy afternoons. What more could we hope for? Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments below!
Hazelnut, Banana & Chocolate Chip
1 hour | makes 16 bars
2 cups | 200 gr. organic rolled oats
3/4 cup | 100 gr. hazelnuts
1/4 cup | 35 gr. cacao nibs
1/2 cup | 60 gr. dehydrated banana slices, cut into quarters
8 medjoul dates, pitted
1/4 cup | 60 ml. roasted hazelnut butter ( make your own just as you would make this roasted almond butter )
1/4 cup | 60 ml. rice malt syrup
2 tbsp | 30 gr. vegan dark chocolate chips
STEP BY STEP
Start by gathering, preparing and measuring all of the ingredients. This will improve your dynamic in the kitchen.
- Preheat your oven to 300ºF | 150ºC.
- Place the rolled oats and hazelnuts in separate trays.
- Toast each tray with the oats and hazelnuts in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, soak the pitted medjoul dates in a small bowl with warm water, for approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove trays from the oven and allow the oats and hazelnuts to cool down. Gently rub the hazelnuts with your hands or a kitchen cloth to remove their skins.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the toasted oats and hazelnuts with the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Drain the medjoul dates and squeeze them gently to remove any excess water.
- Throw the dates in your food processor, along with the hazelnut butter and rice malt syrup and blend for a while, until you get a caramel-like smooth mixture.
- Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly using a spatula or your own hands. It is supposed to be a thick and dense mixture.
- Pour this mixture in a rectangular or square pan ( we used a 10" x 7" brownie pan ) and press it down firmly with your hands. Make sure it is tightly and evenly packed.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and press them gently into the granola mix.
- Place the pan in the freezer for about half an hour to allow the granola mix to set.
- Remove from freezer and cut immediately into bars or squares. Store in an airtight container.