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Healthy Chewy Granola Bars with Dates and Pumpkin Seeds

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These healthy and chewy Granola Bars with Dates and Pumpkin Seeds are a delicious and easy treat. Filled with wholesome ingredients, they’re simple to make in about 10 minutes (plus setting time) with no oven needed!

Top view of Chewy Granola Bars cut into bars with pumpkin seeds

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This no bake granola bar is deliciously chewy and soft and utterly yummy.

I love granola all year, sprinkled on everything from yogurt to pears, or as a healthy snack to carry around wherever I may be.

But when the air grows decidedly chilly and the days begin to shorten, foods with dried fruit and whole grains and maple flavors become even more interesting and desireable.

These homemade and healthy Chewy Granola Bars contain those crave-worthy ingredients. Plus… they’re super easy to make too.

Let’s begin with those ingredients!

Side view of Chewy Granola Bars stacked on marble surface

Ingredients for Chewy Granola Bars

The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Scoll down a bit for suggested adaptations to make them your favorite. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Old fashioned rolled oats
  • Crispy cereal (optional, look for brown rice crisps if possible)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Medjool Dates
  • Nut butter (I’m using peanut butter)
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
Top view of ingredients for Chewy Granola Bars on a round wood board

Adaptations for Granola Bars

Rolled Oats: You want to use old fashioned rolled oats .

Crispy Cereal: This is completely optional, I generally add it for family members who love it. Look for brown rice crisps if possible. If you’re skipping this ingredient, increase the rolled oats measurements to 2 cups.

Pumpkin Seeds: Any seeds you prefer work well here. Some ideas might be sunflower seeds or flax seed meal.

Dried Fruit: I’m using dried cranberries, but any dried fruit can be substituted. Think dried apples, raisins, cherries or cut up dried apricots.

Nut Butter: Choose your favorite nut butter, as mentioned, I’m using chunky peanut butter here.

Maple Syrup: I absolutely love the flavor maple adds to these granola bars. But you can substitute honey or your preferred sweetener.

Tips for Making Chewy Granola Bars

Dates: You will need a food processor to finely chop the dates into a paste. Mine will often roll into a ball. This ingredient helps sweeten the bars and hold them together.

Press the bars firmly: It’s super important to tightly and firmly press the granola ingredients into the pan. Otherwise, the bars can become more like granola and less like bars. Press firmly with the back of a spoon, the bottom of a glass, or with a measuring cup.

Chill: It’s important to chill the bars for an hour or two to harden and set. This will make it easy to cut into bars.

How to Make Chewy Granola Bars

Step by step instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here’s an overview of how to make them.

Top view of Chewy Granola Bar ingredients in a glass bowl

Step 1: Combine the Ingredients

Process the pitted dates in a food processor until a paste forms. In a bowl, combine the ingredients, includes the dates. Warm the maple syrup and peanut butter and add to the bowl; stir to combine.

Top view of granola bars pressed into square baking pan

Step 2: Press into Baking Pan

Press the granola into the pan very, very firmly and tightly. This helps hold them together.

Top view of pressed Chewy Granola mixture in a square baking pan ready for chilling.

Step 3: Chill

Chill the bars in the refrigerator or freezer for an hour or two until very firm. This will help cut them into tidy bars or squares.

That’s it!

More Granola Recipes You’ll Love

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Top view of cut Chewy Granola Bars on parchment
Top view of chilled granola bars in square metal pan

Easy Chewy Granola Bars with Dates and Pumpkin Seeds

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

These healthy and chewy Granola Bars with Dates and Pumpkin Seeds are a delicious and easy treat. Filled with wholesome ingredients, they're simple to make in about 10 minutes (plus setting time) with no oven needed!

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup crispy cereal (*see note)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, (packed and pitted)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a paste-like consistency (mine usually rolls into a ball).
  2. In a large bowl, add oats, crisps, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit.
  3. Warm maple syrup (or agave or honey) and peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl or over low heat in a saucepan. Stir and pour over the oat mixture; mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout the granola.
  4. Once thoroughly combined, transfer to a 9 x 9-inch baking dish (or 8 x 8-inch) lined with parchment or even plastic wrap to lift out easily.
  5. Press down firmly and tightly until evenly flat. It's important to press very firmly so the bars hold together. Use the back of a spoon, drinking glass, or even the bottom of a measuring cup. It's important to pack them in tightly.
  6. Cover and refrigerate or even freeze for an hour or two before cutting into bars or squares.

Notes

Crispy Cereal:

My family loves crispy cereal so I generally add it to these bars. If you want to eliminate them, increase the rolled oats to 2 cups instead of 1 and 1/2 cups.

Toasting:

For added flavor, you can add an optional step of toasting the oats and pumpkin seeds in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Then proceed by adding them to a bowl and continuing with the recipe.

Storing:

You can store in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. Although I like to keep them in the refrigerator so they stay firm.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

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