A healthy lifestyle is key to a happy life. Each week, we round up an inspiring recipe that makes us look and feel good. With warm weather approaching, we’re on the lookout for fuss-free, healthy snacks that require minimal prep and zero oven use. What’s Cooking Good Looking's no-bake dried cherry and coconut granola bars fit the bill perfectly. Enjoy!
No-Bake Granola Bars
- 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of dried apricots, diced
- 1/2 cup of dates, pitted and diced
- 1/2 cup of of almond butter (or any kind of nut butter you like)
- 1 cup of brazil nuts (or any kind of nut you like), roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of dried cherries (or any kind of dried fruit you like), roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup of toasted coconut, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla (I used this fancy ground vanilla that I have which worked so well, but you can also use 2 vanilla beans - scraped, or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
- 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
First, toast the oats. Pre-heat the oven to 350º. Spread the oats out on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before incorporating.
Soak and puree the dates + apricots, and heat up the nut butter. Place the chopped dates and apricots in a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes and drain completely. Transfer them to a high-powered blender or food processor and puree until they become a smooth paste. Unless your nut butter is at room temperature, you will want to warm it up slightly so that it is easier to incorporate. To do so, heat it up in a small saucepan until it starts to melt.
Then, combine all of the ingredients and form it in a pan. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients including the toasted oats, the pureed apricots and dates, as well as the melted nut butter. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. You can use any size and shape you like. The bigger the dish, the thinner the bars will be. I went for a smaller sized pan because I like them in bigger chunks. Push the mixture down so that it fill the dish, and is uniform and flat at the top.
Cover, place it in the refrigerator, and chill for a couple of hours until the mixture is sticking together well. You can also freeze these if you prefer. If stored well, they should last for about two weeks in the fridge, or longer in the freezer.