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FALL HARVEST GRANOLA BARS

It’s sweet, salty, chewy, and crunchy ingredients, these easy Fall Harvest bars are an ideal make-ahead snack to keep on hand for your busy days. They are full of nutritious ingredients to energize you, curb your cravings, and nourish your body. 

Seriously, you guys. Salty, sweet, chewy, crunchy.…it’s ALL in here for a satisfying powerhouse snack! 

While the oats, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are toasted in the oven, this recipe does not require any additional baking! Once the ingredients are combined, you just press the mixture into a parchment-lined dish and freeze the bars for about 20 minutes. This allows them to firm up so that they slice easily. SIMPLE!!!

Ingredients 2 cups old-fashioned oats (don’t use instant or quick-cooking oats!) 1 cup whole almonds, roughly chopped ½ cup pumpkin seeds 1 cup packed pitted Medjool dates ⅓ cup maple syrup ¼ cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter ½ cup dried cranberries ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread oats, almonds and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet with sides. Toast in the oven until slightly golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Chop dates in a food processor in short bursts until you have a rough paste. Scrape into the bowl with the oat mixture. Warm maple syrup and almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring to blend. Add to the bowl along with the dried berries. Mix well to evenly distribute the chopped dates. Line an 8x8in pan with baking parchment so the paper hangs over the sides. Spoon the oat mixture into the pan and pack it down with the back of the spoon. Freeze for 20 minutes. Lift the contents out of the pan and set on a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars. Store the bars in an airtight container for a few days or freeze for longer storage. Recipe Notes Recipe Variations -- Homemade Healthy Granola Bars: Swap out the pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, or sesame seeds; Use raisins or chopped dried apricots instead of the dried cranberries; Replace the almonds with chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or peanuts! Use creamy peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, or any other nut butter of choice. 

A Healthy Hot Mess by Jennifer Stawarz

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