Say hello to your new favorite grab-and-go snack.

By By Nicole Crane
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Photo: Nicole Crane

Store-bought granola bars are convenient and all, but whipping up your own batch at home is 9 times out of 10 going to be more nutritious-and it's not as complicated or as time-consuming as you might think. This recipe takes 30 minutes from start to finish and yields 12 oatmeal bars, so you can bake once and enjoy all week long. (Once you work your way through these healthy homemade bars, try these blueberry oatmeal protein cookies that you can make in 20 minutes flat.)

These dairy-free oatmeal bars include ripe banana, almond milk, pure maple syrup, and hemp hearts. They have a hint of peanut butter for some healthy fat, and include some dark chocolate chips to get our chocolate fix. Plus, one bar has 16 percent of the daily recommended amount of iron (thanks mostly to the oats and dark chocolate). If you're enjoying one at home for breakfast, a snack, or dessert, try toasting it with another drizzle of peanut butter on top. (Speaking of oats, have you tried oat milk yet? It's the latest non-dairy milk and you're going to l-o-v-e it.)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars

Makes 12 Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 4 cups dry old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (ensure they're dairy-free if you'd like the bars to be sans dairy)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Heat maple syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir often until mixture becomes smooth and begins to bubble.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in almond milk. Set aside to let mixture cool for a moment.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, hemp hearts, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mash banana, and add to the bowl.
  5. Add peanut butter syrup mixture, along with dark chocolate chips. Stir together just until everything is evenly combined.
  6. Transfer oat mixture to the baking dish, spreading out evenly across the dish.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and oats begin to brown a bit.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into 12 bars.

Nutrition facts per 1 bar: 220 calories, 7.5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 33g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 11g sugar, 6g protein

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