I used a Granola Bar recipe I found in the cookbook Deliciously Ella as a launching pad. The recipe used softened and blended dates as the “stick”…#brilliant! Here’s what I came up with.
BONUS: these are gluten free, dairy free, and NUT free (read: safe for school).
24 dates (Deglet is what I used)
2.5C of hot water.
1 banana
3T cinnamon
3T chia seeds
3T ground flax
3C puffed rice*
1/2C seseme seeds
1C hemp hearts
1.5C Cranberries
1.5C unsweetened coconut
1/2C dark chocolate chips (what is a granola bar without chocolate?!)
*I used an organic one not Rice Krispies, and FYI they’re a bit more firm. If you try classic Rice Krispies let me know how it goes!
Preheat the oven to 350F
Pit the dates if you didn’t buy pitted. I used pitted Deglet dates from Costco. If you use Medjool they’re a bit more gooey (technical term)…so you might need to add more dry ingredients or cut back on the number of dates.
Put the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the dates and allow to simmer for 5 or so minutes. Throw in your blender or use a hand held emulsifier. Add in your ripe banana, cinnamon, chia seeds and flax. Allow to cool slightly (this is an important step if you like chocolate chips to remain CHIPS).
While you wait pull together the remainder of the ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips and mix in a big bowl. Also grease your 15×10″ baking sheet (with edges) with coconut oil.
When the wet ingredients are cooled slightly mix the dry & wet. As a FINAL step add the chips!
Press into your pan so it’s fairly even and smooth (ish) on top!
Bake for 20 minutes. Pull out and CUT (yes, cut). Put BACK in the oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes.
Let cool in the pan. Enjoy!