Busy morning? Traveling? Experiencing mid-day snack cravings? That shouldn't mean you have to compromise your health. If you don't have time for a luxurious bowl of oatmeal or a power-packed smoothie, these bars are the perfect alternative. They pretty much incorporate all the ingredients I would put into my oatmeal, except they're on-the-go and eat-with-your-hand friendly. Sweetened with date paste and filled with nuts, goji berries, and spices, these chewy bars will give you the fuel you need to keep that beautiful body moving!

You can substitute any dried fruit or nuts you'd like for this recipe. I love using dried cherries and walnuts. Break up into pieces and use as granola. Don't have time to bake them? Pop in the freezer for about an hour (or until they fully set) and enjoy a raw version.

Chewy Goji Granola Bars

Yield: 10-12 bars

Ingredients:
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. cardamom
  • 2 tsp. raw cacao powder
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Soak pitted dates in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 15-20 minutes.
3. While dates are soaking, combine oats, almonds, cranberries, goji berries, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and raw cacao powder in a bowl. Mix until incorporated.
4. Place dates and soaking liquid in a food processor or strong blender. Blend until smooth (will resemble something between a syrup and paste).
5. Add coconut oil and maple syrup to date paste and blend until combined.
6. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well so that all of the dry ingredients are fully coated.
7. Spread mixture on baking sheet and press down with a piece of plastic wrap to create an even layer. 
8. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
9. Cool for 15-20 minutes and pop in the freezer for another 10 minutes so that they fully set and are easy to cut.
10. Cut into rectangles or squares. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. This allows for a longer shelf life and prevents the bars from crumbling.

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