Oatmeal Cookie Snack Bars

My Homemade Larabar recipe was so popular a couple weeks ago that I thought I should post another snack bar recipe - and the timing was just right.  My husband and I spent last weekend up in Maine and had every intention of heading out on one of our favorite hikes on Sunday.

In preparation for the weekend hike, I made these snack bars to pack with us.  My goal: an easily transportable, sustainable snack bar that would fuel us throughout our hike.  While we were torrentially rained out of our hike, we've still been able to enjoy these Oatmeal Cookie bars all week!

I loaded these guys up with lots of nutrient-dense seeds, dried fruit and whole oats, so they make for a substantial snack.  Between the oats, cinnamon and raisins, they remind me of oatmeal cookies (hence the name).  I used peanut butter in this recipe, which obviously imparts a peanut butter flavor.  For a more neutral flavor (or for peanut allergies), swap out the PB with almond butter or cashew butter.  These bars are easy to make and the simple ingredients can be found in all grocery stores.

 

Oatmeal Cookie Snack Bars

2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used gluten-free)

3/4 cup sunflower seeds (unroasted, unsalted)

2/3 cup chunky peanut butter (use all-natural, preferably organic - NOT Jif, Skippy, or other junk)

1/2 cup raisins

8 medjool dates, pitted

1/3 cup honey (raw and local if available)

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

sprinkle of sea salt

 

Pulse 1 cup of the oats in a food processor to create a flour of sorts.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and continue to pulse until mixture becomes crumbly and easily shapable.  If the mixture is too dry, add a little extra honey or peanut butter.  [If you don't have a food processor, you can skip the first step and mix the ingredients by hand.  Be sure to chop the dates first.  You may need to add quite a bit extra honey or PB to the "batter" to become sticky enough to form into bars.  These bars will have a different texture - more chewy - since the oats will remain whole.]

FIRMLY press the cookie batter into a 9x9 pan.

Stick in fridge to firm up, then cut into bars.  I got 10 bars out of this, but that will obviously depend on the size you cut them.  Wrap in wax paper, and store in refrigerator for a week or so (can also freeze extra).

These guys make great snacks to take with you on a hike, to the beach or summer picnic.  Keep them in your fridge for easy access throughout the week.  Running late one morning?  Grab one and pair with a couple pieces of fruit.  Cut the bars smaller and enjoy as a sweet treat after a big lunch salad or dinner meal.