Reduced Sugar Salted Chocolate Almond Granola Bars
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup whole almonds
- 1 1/2 cups pitted Mejool dates
- 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Optional: 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt, such as sea salt or fleur de sel, plus additional for sprinkling
- Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch dish with parchment paper so that the paper hangs out the sides; set aside.
- Spread oats and almonds in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet, keeping the two separate, and toast for 10-15 minutes, until light golden brown. Meanwhile, place dates in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit 10 minutes, then drain.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the dates and pulse few times until they begin to form a sticky paste, about 8-10 pulses. Add chopped walnuts and process until mixture forms a sticky ball that begins to pull away from sides of the bowl, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add cocoa powder, almond butter, brown sugar, honey, flaxseed meal (if using) and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Process until mixture forms a smooth, shiny ball, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl a few times as needed. Add toasted oats and pulse again, until evenly combined.
- Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl, then with a wooden spoon, mix in toasted almonds until evenly distributed. Press mixture into an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt, then press down once more to ensure the salt sticks. Place pan in the freezer for 10 to 20 minutes to set.
- Once bars have firmed, use parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan. Transfer to a cutting board, slice into bars, and serve.
- Store leftover granola bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Imperial Sugar Insight
Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Erin Clarke @WellPlated.