I'm in love with granola bars. Head-over-heels. They are so yummy! Luna bars, Clif Bars, and Larabars are all super-delicious, but can be expensive. Homemade granola bars, on the other hand, are quite inexpensive, and you know exactly what goes into them and what they come in contact with before you eat them. (Particularly useful for strict vegans and those who are gluten-intolerant). The homemade granola bars I made the other day are vegan (of course), gluten-free, about 160 calories each while packing in 12 whole grams of protein per bar! Guaranteed delicious and healthy. I added a vegan protein powder supplement to these bars, which I highly recommend. The brand I use is called MLO Vegetable Protein Powder, to buy it online, click here. Otherwise you can probably find it in the health-food section of your grocery store. Really good stuff to have around to mix into smoothies, granola bars, etc. But enough of raving about my protein powder (you're welcome for the free advertising, MLO), now it's time for the actual recipe!
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup vegan protein powder
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 ripe banana
6 whole dates
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk
Chop the banana and dates in to very small pieces.
In a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, melt the peanut butter, and stir in the agave nectar, and almond milk.
Slowly mix in the protein powder, almonds, oats, chopped banana and dates. Mix together very well--the mixture will be very thick, but keep at it until it's all mixed evenly.
Transfer the mixture to an ungreased 8 x 8 pan, and press it down into the pan using your (clean) hands. You may need to wait for a minute or two for the mixture to be cool enough to touch. Once everything is even in the pan, set the pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours for the bars to set.
Cut the bars in to 10 pieces, and serve cold. The only "downside" is that the bars need to be kept in the fridge, but they pop out of the pan really easily and make a great snack or pre/post workout fuel. Enjoy!