Healthy Brownie Granola Bars

John and I relaxed, ate brunch, made pizza, and worked on a food photography product. I returned a pair of yoga pants that were too expensive. Have you ever experienced this? We all make mistakes in our lives.

Even though I haven’t eaten any of these bars in a week, I still think about them. I even peeked into the freezer to check that I didn’t forget one. These granola bars are that good.

The idea for this brownie granola bar started as a failure. The original idea was to make brownies with dates, but I ended up adapting my Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies. Problems ensued. I ate only one of them and had to throw away the rest. It’s not good. Not at all good.

Do you ever try to squeeze a square peg into a round hole in your life? This is what I did with these brownies. The blog universe told me to make brownies with dates, but I didn’t want that.

I always rethink my recipe when I am trying to fit it into a square hole. It was the result of a healthy, natural-sweetened granola that was on the indulgent side.

They are made with only seven ingredients.

The only thing you need to do is toast your nuts and oats (optional).

These are packed with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

These are a lot of fun.

These are great for breakfast, desserts, or quick snacks.

They’re freezer-friendly.

These are incredibly chocolatey.

These are really perfect.

I ate one as breakfast, and it was quite filling. These were mostly eaten as healthy desserts. I would go to the fridge, take out a third, and snack. Repeat for 30 minutes until the bar is gone. People, self-control comes in waves.


  • Rolling oats, 1 1/2 cups (GF for those who are gluten-free)
  • 1 cup raw nuts (roughly sliced // I used half pecans and half almonds)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • Two cups pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained.
  • 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup salted natural almond butter (or Peanut Butter)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey, if you’re not vegan).


  • Step 3: Toasted oats or pecans for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) in an oven until they are golden brown. If you prefer the raw flavor, then leave them out.
  • In a processor, process walnuts until they become a fine meal. Remove walnuts from the bowl and set them aside.
  • Add dates, and process until only small pieces remain (about one minute). The consistency should be similar to “dough.” Mine was rolled up into a ball.
  • Combine walnut meal, cocoa powder, or cacao powder and dates.
  • Add the (toasted) nuts and oats to the mixture and mix well. It may be necessary to combine the mixture with your hands.
  • Then, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey and almond butter for 2-3 minutes or until it is pourable. Pour the mixture over the brownies and stir thoroughly with a wooden spatula. I chose to use plastic bags to cover my hands to mix the brownie mixture.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 pan (or a similar size pan/ adjust the batch size if you are changing it) that has been lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  • Use only 3/4 of the 9×13 pan to get the right thickness. If you don’t, they will be too thin. Cover the top with plastic or parchment wrap, and press down hard to level it out. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove bars from the pan and cut into 12 bars of equal size (or more, if desired). To keep them fresh, store them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge or freezer. If left at room temperature, they will become a bit sticky.

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