Chewy Almond Granola Bars

This satisfying snack is crunchy, chewy, just sweet enough, and loaded with healthy ingredients.

1 heaping cup packed medjool dates, pitted
3 TBSP honey
1/4 cup almond butter
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Optional: handful of dark chocolate bits or chips

1. Process dates in a food processor until they are in fine bits and start to ball up.
2. Toast oats, then almonds, in a dry skillet over med-high heat. Watch them carefully!
3. Stir together the oats, almonds, chocolate (is using) and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Stir in dates with a large spoon or your hands.
4. Warm honey, almond butter and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix everything together. Hands work well here too.
5. Transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper.
6. Press down firmly. I cover with parchment paper and press with my fingers or the bottom of a glass. The more firmly you press, the better your bars will hold together.
7. Cover and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
8. Remove from pan and slice into your desired shape size of bars. Store covered in the fridge for about a week.

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