Grain-free Chai Granola Bars

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Oh my gosh I have so many nuts, seeds and random little baggies of dried fruit in my pantry.

I thought that building the spice rack of my dreams would help control my habit of randomly purchasing things from bulk bins but it hasn’t (although it has made finding spices in our new home a whole heck of a lot easier).

Do you have the same issue? Let’s do something about it, shall we? And heck, if you don’t suffer from bulk bin purchase overload, run down to the store, grab a couple cups of your favorite nuts and seeds, and lets get this party started.

Grain-free Chai Granola Bars (88)

You can use any nuts or seeds that you have on hand, really, this recipe is very forgiving. You can choose to use 2 1/4 cup of whatever nuts or seeds your little heart desires.

If you’re sensitive to nuts, use an array of seeds.

If you’re sensitive to banana, use apple sauce.

If you don’t like chai spice, use cinnamon, or cardamom, or pumpkin spice, or lucuma powder or leave them plain.

If you’re sensitive to grains don’t worry, there are none in these granola bars! Who needs grains in granola bars? Not us!

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Either way, these healthy grain-free granola bars are going to be awesome!

They hold together really well, making them a fabulous travel companion.

Oh yes, and did I mention that they’re free from sugar? No coconut nectar, agave, honey, coconut sugar, nothing. Just a bit of fruit and a TON of healthy fats.

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You’re excited, I know. I was too as I was making these guys.

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4.9 from 11 reviews
Grain-free Chai Granola Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Egg-free
Serves: 12
 
Oil-free, sugar-free granola bars that are super crunchy and hold together wonderfully. Spiced with chai masala and sweetened with dates and banana.
Ingredients
Nuts, Seeds and Fruit:
Binding Ingredients:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a rectangle pan with parchment paper draping over either side for easy lifting, The size of pan will dictate the thickness of your bars. I used a 10x6.
  2. Place medjool dates in a bowl and cover with hot water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Roughly grind your nut and seed mixture. There can be large and small pieces throughout the mix, just make sure there are pieces no bigger than the size of your pinky nail.
  4. Combine mixed nuts and seeds will hemp seeds, currants, roughly ground flax seed and roughly ground chia seed in a large bowl. Set aside.
  5. Mash soaked dates with a potato masher or fork until smooth. Add banana and mash together. Then, stir in almond butter and chai spice.
  6. Combine binding ingredients with the nut and seed mixture either with your hands, stand mixer or hand mixer. Mix until fully incorporated.
  7. Press into prepared pan and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until edges begin to get golden. Remove from the oven, lift from the pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into desired size and place on a baking sheet. Return back to the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes to crisp up.
  8. Remove from the oven, turn onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Notes
I used a mixture of: ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, ½ cup raw brazil nuts, ½ cup raw sunflower seeds, ¼ cup raw walnuts, ¼ cup savi seeds, and ¼ cup shelled unsalted pistachios.
If you're sensitive to banana, try replacing it with ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce.
Can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)

The trick is in the mashing. If you have a potato masher, use it. If you don’t, I bet a food processor would work.

You want the paste to be nice and smooth.

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Some of the nuts and seeds that I put in my bars were a bit too big, causing some issues when I was cutting them. Try to make the pieces no larger than your pinky nail. Add everything to a bowl.

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Then whip it good.

Well, not actually. Just combine the wet and the dry and roll it around with a stand mixer, hand mixer, or your hands, until everything’s mixed well.

Drop it into the pan and bake it!

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Remove from the oven, cut into desired size, then throw them back in the oven to crisp up. This step will make the bars nice and portable, crispy, and delicious!

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What random nuts and seeds do you have lurking in your cupboards?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

    • I could drink endless cups of chai if I let myself. Couldn’t you? Gosh, so darn delicious!

  1. Oh my gosh, I want to make these RIGHT NOW (and a certain someone gave me a coffee grinder recently, so I can even make my own chai spice!) As you know, my cupboards are similarly overrun by bulk barn bags. My dried fruit stock is running dangerously low, but I’ve got pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, hemp and chia seeds. I think I’ll make a Bulk Barn run this week (like I need another bag in my kitchen, right!?) for some dried fruit and get cracking on these bars! PS LOVE that there’s no added sugar!

    • I love that all of your nuts, seeds and dried fruits are labeled. It’s so ridiculously organized! You could make the bars with pumpkin… still vitamin A but not a carrot!!

    • Hi Chris – any sweetener would do the trick – agave, coconut nectar, honey… hope that helps!

  2. Wow Leanne, you have done it again!! You are so smart, and these look incredible!!

    And, you totally caught me. I am a complete hoarder of nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc. Just this weekend I was looking at it all thinking how I have a problem. It doesn’t seem to stop me though, I just keep feeding my addiction every time I see a good deal or something delicious!! Fabulous way to use my stockpile!!

    • Aw thanks, Alissa! My stockpile is a result of me just forgetting what at home. I seem to ALWAYS think that we’re out of hemp seeds so I buy a bag every gosh darn week. Glad I’m not the only one!

    • Thanks Kim! The banana is very slight, but works so well in this recipe. I’m sure you could knock it up, too, replace some of the dates for banana. Either way, they’re pretty good :)

  3. I have TONS of nuts and seeds… those bars look very yummy, especially since I haven’t even eaten breakfast yet. Still can’t do any fruit yet, though. Maybe today I’ll try your recent cracker recipe… thyme and something. I know you posted that one just for me. :-)

    • Oh yes, those crackers are quite delicious if I do say so myself! I’m sure you could keep this one on the back burner until you can have fruit again. It’ll be here when you’re ready!

  4. I love having nuts and dried fruits available, so I keep them in Mason Jars for maximum freshness.

    • Great idea, Monique. I do too… and they’re full to the brim + I have extra baggies that wont fit into jars! Do you keep your mason jars in the freezer?

  5. These sound so good!! Love the idea of a grain-free granola bar too just to switch things up! I hear ya on the neverending bulk food bags. I purged them one day and just cleaned everything out, but I always keep going back for more bulk! haha

  6. These granola bars look so good, Leanne. I am always looking for more ways to incorporate hemp seeds into my daily meals, and this seems just perfect! Also, just letting you know I included your chocolate turtles in my recipe roundup!

    • Oh you’re most welcome. Definitely makes living with allergies easier!

  7. Your blog is my MOST FAVORITE!!! I enjoy everything you share with us! Thank you!

    • Aw thanks, Megan! Your comment made me smile ear to ear this morning :)

  8. Is there anything you can sub for the hemp? I don’t have any but wanna make these. They sound SO good!

    • Oh sure, just use anything you have on hand. Ground sunflower seeds, almond flour, extra ground pecans or walnuts…

    • Thanks, Marla! Chai is where it’s at! I could literally live on the stuff :D

  9. I am so excited to see this! I have one kind of granola bar in mind to make, but I love having a couple flavors to change things up! I am so excited to see this. Date paste is one of my favorite sweeteners, I made cream with coconut milk, date paste and vanilla, and it is so tasty, date paste has been a great thing I found!
    Enjoy your day!

    • Oh yum, cream for your coffee? For recipes? This intrigues me!

      • For everything sweet that uses milk or cream, or that needs a little moisture. It would work really well as coffee cream for sure, but something I make it thinner and use it in recipes calling for milk and it gives everything a delicious coconut twist! I have a coconut tea actually and it goes fantastic with that highlighting the coconut flavour, and the sweetness is so authentic with dates, just like u used! (However I am guilty of eating date paste with a spoon from time to time….)

        • Date paste with a spoon? Who does that? *Hides face in embarrassment* I ate half the paste from this recipe and had to make it again so that the bars would turn out okay. But yes, awesome that you use it as a replacement to milk. Definitely going to have to try it!

  10. These bars look gorgeous Leanne! I like the idea of grain free granola and the chai mixture is a neat addition. (I have bits & bags of nuts/seeds/fruit strewn all over the cupboard – fridge – pantry. I quite like the companionship ;-)).

    • It is somewhat of a companionship, isn’t it? I love knowing that I basically have the ingredients for any recipe that comes to me. Even after these bars, I still have LOADS left!

  11. These look delicious! I just came here from Foodgawker and am glad I did! I really like that you used dates and no other sweeteners. I’m on a ‘no sweetener’ kick right now for this month, so I will definitely have to try these! Love the chai spice too! :-)

    • Well, it was meant to be, Lauren! Good luck with your sugar-free journey :)

  12. These look so delicious; the spices, the nuts, and so healthy too! I love buying things in bulk, but this looks like it might help use some of it up, and just in time for back-to-school too :)

    • You’ll start the new semester with a delicious way to stay awake in class! Gosh, I always used to fall asleep in class haha.

  13. That’s so me! Lots and lots of bags of seeds, nuts and other goodies. Not to mention my overflowing spice box. (I dream of your organised spice rack). Dying to make these to sustain me during my training…and for work too!

    • Spice rack your life, you’ll be so happy that you did! Granted, it took me FOREVER. So maybe not such a great project if you’re in the middle of training. Good luck with it!

  14. Leanne,
    I love you just for, FINALLY, letting me know that I am NOT the only one with scads and scads of bulk bounty piled high in my cupboards.
    I DO have them in sturdy containers, but I have lots of little bits and left overs so I have small jars of oodles of bulk ingredients ALL over.
    It’s nice to know that I’m not alone. Thank you. :)

    • Ohh millet bars. That sounds delicious! Can you share the recipe with us? Link to it if you’d like!

  15. Leanne, I say you truly need to get your hands on a bunch of these fabulous containers. They will make your life sooooo much easier! Seriously, I think my life has never been the same since I found them! ;) They usually keep them in stock in individual sizes at Maxi & Co. Enter at your own risks though, for they also happen to be a great source for kitchen props and supplies!

    Oh, and your granola bars? WOW! Totally, completely right up my alley. I so need to give them a try. Thank you for yet another brilliant recipe!

    • :( I have TONS of those containers… and they’re all full. *Embarrassed now* But yes, I do need to hit up a Maxi. I still haven’t been!

  16. do you have to bake these? I’ve been on a raw bar kick lately, so I’m just curious….I will be making them either way though!!!

    • Hey Carolyn – I really don’t think you need to bake them. They would have held their own quite well if I would have just pressed them in the pan, froze them and cut them up.

  17. I was so very excited while making these bars. They definitely did not disappoint. They are yummy, delicious, and nutritious!!! They will make an ideal post-gym snack. Thanks Leanne!

    • Nice! I’m so happy that you like the outcome. Did you make any changes to the recipe?

      • I used raisins instead of currants just because I did not have any currants on hand. Also, my nut/seed mixture was pecans, walnuts, and almonds as well as sunflower seeds and coconut.

  18. I made these bars right away for post-workout snacks, with a combo of sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, cranberries and cocoa nibs. They turned out amazing! (P.S. I am in love with your chai spice/masala blend…. yum!) Your recipes are so inspired; great work Leanne! :)

    • Wow, I’m so happy that you made and loved them! I always have a container of the masala on hand. I’ve even brought it with me on my trip to NYC. Never know when you’re going to need some masala!

  19. What temperature did you use to bake these? And for how long? I love foods sweetened with dates or bananas – these sound delicious!

    • All the details are in the recipe, Jenny. 325F for a total of about 55 minutes. Hope that helps!

  20. These look so delish, I will try them. Thanks for the recipe. I wondered if I could use dried plums instead of dates? I happened to find at home a big bag of plums.

    • Oh heck yes you could! I think any type of dried fruit would be the trick. If the plums are super soft, you may even be able to get away with not having to soak them. Enjoy!

  21. Thanks – I don’t know how I missed that! I must have been super tired. Let’s blame it on the baby. :)

  22. These look great! I’ve been looking for some grain-free recipes and these will be perfect for snacks. Would these work in a dehydrator? Do you know how long they would take if I formed them into small/flat bars prior to dehydrating? Also – I usually stay away from peanuts, do you think coconut butter would work well too? I will experiment :) Thanks!!

      • Made these in the dehydrator last night and they turned out super yummy! I used coconut butter instead of almond butter and added a little maple syrup. I formed them into balls and dehydrated at 115 F for 8 hours and they came out perfect and nice and sturdy. I’m also going to make a bigger batch of the chai spice mix to put on just about everything :) Thanks!

        • Thanks for reporting back, Kristen! I’ve been asked this question multiple times, so it’s good to know that it works. Ya, chai spice… I put that stuff on everything, too!

  23. Sounds perfect, but I wonder how recipe could be modified to make granola. I also wonder what would hapoen if dehydrated. Any thoughts?

  24. Is there a substitute for the almond butter? I dont use butters, only coconut oil. Or is that the main binder?

    • It is a main binder, but I’m sure that you could get away with using extra banana. Hope that helps!

  25. Baking now, as I write. Fabulous recipe to clean out what needs to be used. I used walnuts, almonds, sunnies, raisins (chopped them currant-size), and a mix of almond and sunflower seed butters. Had only 3/4 cup of hemp hearts so added more flax seed. Can’t wait to try them…

    • I hope you liked them, Carin! So happy you got to clear out a bit of your cupboards. It’s a great feeling!

  26. Excellent! I didn’t have hemp so I ground some oatmeal in the food processor for a similar texture, worked just fine. Tho next time I will chop my nuts/seeds by hand, processing them took away some of the texture. Will defiantly make again, thank you!

    • I’m so happy that you liked the recipe, Jacqueline. Great tip on adding oatmeal in place of hemp seeds. Thanks for stopping in and sharing that strategy with everyone!

  27. I made these this afternoon. Super yummy but mine unfortunately did not stick together well at all! When I went to cut them in to bars they crumbled.. Maybe my banana was too small (my hubby did say they were the smallest bananas he ever saw) or maybe it was that i mixed it with a spoon but it was mixed really well! I’ll definetely be trying it again maybe with an extra banana or at least a bigger one :)

  28. I decided to make a batch for my mom, they’re currently baking. The batter is really tasty, it reminds me of a cliff bar i once had. Any who, Thanks for the great post!

  29. Sorry this isn’t about the recipe, it just happens to be the one I finally stopped to express my relief, excitement, happiness and thanks on… I’ve been on my own health pursuit for years with awful stomach problems exactly like the ones you have described, thinking its was so many things just to get let down with no results when trying to find solutions. I though it was IBS but I am now very sure that it is candida overgrowth… My stress is my main issue I think.. I have started doing yoga which seems to help a bit but can you give me any advice on meditation? How did you get into it? Also I am attending csnn in Vancouver this coming march, I am so excited and even more so now after reading what you have to say… Thank you thank you thank you! I have subscribed and can’t wait to read more of your blog and one day conquer all of these amazing recipes!

  30. Leanne, I made those last night with almonds, pecans, raw peanuts, hemp hearts…and with homemade almond butter. The best snack ever!

    Leanne, I also clicked on the “Nutrition Information” and it took me back to the recipe. If you would have a moment, would you look into that?

  31. Hi Leanne,
    These are literally the BEST granola bars I have ever eaten! It’s amazing how good they are–thank you for inventing this recipe! My question is, my husband is in the military and may not consume hemp seeds, and I’m wondering if there is a comparable alternative to using them. I tried using raw pine nuts, coarsely ground, but they turned out a little bland (unsweet). Texture seems OK. What do you think? Thanks!!

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