Banana, pumpkin seed & almond granola bars: vegan, gluten free, sugar free

Banana, Pumpkin Seed & Almond Granola Bars

Banana, pumpkin seed & almond granola bars: vegan, gluten free, sugar free

For me one of the hardest things about adopting a totally clean, healthy diet was finding the right snacks to eat. I’m terrible at being hungry, for me it’s the worst feeling, so I always need delicious snacks at hand. These granola bars work amazingly well, as not only are they absolutely delicious, but they’re also brilliantly filling and satisfying, thanks to all the awesome plant protein and fibre, so you won’t be tempted to stray towards that chocolate bar! I’m obsessed with their combination of juicy raisins with crunchy almonds & sunflower seeds – it creates the perfect mix of crunchy, chewy and sweet. Yum! The bars are then bulked out by sweet oats, puffed brown rice and flax seeds, all of which add to the amazing mix of tasty goodness! They’re also beyond easy to make and keep well, making them an awesome on-the-go snack.

I’m not sure about you but I used to think all granola bars were created equal and that they always made a healthy snack. Since starting my health journey, I have realised that this absolutely is not the case though! There are countless manufactured bars that claim to be healthy but have you ever really looked at the ingredients list? They’re awful! Glucose syrup, fructose syrup, milk powders, flavourings, sorbitol, glycerol, citric acid, calcium carbonate, soy lecithin, emulsifier etc – I really can’t even begin to tell you what these are, but there’re all totally unnatural, indigestible and horrible for your body. These homemade bars, on the other hand, are one hundred percent natural and sweetened only with date syrup. Your body will thank you so much for making the switch form manufactured to homemade, as will your taste buds! I’m totally obsessed with the flavour of date syrup, I really could sit and eat it with a spoon – I bet you’ll love it too! It’s easy to find either online or in any health food store.

Banana, pumpkin seed & almond granola bars: vegan, gluten free, sugar free
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Makes 8 large bars

- 3 over ripe banans

- 1 cup of puffed rice (make sure it’s brown rice)

- 1 cup of gluten free oats

- 1 cup of raisins

- 2/3 of a cup of almonds

- 1/2 a cup of flaxseeds

- 1/2 a cup of pumpkin seeds

- 1/4 of a cup of sunflower seeds

- 5 tablespoons of date syrup

- 2 tablespoons of almond butter

- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon

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Start by preheating the oven to 190C.

Then pour all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Next place the almond butter, date syrup and bananas into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour this mix over the dry ingredients and stir well so that everything is sticky.

Mix well before placing it all into a suitable baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for about twenty-five minutes – halfway through remove the tray and score the bars into your desired shapes using a knife. Once the top of the bake has started to brown remove it and set aside to cool completely, this is really important as it helps them to finish setting.

  1. Karielyn

    Hi…these look delish! I would definitely have to eat these as raw food bars…I wouldn’t be able to wait for them to bake lol. Thanks for sharing! : )

    Reply
    1. Ella Woodward

      Hi! Coconut oil will help and it will add an awesome flavour too, but I think you’ll also need something else to recreate the same stickiness – brown rice syrup would probably be the best, if not honey. Hope that helps! Good luck :)

      Reply
  2. Hollie

    Hi Ella,
    I’ll be making these tonight – my first baking experience since I have up sugar, dairy & gluten. I was just wondering how you store them after you’ve made them and how long they tend to last? Also, I noticed that you mentioned sunflower seeds but they’re not listed in the ingredients list. Thanks x

    Reply
    1. Ella Woodward

      Hi Hollie! I’m so excited for you to start baking without sugar, dairy and gluten – I hope you love this new way of cooking! I’m sorry about the confusion in the recipe though. The sunflower seeds are optional and I totally forgot to add them to the ingredients list. Sorry! But yes it’s up to you to include them or not, they’re delicious but not essential by any means. Hope you get on well with the recipe! xx

      Reply
  3. lisa

    What great recipe! Thank you for sharing it. I’m not sure if I missed it, but do the bananas get mashed and mixed in at the same time as the date syrup?

    Reply
  4. Elle

    Ella, these granola bars look absolutely fabulous! Thanks for sharing! I have been gluten, dairy & sugar free for a couple of years now but I’ve recently starting eating meatless as well due to health issues. I was so happy to come across your wonderful blog & someone else who is in the same boat as me! You are such an inspiration! I was wondering if you could suggest an alternative to the oats – I was thinking of trying quinoa flakes.. I’ll see how they will turn out! Wishing you a happy & lovely day! :)

    Reply
    1. Ella Woodward

      I’m so happy the blog could help you and thank you for your comment – it’s always awesome to find other people following the same diet for health reasons! I bet the bars would be delicious with quinoa flakes – they’re pretty much the same consistency as oats so should be awesome! Let me know how you get on! Have a wonderful day! :)

      Reply
  5. Fiona Morrison

    Thanks Ella, I just made a batch with a couple of changes, couldn’t get date syrup where I live, so tried rice malt syrup. They’re a bit crumbly, but next time I’ll just use a bit more syrup. Added cranberries and dates because I didn’t have any over ripe bananas and i couldn’t wait a couple of days for them to ripen! They are DELICIOUS!

    Reply
  6. vraj

    Do you have the nutritional value for each bar? I would like to know, I am on a diet so this information would help.

    Reply
    1. Ella Woodward

      Hi! You absolutely can soak the nuts, and I totally agree that its for your body best when you do – but I find that most people don’t want a recipe that takes as long and it works just as well without the soaking so I don’t always recommend it on here, but personally I do soak them most of the time! Hope that helps! :)

      Reply
    1. ellawoodward Post author

      Thank you so much Haley! I’m so glad that you love the look of them so much! I love them so much :)

      Reply
  7. Jasmin

    Can I also use agave syrup instead of date syrup or do you think that doesn’t work?
    Because I have no idea where I can buy date syrup :/

    Reply
    1. ellawoodward Post author

      Agave syrup isn’t as sticky as date syrup so it will work to sweeten it but you may also need to add another half of a banana or so in order to make it stickier, hope that helps!

      Reply
  8. þrúður

    a few questions! do i mash the bananas and put them with the dry ingredients? there is no such thing in my country as puffed rice, yet anyways, can i just boil brown rice and call it a day? and lastly my country doesnt have date syrup eithr, we have maple/blueberry syrup. can i mix butter/coconutoil/honey to get the bars to stick together? I’m only vegetarian (pescetarian? we eat fish here in Iceland) but i like my food relatively badfat free :)

    Reply
    1. ellawoodward Post author

      Sadly boiled brown rice won’t be the same thing as puffed rice so this recipe may not work for you – it might be worth googling it though to double check that you can’t find it. If you make them then I’d recommend using honey instead of date syrup though as maple isn’t sticky enough, and yes you mash the banana in with this and stir it in. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      1. þrúður

        well the jokes on you! It tastes DELICIOUS! (the irony was clear no?) omnom this is officially my go to work/school snack despite the sad lack of proper ingredients!

        Reply
  9. Katie

    Hi Ella! Thanks for this recipe, the bars are amazing! I couldn’t get date syrup in my local store so i made my own – 1 cup of dates soaked in warn water for 30 mins, then drained and put in blender with1-1.5 cups water and blended for 2 mins! It worked really well! I also added a few chopped dates to the bars – they are yummy! xxx

    Reply
  10. Kasia

    This is absolutely amazing… I just made the granola bars and want to walk into the oven…the aroma in the kitchen is so beautiful and the granola bars just heaven! I’ve added some desiccated coconut and cashew nuts too…. Yummy !
    Thank you for wonderful website!
    :-)

    Reply
  11. Sanne

    Hi Ella,
    Would love to make these but in Holland it’s impossible to find puffed rice. Could I substitute this with something else?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Leen

    Hi Ella, can’t wait to try these. Do you think the puffed rice could be replaced with brown rice flakes? I’ve got a big bag of those & am not quite sure how to use them ;-p

    Reply
  13. Izar

    Hi Ella,

    I discovered your web page a week ago and have since bought a good food processor to begin with :)))

    I have just finished making these and I have just one question – how long can they last? I estimate 5-7 days but then again I am not experienced in these matters so your comments would be greatly appreciated.

    I made two of the ingredients on my own: date syrup and almod butter. Both were very easy to make.

    Thanks for your wonderful recipes.

    Best,

    Reply
  14. Katharina

    Hey Ella,
    I just fell in love with these bars, they are amazing! I had to take honey instead of date syrup as my local supermarket doesn’t sell it, but they we’re absolutely perfect. Thanks for sharing all these great recipes with us!

    Greetings from Berlin, Germany

    Reply
    1. Izar

      Katharina,

      I also love this recipe so much and now I make the bars every weekend and they last me for a week. I totally gave up “bad” snacks and sweets because I do not need them now!

      One comment about the date syrup: you can really make it yourself. The recipe I saw online and I followed is: put half a cup of dates in a bowl with half a cup of water and leave it covered in the fridge for 24h stirring it whenever you remember. You will get very sweet syrupy water and you can also blend the dates after 24h have passed (or earlier is in hurry) so you will have a thicker syrup as well (I normally do this to use all the dates I soaked in water).

      I hope this helps.

      Best.

      Reply
      1. Katharina

        Hi Izar,

        Thank you so much for the response! The recipe sounds super-easy, need to try that next time :-)

        Reply
  15. Jennifer

    Hi Ella,

    I’m new to your blog and am having so much fun trying out your recipes. I particularly love this recipe but I’m afraid I’m not a great fan of banana. Have you experimented with other ingredients in place of banana for this, and also the double chocolate cheesecake brownies? If so, what would you recommend?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. ellawoodward Post author

      In the bars you could use dates and honey instead and in the cheesecake brownies more avocado and more dates!

      Reply
  16. Belén

    Hi Ella!!
    I have a question for you, how can i replace the puffed rice? Sadly i can’t find it in my country :(
    Thanks, xx.

    Reply
  17. ellen

    Hi Ella. Thank you so much for this recipe. DeWeese.

    I was wondering how I should store these? Fridge or cupboard?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
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    1. ellawoodward Post author

      I haven’t actually tried to freeze them but I would guess it would work fine!

      Ella x

      Reply
    1. ellawoodward Post author

      Oats are different to granola. Oats is a grain in its plain form whereas granola is made using different ingredients like in these bars!

      Reply

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