Banana, Pumpkin Seed & Almond Granola Bars

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.

Makes 8 large bars

– 3 over ripe banans

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

– 1 cup of 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

 

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.

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  • 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! : )

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      They taste amazing raw – I couldn’t stop eating the mix, it’s too delicious and too addictive! It also tastes awesome raw mixed with some coconut yoghurt and berries! :)

  • http://rominalifehappens.wordpress.com rominalifehappens

    Hi Ella,
    Instead of date syrup, is there anything else i could put? I also have coconut oil, will this help? Thnx!

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com 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 :)

    • Hanny Punjabi

      I think coconut Sugar would make a good substitute cos ITS natural and low GI..

      • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

        Coconut sugar would be awesome, it’s so delicious and very low G.I – great suggestion, thanks Henry! :)

  • http://afralicious.wordpress.com afracooking

    These look fabulous! I have not yet experimented with granola bars but your recipe is making my fingers itch to try. Thank you for sharing!

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      Thank you! I hope you get on really well with them! :)

  • http://Immotileturtle.wordpress.com 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

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com 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

  • http://Www.varca.com Marianne Pope

    Hi these are delicious and so easy

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      Thanks Marianne! Glad they were such a success!

  • 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?

  • 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! :)

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com 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! :)

  • 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!

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      Hi Fiona! Love the idea of cranberries and dates in these – I have to try that! Thank you! I’m so happy you loved them too! :)

  • 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.

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com Ella Woodward

      Sadly I don’t really believed in calories so I never look at this kind of information – sorry!

  • http://gravatar.com/celinemarrec Vibrant Living

    Hi Ella, do you soak the nuts and seeds before using them (to activate them and remove enzyme inhibitors)? Thanks for the answer xx

    • http://ellawoodward.wordpress.com 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! :)

  • Haley Little

    These look great! Can’t wait to try them out! Thanks for sharing :)

    • ellawoodward

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

  • 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 :/

    • ellawoodward

      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!

  • 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 :)

    • ellawoodward

      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!

      • 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!

        • ellawoodward

          I’m so glad that these worked out anyway!

  • Melissa

    Thank you, Ella for this recipe. I love it! These granola bars are delicious.

    • ellawoodward

      My pleasure! I’m so glad that you love it so much!

  • Kath

    Hi all
    I found this recipe to make date syrup, and it look super easy: http://www.greenthickies.com/date-syrup/
    Enjoy!

    • ellawoodward

      Thank you for sharing that Kath!

  • Sarah Clegg

    Hi Ella!
    Is there a replacement for puffed rice? :/
    Sarah xx

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Sarah. Yes you could use oats :)

  • 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

    • ellawoodward

      That’s great to know, thanks for sharing Katie! So glad that you loved these too! xx

  • 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!
    :-)

  • 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!

    • ellawoodward

      Oats should work as a replacement :)

    • Nadja

      Hi Sanne,
      I live in the Netherlands, too. I used ‘Rijstwafels’… they’re made from ‘puffed rice’.

  • Danielle

    Hi Ella, do you have a flapjack or similar recipe that is dairy and sugar free? Thank you x

    • ellawoodward

      Sadly not at the moment but I will at some point! x

      • Danielle

        Thanks Ella, i can’t wait x

  • 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

  • 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,

    • ellawoodward

      Yes they last about 5-7 days if you store them in an airtight container :)

  • Bella

    These are so good! Incredibly easy to make and so delicious :)

  • Alison

    hi, i cant find flaxseeds anywhere , can i use ground flaxseed? thanks

    • ellawoodward

      You can replace flaxseeds with more of the other seeds!

  • 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

    • 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.

      • Katharina

        Hi Izar,

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

  • Caellen

    Hey Ella!

    I was just wondering what the shelf life of these bars is?

    Thanks!

    • ellawoodward

      Its a few weeks in an airtight container!

  • 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!

    • ellawoodward

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

  • 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.

    • ellawoodward

      You can use oats instead x

  • ellen

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

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

    Thanks again!

    • ellawoodward

      Hi

      These should be fine in an airtight container for a week or so.

      Ella x

  • ellen

    Hi Ella.

    Should I refrigerate these or is cupboard okay? :)

    • ellawoodward

      Hi

      These should be fine in an airtight container for a week or so.

      Ella x

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  • Angela

    Can you freeze these bars?

    • ellawoodward

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

      Ella x

  • valerie

    I see you used Oats- can I use granola instead? Im not sure the difference between the two.

    • ellawoodward

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

  • Lynn Manning

    Yummo! I’ve made these to take to a Mother’s Day breakfast so I’ve had to hide them from myself, otherwise there will be none left! I couldn’t find date syrup, so I used coconut syrup, which I bought for one of your other recipes and seeing as it only required a little almond butter, I made my own. I saw a comment earlier regarding flax seeds; in Australia we call them linseed – found that out today. Love your work Ella, thanks for sharing and I’ve just downloaded your Android App, now I’ll Never be off my phone xx

    • ellawoodward

      I am so pleased you like them and the app too! x

  • Louie

    Hey Ella, I love all your recipes! One thing though, being calorie conscious, it would be amazing to have the calories per portion for your recipes? Do you think you might do this one day?
    Thank you,
    L

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Louie,
      I’m afraid I will never post calories as I prefer to count goodness in stead!
      Ella

  • May

    Hi Ella – I just made this and it really is delicious and easy to make !
    Can you give me an idea as to how/where to store and it’s longevity ?
    Thanks and I love your blog !

    • ellawoodward

      I am so pleased you like them. You can keep them in a tupperware for around a week I think, either in a cupboard or in the fridge!

  • Jodi

    Hi Ella!

    I cook for a hungry Yacht crew and I spend my life trying to squeeze in nutrients to there diets wherever possible. These Bars went down a treat and have inspired me in so many ways for new ways to feed the kids well (Icelandic engineers are particularly difficult to get on my side!) They loved them, thank you. Truly wonderful read thanks for the great blog!

    Jodi

    • ellawoodward

      Thank you Jodi. I am so pleased that they loved them!

  • lucy

    Hi there,
    These look delicious! however, I cant seem to stomach raisins/sultanas can I just leave them out or will I need to replace them with something?

    • ellawoodward

      You could try swapping them for something like dried apricots perhaps?

  • Nadja

    ok, I’m a bit late for the party:-)
    .. but I’ve made your granolas today (half of the ingredients I didn’t had in my pantry) and they’re delicously. First time I made somehting with bananas hahah.. Super soft and tasty. That’s a keeper for sure.

  • Bon

    Hey there Ella, so I tried making these this morning and kept them out but they never “settled” – i.e., I have to eat them with a spoon. Are they supposed to be like this or should I actually be able to hold them up like a granola bar?

    The complement of ingredients was great, though – even though fruit flies loved them ! :

  • Brigitte

    Hi Ella,

    I’m having such a wonderful time looking through your Blog and getting inspired to introduce more natural foods into my diet. These bars look amazing and I think they will be my first attempt!

    I was just wondering if it’s possible to get the full nutritional information for your recipes? (Fat, carbs, fiber, and protein content, to be more specific) I follow a diet plan that factors in these numbers and I’d love to be able to use your recipes!

    Thanks!

  • ellawoodward

    Hi,

    Sorry I won’t ever do that because I don’t really believe in counting calories etc. For me this is a lifestyle not a diet and I think it is much more important to fill yourself with goodness.

  • Chantel Frankum

    Ella could I use maple syrup instead of date syrup?

  • ellawoodward

    Absolutely x

  • disqus_hGW3ZM9FB1

    Hi I have been trying a lot of your recipes and really enjoying them, I have been reading a lot though about you are meant to soak and then dry out seeds etc before using them, just wondered if you do this or if you think it is necessary? Thanks!

  • Nicola Vaughan

    Oh wow. made these this morning and have eaten quite a few already !! Amazingly good ! I added some fresh blueberries to the top of one half whilst cooking and cacoa nibs to the other – both work really well – I like the juiciness and extra mositure the blueberries add , can see this is going to be a regular make . Thanks for the amazing recipes you are really helping me recover & get well again .

  • ellawoodward

    I personally don’t do this – I agree that there are benefits to doing so but I think it becomes too time consuming and fussy so it isn’t something I do.

  • annick

    Dear Ella! Thank you so much for all your great recipes! On this recipe, I have to replace the banana (intolerance)… can you recommend something to replace it with? TX a lot!

    Annick

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Annick, so glad you love the recipes. Unfortunately the banana is really vital in this recipe as it helps bind the ingredients together. You could try using a few tbsp of coconut oil instead but I don’t think it’ll turn out the same. Have a lovely day! X

      • annick

        Thank you So much!

  • Emma

    Hi Ella,

    Just wondering whether there’s any nutritional benefit to using almond butter rather than peanut butter in your recipes?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.doubleolly.com Holly

    I’m so glad I found this website! <3 <3 <3

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Emma, almonds contain a lot more nutrients compared to peanuts, plus I love the taste of almond butter! X

  • Janie Wood

    Hi Ella
    This looks amazing…just a quick question about the puffed rice. I guess the puffed rice down the cereal aisle is ‘white’ rice. Can you recommend a brown puffed rice and where to buy it.
    Love it all.
    Thank you so much
    Janie xx

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Janie, you can buy puffed rice in most health food stores on online at Amazon! Have a lovely weekend! X

  • Iona

    Hi I am just wondering how long these last?

  • ellawoodward

    Hi, they last for about 5 days inn an airtight container in the fridge. X

  • Katherine

    Just made these tonight – my second Ella recipe! They are fantastic and so easy. Thank you!
    (Can also vouch for the yumminess of the blueberry muffins!)

  • Giulia Manari

    Hi Ella ! What kind of oats do you use? Also what is your opinion on coffee?

  • Giulia Manari

    Hi Ella ! What kind of oats do you use? And what is your opinion on coffee?

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Giulia, I use organic jumbo oats. I have never been much of a coffee drinker but I tend to avoid caffeine in general. Have a lovely day! X

  • Rose

    I used maple syrup instead of date syrup and peanut butter instead of almond butter, all the rest the same. My bars were on the soft side, now of a chewy bar then one with a snap. Is that because I changed those 2 ingredients??

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Rose, peanut butter tends to be slightly thicker than almond butter which could have made the dates slightly chewy. I would try making them with almond butter if you can, hope you love them! X

  • Rose

    I didn’t use dates…as mentioned all was the same in your recipe except the maple syrup and peanut butter. That is why I was wondering why they were so soft. When in the frig they didn’t harden at all :(

    • ellawoodward

      I think it may have been the peanut butter which has a different consistency to almond butter. Have a lovely day, Ella x

      • Rose

        Ok will try that next time. But I was wondering, are these a soft granola bar or do you think they will have a ‘snap’ to them if I use the almond butter?

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Rose, they are generally quite soft, I don’t think you’ll get the ‘snap’ from them. Really hope you love them! X

  • Rita Leite

    Hello Ella! I just tried your bars and they taste amazing.
    I am from Portugal and as I couldn’t find your book in any bookstore here I ordered from Amazon. I am loving every piece of it. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing <3

  • Sarah michelle

    Hey Ella,

    Just made these and they look delicious. My one question is do they keep well in the cupboard or do you keep them in the fridge? Thanks and hope you’re having a great day!

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Sarah, I would store these in an airtight container in the fridge. So happy you’re enjoying them! X

  • Ruby Williams

    Hello Ella :) Just thought I would ask if it is possible to use puffed quinoa instead of the puffed brown rice? I have it on hand and would rather use that :) Thank you for your time! Ruby xx

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Ruby, yes I imagine that puffed quinoa would work well too! Have a lovely day! X

  • Céline

    Hi Ella. First of all thank you so much for this blog, I love it and I love discovering all you great and healthy idea… :-) I have one question about rice, is red rice as good as brown rice ? Can you switch them or the benefits are not the same ? I have a hard time finding brown rice around here. Thank you for your answer and cheers from Switzerland !

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Celine, I’m so happy you found this post helpful! I haven’t experimented with red rice much before. I imagine that it would be a great replacement for brown rice however I do think that brown rice contains more nutrients and natural fibres. Hope you love the recipes! X

  • Karen

    Hi Ella, I would like to cook healthier treats for my kids but my son is allergic to nuts so cannot use almond or peanut butter. Any other suggestions? Thank you.

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Karen, I find that sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are great replacements for nuts. You can get these in butter forms too! X

  • Gillian Nelson

    Could you use honey rather than syrup?

    • ellawoodward

      Yes honey would work well too. Hope you love the bars x

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Susan, so sorry but sadly I don’t have the gram conversions for this recipes, I just use a regular sized coffee mug. Hope you enjoy the granola bars! X

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Susan, I’m sorry to hear that they didn’t come out delicious. They shouldn’t be crunchy, they’re more soft and chewy. The sunflower seeds should add a different texture to the bars. You can try to use a little less if you prefer. It’s difficult for me to advise as I’ve never experienced this before. Hope you get to enjoy many more of the recipes. Have a lovely day x

  • ellawoodward

    I use whole flaxseeds but I imagine that milled would work well too x

  • ellawoodward

    So happy you’re loving it – that sounds delicious! X