These are chewy, dense, and fruity granola bars. They're free of dairy, eggs, nuts, and refined sugar. You can pop one in your bag and it won't fall apart! You can find more of my recipes at occasionallyeggs.com. —Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
Heat the oven to 350F and line a 9x13 baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the oats, flour, flax, chia, cinnamon, cranberries, cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and salt in a large bowl.
In a high speed blender or food processor, blend the dates, honey, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla until it becomes a paste.
Add the paste to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands. It takes a while with a spoon, so I usually just get in there and squish everything together with my hands.
Press the mixture into the lined baking sheet and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. If you over bake it, it'll be dry.
Let the sheet cool on a rack for ten minutes before lifting the granola bars out. You can cut them now, but if you let them cool completely first you'll get a nice clean cut and nicer looking bars. Store them in the fridge or freezer if you don't plan on eating them within a few days.
You don't have to melt the coconut oil before blending, but it makes it a lot easier to mix in.
You can change up the add-ins (sunflower seeds, cranberries) as you see fit. Use whatever you have on hand. Want to use 1 cup of chocolate chips and leave out the rest? Go for it.