Whatever Bars

Watch the full recipe on Zero Waste TV:

I call these little darlings “whatever bars” because I use whatever I have on hand to make them. Homemade granola bars are packed with nutrition, but I don’t want to have to run out to the store just because I’m short one ingredient, or one kind of seed or nut.


You can pretty much exchange any edible seed or nut for the ones listed below, these are just the proportions I have found to work well when making granola bars.

So really, just use whatever. Dried cranberries? Absolutely. Sunflower seeds? Why not. I would’ve used the, but I was out when I wrote this recipe.

I mean, as long as it works in a granola bar.

But give it a try. This is one of my favorite recipes to make because I feel like a wizard mixing potions together…. to make… a granola bar.


  • 1 and 1/2 cup oats – toasted
  • 1 and 1/4 cups Medjool dates, processed into mush
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (any salted nut butter will do) – warmed
  • 1/4 maple syrup – warmed

Optional: melted chocolate drizzle

  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips, melted



Pre-heat your oven to 350F, and while it heats, prepare the rest of the granola mixture:

If necessary, pit the dates. Then blend them in a food processor until they form a uniform, smushy ball of mush. If it’s too dry, add 1/2 tablespoon of hot water and process again.

In a large bowl, mix together your nuts and seeds and set aside.

Line a 8”x8” baking dish with parchment or compostable wax paper (non-petroleum based)

Pour the oats onto a baking sheet, and when the oven is ready, set the timer for 11 minutes, but you’ll want to bake for 13 minutes (unless they start to burn, take them out earlier. You just want them toasty)

In a small, oven-save dish, mix the peanut butter and maple syrup. When the 11 minute timer goes off, place the bowl in the oven for another 2 minutes. After which, both the peanut butter/maple syrup mixture will be softened, and the oats will be toasted.

Carefully mix the oats and peanut butter mixture into the large bowl of nuts and seeds, and mix. Once cool enough for your hands, mix in the Medjool date mass and work it into the granola mixture until evenly distributed.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press the mixture down firmly and evenly. You can use a piece of bees wax wrap to help press the mixture down, this is important to prevent the bars from breaking.

Allow the mixture to firm up by placing it in the freezer for 20 minutes, or the fridge for at least an hour.

Then cut into bars or squares, whatever you like!


If you’re feeling fancy, or chocolatey, melt 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips and drizzle it over the top of the bars before cutting. You won’t regret it!


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