Yield: 8x8 dish (about 12 bars)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), roughly chopped
1 cup pitted dates (deglet nour or medjool)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
optional: chocolate chips, dried fruit, seeds, vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Toast oats and nuts in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly golden. Place in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a food processor, process dates until it forms a dough-like consistency and comes together into a ball, about 1 minute. Add to mixing bowl with oats and nuts.
4. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm maple syrup and peanut butter. Pour over oat mixture and thoroughly mix.
5.Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened.
6. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Remove bars from pan and chop into 12 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.