Thursday, July 31, 2014

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

This was truly a grand and exciting experiment. I honestly have been so excited to share these with you because they turned out so incredible. They are delicious and so incredibly easy to make and once you have purchased the ingredients you can make a ton of them for really really cheap! 

Plus, the very best part about them, is that I feel great feeding them to my family. Granola bars that you buy from the store will always have preservatives in them - and some of them have A LOT of them. Not to mention that most of them are chuck full of sugar and if your family eats them like my family does, they can munch their way through an entire box in an afternoon. 

I found a super simple recipe for chewy granola bars and really wanted to try it. I was a little afraid of the "work" that it was going to take, so I set aside an afternoon where I didn't have any plans.  Little did I realize how simple these were going to be. The hardest part was deciding what to put in them - because sadly I couldn't fit Everything in. 

Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars
Makes 24 bars (9″x13″ pan)


2 ½ cups Rice Krispies (if you want to make these healthier, you can use plain puffed rice cereal)
1 ¾ cups quick oats (regular rolled oats work too - I used Steel Cut Oats)
¼ cup wheat germ (or ground flax seed, wheat bran, or additional oats)
½ cup additional mix-in ingredients, optional (i.e. shredded coconut, chopped nuts, raisins or other dried fruit, sesame or sunflower seeds, etc.)

½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar 
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips

Watch this mixture carefully. The first time around I wasn't paying attention and burned the sugar - so I had to start over again. Wasted ingredients don't make for a lot of savings - plus the failed process just makes me mad.


Combine first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a saucepan, mix the honey, brown sugar and salt. Over medium-low heat, stir until the mixture comes to a complete boil for 30-60 seconds.
Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.

Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes before mixing in the chocolate chips.

 Press into a greased 9×13 pan and let cool before cutting into bars.
These freeze well!!

I actually just put the bars right into the fridge so they would "set" and I could cut them sooner. It worked out beautifully because the extra coolness allowed me to handle them and get them wrapped without the chocolate chips melting all over my fingers.

 These are going to be a staple at our house from now on!  I am already planning on making ones with coconut and dried cherries (my favorite) and my kids went bonkers for the sunflower seeds in them.

All that is left is to train them that the granola bars live in the freezer now, instead of a box in the pantry.