I’m on a mission to eliminate as much processed foods from my diet as possible this year. We eat a lot of granola bars (or ‘ola bars, as my son used to call them when he was first learning how to talk) in this house. They’re one of my favorite snacks after a run and the kids like to pack them for school snacks. Many pre-packaged bars have a lot of sugar hiding in them. They can also get expensive. I’ve tried a lot of recipes in search of the perfect one: some worked, some didn’t, and some just needed some tweaking.
One of my favorite recipes that worked and tasted good is the Raw Lemon Coconut Bars on this page. The other bars are ok, but the first recipe is so good. The Lemon-Coconut bars never last long when I make them.
And after much experimenting, I have come up with my own version of homemade granola bars. These passed the family taste test. I usually have a batch in the fridge.
Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/8 cup flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup other dried fruit ( I’ve used apples, apricots, or dates)
- 1 cup peanut butter (preferably the natural kind with no added sugar)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Line a 8×8 inch square baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Spread the oats, nuts, and seeds onto a non-stick cookie sheet and bake until lightly toasted.
- Combine dried fruits in a large bowl. Add nuts and seeds when they have finished toasting.
- In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. Heat over low heat until everything is melted together, stirring frequently.
- Pour the melted peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Transfer to baking dish, press mixture down firmly, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).
- Remove from the baking dish and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They keep fresh for a few weeks in the fridge, if they last that long.
You can substitute almond butter, or any other nut butter, for the peanut butter if you like. And when I have a bit of a sweet tooth, I sometimes replace the dried fruit with dark chocolate chips.