No Bake Delicious Granola Bars
I think of these as a power food, not a snack. Note this recipe is not my own. Taken from this website: http://freezeyourwayfit.blogspot.ca/2011/03/clean-eating-healthy-homemade-granola.html
- ½ cup dry roasted peanuts or other nuts
- 1 2/3 cups raisins or other chopped dried fruit
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 2 cups rolled or instant oats
- ¼ cup toasted wheat germ (optional)
- 2 cups toasted or puffed whole grain cereal (I use Arrowhead Mills Puffed Millet. You can use Rice Krispies in a pinch but they are not whole grain)
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter or other nut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1. Coat a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Combine peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, chocolate chips, oats, cereal, and wheat germ in a large bowl. Mix well.
- 2. Combine peanut butter and honey in a large microwaveable bowl (tip: Use a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Pour the 1/2 cup of honey in first and then just drop plops of peanut butter in until the level reaches 1 cup. This saves you from measuring out the Â½ cup of peanut butter and making another utensil dirty).
- 3. Microwave on High for 1 minute, stir well, and microwave for an additional minute or until bubbling. Add vanilla and stir until blended.
- 4. Pour half of the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix it for a good 5 minutes until it's almost completely coated. I've found that the best way to mix it is to use the side of a large stiff rubber spatula and cut through the mix over and over while rotating the bowl. That breaks up all the clumps of moistened ingredients so that any remaining dry ingredients can be incorporated
- OR -- Use an automatic mixer like the KitchenAid. Really changes the consistency of the bar, and helps it hold together extremely well.
- 5. Once it's totally mixed, pour the other half of the peanut butter mixture in, scraping every last drop out of the measuring cup. Repeat the slicing and mixing again. The mixing is so important because anything that is not sticking together going into the pan will likely not stick to the bar coming out.
- 6. Once the mixture has formed into a fairly solid ball, transfer it to the prepared pan. Press down firmly (it helps to coat your fingers with cooking spray). Really put some muscle into it because the harder you press the mixture down, the firmer the granola bars will be (I actually stand on a little stool to make me higher above my counter so that I can put more of my body weight into it. I donât mess around on the pressing part).
- 7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to harden (I always let mine stay in the fridge overnight) and once firm, cut into bars (works best if you cut them into 16 short, fat bars instead of long, skinny bars).
- Individually wrap the bars as soon as possible so they donât dry out and crumble (Glad Press nâ Seal works really well) and keep in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Freeze wrapped granola bars in a freezer bag. I put a week's worth in the fridge at a time and keep the other individually wrapped batches in gallon ziploc bags in the freezer. Once the fridge stash is gone I transfer another weekâs from the freezer to the fridge and they are thawed and ready to eat when I need them.
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