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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars

I swear that I started off making these thinking, "I really need some more healthy granola bar recipes." Yet, as I watched myself pour in the final third of a bag of chocolate chip minis into the mix, I knew that this recipe was going to be far from the healthy bar I had initially planned on making.

This recipe is adapted from My Whole Food Life's Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe. I highly recommend that you read some of Melissa's posts on store-bought granola bars (I liked her: "Breakfast Bars Exposed"), because it really is shocking what is put into so many foods that are typically labeled "healthy."

And I LOVE granola bars. Just like I mentioned on my recipe for Homemade Nutty Granola Bars, they are so great to stash in my purse or my desk at school and munch on whenever hunger hits. And generally they can be very satisfying.

And then you add creamy peanut butter to the mix and suddenly they so much more!

I kinda hate that peanut butter (and peanuts, in general) are getting a bad reputation these days. They do have a higher percentage of Omega 6's (which should be in balance with our Omega 3's, but unfortunately, for many American diets, that's not the case. Check out this piece from Authority Nutrition on Balancing Omega Ratios to learn more. I feel like Kris Gunnars, the author, does a very clear job of explaining a lot of the science behind our diets), but there are also a lot of benefits of peanuts, too. Check out this piece from Cooking Light on the Benefits of Eating Peanuts.

And peanut butter is just so tasty! I mean, I can't be the only one who loves a good spoonful directly from the jar! But, if you aren't a huge peanut butter fan, you can, of course, feel free to change out and use almond butter or even sun butter, if you have a peanut/almond allergy.

I know I'll probably end up playing with these a bit more, but here's what I did today. And remember, these are no where near as healthy as they could be! Also, I doubled the original recipe, since my sister was coming over and I thought I'd have her take some home with her :)

Serves: 24 thicker bars


5c rolled oats
2 bananas smashed well
2/3c peanut butter
1/2tsp baking powder
1/3c maple syrup
1/3c organic milk
1/3c chocolate chips
1tsp salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Mix all of the dry ingredients (oats, baking powder, chocolate chips and salt) in a large bowl.

Straight from the oven; the smell is amazing!
3. In a saucepan, on low heat, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, milk and mashed banana until it is very well-combined and creamy. If it looks too thick, try adding a tad more milk. If too watery, add a bit more peanut butter or banana.

4.  Add the warmed mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. While mixing, you'll see that the chocolate chips will slowly melt, coating the oats in a delectable chocolate layer that will be difficult to resist eating right then and there!

5.  Use a large baking pan and line it with parchment paper (this makes it easier to pull them out afterwards).

6. Bake for 25 minutes or until you see that the bars have started to harden together and have browned slightly on top.

7. Wait to cut until they are completely cooled, or they will start to crumble and you'll have granola instead of bars.

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