August 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Sorry for the posting hiatus. Usually I plan ahead and have some posts ready to go even if I won't be home. That did not happen this time, but I guess I needed the break!

I have trouble with getting homemade granola bars to stick together, but I'm wondering if the secret is to mix them up with your hands. The first time I made these, they were crumbly, but I only used a spoon. The second two times I used my hands with better luck. In any case, I really loved the peanut butter used to bind these bars together. Peanut butter is one of my favorite food items, so these bars really hit the spot. However, my mother-in-law tried them, and even though she does not like peanut butter too much, really liked these granola bars.

These are so simple, hearty, and healthy. I'll be making these often for my stomach-never-full husband.

In this batch, my add-ins were chopped raisins and flaxseed. I've also used dried cranberries and chocolate chips. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
adapted from How Sweet Eats

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
3/4 cup natural peanut butter, melted in the microwave for 30 seconds
1/2 cup honey

optional add-ins:
chocolate chips
wheat germ
dried fruit, chopped
other nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine oats and peanuts. Add honey and mix to combine. Add melted peanut butter and mix until moistened (I found my hands worked best to make sure every oat was coated). Fold in optional add-ins. If dough is still too dry (this can depend on your ingredients) add more peanut butter or honey 1 tablespoon at a time until moistened.

Press dough in a greased (non-stick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Once cool, cut into squares. Store in an air-tight container.

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