Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars + A Giveaway!
October #Oatober!!! Today I’m teaming up with the lovely folks at Peanut Butter & Co. and Bob’s Red Mill to bring you my latest obsession… these crazy delicious healthy no-bake peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars! Whew, that was a mouthful, pun intended. ???? They’re packed full of wholesome ingredients and only take 10 minutes to make. Sounds too good to be true, right? Think again!
I have to admit, I’ve never really had success with homemade granola bars, until now. They’ve always been too crumbly, too bland or just a pain to make. But these, they’re amazing- I’ve made them 3 times already!
The best thing about these bars? They don’t require baking, they don’t fall apart, they have no refined sugar, they have no oil/butter, they can be dairy-free (with mini dairy-free chocolate chips), they are gluten-free and only take a few minutes to make. Oh yeah, they actually taste good. That’s kind of a big deal. Did I mention that you can customize the heck out of them too?!
The base is a combination of pantry staples, perhaps with the exception of the flaxseed meal (which may be for some, but not others). We’ve got a generous amount of old-fashioned rolled oats, crispy cereal (you can use white or brown rice cereal), sliced almonds and golden flaxseed meal. For flavor and sweetness I used a mix of ground cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, honey, and of course, peanut butter. These are the ingredients you’ll need. I also tossed in a generous amount of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips too. I’d highly recommend them, but feel free to swap them out for chopped nuts, dried fruit, mini M&M’s, coconut or seeds.
To start, you’ll want to grab a medium size microwave-safe mixing bowl and combine the peanut butter and honey. I used Peanut Butter & Co.’s Smooth Operator, but any of their flavors would be amazing!! Heat it on half power for 1 minute, stir and repeat. Add the vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Let it cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients that way it doesn’t completely melt all of those little chocolate chips that get mixed in.
Meanwhile, pulse your oats in a food processor for a few seconds to break them down a bit. It’ll help create a better texture as it absorbs the wet ingredients a bit more. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, cereal (love the crunch), sliced almonds (also love the texture they add), flaxseed meal (full of nutrients and helps to hold them together), ground cinnamon (very subtle but adds flavor), and salt (always). Everything has a purpose, yet nothing is overwhelming. I love that!
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix, mix, mix. Add the chocolate chips and mix some more. Press into a parchment-lined square baking pan and refrigerate for about 2 hours. When they’re solid, remove them from the pan, cut them up and enjoy! I hope you’ll love these as much as we do. They’re great little snacks for both kiddos and adults!
Don’t forget to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY for 2 jars of Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter (of your choice) and a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats!
- 1 c. + 2 tbsp.Smooth Operator or other creamy peanut butter
- ⅓ c. honey
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats, pulsed in a food processor for about 6 seconds
- 1 c. crispy rice cereal (brown or white)
- ⅓ c. sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp. golden flaxseed meal (optional)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¾ c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- Line a 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, set aside. NOTE: I prefer criss-crossing them for easy removal.
- In a medium size microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and honey. Microwave on medium power (I did 5) for 1 minute, then stir and repeat. Remove from the microwave, add the vanilla whisk vigorously until smooth. Allow the mixture to rest for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, rice cereal, almonds, flaxseed meal, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the cooled peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a large spatula, fold the ingredients together until no dry spots remain, then pour in all but 1 tablespoon of the chocolate chips. NOTE: it's ok if the chocolate chips melt a little bit, it adds more flavor to the bars! Mix until combined, then pour into the prepared pan. Press firmly to create an even layer. Sprinkle the reserved chocolate chips on top, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. Remove from the pan using the edges of the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 rectangular bars or 12 squares. Store in a ziploc bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
-Almond butter is a great alternative to peanut butter and works really well in this recipe.
Recipe source: adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction