No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars
With generous amounts of old-fashioned rolled oats, crispy cereal, sliced almonds, cinnamon, honey, and peanut butter, these homemade peanut butter granola bars are not only delicious but healthier too!
If you like this healthier version of a favorite snack food then you will also want to try our healthy pumpkin bran muffins, healthy pumpkin doughnut muffins with maple vanilla bean glaze and Chocolate chip cookies dough energy bites!
Homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars
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!
My kids love peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars and let’s be honest, so do I!! However I prefer to make my own with fresh ingredients and healthier ingredients!
Today’s bars are packed full of wholesome ingredients and only take 10 minutes to make. They don’t require baking, they don’t fall apart, they don’t contain refined sugar or oil/butter and they can be dairy-free and gluten-free! Oh yeah, and they actually taste good!!
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!
How to Make Granola Bars
Before we begin let me share with you a little trick to help your bars stick together! Make sure you pack them really well and use thick peanut butter and honey!!
If you don’t have honey then another good option would be maple syrup, agave nectar or molasses (make sure to not use dark molasses because it will overpower the other flavors).
- 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!
- 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!
What if you don’t have parchment paper? The trick is just making sure the bars don’t stick to the pan. So spray the pan really well with non-stick spray!
How To Change Up + Store
I love you can customize these bars to your flavor preferences!! Add in:
- mini chocolate chips
- chopped nuts
- dried fruit
- mini M&M’s
- or seeds
Storing: These should last for about a week at room temp in an airtight container or up to 3 months in the freezer.
These are perfect for school lunches or on the go snacks! You can wrap them in foil or wax paper and then if they aren’t staying shut you can tape the paper shut.
I hope you enjoy these delicious, chewy, and flavorful peanut butter granola bars!! And check out more of our yummy granola inspired recipes!!
For more recipes, check out:
- Chunky Homemade Granola
- Oatmeal Cookie Granola
- Dark Chocolate Tropical Granola Bars
- Triple Chocolate Granola Bars
- 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