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I'm sorry to say this, but I gave up on granola bars a long time ago. My husband still eats them but I can't remember the last time I had one and I certainly don't feed them to my kids much because they're just full of corn syrup and not much else that's actually healthy. Making them yourself is really the only way to know for sure what's in them and I happen to believe that making them yourself also makes them taste better! Just sayin...
One of the best things about being a food blogger is the connections I've made with other food bloggers and becoming a part of some awesome food blogging communities. This comes with the blessing (and sometimes the curse!) of looking at other people's recipes all the time! I regularly come across recipes that I try in my own kitchen and adapt to my family's tastes, but it's not too often that I share them with you. I came across this granola bar recipe recently from Annie, the gluten-free blogger behind Maebells and I just knew I had to try it. I've been looking for a simple granola bar recipe for a long time and this one fit the bill. And I love that it's completely customizable! I'm sharing a completely peanut and chocolate flavoured version with you today, but this recipe works great with other flavours too!
I love making homemade granola bars and I definitely don't feel bad about feeding these ones to my kids. I don't always put chocolate chips in them, since my kids are still pretty little and I like them to sleep well at night, but I often add pumpkin seeds, or chopped raisins or dried cranberries instead, and they're always a hit! I'm sure your family will love them too!
Like this recipe? Try these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites or my Cranberry Cashew Energy Bites!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (makes 8-10 bars)
1/2 cup thick natural peanut butter (almond butter also works!)
1/3 cup brown rice syrup or creamed honey
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 to 2 cups gluten-free large flake oats
1/3 cup chopped peanuts (or other nuts of your choice)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (or other add-ins like dried fruit or seeds)
Add the peanut butter, brown rice syrup (or honey), softened butter, and vanilla extract to a large bowl and stir to combine. Warm them in the microwave for 20 second increments on 50% power until the mixture becomes ultra smooth when you stir it.
Add 1 2/3 cups of the oats, peanuts and chocolate chips to the bowl with the peanut butter mixture and stir well to combine. If the mixture seems a little bit too sticky, add the other 1/3 cup of oats.
Press the mixture firmly into a square baking pan (8x8) that's been greased and lined with parchment paper.
Add the baking pan to the freezer and allow the bars to set for about an hour. This is an important step, since it's what will help the granola bars to stay together!
Remove them from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature just until you're able to slice them. Store them in a container in the fridge, and enjoy!
Because these bars are no-bake, it's important to store them in the fridge to help them stay firm. You can even wrap them individually and store them for an easy snack to grab on the go!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what are your favourite things to add in to homemade granola bars?
Looking for more kid-friendly snacks? Try these Healthy Toddler-Friendly Mini Muffins or these Pomegranate Greek Yogurt Granola Parfaits!