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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

homemade no bake peanut butter granola bars
 I'm mentioned a few times that we drove to our family vacation location this year--about a fourteen hour drive to Kiawah Island. Aside from stopping for the inevitable restroom break, we tried to minimize our time off the road—we were anxious to arrive and officially begin vacation! Thus, my sister Julia and I made sure our (rented) minivan, Big Red, was stocked full of snacks to keep us fueled and therefore help us avoid any pit stops for Subway or McDonalds.

Pin Ithomemade no bake peanut butter granola bars
 These granola bars are the first thing we dug into on the trip, before we even made it to the highway in St. Louis. I love homemade granola bars, and these might be some of my very favorites! This particular version is a combination of Kashi Go Lean cereal (or, in my case, the Aldi knockoff brand), oats, peanut butter, honey, a touch of brown sugar, craisins, and chocolate chips. The cereal itself is high in fiber and protein, and low in sugar, but these were still plenty sweet (without tasting like dessert!) from the honey and brown sugar. Next time I make I might reduce the brown sugar more (or completely) and add some ground flaxseed. 
homemade no bake peanut butter granola bars
 The majority of the granola bars disappeared before we made it to our final destination and those that survived served as great beach snacks! Looking for other homemade granola bars? Try Banana Nut Granola Bars with Dried Cranberries, Cranberry Orange Butter Granola Bars, Mocha Coconut Granola Bars (a personal favorite!), or the less healthy but oh-so-good S'Mores Granola Bars!

One Year Ago: Green Bean and Prosciutto Salad Bundles (look fancy, but so easy!)
Three Years Ago: Snickerdoodle Blondies

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars
adapted from food.com

-3 cups Kashi Golean cereal (I used store brand)
-1 cup oats
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-3/4 cup honey
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup natural peanut butter
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine cereal, oats, and dried cranberries. Set aside.
3. Mix honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla, until peanut butter is melted. Allow to cool slightly (about 5 minutes).
4. Pour peanut butter mixture over the cereal and fruit mixture. Stir and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Press mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars (I covered and chilled, then cut into bars which I wrapped individually).