Sunday, March 6, 2016

Peanut Butter and Oat Snack Bars

I've been on a search for some time now for my perfect go-to granola/snack bar. I do have a fantastic granola bar recipe already on this site, a recipe that is far and away the most popular recipe I've ever posted. While I love these granola bars, and have made them many, many times, I'm on the hunt for something different. I want a bar I can feel good about eating any time, day or night, one that has a modest amount of sugar and fat, and comes together easily using ingredients I will always have on hand. I also want bars that really hold together well. Something I can just throw into a bag in the morning and take with me that won't fall to pieces, or crumble everywhere, making a mess when I want to eat it. 

Throughout the last few months I've been looking at tons of different recipes and trying some out here and there. Part of my problem is that since I live alone, I find it difficult to eat what I make quickly, so this has been a slow process, but a fun one still. I want to share one of the bars I made recently. While it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, it turned out to be a wonderful recipe that hit almost all my requirements. I started with a fairly healthy cookie recipe and adapted it to bars. They baked up beautifully! The end result was a very sturdy, pretty nutritious, tasty bar that will be wonderful for a quick breakfast or satisfying mid-afternoon snack. 

You may wonder why they were not exactly what I was looking for. Really the only thing I would like to be slightly different is the texture of the bar. Because they do have 1/2 cup of flour in them, they turned out a little cakier than I would like. The flour did help them hold together very well, but it also made them feel a little more cookie-bar-like than granola-bar-like. Regardless, this is a great recipe that I will definitely keep in the rotation.

***UPDATE: I've moved! Check out my redesigned blog at for this post and many more!

The flavor of these bars is very nice. Just enough sweetness to make them delicious without making them feel like dessert, and the peanut flavor really shines through, nice and toasty. Lots of good oaty chew helps create a nice, hearty texture. This is a versatile recipe that you can certainly adapt to your preference. If you don't like or can't have peanut butter, use almond butter or another favorite nut or seed butter, and you can throw in whatever mix-ins you like. Any dried fruit, nut, seed or chocolate would be wonderful. 

Peanut Butter and Oat Snack Bars
Adapted from The Kitchn
  • 1/2 cup (128 ounces) natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup (112 grams) honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup (100 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mix-ins (I used 10 grams pumpkin seeds, 10 grams sunflower seeds, 20 grams raw walnuts, 20 grams dried cranberries)
Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking 8x12 or similar sized pan with parchment paper that you spray with cooking spray.

In a medium pot over medium heat, melt together the nut butter and honey until smooth. Remove from heat and use a wooden spoon to stir in the cinnamon, salt and vanilla. 

Once the mixture has cooled a little, add in the egg and mix well. 

Add the oats, flour, baking powder and mix-ins to the pot and stir together until combined. The mixture will be quite thick. Transfer dough to prepared pan, spreading evenly all the way to the edges, pressing down to firmly. 

Place pan in oven and bake until golden brown on the edges, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan and cutting into bars. 

Yields: 14 bars
Nutrition: Approximately 150 calories each

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