After my recent adventures in finding
the perfect a doable sports drink recipe I decided I needed to make some homemade granola bars to go with it. This thought probably had something to do with the fact that I was sitting in the car, waiting for my daughter’s cross country practice to be over. Or maybe I was just hungry for something to go with the iced coffee I was drinking at the time?
With the magic of 4G at my fingertips I found several recipes to test. Thankfully the first one I tried was a hit! I want to offer you some tips and tweaks that I think made the process go more quickly for me…as in, “made the granola bars while my daughter was taking a very quick shower so we could turn around and leave the house again” quickly. Unlike many teen girls, she can clean up in a hurry, so we’re talking minutes, not hours, to put these granola bars together.
First off, the recipe says to grease a pan. Knowing I’d have to get the bars out of the pan and wanting them to look nice once they were cut, I just lined the pan with an extra-long sheet of waxed paper, folding the sides and corners up neatly and allowing the extra length to fall over the ends of the pan. When the bars were cool it was super-simple to just lift them from the pan in one big piece. With no pan in the way the cutting was easy.
Step two says to melt the peanut butter and honey on the stove until the mixture is hot enough to melt the chocolate chips and then to pour the melted goo over the chips and oats. I warmed the PB and honey in a stock pot, turned off the heat when they were melted, tossed the chips into the warmth and stirred until melted, then mixed in the oats for step three. Easy to do and only one sticky pan to wash.
Before you start mashing the mixture into the pan, and mashing is absolutely necessary, butter your hands. Gross or not, I thought the best way to get the bars evenly and effectively smashed into the pan and all of the corners was to use my hands, and even with the butter, it was messy. Please do take care to get the mixture firmly mashed into the corners and along the sides so your finished bars are nice and even with no wonky edges.
For steps five and six, I left the pan-o-bars in the fridge while we were out running around for a couple of hours. Then I used the waxed paper like handles to easily and neatly lift them out of the pan. I grabbed a huge knife to cut the bars because I thought it might allow me to cut straighter, more even pieces…yeah…we’ll pretend they’re perfect. I wrapped each bar individually in waxed paper and then stashed the wrapped bars in a zip-top freezer bag before storing them in the freezer. It will be easy to pull out individual bars as needed.
The big moment was, of course, the teen taste test. My son and daughter both commented on the overwhelming honey taste but said they were good. They also observed that the finished bars were kind of a cross between Edible Play Dough and No-Bake Cookies. They said they liked them and would eat them again. My runner-girl daughter said they would be a good pre-race breakfast. My son suggested that my original impulse to add chopped peanuts might be good, because the salt would counter the sweetness of the honey.
And as a final note, these bars are not necessarily inexpensive because the recipe calls for a lot of honey. Your mileage may vary.
Please let me know if you try these no bake granola bars and particularly if you try them with chopped nuts! Did you like them?
Update: This post was shared at the Healthy Living Link Party #65.
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