Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No Bake Granola Bars

This post is a part of Tuesday Twister at Gnowfglins and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

I made the Soaked & Ready Oats from Just Making Noise blog and then I found this recipe for Chewy Granola Bars at Heavenly Homemakers blog.  I thought this would be a great thing to try out & perfect timing too because we have been sorely lacking in snack foods in this house!  I really like this recipe because it is so simple: only a few ingredients, only a few steps & you're done!

The original recipe calls for: 1/2 c. peanut butter, 1/3 c. honey, 1/4 c. coconut oil (melt all these together)- then add 1 c. oats & 1 c. add-ins (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.)

The first time I made these I wanted to use raw honey & maintain it's natural enzymes, so I put my stove burner on the lowest setting and just warmed the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil until the oil was partially melted.  I removed it from the burner and kept stirring until everything was completely combined.  I added my oats & for the add-ins I used 1/2 c. raisins, 1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 c. chopped "crispy" almonds, and about 2 tablespoons of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate.  Yes, I know that's more than 1 cup! :)

After refrigerating, cutting, and individually wrapping, here is what they looked like:
They were very yummy (I made them Saturday and they were gone by today).  Though these will hold their shape long enough to go in a lunch box, I would suggest keeping them in the refrigerator.  One thing I found with the Soaked & Ready Oats was they were very crunchy- a little too much for my taste.

So today I made these again ("Yeah!  Granola bars!" My 11 year old shouted).  I felt they were a little too sweet the first time so I reduced the honey to 1/4 c. and because I want to get more healthy coconut oil into my family I increased the oil to 1/3 c.  This time I decided to try & "cook" the oats a little, so I boiled the peanut butter/honey/oil mixture, turned off the burner, and then added the oats.  Because my mixture was so hot when I added the chopped bittersweet chocolate it all melted in together.  I omitted the chopped nuts this time, just using raisins and shredded coconut, but I think nuts help balance the sweetness.  If you're going to use dried fruit you could probably try decreasing the honey to 1/8 c. (= 2 tablespoons), which is what I'm going to try next time.  I also decided I didn't want to waste the plastic wrap on individual pieces- so I'm leaving the pan in the fridge.  Here's batch #2: a little more solid because of the different oil/honey ratio (and a little darker because of the chocolate), but still good!

By the way, my method of "cooking" the oats made only a little difference- they are still very crunchy!  Next time I will probably try grinding them finer & probably add more too.  I wonder if it's just me or if soaking/dehydrating oats just makes them super crunchy.  This would be a great snack for after-school or in the summertime when the kids want a treat & you don't want to use the oven.  Give it a try!



  1. Yumm! I like your tips to not boil the honey and also to reduce it. I'd like to try these! My kids would love them. Yes, I feel the soaked and ready oats are super crunchy. We love to put them with plain kefir in a bowl and add cinnamon and maple syrup!

  2. I wondered how the Heavenly Homemaker recipe would work with the soaked and dried oats. I like your idea of grinding them a bit. I'll be giving them a try.

  3. I mader her granola bars this week, too... they didn't firm up well for me, though they were soooo yummy. Maybe I'll use less honey next time, like you. Maybe I'll use a little less peanut butter, too...hmmm... What do you think?

  4. @Jaime- did you use "soaked & ready" oats or regular/straight oats? We did have to keep our bars in the refrigerator otherwise they would get soft. Is this what happened to you- too soft at room temperature? They are definitely more firm when you lower the honey & increase the coconut oil (coconut oil being more firm at cooler temps).

  5. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am totally going to try these granola bars with the soaked and ready oats.


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