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Peanut Butter Granola Bars

‘Tis the season for shopping, crafting, baking, party-hopping, and more.  I don’t know about you, but from now until the New Year, my days, weeks and nights are jam-packed with errands, to-do lists, baking and more.  Between juggling being a WAHM and making the holidays special (they are Baby Snob’s first after all!), I often start my day at 6 a.m. and don’t sit down again until after dinner and dishes are done around 7:30 p.m.  With all the rushing around, I don’t want to let healthy snacks fall to the wayside.

Cookies for breakfast are fine some days, but I find granola bars satisfy my sweet tooth while still being healthy.  These granola bars have no refined sugar, just raw honey, and are incredibly easy to make.  Half-way between a traditional crunchy and chewy granola bar, the peanut butter and honey act as a binder, holding together the oats.  You will want a tall glass of milk to wash down each bite, as the sticky, sweet oats invade each corner of your mouth.  They are the perfect afternoon snack, after-dinner treat, or on-the-go breakfast.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars (adapted from Against All Grain, Maker’s Diet Approved)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup raw honey

1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy is okay. I use all-natural peanut butter because it has no added sugar or oils)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)

Makes 9 large bars

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt vanilla, honey, peanut butter and coconut oil together and stir until well combined.

2. Remove pan from heat and stir in oats.

3. Pour into a parchment paper-lined 9×9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

4.  Allow bars to cool completely before cutting.

If you like, you can also stir in chocolate chips, chopped dates, or raisins.  I personally believe, that chocolate chips are a great partner to the peanut butter.

Do you ever make granola bars at home?  What is your favorite recipe?

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