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No Bake Granola Bars {Recipe}

no bake granola bar up close image

Now that I’ve been using the Fooducate app for about a month now, I’ve learned a great deal about what I am putting in my body. I’m working on eating less processed foods, more veggies, and cutting down on desserts. I keep telling myself that a dessert is a treat, not something you should eat after dinner every single night (that just makes it a routine sugar binge).

Going on Pinterest was hard at first. There are always photos of cupcakes, pasta dishes, cookies, and other unhealthy recipes plastered over Pinterest, but I’m guilty of repinning those too. They look so damn good! However, I’m getting better at looking for snack ideas and low-carb recipes. I found a couple of granola bar recipes and even some no-bake ones.

I’ve always been a fan of the Nature Valley (C) and Quaker granola bars, but after looking them up on Fooducate, I learned the Quaker bars score between C – D grades and Nature Valley bars were given C’s. With the store-bought bars earning unimpressive grades, I figured I would give it a try to make my own bars. While the ones I made are not A-grade worthy, they are less processed, homemade, and the recipe can be adjusted to what you have on hand.

no bake granola bars homemade ingredients

Recipe adapted from Parade.

 

NO BAKE GRANOLA BARS

Ingredients

  • 2 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cashews (or peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Spray an 8×8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix oats and nuts. If you want to throw in chopped up pieces of dried apricots or prunes for a little more fiber, now is the time.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together corn syrup and brown sugar until the mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter, canola oil, and vanilla until it looks well-mixed and thick.
  4. Pour the mixture over the dry oats and nut mix and stir until combined. Now add the chocolate chips and mix together. If you mix the chocolate chips in any earlier, they will all melt. Lesson learned.
  5. Spoon the mixture into your greased pan and press down batter so that it spreads evenly. Let it cool. Once cool, cut into 10-12 bars. (According to Parade recipe, bars may be frozen, wrapped well, for up to three months)

 

TIP: These bars are especially yummy the next day with a cup of coffee.
no bake granola bars homemade