Monday, February 20, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars - NO BAKE!

I love granola bars. They are a great snack that are simple to throw in my lunch box for the afternoon starvation that overtakes my body at work around 5:00pm...when I still have an hour and a half left to go and don't feel like I'm going to make it...

When I started looking up recipes for this I found a lot that you had to cook, and I found a lot of great recipes for making actual granola...but that all seemed like quite a bit of work that I wasn't ready to invest for something I wasn't sure I was going to like. Then I came across some that I really liked, but didn't have all the ingredients. SO I took the basics of each recipe and pieced it together to create something that resembles a granola bar. 

I made 2 variations, trying different add ins and such. Each recipe made about half a 9x9 pan. The second recipe tastes the best, but it didn't firm up quite like the first. I think if I added less applesauce and maybe a smidgen more peanut butter it would allow for it to be a bit stickier and firm up better. I ended up putting the second pan in the freezer which helped it firm up, but I'm not sure how they will hold up in my lunch box.

Chocolate Craisin
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip 
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp chocolate chips
Directions: for both recipes melt peanut butter mixed with applesauce in microwave for about 30-45 seconds. Mix all additional ingredients into bowl and press down into greased pan to desired thickness using wax paper. Let it set in fridge for about 2 hours. 

I've also thought about using marshmallows instead of peanut butter to make a s'more granola bar. The applesauce I used was with cinnamon, because that is what I had, but in the future I think I will use plain. I used the applesauce in place of butter which the other recipes called for. Since part of making my own granola bars is to control what is going in them, I didn't feel like putting a stick of butter into them was very beneficial. Plus, the applesauce adds a little bit of healthy sweetness to the bar.

Each bar had about 100 calories, which is what the chewy granola bars have, BUT my granola bars have only ingredients you can pronounce!

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