The one item that is common in my husband’s lunch is a granola bar or two.
Every two weeks we can go through approximately 2 boxes of store bought granola bars. That’s about $8-$10 for just a lunch bag snack!
I decided that I could make better and healthier bars for Dave on my own. This is where I did research (gasp! shocking!) on different types of homemade granola bars. I looked a baked and no-bake recipes with varying ingredients including plain granola recipes. I wanted a bar that would use common items found in a pantry, that could be adjusted easily for variety and could be quickly put together on a Sunday afternoon.
After all my research, I discovered a no-bake bar that fit the criteria. When I made made the recipe word for word, I found that the granola bars crumbled apart on the first bite. This would not due for my husband on construction sites. Back to the drawing board I went – it was there that I realized that it needed a juice that would hold up better than honey and brown sugar. Enter stage left – the homemade granola recipe (find it here). Combining the ingredients from the granola recipe with the no-bake bars resulted in a homemade granola bar for the fraction of the cost (if items are purchased on sale) and preservatives.
Today, I’m giving you my version of coco mint chip granola bars; I have made almond/butterscotch bars and cinnamon/raisin bars as well.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Yields: 12 Bars
3 cups Quick Rolled Oats
3 cups Crispy Rice Cereal
¾ cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
¾ cup Honey
¼ cup Apple Juice
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ cup Peanut Butter (or other nut butter)
2-4 tbsp. Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp Butterscotch Chips
4 tsp Peppermint Extract
1. Combine oats, cereal, cocoa powder & butterscotch chips in a large mixing bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (helps with the clean up). Set aside.
2. Over medium heat, bring sugar, honey and apple juice to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, peppermint extract and peanut butter.
3. Pour over oat mixture and stir until everything is coated with the honey sauce.
4. Press into lightly greased 9×13 pan. Let cool before serving and store in a cool place for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long before their eaten).
The new and improved homemade granola bars last just as long as the store bought and taste even better!