My youngest son H is a snacker, a grazer if you will. He eats constantly yet never really seems to eat a lot. He would also consume a massive amount of milk until a few months of stomach cramps (that he would happily suffer through bc of his love of milk) led us to the fact that he had become intolerant or allergic to milk.
After talking to the Ped we were to detox him from dairy products for at least 2 weeks. About 5 weeks later we had successfully made it two whole weeks with no dairy. This was no easy task; did you know there are dairy products in many BBQ flavored potato chips…why? Anyway, I started to make him his very own special granola bars because paying $6.00 for 4 allergen free snack bars was out of the question…not to mention we tried one box and nobody would eat them.
Thankfully my son is intolerant to lactose, not allergic to milk protein, which means we don’t have to be as strict with things like snack food. However, I continue to make granola bars and both of my son’s continue to eat them.
The other day I asked my youngest what he wanted in his next batch of granola bars. He did not hesitate to say Peanut Butter
I have learned a few things about making no bake granola bars. The First, but second most important, is that you need to have enough “sticky” wet ingredients to completely coat your dry ingredients. Secondly, and most
importantly, you have to SMASH…SMASH…SMASH…them! And just when you think you have smashed them enough you should smash them again! These two very important tips make the difference between tasty granola bars or tasty granola…I’m okay with both, but the satisfaction that comes with a perfectly cut granola bar is grand…or maybe I just feel that way because of my many mishaps.
So on to the food.
PB&J No Bake Granola Bars
- ½ cup Peanut Butter (or your preferred nut or soy butter)
- ½ cup Jelly
Dry Ingredients (The core)
- 2 cup quick oats
- 2 cups cereal (I used a combination of brown rice cereal and grape nut flakes)
- 1 cup nut of choice (I used ½ sliced almonds, ½ cashews)
(The following ingredients are optional, but I used all of them. You can easily use whatever nutrition boosting ingredients you find fit)
- ¼ cup milled flax seed
- ¼ cup oat bran
- 1 T chia seeds
- ½ cup peanut butter chips
Usually I add shredded coconut because my sons love coconut so much, but I forgot. Just remember if you continue to add dry ingredients, you may have to add more sticky wet ingredients.
- Spray or grease a square baking dish. (I think mine is 8×8)
- Mix dry ingredients in a BIG
bowl. (Do not mix any peanut butter or chocolate chips in until the end.)
- Gently heat Peanut Butter
in saucepan or microwave until melted and combined. (Be careful not to overheat, the peanut butter will separate…take my word on this one.)
- Mix the wet and dry together making sure all dry ingredients are no longer dry.
- Add peanut butter chips and pour into prepared pan.
- Now it is time to SMASH
and SQUISH! (I bring the pan to the dinner table to get more leverage; the counter is too high for me. Use your body weight!)
- Let cool. If you are impatient like me put it in the fridge for 20 to 30 min.
- Cut and wrap your bars. (Use a sharp knife and cut skinny strips one way and one cut down the middle perpendicular to the skinny cuts. The depth of the pan will be the width of the bar…not sure that made sense, but there you go. I cut wax paper squares to wrap my bars in; I roll them in the paper and twist the paper on the ends, like a tootsie roll.)
Okay, so maybe my son had a different idea when he said he wanted pb&j in his granola bar, I think he wanted a granola sandwich, but using the pb&j as the sticky wet ingredients for a granola bar made perfect sense. Great idea H!
What are some of your favorite granola flavor combinations?