Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peanut Butter Oat Bars

When I had Stella I was overwhelmed by the number of friends who dropped by with a meal or a treat, along with their company, outside of the schedule arranged by the local mom's group. One afternoon my friend Carol came over to meet Stella and brought with her an after-school snack for the kids in addition to dinner. Those granola bars were so tasty, and I'm sure more so because I was so recently post-partum and I was starving constantly, both for food and contact with my friends. For the uber-health conscious, it should be disclosed that these are more treat than snack. Just the way I like it. Be glad they don't have corn syrup. (except in the m&m's).

Today was the first day of school for the big boys, so I pulled out my recipe binder when I got home from dropping them off, hoping I still had the card. I've tweaked the recipe each time and I think I nailed it today. Originally from the food blog, Garnish With Lemon, these chewy granola bars with peanut butter easily satisfy that craving for sweet with a hit of salt. I'm listing my rendition; for the original, click the above link.

Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Spray 8x8 or 9x9 pan with nonstick spray

3/4 c. peanut butter (heaping)
3 T coconut oil
1 1/2 T butter
1/2-3/4 tsp salt (depends if your pb has salt in it)
1/3 c. honey
3 T brown sugar
1 t vanilla
3 c. old fashioned oats
3T m&m candies (mini's would be perfect, but I have the big daddies in the hopes that I'll eventually get to use them as potty training rewards for Jackie John Jones; #diapersforlyfe )

Optional:
mini chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, (reese's pieces would probably be fantastic!)

Pulse 2 c. oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground and add to a bowl with the remaining 1 c. oats. (I like this ratio better than the 1:2 ground:whole in the original). In a saucepan over medium heat combine peanut butter, oil, butter, salt, honey and brown sugar until melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture over oats and stir until combined. There should be no dry oats outside of the liquid mixture. Add your optional treats (or leave them out for a marginally healthier treat) and press firmly into pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and turn out onto a cutting board. I cut mine into 20 portions by making three cuts vertically and four horizontally. With the age of my kids, not all of them need a full bar when added to fruit or whatever else we have after school. The originally recipe simply cuts them in half and then makes five cuts for twelve (12) servings.

Store in the refrigerator, at room temperature, or in your belly.


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