Thursday, February 20, 2014

{No Bake} Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (or Balls)

As I've mentioned before, we are in constant need of snacks over here.  With 3 growing boys, one of whom is a teenager and has grown about 3 inches in the past couple of months, someone is always hungry.  I like that these granola bars are super easy to put together with items I almost always have in the house.  They're packed with nutrition, have no preservatives (if you use natural nut butter) or fillers, and are totally portable.  The icing on the cake?  They taste incredible.
 
This recipe is beautifully versatile in that you can modify it to meet your needs.  Substitute another nut butter for the peanut butter to make this peanut free.  Add more rice krispies if you don't have flax seed or chia.  And, of course, change up your mix-ins to suit your tastes.  You can even make these into balls instead of bars.
 
 
No Bake Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Adapted from here

Ingredients:
  • 2 c. Quick Oats
  • 1 c. Rice Krispies
  • 1/4 c. Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/4 c. Chia Seed
  • 3/4 c. Creamy Peanut Butter or other nut butter
  • 1/2 c. Honey
  • 1/4 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 t. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 c. Mini Chocolate Chips
Instructions:
  1. Line an 8x8" baking dish with aluminum foil and set aside (this is to make it easier to get the bars out of the pan)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, rice krispies, flax seed, and chia seed.  If you don't have flax seed or chia seed, just add more rice krispies.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, combine creamy peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the mixture is smooth.  If you don't have a microwave, or yours is stubbornly refusing to heat things, you can gently heat the mixture in a saucepan on the stove, stirring constantly until smooth.
  4. Combine the peanut butter mixture with the oatmeal mixture, and add chocolate chips.
  5. Press the mixture into prepared 8x8" pan, packing tightly.  Alternately, form the mixture into balls.  Refrigerate for an hour or until firm.
  6. Remove from baking dish and cut into bars. 
Once you've tried the basic recipe, make it your own.  Feel free to add chopped roasted almonds, flaked coconut, peanut butter chips, dried fruit--whatever you like.

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