Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No-Bake Granola Bars

I am sure this will come as a shock to those who know me well (insert sarcasm here) ... but I have grown tired of my breakfast yet again and am looking for a change. Of course the first place I always go to find new ideas is Pinterest ... I seriously am in love with that site! I have more ideas and recipes than I know what to do with and I spend WAY too much time in a day browsing through all those pins! Whoever came up with that site is seriously a genius and my new favorite person! haha Well, back to the topic ... I was looking for new breakfast ideas, but here is a little dilemma I have ... I like to sleep in. Seriously, who doesn't?! I do not want to have to get up a half hour early just to make a decent breakfast! Along with that, is the problem that I am rarely hungry when I wake up in the mornings. At least, not enough to want to eat something of worth. I am one of those people that needs to be up and functioning for a little while before I eat breakfast. I always have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning when I head to work at 6:30am ... but it isn't until about 8:30 that I start to get hungry for breakfast. I read everywhere that breakfast is the most important meal and that your metabolism doesn't kick in til you eat and your body needs food first to produce energy and blah blah blah ... I don't know how much of that is true, but it makes sense. So I went searching for something new and simple that I could eat in the morning right away with my coffee to help get my body going until I'm ready to actually eat something of value.
I went searching on Pinterest and found this really interesting recipe for some granola bars. Now - I'm not usually a huge fan of granola bars, but the recipe just sounded good - ya know what I mean? I figured, what's the harm in giving it a try? It seems pretty simple and fairly cheap and if I don't like them I'm sure my family and/or co-workers would be more than happy to help eat them!
As I usually do, I changed a few of the ingredients to make them a little healthier for me ... and it worked out great! This recipe yields 28 granola bars and they were only 107 calories each (or 3 weight watchers points)! More importantly, they taste way better than the processed granola bars in the store. I have enjoyed them with my coffee the last few mornings and it's a great combo! I usually eat it while I'm getting my work day meals put together and it's a great way to kick-start my morning!
I got about halfway through making these bars and realized I had forgotten to take pictures again! GRRR ... so here is the recipe along with a picture of the end result. It's a really simple, basic recipe so you shouldn't have any trouble making it without 'picture' help. Next time I make them, yes they're so good there will DEFINITELY be a next time, I will try to remember to take pics and add to this post!
Good luck and enjoy!

No Bake Granola Bars
*yields 28 bars*

1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cups quick oats
2 cups crispy rice cereal
3 tsp vanilla
you may add chocolate chips, dried fruits, nuts, coconut, etc. if desired

In a large bowl, stir cereal and oats together.
In a medium sauce pan, combine honey, brown sugar, peanut butter and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then bring the temperature down to low and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, pour in vanilla and stir.
Pour hot mixture over dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are moistened. Stir in optional ingredients, if using. Dump into a parchment-lined or lightly greased jelly roll pan
Press granola mixture as closely and tightly together as you can into pan. Cool on the counter til room temperature or cool in fridge.
Cut into 28 bars. Wrap in plastic or store in ziploc bag/ plastic container.

*My Notes*
To make them a little healthier I used ...1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated stevia ... blue bonnet light in place of butter ... and I added in 4 tbsp of mini chips for a little extra sweetness. The bars will fall apart if you do not press them into the pan tightly ... the only place I had trouble was along the edges. When I got the bars cut I laid them in layers into a plastic storage container and the bars along the edges wanted to crumble a little, they were a little thinner than the bars in the middle. I have been keeping mine in the fridge, when they are cold they are less likely to crumble. Also, next time I make them I may add in a little more peanut butter to help hold them together.

*now updated with photos*

No comments:

Post a Comment