I used to buy granola bars like they were going out of style. You know, the chocolate dipped ones stuffed with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and sprinkles? Those ones.
Now I make granola bars like they’re going out of style. And I don’t dip them in chocolate, much as I’d sometimes like to.
These aren’t a granola bar that will stay straight and firm in your hand on a hot day at the zoo, and they aren’t picture-perfect replicas of store-bought granola bars. They are homemade, sticky-sweet-salty perfection. They are dense and somewhat nutritious, but most definitely a snack. I’ve had too many “healthy” granola bars that either weren’t actually that healthy at all or that tasted way too healthy for a snack. If I want a healthy snack I’ll grab some carrot sticks and grapes, thanks. If I want a kind of healthy snack that will also curb my sweet tooth and desire to chew something, I’ll grab one of these granola bars.
These are my go-to snack when I’m pregnant and nursing, because I can pack them with nutrition alongside the sugar, and they are super filling, perfect for eating just one when cookies always leave me wanting more. If you’re looking for a dressed up version of this homemade granola bar, check out the Coconut Cashew version. Today we’re talking about the classic peanut butter version, the ones I make most often. Feel free to add more mix-ins, pretty much the same way you would with basic granola, my other go-to food these days.
These will take about 8 minutes to mix together and throw in the oven – I don’t know about you, but it takes me that long just to get all my kids in the car, let alone get to the store and read the ingredients on 423 boxes of granola bars!
If you don’t mind sticky fingers, I think it’s pretty impossible not to like these granola bars – try ’em and let me know! Have a great weekend, all :)
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- ⅔ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups quick oats
- ⅓ cup wheat germ (*see note for gluten free info)
- Optional add-ins (do all, some, or none):
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
- ½ cup coconut
- ½ cup chopped nuts
- Lightly grease a 9x13" baking pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In large bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir in oats and wheat germ. Fold in any other options you have chosen. Press evenly into prepared pan. Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
- These freeze very well, and also keep well in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for about 7 days.