If you tell me that something can be made in 5 minutes or less, I will look at you skeptically and ask if it comes with with a sous chef to do the prep work for me too? I want a recipe that is the real-people, real-time 5 minutes. Not the if-I-have-a-sous-chef to chop, measure, and prep everything for me 5 minutes. Read: A recipe that takes a whole lot longer than five minutes for those of us in normal people land.
Fast forward to these no-bake granola bars. Well ya’ll, you can glare at me skeptically if you want, but this is a TRUE 5-minute granola bar recipe that is made without refined sugar, and gives you tons of sustained energy from oats and lots of protein. I know that you can buy granola bars, but trust me these are cheaper, tastier, and you control EXACTLY what goes into them (read: protein, whole grains, and natural sweeteners) and exactly what does NOT (read: preservatives and refined sugar). Did I mention that they are completely customizable to your family’s preferences? My favorite mix-ins are unsweetened dried cherries, but you can add just about anything! Dried fruit*, nuts, flax seeds, cacao nibs, dried coconut, or a combination would all be quite tasty. I even added bits of dark chocolate once when I had a sweet tooth. (*If you are trying to avoid added sugar, be careful that the dried fruit you select does not contain added sugar. Trader Joe’s has some good “no sugar added” options.)
Most days, my breakfast routine is not reminiscent of the photo above. Its a little bit more: put granola bar in plastic baggy, pour tea in travel mug, grab computer bag while running out the door un-mascara-ed. These are the best grab-n-g0 breakfast I know of. These bars fill me up and all that protein keeps me full for a good long time! They are, of course, an excellent snack – its a granola bar after-all. Also, they are a great healthy way to satisfy a mid-afternoon sweet-tooth;)
For the past few months, there has been a batch of these in my fridge at all times. Trust me, I am not “that person” who always has homemade granola or fresh baked cookies at the ready, but these only take 5-MINUTES! And, luckily, 5 minutes for something this satisfying (and handy) is just my speed.
I am addicted and, until there is a 12-step program to cure me of this 5 minute, no-bake granola bar awesomeness, I will not stop. Despite this development, I think you should join me in the world of never-ending No-Bake Granola Bars.
No-Bake Granola Bars
Total time: 5 minutes
Servings 8-12 (depending on size of bars)
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter (the kind with oil separation)
- 2 tbl. coconut oil
- 2 tbl. molasses
- 1 tbl. honey (or more if you prefer sweeter)
- 2 cups oats (I prefer the texture of regular oats, not quick oats.)
- 1/2 cup total of mix-ins of your choice (i.e. dried fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, cacao, flax)
Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir just until melted enough to combine (about 2 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in oats one 1/2 cup at a time.
Finally stir in mix-ins.
Pour mixture into a glass loaf pan for thicker bars or a glass 8×8 inch pan for thinner bars. Cover and store in fridge:)