No-Bake Granola Bars

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.

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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.)

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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).

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Remove from heat and stir in oats one 1/2 cup at a time.

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Finally stir in mix-ins.

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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:)

 

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