As a kid I loved packaged granola bars – kudos were the best because they had M&M’s in them but my mom rarely bought them for me. I don’t know if they really were better when we were kids or if I remember them differently than they were. Either way, what you get now tastes like the box that they’re packed in and who knows what is in them. I’m not crazy about eating clean but if there’s something I can throw together that tastes better than what I can buy, and it’s cheaper, why not?
Pinterest – that place that’s made us all super-moms, amazing bakers, candy makes, and sewers – better knows as the place that made us all crazy. I am not judging, I’m on the bandwagon, too. I saw a pin to homemade granola bars and I scoffed. A few weeks later, I came across this recipe.
It seemed easy.
I had all of the ingredients in my pantry.
Little Bug went to bed early.
These have turned out to be one of my favorite on-the-go snacks. I always have one or two in my bag and in my car. They’re easy to make and to eat. They’re fairly low in calories. They taste great. I tweaked the recipe a little from the original to meet my taste. I LOVE honey and it really comes through in these bars.
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
3/4 cup brown sugar packed lightly
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup nutty peanut butter (any nut butter may be used)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (you may use all creamy if you want; if you use all nutty, they won’t be “sticky” enough to hold together)
3 cups puffed rice cereal
3 cups quick oats (not old fashioned oats)
- Put the first 5 ingredients in a pan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
- Bring to a simmer and stir well until all the sugar is dissolved. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so nothing burns.
- While waiting for the peanut butter mixture to bubble, mix the oatmeal and cereal in a bowl big enough to stir the cereal in.
- Once the peanut butter mixture is completely incorporated and the sugar is dissolved, pour over the cereal and oats.
- Stir! Stir! Stir! Until there are no dry spots. I end up doing a scoop and press eventually. It will get thick and stick fairly quickly.
- Press into an even layer in a 9X13 pan. Be sure to press down on all the mixture to compact it or the bars won’t hold together when you cut them. They should be dense.
- Cool completely.
- When cooled, run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen then turn the pan upside down on a cutting board.
- Cut into bars or squares (2X2 squares are pictured). If you want a more “bar” look, try 1.5X3.
According to my calculations, they come out about 118 calories and almost 4 grams of protein.