My favorite grab and go snack is a granola bar. The only problem is, my family is gluten free, and one box of gf granola bars can set you back what it costs for a Big Mac. Well, wait. My family can’t eat a Big Mac either, they aren’t gluten free. Since we can eat an entire box of granola bars in a day or two, I quit buying them. It certainly saves on the grocery bill at the end of the month, but I miss the convenience of them.
These “After School Fuel Peanut Butter Bars” are the answer for two reasons. One, they are MUCH cheaper than buying them from the store. Two, they are just as convenient- after you take the time to make a batch. I am a big advocate for cooking from scratch. Because cooking from scratch is so time consuming, I just make extra and pop it in the freezer. From cookies and muffins to meatloaves and casseroles, if I go through the trouble to make something, I make extra and do my future self a favor. Thank you, self!
Here is how to make them step by step.
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1/2 c pitted dates (about 5 dates)
- 3/4 c honey
- 1 c peanut butter
- 1 c oats
- 1 c oat flour
- 2.5 c rice cereal
- 1/2 c raisins
- 1/2 cup copped nuts (peanuts, almonds or cashews work great)
- 1/2 c chocolate chips (these are for the last step in mixing process)
In food processor, grind oats, nuts, and dates (in that order; it helps with mess inside the processor). Watch the video posted below to see what dates look like after running them through processor. They will be gooey globs.
Oats will look like this when ground.
Add all wet ingredients, including dates, to microwave safe bowl. Microwave one minute, stir, then microwave again for 30 more seconds.
Add all dry ingredients to the bowl of mixer.
Mix all wet and dry ingredients together in mixer. This mixer is fitted with the paddle attachment. Let the mixture mostly cool. Then add chocolate chips and let her twirl again.
Line an 8×8″ pan with wax paper. Dump the mixture into the pan. Press REALLY hard. I get the best results by using a bread loaf pan and standing on it. Yes, you heard me right. I stand on the bread loaf pan and compress the mixture as hard as I can. Throw your weight into it!
Cut into bars or squares. A dough cutter works great. I like this one , because it is inexpensive and easy to clean, which is important in a gluten free household.
I usually opt for long bar shapes. This way when I hold a bar that looks like it came from the grocery store, I can congratulate myself on my much cheaper knock-off granola bar.
And voila! Real, legit granola bars. When your kids come home from school and whine from hunger pains, feed them a homemade-with-momma’s-love granola bar. In our household we homeschool, we don’t have to wait until after school to enjoy this delectable, chewy, delightful, yummy, amazing snack. However, maybe I will still make my daughters wait until after school before they can consume a granola bar, just for the namesake: “After School Fuel Peanut Butter Bars.”
Or you could stack them and play Jenga during a break in between Latin and Math.
For more granola bar entertainment, here is a video walking you through step by step.