Whether you or your kids knock these back for breakfast, eat them to prevent a mid-afternoon crash or indulge as easy evening snacks during an after-dinner walk or before bedtime, this crunchy granola bar recipe (that’s chewy on the inside) is a healthy, protein-packed snack.
I don’t have kids with peanut allergies, so I can’t tell you how delighted I am to take advantage of our current homeschooling situation to make snacks and lunches using peanut butter. I’m using crunchy peanut butter for this crunchy granola bar recipe for rather obvious reasons, but you could easily use the smooth kind — just be sure it’s the natural stuff made with just peanuts and no added sugar. Otherwise, these go from healthy to the equivalent of icing sugar.
These peanut butter chocolate bars are made in one step in a single bowl and flexible enough that you can use substitutions and still make great granola bars. For example, if you don’t have maple syrup, try agave syrup or honey (provided it’s quite runny). No sunflower seeds? No problem; try some slivered almonds in their place. If you don’t love the flavour bomb that is chocolate and tart cherries, I’ll disown you but you can easily use another dried fruit (raisins, Craisins, dried apricots, etc.) in its place.
This is a healthy chewy granola bar recipe that has nice, crispy edges and it makes about 30 rectangular bars. If that’s too many, just split the recipe in half and use a smaller baking dish.
Looking for another “dupe” for a breakfast and snack favourite? We’ve re-created Morning Rounds, too!
OK, that’s enough of that — let’s get cookin’! Here’s what you’re going to end up with in less than half an hour:
Crunchy granola bar recipe: ingredients
One quick note about the oats listed in the first bullet — please be sure you’re using oat flakes (not steel-cut oats) and that they’re not of the instant or quick-oats variety, which are much more processed.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chocolate (or carob) chips
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp hemp hearts
Again, if you don’t have these seeds or hemp hearts in your pantry, it’s really easy to sub them out for what you do have. Hemp seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds should all work equally well.
Crunchy granola bar recipe: directions
Alright, this part is so easy:
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Grab a 9″x13″ baking dish and grease it or line it with parchment paper.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Pat mixture into baking dish and make it even from one side to the other; you may have to press down with your hands.
- Bake 13-15 minutes, then let it rest in the oven for 5 minutes after you turn off the heat (crack the door open a bit).
- Finally, cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares or rectangles. (I chose rectangles so they more closely resembled the store-bough granola bars my kids are used to.)
The longer you let these rest and cool after baking, the easier it’ll be to cut them.
Don’t forget that I’ve got a whole bunch of easy family meals outlined in a single post that are tried-and-tested favourites.
Crunchy granola bar recipe: storage
If you’ve made the full batch but think they won’t get eaten within five or six days, you could certainly freeze half of them.
I would use the parchment paper leftover from baking and line an air-tight container with parchment between each layer of these yummy peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal bars. They should freeze well for a good month and you can remove a few bars at a time as needed. (For example, these make easy evening snacks that you can just take out a few at a time from the freezer before dinner and they’ll be thawed and good to go as a bedtime treat.)
Otherwise, keep the peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars in an air-tight container in your fridge to enjoy for up to a week.
I’d love to hear what you think of these! If you make them and have any feedback, suggestions (or praise…I’ll definitely take praise), please leave a comment!
Hope you enjoy these as much as we do.