So I found a recipe in a blog by David Lebovitz for No-Bake Granola Bars. They sounded good, so I tried them--with a little bit of adjustments to my taste and what we had on hand.
Well, not only were they easy to make, they were really tasty! Salty and sweet, a little chewy and a little crunchy. And no high-fructose anything. Try them!
NO-BAKE GRANOLA BARS (adapted from David Lebovitz)
Play around with the kinds of fruit and nuts you put in the bars--use what you like or what you think would make a good combination. Make sure you do not skip toasting, though--it's a huge part of the great taste.
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup whole almonds
1 cup pitted dates, diced
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried fruit (I used cherries and blueberries), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup honey (I added a little more when mixing because it looked a little dry)
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 (Yes, I know they're "no-bake". This is for toasting some of the ingredients.)
- Line the bottom of an 8" square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Spread the oats and sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 8-12 min, stirring once or twice, until they are slightly browned. (Keep an eye on them--my oven did it in about 8 min. Another minute or so and they would have burned.) Scrape into a large bowl.
- Spread the almonds on the baking sheet and toast for 10 min. (You'll smell them when they're close.) Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop them and add to the oats.
- Meanwhile, heat the peanut butter, honey and salt in a small saucepan, stirring until warm, but not boiling.
- Add dates, chocolate chips, dried fruit and peanuts to the bowl. Combine.
- Pour warm peanut butter mixture over the stuff in the bowl and stir until completely incorporated. (I used a wooden spoon, but hands would work great, too. This is where I added a little more honey to hold things together a bit better.)
- Transfer to the pan and pat it down as flat as possible. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and run a thin knife around the edge to release it from the sides. Tip is out on a cutting board, remove the parchment and cut into rectangles. (I cut it in half and then made bars by cutting parallel to the first cut.)
- Store them in the fridge. Enjoy!