Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola Bars

One of my goals for this year is to update my Link Love page, and since today is all about love, I figured it would be a great time to start. I read so many great blogs, and I haven't been sharing them with you—bad blogger! Although, it's not that I've been keeping them a secret, it's just that I haven't had the time to list them on my Link Love page for you to find (and enjoy) for yourself. That's about to change, starting with Chocolate-Covered Katie.

She and I both had you at "chocolate," right? Or maybe it was "healthy dessert," the phrase that ultimately sucked me in as a follower. Yeah, sure...I've got a sweet tooth. Or two. And when it comes to Katie's recipes, one need not feel guilty about indulging said sweet tooth (or teeth, as it is in my case).

Back in January, Katie posted a recipe for Copycat Nature Valley Granola Bars. This recipe both intrigued me and reminded me of my days in college. Nature Valley bars were forever my go-to snack in between class or during those late-night study sessions. I liked the Oats 'n Honey flavor, but LOVED the Peanut Butter version even more. (It seriously is a good thing I'm not allergic to peanuts.)

Feeling inspired by her recipe, I set out to make my own version—with, of course, some peanut butter. What resulted was a set of granola bars that didn't last in my house because they were stupid good:

Crumbly, just like the originals. But bigger, so you only get to eat one (not two, like the originals). Beware, though. I only got about eight bars from the recipe that will follow. So if you anticipate loving them, or having to fight for them, then you might want to double up on the ingredients.

Inspiration: Copycat Nature Valley Granola Bars, Chocolate-Covered Katie

• 1 cup oats
• 1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
• 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
• 1/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
• 3 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

1) Preheat your oven to 350F.                  

2) Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients separately. Combine.

3) Pour mix into an 8x8" baking pan. Line it with parchment if you'd like, otherwise a nonstick or glass pan'll be fine. Press the mix down into the pan. I mean, really press it.

4) Bake 15 minutes. Let cool for half an hour before cutting into it, otherwise it'll just crumble.

These store well in plastic baggies without any need to keep them separated. And if you end up with a ton of crumbles, as bars like these are known to produce, keep 'em. They make a great oatmeal topper.

Speaking of oatmeal, yesterday was National Oatmeal Day. I had no idea, otherwise I would have had some oats for breakfast to honor such a wonderful thing.  I would have posted about it, too—yeah, no Dose yesterday. Little Miss Hannah had her cranky pants on all day. Believe you me that I actually started this post yesterday, but alas, I could never find the time to complete it.

I did, however, manage to get to the gym yesterday—for some strength training! Man, missed those weights. Hannah hung out in the nursery, while I did the following:

Holy cow, I can feel it today! Yesterday's workout wouldn't normally cause me to break a sweat, but I sure did bust my own butt. Without even trying, really. I guess that's what seven months and childbirth'll do to a girl.

It's good to be back, though. I do so love it.

Question: Do you use the arms on the elliptical? I kind of don't like them...


RONI YAGER said...

I also dislike using the arms on the elliptical, they make me bend forward in a strange way...not only is it not as comfortable, but I feel dorky too!
Can't wait to try these bars! :)

Jen @ Peanut Butter and Peppers said...

Great recipe! I just bought some Nature Valley Bars, I only eat half a bar because of the calories. I love that your recipe only has 3 tbsp. of flour!! I'm going to make this today!

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