Recipe: Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I cannot believe the beautiful weather we are having right now in the NW. Absolutely spectacular. It's 9:00 and I'm waiting for my youngest to wake up so we can do some testing before going outside to get some work done. It's so beautiful though that I thought I'd come sit on the porch and blog until she wakes up. Our oldest is competing in districts for golf. This was her first year making it to districts (she's only played golf for two years) and she didn't want all of us to come watch today because she didn't want to get nervous. Hubby will go a bit later to watch her (she told him which holes she didn't want him there for). She's so cute. 

What does this have to do with a recipe? Well, she wanted to bring some snacks to fuel her body and unfortunately it's about time to go grocery shopping (actually about a week overdue) so I had to get a bit creative. Everyone had eaten my usual granola bars so I thought I'd try my hand at tweaking that recipe a bit and using what I had on hand. I also wanted one that was more peanut butter tasting, hoping my youngest would like them. The result....SUCCESS. A very good homemade peanut butter granola bar. I also packed her some baby carrots, and a veggie wrap. 
For this recipe, I used what I had, however next time I think I'll buy regular peanuts to use. I used cashews this time. You can really add whatever you want, but my youngest isn't a huge nut and seed fan so I kept it to a minimum.

**NOTE** As I keep trying this recipe, I keep adjusting things. The last time, I got the texture right but Nan said it needed more PB so I changed it from 1/4 to 1/3 and we'll see if that satisfies her. I'll let you know.

Printable Recipe
2 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. raw cashews or peanuts, chopped
1/2 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/3 c. raw sesame seeds
1/4 c. uncooked quinoa (could up this to 1/3 c.)
2/3 c. honey (plus a little more if you feel the need)
1/3 c. Peanut butter 
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. On a large cookie sheet spread oats, nuts, quinoa and sunflower seeds.

2. Cook in a 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. If it seems that it's getting too browned, remove from oven. 

3. After 10 minutes add sesame seeds. I don't add them at the beginning because they get too browned. 

4. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl. 

5. In a medium saucepan add honey, peanut butter, salt and vanilla. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.

6. Remove from heat and pour over oat mixure. Stir well.

7. Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan and spread out evenly. Firmly pat down with the back of a spatula or whatever else works. 

8. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes. 

9. Let cool completely before removing from pan and cutting. I cut mine into 14-16 bars.

10. Wrap in plastic wrap, snack size bags or wax paper and place in a sealed container. 

Recently I bought some of Reynold's Wrap Pan Liners. Sometimes the granola bars stick to the bottom of the pan and I didn't want to scratch up my non-stick pan so I tried these. It works great. All I have to do is using something plastic to gently loosen the sides if needed and then flip out onto cutting board. 

With Joy UNquenchable,


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