Healthy Peanut Butter Oat Granola Bars

31 Jan

The food we eat  should be as unprocessed as possible — this means no artificial ingredients, flavoring or processed sugar. I am starting to look more and more for ingredients that I know and recognize, like nuts, oats, fruit and whole-wheat flour. Sometimes I have no clue what an ingredient is (sodium caseinate or hydrogenated oil — huh?) I don’t want to eat it or feed it to my husband.                                                                                                  These thoughts left me on search for healthier granola bars. I want the bars to  have enough fiber and protein, so you’ll be able to make it through the morning without getting hungry. Nuts and seeds are natural sources of protein. You can keep these healthier and gluten and dairy free by not adding the dark chocolate chips. Also, the first time I made these I used honey, but it really does not need the extra sugar.

  • 2 and 1/2 cups regular oats
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried  low sugar cranberries
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Mix oats, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Whisk together the nut butter, honey, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Mix well, until the oat mixture is well-coated and everything is combined. If it feels dry add little more peanut butter. I used my hands to mix it instead of spoon. Press mixture into a 13 x 9 pan; that is lined with saran wrap. I used muffin tin. Press the mixture firmly into the pan, and cover with more saran wrap or foil. Refrigerate for at least 3 or 4 hours. Cut into bars. Bars can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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