I have always loved Quaker's granola bars, Nature's Valley's honey oat bars and obviously, candy bars! Unfortunately, after eating any of those I would feel guilty and then get hungry again in no time. I wanted to make my own healthy snack to have on hand, one that was as sweet as a candy bar, yet keep me full all morning.
First, I thought: oats.
Then I thought: peanut butter.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars! Sounded pretty good to me ;)
But then I thought: sugar.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Granola Bars! The sound of that made my sugar-obsessed body jump with joy.
I didn't have any jelly on hand, so I just added a bunch of raisins and dried cranberries. It's a funny thing, I always used to hate dried fruit but now I'm starting to love them. Raisins taste like mini orbs of concentrated sugar and cranberries taste like those Welch's fruit gummy snacks I always used to buy. So I added those super sweet (yet healthy) fruits to the mixing bowl so I could omit any other forms of sugar.
And what did I get? Granola squares with outstanding peanut butter flavor and the sweetness level of jelly. A delicious, comforting, portable snack that will remind you of your childhood PB&Js.
Peanut Butter and "Jelly" Granola Squares: [no bake, sugar free, high fiber/protein, GF, vegan]
(makes 9 granola squares or 8 granola bars)
336g (3+1/2 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (GF if you like)
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries (no sugar added)
1/4 tsp Salt
128g (4 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
48g (1/4 cup) Granulated Erythritol (or dry sweetener of choice)
1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 tsp Stevia Extract
96g (6 tbs) Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)
1. Line a brownie pan with parchment paper both ways.
2. Add the Step I ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir.
3. In a medium bowl, add the Step II ingredients and whisk well ("pop" any protein powder clumps; mixture should viscous). Add this to the large mixing bowl and fold using a rubber spatula. Once fully mixed, scoop mixture into brownie pan and flatten with the spatula. Freeze overnight and slice the next day. Once these are sliced, keep them in the fridge (or freezer if you want to store some as emergency snacks!)
Perfect as a healthy breakfast, a lunch box treat, a yummy snack and a guiltless dessert!
^^ Whoa, 19g of protein?
That's sure something you'll never see on a Quaker's bar!