I'm sure most college students would agree that granola bars are an absolute lifesaver. I know that when I'm in a rush, they become my meal. I have a variety of Lara Bars, Clif Bars, and Kind Bars in my desk right now for that very reason. However, why are those little bars so darn expensive?! I feel like I spend so much money on them, and I'm sure so many other students feel the same way. Solution? Make them myself!
I decided to replicate the ever-popular Chewy Bar, healthed-up a bit to resemble a granola bar more than a candy bar. While these yummy treats still have sugar and chocolate chips…most of the sugar has been replaced by honey, and I can almost guarantee they still have less sugar than whatever granola bars you've been noshing on.
Most granola bars use a stove top to boil some sugary mixture, but I replicated the process in my microwave with great success. The list of ingredients is relatively short, and all are things you probably already have, or things that can easily be found in a school cafeteria or grocery store. Don't have a pan? Throw them on a plate and create your own shapes. These babies are easily changed up, so throw your own spin on them. Like almond butter instead of peanut butter? Go for it! Added nutrition with flax seeds and chia seeds? By all means. Want a tropical treat? Leave out the peanut butter and throw in coconut, macadamia nuts and dried pineapple.
The possibilities are endless, and you'll definitely save money making granola bars yourself. I hope you try these out! Enjoy.
Here's the lineup + some peanut butter that was still on the shelf. Oops.
Combine the crispy rice cereal and oats. Mix 'em all up. If you wanted, you could throw in some nuts, seeds, or brans in here at this point.
buy research paper/uploads/2012/02/IMG_3934-1024×682.jpg” width=”600″ height=”399″ />
Combine the brown sugar, softened butter and honey in a heat proof bowl or measuring cup. Whatever works. It's not shown here, but it helps to mix these together before they go into the microwave.
Post-microwave.The mixture will look darker, and a bit more caramel-like.
Get your peanut butter and mix it in!
Mmm, so yummy! I won't judge if you steal a little taste of this delicious sauce.
Dump your peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients…
…And stir, stir stir! Make sure all the ingredients are moistened and fully combined.
Dump the mixture into a greased 8″x8″ pan.
Press it out and throw some mini chocolate chips on top.
Mush those in to the top, and either let them sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or in the fridge for 30 minutes, until the chocolate chips have re-hardened. Cut into 10 bars and enjoy!
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups quick cooking oats (not rolled oats!)
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, stir together quick cooking oats and crispy rice cereal. Set aside.
- In a heatproof bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, stir together butter, honey and brown sugar. Microwave until it starts boiling (about 2 minutes with my low-wattage microwave, could be sooner for you). Once it begins to boil, let boil for 1 more minute in the microwave. Remove from microwave and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour hot honey mixture over dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into a lightly greased 8x8 pan and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or in the refrigerator for a half hour or until set. Cut into 10 bars and store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or in a tupperware.
Adapted from Lauren's Latest