Finding a good granola or protein bar can be kind of tricky when you’re only eating natural, unprocessed foods. A few weeks ago when we ran out of Luna bars and Zone bars, I decided to make some myself. I was a little skeptical, but they came out awesome! The recipe made 16 bars and we’re out already so I made another batch this weekend, along with a second recipe to provide some variety.
Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars
Lightly adapted from MyRecipes.com
- Cooking spray
- 1 c rolled oats
- 1/3 c oat bran
- 3 T flax seed
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c chopped roasted peanuts
- 1 c dried cranberries
- 3/4 c natural peanut butter
- 1/4 c almond milk
- 1 T ground flaxseed mixed with 3 T warm water
- 1/2 c agave nectar or honey
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- Line a 9×13″ pan with plastic wrap and coat with cooking spray. In a large bowl stir together dry ingredients (through cranberries).
- In a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, milk, flax egg, agave, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended.
- Add dry ingredients to peanut butter mixture and beat until completely blended. Scrape dough into prepared pan and, with wet fingers or a rubber spatula, smooth to fill pan completely and evenly (dough will be really sticky). Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 300. Invert pan onto a work surface, lift off pan, and peel off plastic. Cut straight down lengthwise through middle, then crosswise to make 16 bars, each 1 1/2 inches wide. Place bars about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake bars until lightly browned and somewhat firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Wrap individually in plastic wrap for easy grab-and-go. Store bars in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze.
Fruit and Nut Bars
Lightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 1/2 c whole nuts, toasted & coarsely chopped – I mixed peanuts, almonds, and cashews together
- 1/2 c dried fruit, coarsely chopped – I used cranberries, raisins, and cherries
- 2 c high fiber cereal (original recipe calls for 1 c cereal similar to Kashi GoLean and 1 c puffed rice cereal, but I had some Nature’s Valley Blueberry Cinnamon that I used)
- 1 T Earth Balance
- 1/4 c sucanat
- 1/4 c agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 T wheat bran
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 300. Prepare an 8×8″ pan with cooking spray and parchment paper ( the original recipe does not say to do this and mine stuck like crazy!)
- Combine nuts, fruit, and cereal in a heat-proof bowl.
- Combine Earth Balance, sucanat, and agave in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring with a spatula. As soon as the sugar mixture comes to a full boil and the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Off the heat, stir in the vanilla, wheat bran, and salt. Pour sugar syrup over the cereal mixture and stir everything together. Make sure the nuts, fruits, and cereals are evenly coated. Pour cereal mixture into the pan and press mixture into pan as firmly as possible.
- Bake 20 minutes for chewy bars or 30 minutes for crispier bars. Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan. Turn out onto a cutting board and divide into 8 bars with a sharp knife. You may have to chill the bars to firm them up before cutting.
- Wrap individually and store in an airtight container or freeze.