Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Granola Bars via How Sweet It Is

by Jennifer on January 28, 2011

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Fun, Refreshing, Healthy with a touch of bacon on top. Yup, that is the food blog ‘How Sweet It Is’ that Jesscia Merchant created. Jessica is a former personal trainer who writes about food, fitness and living a healthy, balanced life at How Sweet It is. She believes in loving what you do and doing what you love, and enjoys bacon and the treadmill equally.

I enjoy Jessica’s blog as she seems so sweet and based on her storytelling, lots of fun. In fact, I have imagined her as the super fun but grown-up babysitter. The kids would love her to babysit, I am sure of it. I bet if she was babysitting they would eat BLT’s and giggle the whole time. I also wish Jessica was my neighbor as I know we would go for walks while sipping coffee or tea and then take turns making messes in each others kitchens while we created all kinds of tasty nibbles.

Okay, so anyhow, I was doing the daily check-in at her blog and saw that she made some 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars. I wrote her and begged her to let me feature them here and her Chicken Macaroni & Cheese on Babble and if she did, I would send her bacon. Luckily, she said go for it but keep the bacon.

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars (Yield 12-16 granola squares)
4 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds (these are optional, I just love the texture they give)
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
3/4 cup natural peanut butter, melted
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (honey works too!)

add ins!
chocolate chips
wheat germ
dried fruit (I made some with cherries!)
other nuts

Preheat over to 350.

In a large bowl, combine oats, chia seeds and peanuts. Add brown rice syrup (or honey) and mix to combine. Add melted peanut butter and mix until moistened. This works as a perfect, simple granola bar, but you can also throw in any add-ins at this time. Fold them into the dough. You may need to get in there with your hands and work the granola dough! If dough is still too dry (this can depend on your ingredients) add more peanut butter or syrup (or honey) 1 tablespoon at a time until moistened.

Press dough in a greased (non-stick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.

These would also work as a great no-bake granola bar, but I liked how they came together and the chocolate chips melted as they got warm. If you want to make no-bakes, simply press the dough into the pan and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Jennifer March 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I would try almond butter – in fact, I need to make a variation soon!!!

Gina B March 19, 2013 at 12:07 am

I just finished my second batch. I use sunflower butter and my family loves them. I also use chocolate chips to help with binding.

jaiamara March 25, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Shana D, try Sunbutter, which is made from Sunflower SEEDS instead on almond or peanut butter. Sunbutter is delicious!

Meggie March 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Added 2 egg whites to these… Had I greased the pan they would have turned out great! Soft & chewy!

Sarah April 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

I just made this after finding it on pinterest. I read the reviews and decided to add 2 egg whites. for my add ins i added a few chocolate chips, dried cranberries, sunflowers seeds and some flax. I also baked them for only 20 minutes. The turned out really well! They are soft and a little like oatmeal cookie bars!

Jennifer April 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I used Molasses, chocolate and a tad more peanut butter and they were addicting. Most do not like molasses but that was all I had to sweeten it with. Will be trying another mixer in the next few days.

Melanie April 12, 2013 at 1:05 am

I did 3 1/2 cups oats, 1c chuncky peanut butter, 1/4c honey, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2c vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, 1/4c dried cranberries, 1/4 honey roasted sunflowers, 2tbs chia seed, 2 tbs flax seed, 3tbs coconut oil. Mixed well with hands. Really dug in.

Then I got a large cookie sheet and two sheet of parchment the size of the pan. One on bottom, spread mixture roughly out with spoon, second piece of parchment on top and used a roller (actually I used the peanut butter jar) to pack the mixture out flat.

I left the second piece of parchment on top and put it in the fridge.

Joanna April 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm

These were great! After reading the comments I decided to add 2 ripe bananas to the mixture to help give them some moisture, and I also used almonds and almond butter in place of peanuts, they are so yum!

hailey May 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

These were so yummy, I added a full cup of peanut butter instead of a half, they still fell apart, I drizzled honey and peanut butter over the top to hopefully make them not fall apart but they still did, I don’t know what would make them not fall apart. They were amazing either way!!

Jurdene May 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Mine fell apart too. But it was a delicious snack on my yogurt or just by itself.

MrsMager June 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

How long do you think these are good for? If you don’t eat them up in a day! LOL

Jennifer June 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Pop them in the fridge and good for a week for sure

Melanie June 18, 2013 at 12:42 am

I have similar recipe and I use pb2 it is dehydrated peanut butter it is way less calories. I just add water to make it tne same consistency as
peanut butter. it is delicious with out all the fat and calories.

Melissa July 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Mine fell apart too, but were delicious! Any suggestions on how to keep them from crumbling? I did not cook the oats first, is that correct?

connie July 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm

trick to keep bars together. first, they need to be cold. if melting the peanut butter (not necessary, works either way) then longer than 1 hr in the fridge. best trick is I melt some dark chocolate (it has antioxidants) and spread on top after bars are cooled and cut up. let cool back in the fridge. u can use butterscotch or peanut butter chips or even just milk chocolate or white chocolate. when melting chocolate DO NOT add milk or any liquid!

theresa July 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm

can you use agave nectar instead of brown rice syrup?

Jennifer July 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Sure – it may not be quite a thick but could work

Leighann August 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

My husband loves granola bars but I hate all the additives so I’m making these today with natural PB (just blende peanuts), organic local honey, carob chips, peanuts, oats, chia seeds, a ripe mashed banana & coconut flakes … I can’t wait to try them!!

Penelope October 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Just made these! I added a 2 tbs of coconut oil, used 1 cup of peanut butter, and honey. They were a little bit crumbly, even after cooling in the fridge. So, I melted dark chocolate chips and spread it over the top of the pan. Let that cool for another hour and now they’re perfect 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!!!

Janet October 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Just finished baking theses. A bit disappointed, they keep falling apart. Makes a great tasting granola, but a poor “bar.”

Heidi January 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm

I’ve been making these and have done many variations, but my best tip is to put these in muffin tins with the papers. Be sure to push rhe mixture down well before baking, it will help to keep them together.

Jen January 27, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Any suggestions for substitutions for the sugar?? I can’t have any sugar at all. I don’t care about the sweetness just as long as the recipe works. Thanks!

Jennifer January 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Possibly agave nectar or honey.

Veronica April 28, 2014 at 2:40 pm

After making a 15-ingredient recipe for many years, I was very happy to find this one. I increased the amount of honey AND peanut butter to help with the binding. Also, I used a cupcake pan and wrappers and this also helped with the crumblyness as you dont need to cut them. They are delicious and the combinations with the add ins are endless. Thank you for this recipe!

Krystle October 15, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Love this! So easy and simple! Loved making it with my 3 year old daughter who chose to use golden raisins and choc chips as add-ins!

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