I have to be honest… I already feel like I’m falling into a rut of posting a lot of recipes that everyone already has one of. But how can I not?
I’ll admit, I am a granola fanatic. I have probably hundreds of granola and granola bar recipes saved. And when I make them, they’re usually gone within the day. I really just can’t help myself around them and neither can my kids.
So when I find a really yummy recipe, how can I help myself? I have to share it! Even though I’m sure pretty much everyone already has a recipe for granola bars somewhere, I’m still posting this one for these awesome peanut butter granola bars. And they’re great with my homemade peanut butter!
They’re really yummy. They freeze well, taste good even straight from the freezer, aren’t that bad for you in the grand scheme of granola bars, and they’re super simple. Perfect, right?
For some of the fruit, I used some plums that I dried last summer from the fruit trees in our yard. I have a bad habit of over-drying my fruit, so if your fruit is really firm and in large pieces make sure you chop it up into pieces about the size of a dried cranberry otherwise when you slice your bars it will crumble a little. You can also reduce the brown sugar and use 2 tablespoons if you want as they’re fairly sweet, but I’d just leave them as is 😉
Peanut Butter Granola Bars (gluten-free option)
- 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (use GF oats, if needed)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup shredded coconut loosely packed
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter or any other nut butter you would prefer
- 1 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit I used a mix of dried cranberries and dried plums
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease or butter a 9x13 pan.
- Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together in a small bowl. Using a food processor, pulse half the almonds, oats, and coconut mixture. Toss the ground oats mixture with the other half of the oats mixture and spread on a sheet pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the flaxseed.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute and take off the heat. Stir in peanut butter, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the chopped dried fruits and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers or use the back of a spatula and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares