For the past week, I have been on a serious oats kick. Overnight oats, oatmeal, muesli, these apple peanut butter granola bars (obvi) — the list goes on. And I have Bob to thank for it.
Last week I headed out west to Portland, OR for the very first time not only to catch up with and meet some new blog buddies and to explore the amazing city in all its foodie heavenly wonders, but to visit Bob’s Red Mill. And of course, Bob himself (who, by the way, really does look like this in real life). The trip was fantastic and memorable in so many ways, and I already can’t wait to go back.
But I digress. Because oats. Specifically, these oats, in granola bar form with dried apples and toasted roasted peanuts, creamy peanut butter and crunchy honey oat granola. All no bake, all gluten free, all easy to make, all DELICIOUS.
To be honest, until recently I’ve been steering clear of the granola bar aisle at the grocery store. Sure, in the past I have had some major love affairs with those chewy chocolate chip granola bars and every once in a while, I go on a binge of the trail mix flavored ones, but generally I try to stay away because many of them are just basically candy bars with a little bit of oats thrown in. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE candy bars — but I’d rather eat an actual candy bar, then.
But when I visited Portland and Bob and he reminded us all about the health benefits of whole grains and how we only have this one life and this one body and we should take care of it, not only did I agree in full force, but it was just the kickstart I needed to re-incorporate more whole grains back into my diet. So that’s why it’s been a lot of overnight oats, oatmeal, muesli and these granola bars for me, and I am not mad about it. My body doesn’t seem to be, either.
But let’s talk more about these bars, shall we? They are the perfect snack — filling and satisfying but in a way that makes you energized and ready to tackle the day. They’re mixed with crunchy chopped roasted peanuts that are toasted for extra flavor, as well as Bob’s gluten free honey oat granola which is so crunchy/clustery/yummy, I was tempted to eat the whole bag before these granola bars even happened (but, RESTRAINT. And the promise of these granola bars in my future, of which I’ve eaten almost half of the batch in two days. Ahem).
They’re also easily customized, so you can swap the peanuts and the peanut butter for almonds and almond butter, or switch out the dried apples for dried apricots, pears or peaches. Did I mention they’re no-bake and entirely gluten free, too? Because there’s that, in addition to the fact that they taste like a chewy granola bar version of peanut butter and jelly. So you can’t blame me for eating so many already, really.
Thank you, Bob’s Red Mill, for providing us with high quality, healthy, wholesome whole grain snacks. Thank you, Bob, for reminding us of the importance of treating our bodies right (and for wearing that bolo tie/newsboy cap all the time, because it’s just awesome). Thank you, granola bars, for being so easy to make and so easy to eat.
In fact, who’s ready for second breakfast?
- ½ cup dry-roasted peanuts
- 1½ cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Honey Oat Granola
- ½ cup chopped dried apples
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup honey
- Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast peanuts 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Cool slightly, then chop coarsely. Add to a large bowl along with granola, dried apples, flax seeds and chia seeds. Stir mixture to combine, breaking up any large clusters of granola.
- In a food processor, process dates until a smooth ball forms. Add to granola mixture along with peanut butter and honey. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir mixture until well combined.
- Firmly and evenly press mixture into prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours. Cut into bars.
- Store bars covered in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Disclosure: I received compensation from Bob’s Red Mill for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.