Welcome to the second installment of this super-fun miniseries of no-bake recipes! I’m enjoying not baking in the heat of the oven while also still enjoying delicious treats, aren’t you? I mean, let’s not forget the no-bake French silk Oreo pie we just devoured. That was fairly epic and very enjoyable.
But anyway, hi. How are you? Before we discuss these crazy-easy and crazy-good no-bake blueberry peanut butter granola bars, I feel like we should catch up.
As I type this, my family and I are in North Dakota. We just finished a week-long stint at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and to say the experience was transformative is an understatement. We saw wild bison, horses, prairie dogs and weasels; we climbed around 60-million-year-old tree stumps; we forded a river in our bare feet to take a trail (and that makes me feel like official hiker, now that I’ve FORDED something); we ate steak that was skewered to a pitchfork by a cowboy and then dipped in hot oil like meat fondue (guys, I’m not even making this up). We lived life to the fullest here, and I am sunburned and sore and happy and exhausted.
These granola bars were literal lifesavers to us out on the trails. I would give each of the kids half a bar before we headed out, then saved a few more for later. When the hangry-ness set in (which it always did, and not just for the kiddos, ahem), we had these tasty bars on hand. And I loved it, because not only are they good for you and homemade, but they’re extremely satisfying and easy to make in bulk (which I plan to do from now on, because we chowed down on these bars in less than two days).
Everyone does snack time for their family differently, and I have no judgement in any which way you choose to do it. For us, we have two times of day that are set “snack times,” and I do my best to keep the snacks relatively healthy and nutritious. If the kids are “starving” at other times of the day, they are free to eat as many fruits and vegetables as they wish; but at snack time, they can have granola bars, or cheese crackers, or cereal, or apple sauce, etc.
A lot of the time, I’ll be honest, I have something from a box ready for them to eat. But when I have the time and foresight to make something homemade in advance, we all are in better spirits. I feel like I’m giving them something with more substance and value nutritionally, and they feel like they’re getting a treat. It’s a win-win all around.
What’s extra wonderful about these no-bake blueberry peanut butter granola bars, though, is that they’re so very easy to assemble. You just mix the dry ingredients together, heat up the peanut butter and honey briefly (which I did on the stovetop, but you can microwave it, as well!), mix it all together, press it into a pan and let it chill for a couple of hours to set. Done. Snack time is ready. And it’s mighty tasty.
I used dried blueberries and peanut butter (and a dash of cinnamon) for these bars, but guess what — you can use whatever you love! I’m thinking dried cranberries and almond butter would be divine. Ooh, or dried cherries and cashew butter, yummmm. OOOH, or peanut butter and chocolate chips! Or dried apricots and almond butter! Or — OK, OK, you get the idea here.
Whether you’re out on the trail or in your backyard (or running errands in the car and the kids are losing it and you need a snack savior stat, ya feel me moms and dads?), these granola bars will be your new BFF. They are hearty enough for on-the-go breakfasts, too, in case we’re already thinking about the crazy school day morning rushes! Maybe we’re not. I’m not there yet with my kids, though I do love walking around the aisles and aisles of school supplies (#nerd). BUT ANYWAY. Granola bars! Yay!
- 2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 package (4 oz) dried blueberries (about ⅔ cup)
- ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Pinch salt
- ¾ cup natural creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
- In large mixing bowl, stir oats, blueberries, cinnamon and salt to combine.
- In small saucepan over low heat, heat peanut butter and honey, stirring often, 3-5 minutes until just warmed through. Pour over oats mixture; stir thoroughly to combine.
- Using spatula, spread and press mixture into prepared pan in even layer. Cover with foil; refrigerate 2 hours until cooled and set. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days.