• Susie Csorsz Brown

Chewy Maple Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Updated: Jul 28

Sometimes you just want to make a recipe and not turn on the oven, not heat everything up, just get in, get things mixed up and get it done. Or at least this applies to me. Also, I like to mix things up for breakfast: I want to give the boys (big and small) something that will stick in their stomachs for a while, and also give as big of a nutritional bang as possible. The great thing about these granola bars is that they tick both of those boxes.


This is a great option for back to school, or for an afternoon snack or maybe if you are on the task for bringing snacks for a team sport, perhaps.

Chewy, peanut-y granola bars

Chewy Maple Peanut Butter Granola Bars


Yield: 16 bars


Bottom Layer (optional, but who wouldn't love this peanut-laced chocolate layer?)


2 tbsp natural peanut butter

5 oz dark chocolate, chopped


Bars

1/2 cup date puree ( about12 dates, smashed)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup natural peanut butter

1 very ripe banana, smashed

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp all purpose flour

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (you can definitely use quick-cooking oats, too, but the bars won't be as chewy)

2 cups popcorn (I used lightly salted popcorn)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions


Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.


If you are adding the bottom layer, start here: In a heatproof bowl, add peanut butter and chopped dark chocolate. Melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing in between until smooth. Pour into parchment-lined baking pan and use a spatula to spread to the outer edges. Set aside in the fridge to solidify while continuing the recipe.


In a large bowl, mix together date puree, maple syrup, natural peanut butter, banana and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add oats, popcorn, flour, cinnamon, salt, chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds. Use a spatula to mix the dry ingredients with the wet until everything is evenly coated.


Scoop granola mixture into the pan on top of the melted peanut butter chocolate layer. Use a spatula to press the granola into an even layer over the chocolate and into the edges of the pan. Press as tightly and firmly as possible as this will ensure your granola bars don’t crumble apart.


Once evenly pressed, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for an hour. Use the parchment paper to remove the granola bars from the pan and use a sharp knife to slice into 16 equal bars.


Store in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Enjoy!


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