Peanut Butter Granola Bars

peanutbuttergranola2

I have an addiction to peanut butter, and I usually make special treats for my dad when I’m home.  I decided to try my hand at the easiest, microwave, chewy, peanut butter granola bars.  Granola bars are a great way of combining a healthy snack with peanut butter.  These treats are also some of the quickest and yummiest granola bars ever made; they take 5 minute with only 2 minutes of cooking–if you can call it cooking.

Fun fact–peanuts are not in the nut butter family. They are categorized into the legume family. The method of making peanut butter is the same as nut butters. The nuts are ground into a paste like form. Peanuts, being about half oil, are half fat. Peanut oil is about one-half monounsaturated fats and one-third polyunsaturated fats, with the remaining 15 percent saturated fats. Peanut butter provides protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, resveratrol arginine and high levels of the antioxidant p-coumaric acid. Funny enough, the United States is the leading exporter of peanut butter. Apparently, I’m not the only fanatic of peanut butter.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I would suggest using less Rice Krispies than suggested.  Start out with 1 cup; you can always add more after the fact.
  2. I used natural peanut butter, which has a grainy texture.  You can use any type you’d prefer just keep the ratios in control.
  3. My peanut butter was cinnamon honey flavored; so, I used ½ the honey and vanilla in
    the recipe.
  4. I used light brown sugar because it’s a little healthier, and I had it on hand.
  5. If using a powerful microwave, heat the mixture for 30 seconds at a time to avoid over cooking the mixture.
  6. You can either use aluminum foil–making it easy and fewer cleanups afterwards–or use pam to prevent sticking.  The granola bars work like Rice Krispies treats.
  7. I suggest refrigerating the bars longer because freezing them makes it harder to enjoy them afterwards.

The greatest part about these bars is that they are easy and quick to make.  They take two peanutbuttergranolaminutes cooking and a few minutes for prep.  The hardest part is keeping your paws off of them while they cool and set.

Making your own granola and granola bars allows for a large room of interpretation.  You can add peanuts, walnuts, almonds, raisins or dried fruit.  Use two smaller pans and try your hands at two different bars.  The possibilities are endless.

Leave a comment with your favorite add-ins.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Be sure to check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

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