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Sunday, February 21, 2016

No-Bake Granola Bars

Recently I attended a Facebook Q&A (well, I logged onto and submitted a question) for David Lebovitz on Sur La Table's Facebook page. Sur La Table's Q&A gives fans a chance to ask questions to some of their favorite food chefs. And I was lucky enough to see this one for David Lebovitz coming up.

You know where you see something coming up and you get all excited about it? And then the day comes around and you've totally forgotten about it? Yea, that happened to me on this Q&A. Luckily, I still had 10 minutes left in it, so I thought of a quick question to ask.

One that's been on my mind (especially after my Swiss Cake Roll fail x 2, thank you very much) is does he have one recipe that he finds a challenge. So that's the one question I submitted.

And do you know what the answer was for this famous pastry chef and cookbook author? Granola bars! Yes, you read that right, granola bars. A healthy granola bar gives David Lebovitz troubles.

This made me feel good because if you follow me, you know the troubles I've had with the Swiss Cake Roll. Although after the last one, I learned that you have to make the cake by scratch because box cake mixes are more crumble-prone than homemade sponge cakes. Something I was unaware of at the time. I've yet to try it after the last fail because I got so frustrated over it.

But to know that David Lebovitz has troubles with granola bars (of all things) makes me feel good. Sorry. Not Sorry. David.

Which got me thinking of the granola bars I made last year and never got to share with y'all. Yes, I held out a recipe from you. Well, not intentionally, just forgot.

These No-Bake Granola Bars are so yummy, you'll forget they're good for you too! I've packed them full of coconut, chia seeds, cacao nibs, and dried cherries. And to help sweeten them, I used a combination of honey and dates.

The best part is you don't need to bake anything and they're ready to eat immediately. Although, I would let them chill for a few hours so the honey and peanut butter can set since they might be a little crumbly if eaten right away. That's the "glue" that holds them together.

Of course, you can also put chopped peanuts, almonds, or pistachios instead of the chia seeds, but you might want to add a little more honey or peanut butter (1 to 2 Tablespoons extra) because that might throw off the wet to dry ratio.

But don't let the chia seeds throw you off thinking these bars won't have any crunch to them. The chia seeds, along with the cocao nibs, gives a nice crunchy texture to these granola bars.

You can also substitute for the dried cherries, using raisins, dried cranberries or blueberries. It's a very customizable recipe so try what you like and let me know how they turn out.

Now about that Swiss Cake Roll recipe....

No-Bake Granola Bars
Recipe by Julie Murphy @ Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Deliciously healthy & easy to make granola bars for on the go breakfast or snacking.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats, uncooked
  • 1 and 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 5 Medjool dates, diced
  • 3/4 to 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup cocao nibs
  • 4 Tablespoons chia seeds
  1. Prepare 8" x 11" pan by wiping down with coconut oil. Wipe any excess off with a clean, dry paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir together, making sure peanut butter and honey coat all ingredients.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly with palm of hand.
  4. Cover pan and let chill in refrigerator so peanut butter and honey can set.
  5. Can store in covered pan in refrigerator for up to 1 week. But they won't last that long!
 *Helpful Hints*     
- You can use a smaller pan, but that will make bars thicker. Same goes if you want to use a larger pan, bars will be thinner in size. Bars shown are 1" thick using an 8" x 11" pan.

- You can use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips instead of cocao nibs in this recipe.

- You can use flaked sweetened coconut instead of unsweetened coconut flakes.

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