Peanut butter and chocolate craving? These healthy peanut butter bars will make you feel like you’re indulging! Bonus: they’re no bake!
Welcome to my 98574 peanut butter granola bar recipe. Sorry? I can’t help it. I make these things all the time!
Truth be told, underneath all the sprinkles and buttercream, I truly am a health nut at heart. I adore my veggies, my workout endorphins, and my yoga mat. Nomaste.
Granola and granola bars are the kinds of recipes I make all the time. I like to call them my brain fuel. Running fuel. Get-me-through-another-work-day fuel. Christmas present shopping fuel. And of course, they are my cookie baking fuel. Obviously.
I do not post all of the healthier items I make because I know you all love your cookies so much, but in my kitchen there is a balance of seemingly healthy snacks and decadent sweets.
Today I’m sharing perhaps the EASIEST granola bar recipe you will ever make. No baking involved, no thinking involved, a TON of peanut butter involved, and there’s chocolate. Win, win, win.
The best part about these? The ingredient list is SO small and you probably have everything sitting in your pantry right now. As much as I adore granola bars, I have a hard time justifying buying them at the store. They are loaded with so much gunk I can’t even pronounce and they are WAY overpriced.
Homemade varieties are not only cheaper, but you have complete control of what you’re putting into the mix. Today’s no-bake granola bars include nothing weird, nothing requiring a google search, and quite certainly nothing you’ll have to visit a special grocery store for.
I don’t know about you, but I simply adore trail mix. The blend of salty nuts, sweet raisins, and chocolate chips is truly my weakness. What is it about that stuff? I can NEVER put it down! After about my 5th huge handful of the stuff one evening, I decided to incorporate it into a homemade bar. With a whole lotta peanut butter. Would you expect anything else?
The base of this recipe are old-fashioned oats, ground flax, and nuts. I pulverized cashews and almonds in my food processor for about 10 seconds to break them down. They act more as a base ingredient than an add-in in these. You may use peanuts, pecans, walnuts, or a combination of any nut instead – whatever is easiest for you.
I used up all my pecans in my Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts and was happily left with almonds and cashews for this recipe. No complaints here; I simply adore crunchy almonds and buttery rich cashews. Mmmm.
When I ground them up in the food processor, I made sure to leave a *few* big chunks for texture purposes – I wanted the bars to have a nice chunky texture in every bite.
Lots of little dried fruits make an appearance as well – a plethora of raisins and dried cranberries hopped into the mixing bowl. You could also try dried cherries, dried apples, or banana chips. The best part? Be sure to throw in some chocolate chips – if you’re looking for a truly guilt-free treat, leave them out. That’s obviously up to you.
Really, the world is your oyster with these no-bake granola bars and you can get creative mixing and matching your favorites.
The star of the show is the peanut butter. We clearly can’t leave that stuff out. A whopping full cup of melted peanut butter, mixed with a bit of honey, will shower the dry ingredients in one sticky pour. Each bite of the bar tastes like a chewy, dense form of pure peanut butter with a few fruity & nutty chunks mixed in. Love.
The peanut butter and honey do a fine job binding the nuts and oats – much like how they held together all of the ingredients in my Peanut Butter Cup Granola. <– yum.
Once you’ve got it all into a big bowl – the oats, ground flax, pulverized nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and honey – mix it all up and pack it down nice and tight into an 8×8 square baking pan. Pack, pack, pack it down as tight as you can into the pan, so that everything can meld together and stick as the bars set up in the refrigerator. Like I said, these are no-bake granola bars and the “baking” happens in the refrigerator. My oven needs a break every now and then.
The bars take about an hour to set up – not too shabby, considering they only take about 5 minutes to put together. Cut them into 16 generous squares and get ready to enter peanut butter oblivion. Truly, these are the best peanut butter granola bars I have yet to make. All of the different textures – the squishy dried fruit, the crunchy salty nuts, chewy oats, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth peanut butter, and the dots of chocolate – work SO well together.
Much like ordinary trail mix, I could not stop picking at these bars. Eat one, break another in half… come back for another piece… then another. Repeat. Yeah, you’re gonna love these too.
Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars
Peanut butter and chocolate craving? These healthy peanut butter bars will make you feel like you're indulging! Bonus: they're no bake! Bars are gluten free if using certified gluten free oats.
Yield: 16 bars
- 2/3 cup whole almonds
- 2/3 cup whole cashews
- 1 and 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup ground flax
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup honey (or light corn syrup, or maple syrup)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Leave extra on the sides to use as handles for removing the bars when they are finished. Set aside.
In a food processor (or blender), pulverize the almonds and cashews for about 10 seconds into small pieces, leaving some large chunks in tact. In a large bowl, combine the oats, ground flax, crushed nuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and raisins. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Mix together melted peanut butter and honey in a small bowl and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix until each bit is fully coated. Scoop the mixture into prepared baking dish and press firmly until the tops are completely even. You'll want to pack it down nice and tight.
Place bars into the refrigerator to set up for at least one hour. Cut into 16 squares. Bars may be stored at room temperature for up to 10 days and in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
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