Friday, February 5, 2010

Homemade No-Bake Granola Bars

Once upon a time, I found this recipe online while being mad at the grocery store for charging such crazy prices for a box of 10 granola bars made with high fructose corn syrup. I like know about the ingredients that go into my food, and I loved the options available with making your own food. I don't have to put in HFCS! I can use whatever kind of peanut butter I want! I can add, reduce or leave out the chocolate chips or raisins!

The one portion of the recipe I really miss the boat of healthy, natural eating though is the cereal. I like Cocoa Krispies. I like Cocoa Puffs. I eat them, and I like them. However, this is a flexible recipe so just about any kind of cereal can be used, even the no-sugar-high-fiber-organic hay some try to pass as cereal. But don't diss me & my Lucky Charms for now. If/when I have kids, they will probably be eating no-sugar-high-fiber-organic hay with organic soy milk and I will have my box of Chocolate Chex safely hidden in the pantry for late-night treats.

I don't know if these are technically healthy since they still use quite a bit of sugar, but they're really tasty! A 9x13 pan goes very quickly...

No-Bake Granola Bars

2 1/2 c crisp rice cereal (I've used normal rice cereal, chocolate rice cereal & cocoa puffs. Chocolate rice cereal is my fav)
a bit less than 2 c uncooked quick-cooking oats

1/2 c raisins

1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 c light corn syrup

1/2 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 c milk chocolate morsels (I don't use these since the mix is already quite sweet)

Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. Bring brown sugar and syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until blended.

Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in chocolate morsels if you decide to use them. Press mixture firmly into a 13x9-inch pan; cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

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