I’m a big time snacker.
And when it comes to my favorite snacks, bars are near the TOP of that list!
But not just any bar will do.
I’ve gotta have texture, flavor, and well, it’s gotta keep me satisfied for longer than forty-five minutes. 😉
I’ll admit that most often, I take the lazy way out and buy pre-packaged bars, but that wasn’t always the case. Anyone remember The Great Granola Bar Phase of 2012? There were ALMOND butter bars, peanut butter CHOCOLATE bars, and my personal favorite, cranberry and coconut PROTEIN bars! I had a million ideas for all sorts of other flavors, but well, since that last batch was made in my usual way of “oops, too wet…oops, too dry” and ended with a hefty amount of bars, I was pretty set on snacks for a while. And then my ADD set in and I was off to my next food phase.
But the other day, I made a SOLEMN VOW to start saving my pennies and get back to my bar-making ways!
Ok, so maybe that’s not exACTLY how it happened since these started as a batch granola, but WORK with me people! 😉
Besides, these babies are delicious!
Don’t just take my word for it…after two more test-batches to check my measurements and play around with substitutions, they went through a strict taste-testing panel of “normal” people…aka my coworkers…and PASSED! But the best part?
They didn’t even know they were gluten-free AND VEGAN! 😀
Chunky Monkey Granola Bars (GF, Vegan)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast dessert snack dairy-free gluten-free vegan vegetarian kid-friendly bananas peanut butter oats chocolate chips bar
Ingredients (8 bars)
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/8 cup oil (or applesauce)
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 teaspoon banana extract/flavoring
- 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup peanut flour*
- 1 Tablespoon ground flax
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons dairy-free mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
- 2 Tablespoons crushed freeze-dried banana chips (optional, but highly recommended for an even GREATER banana flavor!)*Use coupon code QQQ940 at iHerb.com for 5-10% off your first order!
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and coat an 8×8 baking dish with oil or non-stick spray.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter, oil (or applesauce), maple syrup, banana, and banana extract/flavoring. Stir and heat for 30 seconds on high.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, peanut flour, flax, cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, and banana chips.
4. Pour microwaved peanut butter banana mixture over dry ingredients and stir well.
5. Transfer mixture to baking dish, pressing into pan, sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top if desired.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges start to brown.
7. Cool in pan for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing into 8 bars.
8. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for later!
In other words, I think I’ve found my latest addiction!
I thought the bars made with oil (I used grapeseed, but you can use whatever you have on hand) had a bit more flavor, but one of my coworkers said she really liked the ones with applesauce better. Either way, I thought both batches held together nicely. I also made a batch using this brown rice protein powder instead of peanut flour…DON’T DO THAT! They got a thumbs down all around due to the fact that they turned out dry and tasted kinda fonky! Yes, I said FONKY! 😉
Again, this just serves as yet MORE proof that peanut flour absolutely rules and each and every one of you should have some in your pantry! Baaaaaa-hut, if you want a substitution, I think a GOOD-tasting vegan protein powder would work fine…or you could just add more oats. Either way, you’ve GOT to make these bars!
What are YOUR favorite homemade snacks?