So where should I start? Delicious Peanut Butter Bars or my Costco shopping cart confession? Let’s start with my Costco shopping cart and my embarrassing confession. I like getting the bad stuff out of the way first.
Deep breath… I, France Jeanne D’Arc Morissette, creep on other peoples grocery carts. I know, I know! So bad but it’s true. Why am I telling you this? I must be sick in the head! It’s true. I do the grocery cart creep.
It’s terrible, I know, but it’s like this sick compulsion that I simply can’t resist. I’m fascinated by what people like to buy. What are they going to make with that? Is that their dinner? Do they know what’s in that?! Ooh, can I come over? That looks like it’s going to be good! I’ve even contemplated being a cashier at a grocery store just to satisfy my curiosity. Rest assured, I haven’t let that compulsion get to that extent. No career changes, yet.
Now onto Peanut Butter Bars! Want to know why I love these bars?
OK, I’ll tell you. They’re easy, fast and the ingredients are fairly flexible. You could literally make these at breakfast and enjoy them … for breakfast! Five minutes to prepare and mix, 15 minutes to bake, 5 minutes to cool (longer is better), you'll be eating one in 25 minutes. Of course these are also good as a snack or any ol’ time really.
Now about flexibility, feel free to play with the ingredients a bit. Try other dried fruit instead of raisins, you can use maple syrup as a sweetener. I’ve given a few suggestions at the end of this post but I’m sure your creative minds will come up with all kinds of fun ideas.
Peanut butter breakfast bars
Makes 8 “granola” sized bars or 16 squares
Serve these with a smoothie or a piece of fruit for breakfast on the run!
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey or agave
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups rolled oats (or quinoa flakes)
2 tablespoon flour of choice (whole wheat, spelt or gluten free blend)
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons hemp hearts (or sub in sunflower/sesame seeds)
1 tablespoon chia seeds (or sub in sunflower or sesame seeds)
Note: For a gluten free option use gluten free oats or quinoa flakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8- by 8-inch pan or bread pan with parchment paper or foil.
2. Melt the coconut oil so that it reaches its liquid state. In a medium size boil, mix oil, peanut butter, honey and vanilla. Add in the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
3. Pour the mixture into a prepared pan. Press the mixture down using your hands or a spoon. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Cut into bars while still warm. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Not that they will last that long.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Substitute chocolate chips for raisins.
Cranberry Granola Bars
Substitute almond butter for peanut butter and dried cranberries for raisins. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.