As I’ve grown “bolder” with creating my own recipes, I’ve gone back to some favorites and challenged myself to come up with ways to “reinvent” them (i.e., change up at least 4 ingredients to create a brand spankin’ new recipe!).
One recipe I’ve made before that I really liked was for peanut butter granola bars.
I’ve been on a cranberry kick lately, so I decided to use up my cranberries and make these bars for a friend’s cookie exchange party. I’m really happy with how they turned out!
I made them for a second Christmas party and saved a few to have for a snack or as part of breakfast.
These bars are a better option than traditional store bought granola bars because they are full of healthy fats and protein from the almond butter and pumpkin seeds and fill-you-up fiber from the oats.
They’re chewy in the middle and a bit crunchier on the edges. Let me know if you try them 🙂
- ½ cup smooth almond butter
- ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown rice syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups whole rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant – I buy a big bag of gluten-free oats at Trader Joe’s)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with a 10-inch square of parchment paper.
2. In a small saucepan, mix together the almond butter, maple syrup, and brown rice syrup. Gently heat the mixture over low heat, just until it’s warm enough for the ingredients to incorporate and become smooth.
3. Remove saucepan from heat. Let the mixture cool a bit so that it’s still warm but not hot. Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt then add the oats, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds, and mix very well.
4. Wet your hands and firmly press the oat mixture into the pan, pressing on the top and packing the bars as tightly as you can. Bake for 18-23 minutes, or until the sides of the bars are lightly browned. These will harden once they cool, so if they look a little soft when you first take them out, that’s okay!
5. Remove the pan from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
6. Lift bars out of pan by pulling up the edges of the parchment paper. Use a knife to slice the bars into squares or smaller rectangles.
7. Store bars in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.