Friday, September 7, 2012

No-Bake "Food Storage" Granola Bars ($0.11 each)



$0.11 each          50% savings          save $61.70 yearly


"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." 

Now THAT is some sound advice. We live in uncertain times with a troubled economy, and it can be easy to worry about what the future holds.

That uncertainty is a big reason my family has an extra storage of food supplies at home.

Stocking up months worth of basic food items might sound strange/fanatical to some, but it gives me peace of mind to know that if something bad ever happened and if, for whatever reason, it became difficult to obtain food, we'd be okay... or if we lost our income... or, if something happened to our friends or neighbors we'd be able to help them out. Everything we store is food that I use anyway, and when I use some of my food storage, I can simply buy a little more to replace what I used.

We store things like wheat (that I grind into flour at home), oats, dried beans, dried pasta, jarred pasta sauce, peanut butter, boxed cereal, canned fruits/veggies, extra baking supplies, etc. 

The other day I was looking for new ways to use oats (besides cookies, oatmeal, and breads). I stumbled on an easy no-bake granola bar recipe from Rachel Ray that I adapted to meet my needs... okay, honestly I changed her recipe A LOT. I wanted to only use ingredients that I consistently have in my food storage supply, but her recipe was the take-off point for the recipe I'm going to share with you.

So, why make your own when there are already a ton of granola bars on the market covered in sweet chocolate and filled with gooey caramel or peanut butter?

Well, because those bars are more like candy bars. In fact, there really aren't many truly healthy granola bars sitting on the store shelves right now. And the ones that are good for you cost an arm and a leg... and maybe an ear thrown in for good measure. But if you're looking for a yummy candy bar, then by all means, buy the candy covered/filled "granola" bars!

These "food storage" granola bars are quite healthy overall, with a sweet, nutty flavor, and are VERY inexpensive compared to their store-bought competitors. My three-year old downed 3 of them immediately after I made them. If that's not a kid-friendly seal of approval, I don't know what is!



"Food Storage" Granola Bars (No-Bake)
Printable Version

*Makes 28 bars

(NOTE: Try using a 13x9 pan instead. When I used to make these, back when I first posted the recipe,  I pressed the mixture into one side of a jelly roll pan. Kinda silly, since I discovered after several go arounds that it fits PERFECTLY into a 13x9.)

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cups Quick Oats (not rolled oats)
2 cups crispy rice cereal
3 teaspoons vanilla

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, stir crispy rice cereal, quick oats together.

In a medium saucepan, combine honey, butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then bring the temperature down to low, and simmer till sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Pour in vanilla and stir.

Pour the hot mixture over dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are moistened. Press into a parchment-lined jelly roll pan. (OR a 13 x9 actually works PERFECTLY, and you don't have to press the mixture into side.)


Pack the granola bar mixture as closely and as tightly together as you possibly can into one end of the pan at about 1/2-3/4 inch thickness. Any thinner, and the bars will not hold together. Let cool on the counter till they reach room temperature.


Cut into bars (I did 4 X 7). Wrap in plastic or store in a ziplock bag.

*You may add chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, coconut, etc. if desired. If adding chocolate chip, press them into the top of the bars after you've packed the very warm granola mixture into the pan. Otherwise, you'll end up with a melted chocolate-swirled mess.

**My family loves this recipe as is, but if you find they don't hold their form as well as you'd like, you can store them in the refrigerator. 

~ Savings ~

*Updated on 1/8/13 from $0.08 ea. to $0.11 ea.

Cost Breakdown:
16 oz. clover honey - $3.78 = 22 T = $0.172/T = $1.376
7 lb brown sugar - $5.05 = 264 T = $0.019/T = $0.114
40 oz. crunchy peanut butter - $5.24 = 70 T = $0.075/T = $0.299
4 lb unsalted butter - $7.99 = 128 T = $0.0625/T = $0.250
42 oz. quick oats - $3.18 = 15 C = $0.212/C = $0.848
36 oz. crispy rice cereal - $4.88 = 37.5 C = $0.130/C = $0.260
8 fl. oz. imitation vanilla - $0.98 = 48 tsp = $0.0204/tsp = $0.061
Total Recipe Cost: $3.21
Per Granola bar: $0.11
The Contender:
Nature Valley Oats and Honey Granola Bars (12 pk.) = $2.68
Per Granola Bar: $0.22
Savings: 50%

"Over a year" scenario:
Make "Food Storage" Granola Bars recipe 15 times = $47.55
Buy equivalent Nature Valley Oats and Honey Granola Bars = $93.80

*Money Saved: $46.25

163 comments:

  1. Ooohhh! I just said to my husband last night that I wanted to make homemade granola bars. Thanks Andrea for a great recipe!

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    1. I'm so glad! These are definitely not "fancy," but they are yummy, and healthy, and in-expensive... all the things I LOVE. :) Let me know how they turn out for you!

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  2. Yummm! Those look great. I've been wanting to try making these myself so thanks for sharing the recipe. Can't wait to try them! :)

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    1. Thanks, Amber! We really like them. I know there are other recipes out there with more sugar/butter, but I like to keep it simpler and healthier, and since my kids are young, they don't know the difference. :) Good luck!!

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  3. Do these get pretty firm or are they a little flimsy=messy? I'm trying to think of healthy and inexpensive snacks to send into my kids' classes. I just don't want it to be a disaster!

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    1. The key is to pack them in REALLY tight, and make sure they are at LEAST 1/2 inch thick. The thicker you go, the less chance they have of crumbling. I've done them up to 1 inch thick, and just cut them into smaller bars, and that will probably be a good option to avoid any kind of flimsy-ness. These do hold their shape well for me, but they are not as firm as the store-bought kind because of the lack of syrupy-sugar that hold those other ones together. One time, I baked them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes after I made them, just to be sure they wouldn't get broken into pieces when we brought them to share with friends. If you are still nervous, try making a small "test batch" first, since they come together so easy/quickly. Let me know how they turn out for you!

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    2. Sounds good, Andrea! I will give it a whirl, and let ya know!

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    3. Many schools prohibit peanut butter product hand-outs due to possible student peanut butter allergies, sorry just a reminder for felliw readers ;)

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    4. Can you suggest a peanut butter replacement? My daughter's school is peanut free.

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    5. Others have suggested sun butter or biscoff spread. I've not tried either, personally, but it sounds like they both work great. I'll bet the biscoff spread is extra delicious! :)

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    6. There's a new product called Wowbutter. Walmart carries it. It's Peanut Free and Safe for allergies. It taste better then sunbutter.

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    7. Sunflower butter worked very well.

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    8. JUST WONDERING IF YOU KNOW THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE

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    9. No... but there are websites that will allow you to enter in the ingredients and it will determine all of that info for you. Try nutritiondata.com.

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  4. How long can these keep and do you have to refrigerate them?

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    1. We enjoy them up to 2 weeks after we make them. You could refrigerate them to help them set faster, but it's not necessary. Also, if you were unable to press them together really, really REALLY tightly, you can refrigerate them to help them stay together, but they don't have to be refrigerated. Good luck! Let me know how they turn out!

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    2. How long will they last if you vacuume pack them?

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    3. I actually don't know the answer to that question, and have never vacuum packed anything before... nor could I find the answer online. Does anyone else know?

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  5. These are AMAZING!!!! Although I had to alter the butter to coconut oil it still worked!!We also added some ground almonds and coconut for extra volume.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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  6. Is there any chance that there might be something you can substitute instead of peanut butter? These sound wonderful and like something that would make a great grab and go breakfast but having someone in the house with nut allergies makes this kind of recipe a bit difficult. It's the same problem I've had with a number of easy to make granola bars they all seem to want to include peanut butter or almond butter etc.

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    1. what about sun butter. I dont have a nut allergy but a customer of mine does and uses sun butter instead of peanut butter.

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    2. You can't get almond butter at trader how's!

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    3. Try Wowbutter. Better then Sunbutter. Walmart carries Wowbutter!

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    4. Almonds are not a but technically so almond butter should be safe.

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    5. Almonds are consididered a tree nut and so would not be safe for people with a tree but allergy; walnuts, almonds, pistachios,pecans,macadamia ect are considered tree nuts,peanuts are techically not a but more like a bean ; recently diagnoised with tree nut allergy

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  7. Although I've never tried it, there is something called Biscoff spread that is supposed to work like a peanut-butter spread, except that it contains no nuts. Have you ever had a biscoff cookie? They are DELICIOUS!! I'm betting it would make for some tasty granola bars if you buy it. I found it listed on Amazon. If you do end up using it, you may want to decrease the sugar, as the biscoff spread has plenty. Hope this helps!

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    1. Some walgeeens stores have the biscoff spread too next to the nutella. I would think Walmart might have it too.

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    2. Biscoff is a Belgian brand, called Spekaloo there (sp?) - we had this spread on bakery bread every morning on our visit this past spring. So, of course, when I got home I had to find it in Missouri and there it was on the local store's shelf, the TOP SHELF (isn't everything good on the top shelf?) If you can find the Nutela or gourmet peanutbutter I bet you will find Biscoff! Walgreen's carried the cookies (aka airplane cookies) during the Christmas season, too.

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  8. Neccya, we also have nut allergies. We use Sunbutter, made from sunflower seeds, and it is amazing ;)

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  9. When do you add the peanut butter? I didn't see it in the instructions, but I might just be blind. Lol

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    1. You're not blind. :)
      You heat it with the honey, butter, and brown sugar.

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    2. Okay. Thank you:-) I plan on making these soon :-) my family loves granola bars and these sound amazing :-)

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  10. Just made these and so excited to have such an easy recipe for my family... Thank you!

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  11. Made these tonight and my kids loved them! Hubby and I are really trying to watch our money. I couldn't believe that I had all the ingredients. This is going to become a staple in my house. Signed up for e-mails!

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  12. Replies
    1. Hi, Heather. They are soft and chewy at room temp. I've been told that some people like to store these in the refrigerator, and that tends to make them harder if that is your preference. Good luck! :)

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  13. I am trying these today. I will let you know what we think. They sound wonderful!

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    1. Ok. I made them and they are delicious!! I added chopped raw walnuts and mini dark chocolate chips. My sons and daughter-in-law have always called me a "crunchy grandma". Now they will be even more happy that I am.

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  14. Just made these since my daughter wanted Chewy bars for snack at school. She loves them! I may try the next batch with the biscoff so it's better for school.
    Thank you!

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  15. I would like to make these also, but would like to add some pumpkin seeds, coconut, and maybe one other dried fruit to it. Then I would press chocolate chips in them as you said. I am wondering though if I am putting extra items in them aren't I going to have to add more peanut butter, butter, sugar etc. Do you have an idea if I were to add a total of 2 more cups of other ingredients, how much more of the other ingredients would I have to add, change or else?

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  16. so want to try this but need to sub the peanutbutter for soynut as my little one can not have peanuts or other nuts.. will let you know the outcome.. and since I don't have the rice cereal will use his coco crispys......LOL thanks!

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    1. just made them yummy my hubby loves them waiting for the kids to come home and try!

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  17. JUst wanted to letyou know they were a hit with my son so much so I have to go out and get more supplies for another batch! thanks soooo much!

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  18. Your math is wrong on the honey break down...well not wrong, but you didnt add enough. It is 0.17 a T and the recipe calls for 1/2 cup which is 8T, not 2.

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    1. Thank you for catching that! I've updated the info. The CORRECTED math makes each bar $0.11 instead of $0.08 with savings of 50% instead of 65%. I appreciate your letting me know so that I can make sure I get the right info out to everyone. :)

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  19. Do you happen to know any nutritional facts on these bars? They sound amazing!

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    1. I wish I could say yes, but for now I'm not calculating out the nutritional facts. There's a really cool tool found here: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator

      If you enter in the ingredients of any recipe it calculates the nutritional info for you. Hope this helps!

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    2. I did calculate and it equals 114 calories (if made into 30 bars and I used 1/2 cup of peanut butter). My bars were more like little squares not the normal size of a granola bar, but if I made them normal size that would be really high in calories and I wouldn't get very many. These are by far the best homemade granola bars I've ever made. I also added a little cocoa powder to them can't wait to make another batch and add other things. Do you store them in the refrigerator or can they be covered and left out? Thanks Hope

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    3. You can store them either way. In the refrigerator, they will get quite hard, and need a minute to "thaw" before eating. On the counter covered, they are good to go. I've done both. I'm actually starting to prefer the refrigerator version. :)

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  20. What can I sub the honey for? Allergy here :O( And can't use corn syrup either due to a corn allergy. More peanut butter?
    Thanks
    Moe

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    1. You can make your own "corn syrup" by using white sugar and water and boiling together to make a syrup. I'm not sure what the sugar to water ratio is but since most sugar is beet or cane based you should be safe.

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    2. I just made them and I used Blue Agave Nectar. They turned out great!

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  21. Just stumbled upon your blog - so excited! Can't wait to try this recipe!

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  22. Hi just found your blog..i love this recipe..my girls are always after something to munch on..and these are just perfect.thank you.
    sara

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  23. Sunflower butter is a good alternative for nut butter. It is extremely tasty too.

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  24. I have been making homemade granola bars for a while now, and this is very similar to my recipe, but I leave out the PB all together. They are not crunchy, but my kids love them! I am looking forward to adding peanut butter to it and see how it turns out. Also, remember that when you buy granola bars, (as well as other processed foods), you are getting a bunch of preservatives and additives that are not in our homemade bars!

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  25. I was so excited to make my own granola bars, however once I tried them I found them to be waaay to sweet. I just have a lingering taste of sweetness in my mouth. A bit disappointed :(

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    1. Sorry they were so sweet. You could try cutting the brown sugar by half. They would still turn out about the same.

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  26. Could you eat this as a cereal for breakfast? Just add milk?

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    1. Nope. These granola bars are not the right consistency/texture, and they are not baked like "cereal" granola. Sorry! You could eat a bar and drink a glass of milk, but you couldn't combine the two in a bowl and have it be like cereal.

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  27. what size pan do you normally use?

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    1. In the past, I've used a jelly roll sized pan... but this recipe fits PERFECTLY into a 9x13 glass baking dish. Much easier to really press the mixture together. Good luck!

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  28. Is there a reason not to use rolled oats?

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    1. Yes. They don't work well with this recipe, and you will end up with granola bars that fall apart. They are a bit too thick and chewy to give you a good result.

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  29. butter+sugar=kid seal of approval. They might be tasty but they would be a "sometimes treat" for our family. I'd like to find a homemade bar recipe that doesn't use oil/fat. I'll try it w/o so much sugar and without the butter, maybe replace the brown sugar with a little maple syrup and see how they turn out.

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  30. I am new to Pinterest. Your blog is the first one that caught my eye. I love to eat healthy. Grocery bill always goes up on the healthy foods. Wow only 11 cents each is amazing. I will make these this weekend and let you know my results. I am also trying to maintain my weight. Have you calculated an approx. Calorie count. Thank you (looks very yummy)

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    1. Hi there!
      I don't have an actual calorie count, but I DO know that there are calorie calculators available on the internet where you can enter in your ingredients and amounts and it will calculate it for you. Here's one: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator. You could try cutting the brown sugar in half, and using reduced fat peanut butter and see how that goes for you. :)

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  31. Do you know about how many calories we are looking at for these?

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    1. Hi Khristyla,

      I don't know for sure. I DO know there are "calorie calculators" available on the internet where you can enter in the ingredients and their amounts and then have it calculated out for you. If you are being calorie conscious, you could technically cut the brown sugar in half and use reduced calorie peanut butter. :)

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  32. For those of you who were asking about calories or nutrition info here's what I got per serving for 28 bars:

    Calories= 118
    Total Fat= 4g
    Sat Fat= 1g
    Trans Fat= 0
    Cholesterol= 4g
    Sodium= 32mg
    Total Carbs= 20g
    Dietary Fiber= 1g
    Sugar= 11g
    Protein= 2g

    I used nutritiondata.com to calculate this. If you register at the site (it's free) you can analyze any recipe or one of your own and save it. You can also save frequently used ingredients. It's a good site that I use often. Much more information too!

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    1. Wow! Cool! Thanks for taking time to do a little digging. :)

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  33. could you freeze these?

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    1. I haven't just because peanut butter isn't supposed to handle being frozen well... of course there are these things called uncrustables in the stores... so... maybe? Sorry I don't know for sure. The next time I make 'em I'll throw a couple in the freezer for a day, let it thaw on the counter and see what the result is like.

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  34. Yum! We didn't even wait til they cooled. I don't normally care for granola bars, even the "candy bar" type but these are really good!

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  35. Just made these today with Trader Joes Cookie Butter instead of peanut butter. YUM! I will be making them again!

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  36. These will be an "always" treat at our house! Love this recipe, and have the refried beans cooking in the crock pot right now! Thank you!

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  37. I've made something similar without the pb.but they fell apart. Not a big pb fan but will have to try these

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  38. I just made these and they are great! They are a little limp and I'm not sure if I didn't get them thick enough of if they are still just a bit warm. But good!

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    1. Hi Amy,

      I'm glad you liked the granola bars. (We kinda love 'em too)... I hope they set up better for you after reaching room temperature. It shouldn't be a problem if they've been packed very firmly. However, if they STILL aren't as set up as you would like them to be after they reach room temp., you can put them in the refrigerator, and they'll firm right up. Depending on how long you leave them in there, they might be a little too hardened for your liking. I prefer them from the fridge. My kids like them at room temp. Hope this helps!

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  39. I just made these this morning and they are a big hit in our house! Thank you! I made them w/o the pb (for our nut free school) and I used coconut oil instead of butter. Oh and I totally left out the rice cereal- I didn't have any on hand. And I was surprised that they turned out perfectly!
    Also, for the "firmly pressing" into the pan, I put another sheet of parchment on top and took my marble rolling oin to it! Worked like a charm! Thanks again for a great recipe!

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    1. So it worked well without the rice cereal? I don't buy cereals often and was wondering this. I'll try it without the cereal and see how it goes.

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  40. Very yummy! I halved it. It's dangerous to have that many of these in our house at one time. Hubby has no self control :)

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  41. I'm a little confused on your money break down. How do you get 37.5 cups of the crispy rice cereal out of only 36oz. Is it not 4.5 cups?

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    1. I'm sure that seems like a lot...but it's accurate. If you think about how rice crispies weigh next to nothing, and 36 oz. is 3 lbs... it works out. :) I used the Great Value brand. Hope this helps!

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    2. Yeah that helps a lot thank you.

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    3. You are confusing liquid weight with dry weight. Cereals are lightweight so you get more cups.

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  42. I'm wondering...is "Quick Oats" the brand? I can't seem to find quick oats that aren't rolled oats. I can find steel cut, but they aren't "quick"?

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    1. Sorry you're having trouble finding them. Quick oats are just oats that have been shaved thinner and cut smaller. You know those huge canisters of Rolled Oats in the cereal/breakfast aisle at the grocery store? The quick oats can be found in an equally big canister right next to them. I get the Great Value brand at Walmart. If nothing else, you could probably find them online. Good luck!

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    2. Okay, Thanks! I found all the ones that say quick, but when i check the ingredients it still says they are rolled. I know nothing about oats though, so I'll keep an eye out!

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    3. It's a little funny, I know, but quick oats are made out of rolled oats... they're just cut differently. If it says "Quick Oats" on the front of the package, that's what you want to buy. :)

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  43. These are so good and very easy to make. I have tried lots of recipes to find ones that stay together and these stay together perfect. My kids love them

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  44. Yum!!! My three boys love these... used coconut oil instead of butter and added golden raisins. Thanks for the great recipe!

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    1. Jennifer,

      You are totally welcome! I'm glad your boys love 'em. My three girls do too. :)

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  45. I am with Sage Magazine and I would love to feature this in our April issue. If you are interested, here is our contact info: sagemagazineonline@gmail.com, www.sagemagazineonline.com, www.facebook.com/sagemagazine. Thank you!

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    1. Sounds good, Lindsey. I'll shoot you and email to get everything squared away. Thanks!

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  46. I followed the recipe exactly but they just crumbled apart. I packed them real tight too. Oh well, maybe this would make a good topping or stir in for yogurt.

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    1. Oh, no! I'm sorry they were crumbly! Sounds like you packed them really well... the only other thing I can think of is that maybe the sugar/honey mixture didn't boil long enough for the sugar to completely dissolve. If THAT wasn't an issue, then I'm not sure what happened. Honestly, these things stick together better than any other no-bake granola bar recipe I've tried. So sorry it didn't work out!

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  47. Hi! Wonderful recipe. Do you think I could used baked rolled oats in place of the quick oats?

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    1. Thank you, Kalysha. I wish I could say yes to the baked rolled oats... but I'm pretty sure you'll have a heck of a time trying to get the granola bars to hold their shape if you do. The quick oats work because they are shaved thinner than regular oats, and cut smaller. I hope this helps! Good luck!

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  48. This looks great and I totally want to try them tonight! But Im not a huge fan of peanut butter, would they work without it? Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Hi Lindsay,

      They ARE great. (Not to toot my own horn or anything) ;)

      You definitely shouldn't omit the peanut butter without substituting it with something else. If you don't want to use peanut butter, some other people have successfully used biscoff spread and sun butter. I've been wanting to try a hazelnut spread like Nutella to see if that works out..., it's not as healthy as peanut butter, but it sounds yummy.

      I hope that helps!

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  49. I have made these once a week since I found the recipe! Thanks!

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    1. Awesome! You're welcome! I'm really glad you enjoy 'em. :)

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  50. Greetings from Michigan!

    I just made these tonight, and they are so yummy! I was looking for healthier breakfast options for my 2 kiddos who aren't big breakfast eaters(!). They definitely don't get that from me. I was surprised at how quickly these came together and how tasty they were. Even my non-oat-loving husband asked that I pack a couple with his lunch for tomorrow.

    I used my potato masher to smoosh it all together in the pan and have had no problems with breakage. Thank you for a great recipe!

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    1. I LOVE Michigan! I've lived in Grand Blanc and Troy. Beautiful, beautiful cities, both of them. I'm really glad your family likes the granola bars, and that they came together so well for you!

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  51. I had excellent success Three times now with this recipe using old fashion rolled oats. My husband made me promise to make a second batch, which I just finished today. They have held together just fine, so long as the bars are completely cool and also refrigerated for a couple of hours before cutting and removing from the pan.

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    Replies
    1. Two new observations. 1) I tried a batch without the sugar. Not a good idea. It all fell apart. 2) I tried a batch with cranberry and sliced almond, no peanut butter, no rice crispies. I had to add some Karo syrup and bake them for 15 minutes to set up....but yum! Good results! The old fashioned rolled oats are still working for me. I will be buying some rolled oats now that my mega container is empty. Can't wait to try with those, as intended!

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    2. Mikki, you are awesome. Thank you for always coming back and sharing your experiences with the recipes. ;)

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  52. Is the brown sugar necessary or is there a sub? Is it for taste purposes or molding purposes? I'm looking for something like this, but trying to cut back on sugar and these actually have more sugar than store bought ones. I know they're healthier, which is a plus, but personally I need to cut the sugar.

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    1. Hi Alissabeth,
      Those are all great questions. The brown sugar (and honey) definitely play a big role in helping the molding process. I've never made these particular bars with a substitute. I imagine they would still come together if you only used 1/2 of the brown sugar called for. Beyond that, without having tried a sub myself, I'd have to say that finding a baked granola bar recipe would work best for your needs. Please do let me know if you find an alternative to the sugar. I'm sure everyone would love another option!

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  53. Made these tonight and was very impressed! They were easy to make and tasted great. I added 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to the oat mixture.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! Mmm.. I love the nutty taste of ground flax seed. I bet those were some tasty granola bars! Thanks for trying them out.

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  54. I made these last week... & I WILL make them again! These are absolutely wonderful! Just enough pb flavor but not overwhelming... healthy... filling... Loved them in the mornings with coffee! My only complaint is that they went too fast! LOL...but that's not your fault! LOLzzzz! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think that's the best complaint I've ever received, Sandy. :)

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  55. I was wondering, how do you store these? Cabinet, fridge, freezer? How long before they will go bad?

    Thank you!

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    1. Ours are usually gone within a few days, but you can store them for at least a week in the cabinet, or for a couple months in the fridge. The freezer... I'm not 100% sure, but it seems like they'd be good for 6 months or so.

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  56. these were just yummy! I had two right away, thank you. I did have to put them into the fridge to set them, but after that it was perfect.

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  57. Just printed this recipe and I'm looking forward to trying them! I have your refried bean recipe in my crockpot, for the first time, as I type! :) Your recipes are my style~simple and easy. My family is, well, I'll just say, basic eaters {A.K.A as picky eaters} so I'm enjoying checking out your recipes.

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  58. Greetings again from Michigan!
    We love these! So much so that this is my 2nd comment about them! I've been making these for about 2 months now. I've been making little tweaks here and there (the recipe is fantastic as is, though) to fit my families tastes. My most recent batch (cooling right now) used 1/2 old-fashioned oats, 1/2 quick oats, coconut oil instead of butter, sun butter instead of peanut butter, and the addition of dried cranberries. These bars are just so good and so easy to make! Thank you for such a great recipe.
    I also have the hamburger buns rising right now. I've been using that recipe from Allrecipes for about 3 months, and I agree with you. It is by far THE best bun recipe ever. We're lucky to have enough left to go with whatever we're eating since we all like to eat them plain too. Thank you again for sharing your great recipes. I look forward to each new post.

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  59. I made them, and we love them! Thanks for the idea. We put mini-chocolate chips on them, and they are so yummy!
    Have a great day Mam!
    with love,
    -Jo

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  60. A good alternative to peanut butter would be Trader Joe's Cookie Butter.

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  61. Just finished cutting these up. Found them on the sweet side especially for my mom who isnt a sweets fan and is diabetic. BUT the recipe was super easy and quick. The mixture in the pot was like a PB caramel. Yum. Cant wait to try it again with a few tweeks. Thanks for the great recipe ideas.

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  62. I've been making a version similar to this after being informed about all the crap that goes into the popular, cheap brand at the store but, it calls for granola rather than oats used in your recipe. They're delicious, but I've been buying the expensive organic granola in order to avoid undesirable ingredients so they actually end up being more expensive than store bought. Can't wait to try your version with the oats to save some money! Thank you!

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  63. Thank you so so so much for this recipe. I'm the world's WORST cook EVER, and I just made these for my family. I think I might have simmered on low for too long and the sauce got too thick...?? Anyway, the bars didn't stay together, even after lots of packing, so I improvised and rolled it into balls, which was fun! The flavor was great and everyone loves them. I have a bite in my mouth right now actually! Very tasty! I'm going to make them again and not simmer for too long, I bet they will be perfect next time.

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  64. Yup, just made for the second time and they were perfect. Can't. Stop. Eating. Them. :)

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  65. These look yummy. Can you use Smucker's Natural PB or does it need to be the regular hydrogenated kind?

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    1. Sorry for the slow reply... we just moved to a new state, and have had difficulty getting the internet hooked up. I've never tried it with the natural PB, but I would imagine it would work fine. They may not hold together QUITE as well, but I'll bet they'll still taste awesome.

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  66. Has anyone tried to make these like a protein bar (like Clifbars)?

    I'd like to try them with the addition of protein powder, dried fruit, coconuts and more chopped nuts.

    Do you think they will work?

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  67. Can you tell me the dimensions of the pan you would put this in? I don't really know what a jelly roll pan is. Also why do you say to pack it into one end of the pan? Don't you use the whole pan?

    Thanks!!

    Hayley

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    1. Hi Hayley,

      A jelly Roll pan is what most people call a big cookie sheet. (You know the big silver ones.) Anyway, I'm glad you asked, because I've been MEANING to change the pan to a 13 x 9. The granola bar mixture happens to fit perfectly into a 13 x 9 pan. I figured it out about my 6th time making the bars... I'm a little slow. :) Much easier to press bars into and enclosed space than into a huge pan with tons of extra space. Duh. :) Let me know how they turn out for you if you end up making them!

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    2. A jelly roll pan is like a sheet pan, but smaller. It has a shallow side to it. It's typically used to make sponge cakes.

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    3. Thanks for the reply! Another question... you say use quick oats, not rolled oats. If I only have rolled oats, and I pulse them in my food processor a few times to make it a bit smaller flakes, do you think that would work ok?

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    4. Give it a try! Sounds like it should work just fine. I had a reader comment that they used rolled oats (no quick oats available) and they turned out for her. I just know that when I've used rolled oats, the bars haven't stuck together quite as well. But that's just me. If you pulse them, I bet you'll be fine. :) Good luck!

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  68. I've made these twice now. I love them! So much better than any you can buy. I did make some changes to the recipe though...

    I added:
    1 cup sunflower seeds
    1 cup dried cranberries
    2 cups coconut
    I also needed one extra cup of oats (total 5 cups)

    I also doubled the 'wet' ingredient part except for the butter. I can't eat dairy so I used 1/4 c margarine. Want to keep the fat calories down.

    Because there is so much more to the recipe now I made them in a half sheet cake pan (11x15).

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  69. I was out of honey so I used molasses and they turned out amazing!

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  70. I have done these twice now and this is a great base recipe and you really can add anything you like. The first time I added cranberries and chocolate chips on top, so good. The second time I had an open bag of nut and fruit trail mix so I added some and they were so good. When I add things I take away that amount of oats. Thanks

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  71. do you think it would work ok with creamy peanut butter?

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    1. Yes! I just happen to like crunchy better. :) good luck!

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  72. I'm going to have to try this, except using rolled oats. I don't keep quick oats in our stock because they aren't high in fiber like rolled. Also, would using creamy peanut butter and throwing in some chopped nuts work? I don't think I have any crunchy right now.

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    1. I've not used the rolled oats for these, but I've had several readers comment to let me know they used rolled oats with success. You can definitely use cream peanut butter in place of crunchy. You don't even have to put in the chopped nuts. I just like crunchy better than creamy. :) Good luck!

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  73. How many calories about does each one have?

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    1. 2500 per batch. 90 per bar if you make 28 bars. I entered in the ingredients and amounts at myfitnesspal.com. Someone else did this earlier, but they came up with a higher number. I'm not sure where the discrepancy is, but I'm pretty sure my calculation is correct. :)

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  74. I just made these. They taste amazing! Hopefully I pressed them hard enough, if not it will make for some great granola!

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  75. They didn't all stand up to the cutting process, but man are they yummy!! Thank you for sharing this recipe! Next time I will be a little more adventurous and add more than just chocolate chips. (o; I have them in the fridge just as you recommend and that seems to be helping. Definitely packing them a little tighter next time. Super easy, and just as you said in the post, we already had all of the ingredients.Thank you again! (o:
    Shan

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  76. i tried these and so yummy! made a few changes though used almond butter and coconut oil. added dried figs, slivered almonds and sweetened coconut. delish! making them again today!

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  77. Hi Andrea - these are wonderful!!!!

    I thought while I was in the kitchen making the second batch of your fantastic Grandma's Country White Bread I decided to put these delightful snacks together as well. Oh-so-good!

    I did want you to know that the note at the top of the recipe about using a 13x9 dish instead doesn't show up on the printable version.

    Thanks for a wonderful site!

    ~Linda

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I'll rectify that right now. :) I'm glad you enjoyed these! My kiddos love 'em.

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  78. I think I may have spread my first batch too thin. Do you think if I made a batch and a half that it would fill the 9x13 pan? My first batch is delicious, but they fall apart easily! Or maybe add a little extra of the mixture at the beginning? Just wondering. I am definitely going to try again, because my kids like them.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that! I'm surprised they were too thin... The recipe above tends to fit the bars into a 9x13 pan perfectly for me. You could definitely try doing a batch and a half in one pan and see if that works better for you. As far as them falling apart easily, that can happen if you don't boil the sugar and butter, and only melt them together. If that wasn't the problem, then you can try storing them in the refrigerator. When I put mine in the fridge, they hold together super well... almost too the point of being too hard. I hope this helps!

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  79. I made these for the second time and they came out much more compact this time. I agree that the key for that is pressing them down with some force. I ran out of honey, so I used about 1/4 cup of honey and topped it off with some agave nectar and molasses, excellent! This website is fantastic! My family has also enjoyed the lentil soup with some Andouille sausage added from a local farm (added some extra spice), the chili, and the yogurt is now a staple! Planning on making the Navajo tacos at some point, but I'm slightly intimidated by that since I have never done it before...anyway thank you!

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    1. Success! Hooray! I'm thrilled they worked out... and so happy you've enjoyed the blog. The navajo tacos are a cinch compared to the yogurt. Go for it! I bet you'll do great!

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  80. I have made these 3 times now and we love them! I use Coco Crispies and also press some chocolate and peanut butter chips on top when done pressing in to the pan. I always use creamy PB and the first time I crushed peanuts and put them in and that was good! I use the flat side of a meat mallet to press them tight.

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  81. just wanted to say that I make these for my son in University.They are very easy to make,and he loves them.I leave out the rice cereal(because I never have any) and add nuts to the oat mixture.I also press in some chocolate chips as suggested,after the bars are in the pan.I also use creamy peanut butter because that's what I have on hand.I now double the recipe.Thanks for sharing

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  82. would adding an egg to mix and baking them help hold them together if they fall apart?

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    1. It might. I hesitate to give a definite yes or no answer, because I've never done it that way before. Sorry I'm not more help to you... But truly, if done correctly, these bars hold together just fine without being baked.
      Good luck!

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  83. Maybe I'm just super picky or something, but I really can't stand crunchy granola bars. Are these more chewy, or are they more like Nature Valley crunchy granola bars. Thanks!

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    1. Darianna, they are DEFINITELY not crunchy. Chewy for sure. :)

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  84. Oops, I accidentally put in 4 cups of rice cereal and 2 cups of oatmeal. I also added 1 cup white chocolate chips and accidentally ended up making those "milk and cereal" bars they sell in the store. Oh well, my kids still love them.

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  85. Made these today but didn't have rice krispies so I used 1 cup of "cheerios" and 1 cup of fiber one. YUM!!!!

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  86. do you know what kind of shelf life they have? maybe if vacumn sealed? I'm hoping to put in emergency prep/72 hour kits.

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    1. On average, these bars stay pretty fresh for about a week. From what I understand, vacuum sealed bars would last anywhere from 3-6 times longer than normal. These may not be the best idea for longer-term storage. Sorry!

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