With 12 hour work days, granola bars are a staple in my lunch box to keep me moving and energized through the long part of my afternoon. Instead of buying prepackaged granola bars, I use a blend of my favorite breakfast cereals and combine them into these tasty no-bake granola bars. They are perfect for my lunch box and long work days where I need a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon to help me make it until dinner time. I typically make a quick batch of these bars on my day off so I have enough to last me all week-long.
What I love about these bars is how perfectly chewy and satisfying they are and without the use of plain, boring rolled oats. These no-bake granola bars have a sweet, crunchy texture and the honey roasted peanut butter and honey really complement each other perfectly. If you can’t use peanut butter substitute another nut butter or even speculoos (biscoff) cookie butter. All will work very well here.
These bars can be a bit crumbly if they are not completely compressed in the pan before set up. For that reason, I like to make mine is a small casserole pan so I can really press down the mix with either my hands or a sturdy spatula or flat-bottomed cup. Then it’s a trip into the freezer to allow the peanut butter and honey to set up. I find that four hours to overnight works best for me but they can be ready in as little as 2 hours. Afterwards, I remove them from the pan and cut them into bars. I then individually wrap them with plastic wrap and toss them back into my freezer snack bin. This keeps them fresh and ready for quickly packing my lunch. At 4 am, the last thing on my mind is packing my lunch (yawn) so I have to prepare myself in advance to have a good day.
- 1½ cups your favorite granola blend (I used chocolate chip and almond blend)
- 1 cup Ancient grains cereal with almonds and dates
- 1 cup honey nut cheerios
- ¼ cups unsweetened toasted coconut
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (I used honey roasted)
- ½ cup honey (I use raw, unfiltered honey)
- ¼ cup chopped dates
- cooking spray
- aluminum foil, optional
- Prepare a 9x9" pan with cooking spray and line with a strip of aluminum foil. This makes it easier to remove the granola from the pan later on to cut into cubes or bars.
- In a small saucepan, combine the salt, vanilla, honey and peanut butter. Heat until the peanut butter melts, stirring often.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cereals, coconut, almonds and dates; mix to combine.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture into the cereal mixture and stir well to combine.
- Pour the mix into the prepared pan and press down firmly into the pan. If the granola is not pressed firmly, it will crumble later on instead of forming bars.
- Freeze for a few hours or overnight to set.
- Remove from the freezer and cut into bars or squares.