At 3 p.m. in my office, chairs swivel eerily vacant, cubes are empty, and screens sit idle. This is because everyone on my floor is hustling towards the free snack drawer like it’s full of dollar bills.
My biggest struggle with snack time is that it tends to be the most desperate, difficult time of the day to say no to empty calories like chips or fruit snacks. What my body really needs is super food, but what I end up saying yes to is something salty or processed, which usually leaves me unsatisfied and sluggish.
This is why I was all over this homemade healthy chocolate chip granola bar recipe, requiring no baking, a lot of peanut butter, and sweet chocolate morsels to get me through the afternoon hump. These were super easy and totally delicious for any meal or snack. Plus, they can easily be made gluten free or vegan.
I will officially be making batches of these for my weeks going forward, especially at the rate my boyfriend has been devouring them for breakfast..before we even reach our apartment elevator..
- 1¾ cups quick-cooking oats
- 1⅓ cup sliced almonds
- ⅔ cup mini dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 cup creamy unsalted almond butter or peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Line an 8 to 9-inch square baker with parchment paper, cut to size. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, chocolate chips, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, measure out the nut butter. Top with ½ cup honey and the vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended. (Set out your peanut butter if you normally keep it in the fridge so it’s room temperature, thus stirring better).
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a big spoon to mix them together until the two are evenly combined and no dry oats remain. The drier the mixture, the more firm the bars will be, so stir in extra oats if the mixture seems wet.
- Transfer the mixture to the pan. Use your spoon to arrange the mixture fairly evenly in the baker, then use the bottom of a flat, round surface to pack the mixture down as firmly and evenly as possible.
- Cover the baker and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the bars.
- Mine were a bit crumbly, so I left them in the pan in the fridge to keep the shape and carried my individual bars in bags to work.
Recipe: Cookie & Kate