I hope everyone is surviving after that frigidly cold weekend we just experienced. Maybe you all didn’t feel it, but I definitely felt it in Ottawa and I was not too impressed that I had to drag my winter coat out of the closet this weekend. If there’s one thing that puts Toronto above Ottawa, it’s the weather! It’s so freakin’ cold in Ottawa! It’s not even natural sometimes! Thank god summer is on the way…I am already dreaming about patios, beaches, swimming, hot dogs, ice cream, and SUN! Remember when you were a kid and summer seemed to last f0r-ev-err. All you had to do was wake up, find your friends and run around outside all day everyday eating popsicles and filling up your little paper bag with 5 cent candies at the convenience store. Do they still sell 5 cent candies at the convenience store? I may have to check this out one day soon.
Anyways, this treat can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike! I am very interested in finding ways to reduce the amount of processed food that I buy at the grocery store. While we don’t buy granola bars all the time, they are good to have on hand for a quick snack when time is short. I am obsessed with these chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels found at the bulk barn, so this recipe really caught my eye. The peanut butter-pretzel combo is almost magic.
I changed the recipe only slightly from the original only to use what I had on hand. I used Cheerios instead of the puffed rice, and canola oil instead of the butter. I also used salted peanuts to increase the salty factor a bit. I think the recipe is pretty forgiving, so use what you have on hand, keeping the liquid to dry ratios as they are.
These are really really good, and my intentions of keeping them on hand for emergency snacks didn’t work so well once I tasted them. But, at least I can feel relieved because I know EXACTLY what went into these granola bars, and I can be confident that I’m not ingesting anything weird with a long chemically-sounding name.
Sweet and Salty Granola Bars
Slightly Adapted from How Sweet Eats
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup Cheerios cereal
- 1/2 cup salted pretzels, crushed
- 1/8 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts
- 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used the natural kind)
- 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp + 2 tsp honey
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used the mini ones)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine oats, Cheerios, pretzels, flaxseed, brown sugar and flour. Stir to combine.
Add peanut butter and mix well with a spoon to incorporate (You will have to stir it for a few minutes, and it will begin to resemble a ‘dough’. Everything should be fully combined).
Combine canola oil with vanilla, and add to dough. Add honey and stir to fully moisten and combine everything. Stir in chocolate chips.
Press dough into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be crumbly!