Recently I attempted an oat challenge. The goal was to eat oats every day for 30 days. When I started this challenge my goal was to discover some new oat recipes while making sure I didn’t skip breakfast – mornings can be very hectic and before I know it my stomach is growling on the way to work.
What I missed when I started, is the fact that having to eat a certain food everyday is the opposite of intuitive. After about 10 days, I started to dread eating oats. I didn’t like the fact that I “had” to do it. I wanted toast with peanut butter or leftover pizza in the morning, but I couldn’t if I wanted to stick to the plan.
The good news is that I discovered this great peanut butter granola bar recipe from the Minimalist Baker (and a great muffin recipe from Bob’s Red Mill), which I know I’ll be making again soon. I’m thankful for that!
So on my last day before ending the challenge early on day 18, I sprinkled oats on my pizza. It was delicious.
May I never feel the need to eat something I don’t feel like eating ever again.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
This incredibly simple recipe for granola bars is adapted from the Minimalist Baker. It was only five ingredients up until I added the optional chocolate chips 🙂
To make this version of the recipe, you'll need an 8x8 cake pan, some parchment paper, and something heavy to help your press the bars together in the pan.
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup creamy, salted peanut butter
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips optional
Line an 8x8 square cake pan with parchment paper.
Process the dates in a food processor until they all clump into a ball.
Put dates, oats, almonds, and chocolate chips (if using) into a large mixing bowl.
Put honey and peanut butter into a small saucepan and place over low heat. Cook until heated through and mixed well.
Pour heated honey and peanut butter mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Stir together until well-mixed. This might seem impossible at first, but with some patience it will come together.
Transfer to the lined 8x8 cake pan, cover with parchment paper and press down firmly until you have a somewhat uniform top. I used an 8oz canning jar to accomplish this. The firmer you press the mixture here, the better they bars will stay together.
Keep covered and put in the freezer for 15 minutes or the refrigerator for 30 minutes so they can stiffen up before cutting. (Set a timer so you don't forget.)
Take the bars out of the cake pan and cut into approximately 10 bars.
Wrap each individually and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
You could easily change up the nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pistachios, etc.), nut butter (almond butter, sun butter, etc.), and chocolate chips (dried fruit, coconut, sesame seeds, etc.) to create a combination that your family likes best.
To be honest, I was surprised this recipe came out as good as it did. I really thought that more ingredients would be needed to make them taste so good and stay together so well. These are certainly worth a try if you have a little bit of time.
Welcome to 5 Ingredient Friday! Here you'll find a recipe with 5 ingredients or less (shhh... water, oil, salt, pepper don't count). Recipes don't need a lot of ingredients to be yummy. Fewer ingredients means simpler prep. It also means you'll have them memorized in no time. 5 Ingredient recipes are the backbone of my everyday cooking. I hope you find a place for this recipe in your kitchen.