Sunday morning, I woke up with an unreasonable craving for granola bars. It probably had a bit to do with the statement Mr. How Sweet made on New Year’s Day… something along the lines of wanting to buy Fiber One bars in bulk? I raised an eyebrow.
He does not need any more fiber. Trust me.

Why won’t he eat my own granola bars?

I’m sure if I could create a granola bar out of chicken and steak, he’d go to town on that.
But now that I’ve left you with that digusting image in your head , let me tell you about the deliciousness that is these peanut butter granola bars.

They may just be the simplest bars you’ll ever make!

You only need five ingredients to begin. They will create a simple, perfect peanut butter granola bar, but I also like to think of it as a base for a packed peanut butter granola bar.
Since I’ve made six batches of these bars since Sunday, I can tell you what works: chocolate chips, dried cherries, almonds, wheat germ, dried figs, and dried banana.

Yes, dried banana. A peanut butter, honey and banana granola bar! Mmmmm. I think I’m in heaven.

Into this particular batch went a boatload of chocolate chips, because well… we all know nothing is better than chocolate and peanut butter.

I know I don’t need to explain myself to you guys. You know me.

And since you know me, many of you are probably wondering when I’ll cave and add bacon. Honestly, I just thought about it for the first time as I was writing this post. Perhaps I need to make an Elvis granola bar? I am giddy at the thought.

I might need to be committed after that one.

The best part? You don’t even have to bake these bad boys. I baked 3 batches and left 3 other batches as no-bakes. I can’t decide which I like better, but I do love that the chocolate gets a bit melty in the oven.
Have you ever bit into a warm granola bar? You need to experience this.

The funniest part of these granola bars is that before I perfected this easy concoction on Sunday afternoon, I had 3 failed attempts – all more complicated and full of fluff. Sometimes simple is better, no?
At least I’m off to a good start with 2011 recipe disasters. Nothing like getting ahead.


5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars

makes 12-16 granola squares

4 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seeds (these are optional, I just love the texture they give)

1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

3/4 cup natural peanut butter, melted

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (honey works too!)
add ins:

chocolate chips

wheat germ

flaxseed

dried fruit (I made some with cherries!)

other nuts

seeds
coconut
Preheat over to 350.

In a large bowl, combine oats, chia seeds and peanuts. Add brown rice syrup (or honey) and mix to combine. Add melted peanut butter and mix until moistened. This works as a perfect, simple granola bar, but you can also throw in any add-ins at this time. Fold them into the dough. You may need to get in there with your hands and work the granola dough! If dough is still too dry (this can depend on your ingredients) add more peanut butter or syrup (or honey) 1 tablespoon at a time until moistened.

Press dough in a greased (non-stick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.

These would also work as a great no-bake granola bar, but I liked how they came together and the chocolate chips melted as they got warm. If you want to make no-bakes, simply press the dough into the pan and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Off to dream of bacon granola bars. Don’t hate.

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275 Responses to “5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars.”

  1. #
    51
    Gracie — January 5, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

    Bookmarked!! I made my first batch of homemade granola bars last month (Hangry Pant’s pumpkin granola bars…so good!), and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to buy them again.

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

      Homemade definitely trumps store-bought when it comes to granola bars. They are an addiction.

      Reply

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    Amy @ Serve At Once — January 5, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    I always feel like I am doing something dirty when I buy packaged granola bars. I dunno why–probably because it looks all gross and processed. Andddddddd now I have a good reason to consume more peanut butter.

    Bless you, Jessica.

    Reply

  3. #
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    Ally @ Sweet & Savory — January 5, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    Well, since I am home with a sick little one today I already had in my mind to make granola bars….great minds think alike:)

    Reply

  4. #
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    megan — January 5, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    These are way easier then my go-to granola recipe.

    Must. Try!

    Reply

  5. #
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    Leah @ Why Deprive? — January 5, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    These look great! I’ve been needing an easy granola bar recipe. So glad you posted this. :)

    Reply

  6. #
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    Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather — January 5, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    When you make those Elvis bars will you ship me one? I think I’ll be too frightened to make it but I must try it!

    Reply

  7. #
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    Ashley — January 5, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    Yum! These look awesome. DH- inexplicably- loves PB and yet isn’t a fan of peanuts. Think peanut butter chips will work instead? I guess I’ll find out!

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

      Oh my gosh yes… they would be SO good. You could also sub another nut or seed (if he likes one) for some crunch?

      Reply

  8. #
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    Ameena — January 5, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    I was so excited to see your tweet about this! I am going to make these for the fam – I wish I could eat them too but I can’t eat nuts. :(

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

      Oh man… I feel for you. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t eat nuts!

      Reply

  9. #
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    Kim in MD — January 5, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    These look incredible! My husband eats a store bought (although “all natural) granola bar every single morning for breakfast, and I keep telling myself that I am going to make him home-made granola bars. Do you think you could freeze these in individual servings? I find that frozen cookies thaw quickly, and these probably would, too. I’d love to make a huge batch and freeze them. Let me know what you think, Jessica! Thanks! :-)

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

      Yes, I definitely think they will freeze! However, after that they may be more crunchy than chewy, but there is nothing wrong with that.

      Reply

  10. #
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    Corey @ the runner's cookie — January 5, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    I actually don’t care for most store bought granola bars – even the good ones taste weird to me. Yours look so tasty, and imagining a warm one sounds even better! I just need to find some brown rice syrup…

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

      Honey works too!

      Reply

  11. #
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    Kacy — January 5, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

    I have no doubt those are 100 times more delicious than a Fiber One bar :)

    Reply

  12. #
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    Cindi — January 5, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    Well, don’t these look FANTASTIC??!! I will definitely be trying these!

    Reply

  13. #
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    Sues — January 5, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    I love making my own granola bars, but yours are totally prettier than the average bar! I love the photo with the peanut butter being poured in :)

    Reply

  14. #
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    Maria — January 5, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    Homemade granola bars are the best. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Reply

  15. #
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    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — January 5, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    Love this idea! Always on the lookout for healthy snacks that I can make myself! And as a bonus with these, I can continue my love affair with dried cherries :)

    Reply

  16. #
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    Karly — January 5, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    Oh, I looooove homemade granola bars. So yummy and these look super simple!

    Reply

  17. #
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    Maria — January 5, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    Omg no seriously can you make Elvis granola bars?! His birthday is Saturday so I think in honor and all…you REALLY should ;)

    Reply

  18. #
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    Natalia - a side of simple — January 5, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    These are so simple, it’s sinful. Not that I’m ever complaining when it comes to those concepts on your blog… :)

    Reply

  19. #
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    Shanna, like Banana — January 5, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    I’m loving how easy these seem!

    Never had a warm granola bar, but I’m super game to try it!

    Reply

  20. #
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    njk — January 5, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

    These seem so awesome and simple to change up the recipe with various ingredients! As soon as the hubby and I are done with our sugar detox, I’m going to make these up. We’re trying to buy less snacks from the store and have simple easy things to make at home. It’s a real turn off when a recipe calls for too many ingredients or half of them are obscure items I would have to search high and low for. Thank you for braving it and making so many things and sharing them here!

    Reply

  21. #
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    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — January 5, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    I love bars like this! I have a no-bake PB Choc Chip recipe that uses oats, maple, chia, raisins, really any dried fruit or nuts or seeds you want…and it’s held together with a smooshed banana and the maple and just pop em in the freezer to set up. They are my #2 searched for recipe on my blog!

    Baking them would make them a bit more shelf-stable and the choc would get gooey like yours…i need to try that :)

    I am off for a very big day. See you on the flip :)

    Reply

  22. #
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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — January 5, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    You should totally make Elvis granola bars. I had “The Elvis” sandwich at PB&Co. in New York, and it was awesome!!! It was sweet with a touch of saltiness, perfect.

    Have you ever tried Bacon salt? I got some in my stocking this year and was pretty giddy about it!! I put some on my popcorn the other day!!!!

    Reply

  23. #
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    Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen — January 5, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

    Oh snap…these look incredible!

    Reply

  24. #
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    Ashley — January 5, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    I made a similar no-bake bar before and it completely fell apart. Did they stay together okay after putting them in the fridge? They look outstanding and I love that you used brown rice syrup!! :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

      Yep they did! Just a few hand to be hand-molded but other than that they stick. I think it was the peanut butter that was melted then hardened to hold them together.

      Reply

  25. #
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    Blair — January 5, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    so excited to make these. everything is better with peanut butter.

    Reply

  26. #
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    Salah@myhealthiestlife — January 5, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    these look wonderful! Something I will definitely make!!

    Reply

  27. #
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    Lisa @Thrive Style — January 5, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    These look totally awesome! I agree—nothing is better than peanut butter and chocolate!

    Thanks for the recipe,

    ~Lisa

    Reply

  28. #
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    EatLiveRun — January 5, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

    yum!! Adam would love these and they seem (semi) healthy. Perfect for road trips!

    Reply

  29. #
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    Andrea — January 5, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

    I have a very similar hubby to Mr. How Sweet ~ I figure it’s more awesome delciousness for us. If you ever dream up bacon granola bars….you must share….something I’m sure I could entice him with!

    Reply

  30. #
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    Taylor — January 5, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    Now I know what I’m going to do with my chia seeds! I love their texture too…so crunchy yet chewy!

    Reply

  31. #
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    Stephanie — January 5, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    what a wonderfully simple yet delicious recipe! pb + choc = seriously God’s gift to earth, no? :)

    Reply

  32. #
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    Mandy — January 5, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

    Uh…I’m a big fan of Fiber One bars too! But I’m sooo gonna try these-I think they are too easy not too? What tell I tell my friends I made my OWN granola bars-I’m rad! Thanks!

    Reply

  33. #
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    Teri [a foodie stays fit] — January 5, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

    This is such a great idea! I love how simple they are!

    Happy New Year girl!

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

      You too! :)

      Reply

  34. #
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    Mia — January 5, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

    How long do you thing they will stay good, should I keep them in the frig?

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

      I have some in seal tight containers and they are still good. I think about a week? You don’t need to keep them in the fridge as long as they are sealed.

      Reply

  35. #
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    Jess — January 5, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

    These make my mouth water! I am addicted to peanut butter and I cannot wait to make these!

    Reply

  36. #
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    Jeanette — January 5, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    These look really easy to make. I’ve never tried chia seeds. What’s the texture like?

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

      Have you ever had a dried fig? I usually compare it to the crunchy seeds that almost “pop” in your mouth. They also become gel-like when mixed with liquid. Very good for you!

      Reply

  37. #
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    Alexis @ There She Goes — January 5, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    Mmm, I’m going on a ski trip this weekend, I feel like these would be perfect with a cup of hot cocoa in the lodge :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

      I think they would be too!

      Reply

  38. #
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    Annie@stronghealthyfit — January 5, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

    Yum!! I want those.

    Reply

  39. #
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    the country cook @ Delightful Country Cookin — January 5, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

    Finally a simple granola bar recipe! I’m wondering if I could just skip the honey and just hold it all together with melted chocolate… :-)

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

      Sounds right up my alley… :)

      Reply

  40. #
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    Janalyne — January 5, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

    These look SO delicious! I always like taking bars with me to make it simple to eat healthy when I’m out and about…I wonder about adding some whey protein to boost the protein content.

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

      I think it can be done!

      Reply

  41. #
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    Rach — January 5, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

    Yum! PB and chocolate are like a match made in heaven :D

    Reply

  42. #
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    Megan — January 5, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

    Your granola bars look awesome! And so easy to make :) What would you think about subbing maple syrup for the brown rice syrup/honey??? hmm hmmm???

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

      I think it could work. I didn’t do it because I don’t love maple. The only thing I would watch is that maple syrup isn’t quite as thick and syrupy as honey/brown rice, but it depends where you get it from. Let me know if you try it!

      Reply

  43. #
    93
    sharon — January 5, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    Did you try protein powder in any of your batches?

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

      Nope, but I did use wheat germ which is sort of like a powdery substance. Protein powder would work you may just need to add a little more syrup.

      Reply

  44. #
    94
    Alaina @ The Jogging Concierge — January 5, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

    No hating; I love your bacon obsession. :-) I still have yet to try bacon chocolate though..hmm..my husband just bought bacon and I have chocolate chips in the cupboard…

    Reply

  45. #
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    Eliana — January 5, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    Love how easy and delicious these look :)

    Reply

  46. #
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    Tanya Hollas — January 5, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

    I’m definitely making these this weekend!! And I have some bacon in the freezer… hm………. :)

    Reply

  47. #
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    Mama Pea — January 5, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    YUM-E!

    Reply

  48. #
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    Marie Baars — January 5, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    Chia seeds! Crazy that you can eat them! These look so yummy!

    Reply

  49. #
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    Amanda — January 5, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Just read your recipe disasters… wow!! I would never have known!! ANd it makes me love you SOOOOOOO much!

    Reply

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    Rach — January 5, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    So I just signed into my Tasty Kitchen account and I realized that one of my “friends” on there is HowSweetEats! I went to the profile page and the website sent me here… looks like I was just destined to use your recipes between being “friends” on TK and following your blog here! Haha!

    Reply

    • Rach — January 5th, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

      I’m “speckjoy” on TK :)

      Reply

    • Jessica — January 5th, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

      Yay! :)

      Reply

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