After several months, I think I’m ready to share them with you.
My boys love my homemade chocolate chip granola bars but I decided to add a little twist to them.
I took my basic granola bar recipe, and added a special layer of goodness. Warm, gooey peanut butter and melted chocolate chips between two layers of chocolate chip granola.
It takes a basic granola bar to a new level and adds extra nutrition as well from the peanut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup.
While my boys claim this is one of their favorite snacks I make them, my favorite (so far) would be my Raw Hemp and Chia Seed Bars.
- provides significant fiber
- helps control blood sugar levels
- can reduce hypertension and high blood pressure
- increases appetite control hormones
- lowers bad cholesterol
5 Fast Facts About Almonds (Almond Flour):
- helps to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure
- energy booster
- loaded with calcium and fiber
- 1/4 cup contains 8 grams of vegan protein
- high in anti-oxidants
5 Fast Facts About Raw Coconut Crystals:
- low glycemic (GI of 35)
- raw, vegan and gluten-free
- unrefined and unbleached
- contains 17 amino acids
- is an abundant source of minerals and broad spectrum B vitamins
5 Fast Facts About Coconut Oil:
- super high in lauric acid
- rich in antioxidants
- contains natural microbial and anti-bacterial agents
- helps to improve metabolism
- improves cholesterol levels
5 Fast Facts About Peanuts (Peanut Butter):
- excellent source of vitamin E
- high in folate
- contains tryptophan which helps fight depression
- good source of fiber
- excellent source of vegan protein
5 Fast Facts About Maple Syrup:
- contains manganese and zinc
- super high in anti-oxidants
- helps with inflammation
- 1/4 cup contains more calcium than the same amount of milk
- 1/4 cup contains more potassium than a banana
Tip #1: You can adjust the sugar content depending on the sweetener you use and the amount of chocolate chips you use. I used 1/4 cup of a low-glycemic granular sweetener, and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the oat mixture and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the peanut butter layer to keep the sugar content down. If you want a sweeter bar, you can use 1/2 cup of granulated sweeter and and 1 cup of chocolate chips in the oat mixture instead.
Tip #2: Use Enjoy-Life Chocolate Chips for a gluten-free, vegan option.
Tip #3: Although I prefer to use homemade peanut butter, you can certainly use your favorite peanut butter instead.
Tip #4: Some other substitutions/alterations I’ve made: substitute the almond flour with Bob’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour (equal amounts). This worked well but the garbanzo bean taste is too overpowering for me. I’ve also added 1/4 cup of organic applesauce and it worked well. And, I’ve added 1 cup of chocolate chips to the oat mixture instead of 1/2.
Tip #5: Sometimes I have been in a hurry and didn’t melt the coconut oil before mixing it in with the oat mixture and peanut butter mixture and it worked fine. I just had to use my hands to mix the oat mixture to make sure everything was evenly distributed, so you can skip this step if you’d like.
Tip #6: As tempting as it will be to eat them right out of the oven, it’s much better if you let them cool off completely before cutting and serving. They will be very soft and not hold together well while they are warm. But, because of the coconut oil in the oat bars and peanut butter center, they will get firm and harden a bit if you put them in the refrigerator, which in my opinion, is when they taste the best. They become very dense and hold together much better. Take them out of the oven and put them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour or so to cool and firm and they will be good to go!
Tip #7: This recipe makes approximately 16 thick, dense square sized bars.