School starts this week in Topeka. Ah, I remember the days of trying to get kids out the door and off to school. With my stepkids from my first marriage, it was often the time when I found out they needed something, such as poster board or a shoe box, or lunch for a field trip along with a “I need you to sign this permission slip” request.
Today, this is my idea of back-to-school supplies!
Many years ago in New Hampshire, while working on an article featuring healthy lunchbox fare, I came across this recipe for Peanut Butter Granola Bars, and one for Apple, Oatmeal and Coconut Muffins I posted in the past. Both recipes are easy to make, full of whole grains, and sweetened with honey instead of sugar.
I made up a batch both and tried them out on the neighborhood kids. (My stepkids were grown-up by then.) They devoured them and asked me to make a second batch of each.
I still make these granola bars. They are a tasty, quick breakfast to get the day started, or a healthy snack for a mid-afternoon slump.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Adapted from The School Lunchbox Cookbook by Miriam Jacobs.
This recipe calls for oat bran. I found the Bob’s Red Mill brand in the natural products section of the grocery store.
Makes 10 bars
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup dry nonfat milk powder
1/2 cup raisins (dried cranberries also work well)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)
1/4 cup extra-light-tasting olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch-square baking pan.
Mix together the oats, oat bran and dry milk in a large bowl. Add the raisins and mix well again, making sure the raisins are separated.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the honey, peanut butter, oil and vanilla until well combined. (If the peanut butter is stiff, microwave the bowl for 10 seconds to raise the temperature a bit so the ingredients will mix together. Do not let the mixture get hot.) Add the egg, and mix well.
Pour the wet mixture over the oat mixture and stir until well combined. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes.
Take the granola bars out of the oven and score into bars with the edge of a spatula. Let the bars cool completely in the pan, and then turn them out onto a cutting board. Separate into individual bars and store in an airtight container.