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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Great Granola Bar Search, Part 1

One of Jesse's favorite breakfasts, and my favorite snacks, is a granola bar.  When I can find deals on them, I try to stock up, but since we've also been trying to get rid of processed foods, I knew I would end up searching for a good recipe.  Here's a breakdown of what we've tried so far, and how they turned out.

No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
(recipe here)
  • Taste. These are really good! With peanut butter, chocolate chips, and sugar, how could they not be?
  • Easy to make. It took me about 10 minutes total to put these together, and they only even took that long because I had the kids help with the dry ingredients.
  • Lots of sugar. 2 cups of sugar.
  • Chewy and a bit crumbly.  This isn't a big deal for me, but Jesse likes crunchy bars, or ones that at least hold together, and these didn't quite.
  • Requires stovetop for part of the prep. I'd rather mix and bake than have to watch something on the stovetop, especially since I usually bake things while the kids are awake.
  • Dishes: one bowl, one pot, two spoons, and one knife. I guess the pot kind of cancels out the pan I would bake them in (they set in a pan that was lined with parchment, so it didn't get dirty), but if I hadn't been doing dishes right away, I think the pot of sugary syrup would have been a bigger pain.
Overall: These are a good treat bar that taste pretty much like a no-bake cookie, but not quite what we're looking for as far as a go-to granola bar recipe.

Crispy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
(recipe here, I used some crushed Cheerios instead of Rice Krispies because that's what I had)

  • Taste.  These remind me of the Quaker bars in both look and taste, and since I know all of my family members like those, that's a big plus.
  • Easy to make. Again, even with the kids helping with the dry ingredients, these were done in under 10 minutes.
  • Taste. These do have a slight coconut taste because of the amount of coconut oil. I thought they were good, but that might bother some people.
  • Didn't quite hold together. I hope this was because I didn't squish them quite enough, because otherwise, these were pretty awesome.
  • Requires stovetop for part of prep. These also have a melt-on-the-stovetop step, but I'm starting to wonder if that isn't a common thing for the type of bar that I'm looking for.
  • Dishes. Another sugary pan to scrub.
Overall: This will be a repeat recipe, so hopefully I can fix the crumbly issue.  If that works, we may have found a keeper!

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