Foodie Friday: Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Here in Georgia, the back-to-school enthusiasm may already have worn off when it comes to packing lunches and providing snacks for sports teams, scouts, youth groups, etc. Here’s a terrific kid-friendly recipe that doesn’t take too long to make – the kids can actually do much of it alongside an adult. And these bars provide a wealth of nutrition and energy for kids (and adults) on the go.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Dry Ingredients

3 c. raw oats
1 c. flaxseed meal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. peanuts, chopped
½ c.  sunflower seeds
½ c.  dried cherries of cranberries, chopped
½ tsp. salt (optional)
½ c.  dark chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients

1 c. peanut butter
1 c. favorite jelly like strawberry or raspberry
3 Tbsp. safflower oil or other high-oleic oil like peanut or hazelnut
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a 9-by-13 baking dish with parchment paper.
3. Combine first seven dry ingredients and mix well. Keep chocolate chips separate.
4. Combine all wet ingredients in a large pot. Cook over low heat until well combined, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
5. Pour dry ingredients into the pot and mix well. Allow mixture to cool for about 15 minutes.
6. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
7. Pour mixture into the baking dish and press firmly. (Keep mixture from sticking to hands by pressing with a piece of parchment paper.)   
8. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
9. Cool slightly before cutting into 48 medium-sized bars.  

Makes 48 servings.
120 calories per serving.

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