This or That: Peanut Butter Granola Bars

“Is it real son, is it really real son
Let me know it’s real son, if it’s really real…”
-Method Man

Everything in life is a choice. Today I present to you the common granola bar. You can choose to “save” a few minutes and grab a box at your favorite grocery store, or you can take a moment to make that shit yo self.

Why the heck would we want to go through the trouble, you ask? Allow me to illustrate:

As you can see, here we have boxes upon boxes of peanut butter granola bars from our favorite grocery store. Sometimes people think that just because it came from “the health food store” that it’s healthy. Think again, young blood. You gotta get your spectacles out and read the label. Look at all the ingredients up in these bars! And these are some of the better ones – no high fructose corn syrup and we can pretty much pronounce all the words, but when you stop and think about it, it’s all a bit much.

What it really comes down to is to the processing. These bars above are processed food and that’s what we want to avoid. Processed equals fake and we need to keep it real. At least a little more real.. cause yeah, the following recipe calls for brown rice syrup and that’s processed and the peanut butter has undergone some processing, but for the most part the ingredients are whole and, more importantly, non-GMO (though, to be fair Trader Joes doesn’t allow GMOs in their foods either).

pb ingredients

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
from Forks Over Knives by Del Sroufe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with a 10-inch square piece of parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, mix together the peanut butter, maple syrup, and brown rice syrup. Gently heat the mixture over low heat, whisking with a fork, just until it’s warm enough for the ingredients to incorporate and become smooth.

Remove from the heat. Let the mixture cool a bit so that it’s warm but not hot. Mix in the vanilla, the add the oats, salt and cinnamon and mix very well.

Now wet your hands and press the oats into the pan. Firmly press the oat mixture into the pan, pressing on the top and pressing the bars as tightly as you can. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the sides of the bars are lightly browned.

Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting up the corners of the parchment paper. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely (with parchment underneath).

Use an 8-inch knife to slice the bars into eight rectangles. It’s best to press down firmly in one motion to slice, rather than using a sawing motion, which may make the bars crumble a bit. Slice once down the middle, and then 4 times across the other way.

Store bars in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.pb bars

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