No Bake Oats and Peanut Butter Granola Bars
This is my third batch of No Bake Oats and Peanut Butter Granola Bars within the last two weeks and surprisingly I am not tired of it. Just as the long title suggests, it is a no bake, one bowl recipe with oats, peanut butter and liquid sweetener of your choice. I have used both honey and agave as they help bind everything together and keep the bars moist. Personally, I prefer the taste of honey in this granola bar when compared to agave though. It's a pretty customizable recipe so finish it off with whatever dried fruits, nuts, and seeds of your choice. It's been my go-to snack after the run although the second batch, I had to settle in with balls instead of bars. I have tried a couple of no bake granola bar recipes before but they tend of dry out quickly or fall apart but after some testing and tweaking, I have decided that this one is a keeper. Agave nectar is a controversial natural sweetener derived from the same plant as tequila. A tablespoon of agave provides about 60 calories about 15 calories more than an equal serving of table sugar. But since it’s sweeter than sugar, the idea is that people will use less to achieve the same level of sweetness. It is marketed as a healthier sugar substitute because it is natural, organic. and has low glycemic index, vegan etc however, it is mainly composed of fructose.
Fructose is a sugar found naturally in fruit and okay when it comes from real fruits but when commercially extracted and processed, then that's when things get problematic. Just remember that it is a form of sugar, a small amount of agave nectar (or any other sweetener) every once in a while isn't going to kill you. Just because it has healthy claims, don't buy into the idea that it's any better for you than plain old sugar.
If you choose to multiply this recipe or add a lot of nuts/seeds etc, adjust the amount of peanut butter and liquid sweetener accordingly. I have found this ratio to work perfectly for me and it makes about 10 granola bars. I like to store them in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap so it maintains its moistness. Hope you give this No Bake Oats and Peanut Butter Granola Bars a try soon.
Running on the other hand is going as good as planned but the heat is really affecting my training. I am really struggling to improve my pace, as a matter of fact running 2.5 miles without passing out was a great accomplishment. Ideally, I would prefer to run in morning because it is a lot cooler compared to 10 PM and less torturous than a treadmill. But until the weather cools down I may have to do 1-2 runs on the treadmill. Do you guys feel so controlled by that machine or is it just me?
- Strength training/stretch : 30 minutes brisk walking
- Running: 11.6 total miles this week but no real progress on pace. Looking forward to my 1st 5 miles tomorrow.
- Nutrition: No Bake Oats, Peanut Butter & Granola Bars and water
- 1.5 cups rolled oats (use GF oats for gluten-free)
- scant 1/2 cup peanut butter (or use any nut butter of your choice)
- scant 1/2 cup liquid sweetener (honey, agave, maple syrup)
- 2 tablespoon coconut chips (may use shredded coconut)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- scant 1/4 cup chopped nuts ( I used cashews)
- In a bowl combine peanut butter and liquid sweetener and microwave for 10-15 seconds then stir it together.
- In a large bowl add oats then pour the peanut butter + sweetener mixture.
- Add cashews, chia seeds, and coconut chips to the mix then combine everything together. It should be a sticky mixture.
- In a square 8 inch pan lined with parchment paper, gently press the peanut butter and oat mixture until its even. I like to put another layer of parchment paper over it and use a heavy plate so it stays firm and even (optional though).
- Place the pan in the refrigerator for an hour or so until it sets.
- Cut into desired shape and individually wrap in a plastic wrap to keep it moist in the refrigerator.
Have a great weekend everyone!