This post is inspired by a photo I posted awhile back which got a few requests for the recipe. One of the requests coming from a life long friend who’s obsessed with peanut butter and jelly. Being that in a month she’ll be a wife I thought this was good timing to fulfill her request and give her a twist on the classic favorite.
Of course I didn’t know where I put the recipe though so I recreated it from memory. The best part about making your own granola bars is that you know exactly what you’re putting into it. Ever read nutrition labels? I know, boring…BUT there can really be a lot of crap you don’t need in there.
These bars have only natural sugar in them, like from the dried dates, honey, and strawberry jelly. And once you taste them, you’ll agree you don’t need anymore added sugar. These are made from 9 ingredients, all of which you can pronounce: old fashioned oats, peanuts, salt, cinnamon, peanut butter, honey, dates, milk, strawberry jelly.
They taste just like…well, a pb&j sandwich but with a heartier texture. Definitely a filling little bar that packs 6 whole grams of protein naturally! Although the oats kick up the carbs, they are complex carbs, so you’ll feel satisfied and energized only for about 200 calories per bar. The week after I made them I stored them in the fridge and had one before heading to the gym each day which gave me enough to power through some intense weight lifting.
Although this recipe is by the request of others I am also obsessed with peanut butter. Like, eat it out of the jar with a spoon obsessed. However…in the past year I’ve been working through a list of food sensitivities for migraines and peanuts could definitely be one of my triggers. (More on this soon). And not just peanuts, but all things peanuts & nuts, such as their butters and milks. While I love peanut butter dearly, I do need to go back to cutting it out of my life for a bit to identify if it’s a culprit. So this recipe is my loving goodbye for now to my peanut butter by the spoonful days (waterfall crying emoji).
Before starting this recipe, I will warn you that you’ll need a food processor to make the oat flour – or just make sure you pick up a small bag of it in the store beforehand. “Oat flour” is exactly what you might guess it is – ground up oats to the consistency that’s like regular flour. Don’t skip it though! It’s the glue holding these bars together.
Start by mixing your dry ingredients: oat flour, oats, peanuts, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the peanut butter and honey. Stir the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients. It’s going to be a sticky pasty mess – but just keep working it to incorporate all the oats.
Next, work in half of the dates and the almond milk into the mixture. Spread it evenly in a 9 x 13 pan. Then, in a separate bowl, combine the remaining dates with the strawberry jelly (if you’re an adamant grape jelly fan you can use that instead). Using the spoon, work the jelly into the peanut butter mixture by dragging the spoon and mushing (technical term) it into the batter. I took the path of drawing squiggly lines (pro technique) in the batter so you get jelly in each bite, woohoo!
Bake this at 350 for 30 minutes. The edges should begin to brown. I let this cool for an hour in the pan until I could flip it out onto a cooling rack. Wait until it’s cooled completely to slice into bars, mine made 18. Just for fun, drizzle melted peanut butter on top!
PBJ Granola Bars
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup oat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup peanuts
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup chopped pitted dates soak in hot water for 15 min prior
- 1 cup strawberry or grape jelly
Start by mixing your dry ingredients: oat flour, oats, peanuts, cinnamon, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix the peanut butter and honey.
Stir the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Keep working it to incorporate all of the oats.
Next, work in half of the dates and the almond milk into the mixture.
Spread it evenly in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Then, in a separate bowl, combine the remaining dates with the strawberry jelly. Using the spoon, work the jelly into the peanut butter mixture by dragging the spoon and pushing it into the batter.
Bake this at 350 for 30 minutes. The edges should begin to brown.
Let this cool for an hour in the pan until you can flip it out onto a cooling rack. Wait until it’s cooled completely to slice into bars, mine made 18. Just for fun, drizzle melted peanut butter on top!