Saturday, October 1, 2011

Peanut Oat Granola Bars

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

I believe I've mentioned our snack crisis. As a result, I've been making a lot of granola bars. Today's are compliments of Julie (and Jenn) at Living Life with Less. I did nothing to alter the heart of the recipe, although I did leave out the craisins and add in chocolate chips. Why, you may ask? Because if I've learned one thing from the food industry, it's this: Make the top of it look really good and people will try it. Amen and amen.

I really like pressing the chips in because, well, have you ever watched a child (or a husband) choose a chocolate chip cookie. They don't say, "Hmm, that one looks to be perfectly golden at the edges" or "Hmm, that one seems thick and chewy in the center" and certainly not, "Hmm, that one looks like it could have a bunch of chocolate chips lurking in the middle even though I can't see them on top." No, children and husbands choose their cookie strictly by the amount of chocolate chips visible on the top. If you have a particularly bright child or husband in your family, this individual may even flip the cookie over to assess the number of chocolate chips visible on the bottom as well. But generally it's all about the top and I think it's safe to say that it's never ever about the potential middles. In chocolate chip land, potentialities are simply too big of a risk. No, best to go for what you can see.

Because of this, I figure it's best not to waste chocolate chips in the midst of my granola bars. If I stick a few on top, then I can get away with adding less because I've created the illusion of more. Get it. Well, the food industry does, so I guess I sort of learned that from them too. Sigh. I suppose I should thank them.

P.S. I bet these would totally work as a breakfast cookie, though I haven't tried it. Additionally, they're egg free. We all know what that means: that's right, worry-free dough snitching. It also means that I bet if you were into raw things, you could totally just harden these up in the fridge over night.

Peanut Oat Granola Bars
From Living Life With Less
Makes 8 large or 12 medium
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12-15 minutes
Cost: $1.25
(oats: .20, whole wheat flour: .10, sugar: .10, apple sauce: .10, peanut butter: .50, chocolate chips: .25)

2 C oats (I used quick)
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C sugar (I used white, but brown or honey or raw or whatever would work)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C applesauce (I was skeptical about this, but it totally worked and didn't create that gummy 'healthy cookie' texture)
1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C chocolate chips (or as few as you can get away with to create the illusion of many)
Of course you could also add raisins, Craisins, nuts, seeds, or whatever the heck else you wanted

Stir together dry ingredients.

Mix in applesauce and peanut butter.

Press mixture into a 9x13 inch pan or a cookie sheet (I used a cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy removal and cutting, but you could just grease the pan if you wished). Press in chocolate chips or other toppings.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Allow to cool before cutting.


1 comment:

  1. So glad you liked them! I like your idea of only using the chocolate chips on top. I go through a ton of those in my house and this could save me a little money.



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