Super Simple Granola Bars

I have to eat an afternoon snack. Maybe I don’t eat enough for lunch, or maybe it’s all in my head, but I must an afternoon snack every single day. If I don’t, I’m starving when I get home. So I typically pack a piece of fruit or some sort of granola bar to tide me over until dinner.

But I’ve recently started being more of an ingredients-label reader… not just a calorie counter. And have you looked at some of those granola bar ingredients recently? Even if they’re “good for you” in terms of calories, protein, and fat… they can be loaded with confusing ingredients.

What happened? When did a granola bar because a concoction of 50 different ingredients? What happened to a simple list of some whole grains and natural sweetener? Do I need 20 grams of protein in my afternoon snack? I don’t know. But what I do know is. I was spending way too much money on expensive protein bars that had a laundry list of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. And now I want to get back to the basics.

So last week, as part of a FitFluential campaign, I received a jar of NuttZo to review. It comes in three flavors: Original, Chocolate, and Peanut-Free. I was sent a jar of Original, which seemed like a good start. I was impressed with the ingredients list, which includes 7 different nuts, plus flax seeds, and is packed with good-for-me Omega 3’s. (Plus NuttZo donates a portion of their profits to an orphanage. So, there’s that.)

I had it in my protein shakes in the morning, and enjoyed it on some frozen waffles, but I wanted to do more with it. So why not work it into a recipe? It was time to come up with a simple granola bar recipe, made with real ingredients.

Super Simple Granola Bars from I Heart Vegetables

Super Simple Granola Bars

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup salted nut butter (I used NuttZo)
  • 1 cup whole grain oats
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional but obviously delicious)

Note: This will work with any nut butter, but I highly recommend a salted, creamy kind. If you get unsalted, just add a pinch or two into the recipe! But seriously, give NuttZo a shot! It’s sold at most Whole Foods stores, and of course online.

In a medium sauce pan, warm up the honey and brown sugar over low heat, until the brown sugar is dissolved. Stir in the nut butter until combined. Remove from heat and stir in the oats and rice cereal. If you’re adding in chocolate chips, wait until the mixture has cooled a little bit, or else it will melt. Spread into a 6×8 pan (or medium loaf pan) and let set. Cut into bars, and wrap in plastic wrap, for an easy on-the-go snack!

Honestly, these taste more like dessert. They’re gooey, sweet, and crunchy. Yes, they have sugar in them, and these aren’t going to pack in 50 grams of protein or anything, but they’re a nice alternative to your vending machine selection. Plus, you can whip these up in literally 5 minutes. So no excuses! I will warn you, they are very crumbly. If that’s a problem, just pop them in the fridge of freezer, and that should help. Even if they’re crumbly, I promise you’ll be eating every last crumb.

Note: These double as dessert. Promise.

What’s your favorite granola bar?

Comments

  1. These sound awesome. Just so happens I have a full jar of NuttZo waiting to be used up 🙂 Yay!

  2. I need to try this Nutzo stuff I’ve been seeing all over the blog world!

  3. I keep reading about Nutzo! I need to give it a try. I hear it’s $12/jar, though… so I guess I need to find a good sale 🙂

  4. Those look so good! I used to have Special K bars as an afternoon snack till I realized how many fake ingredients were in them. I should definitely try this recipe and make my own. I don’t think we have Nutzo here in Australia but it sounds great!

  5. Love that these are no bake! I wonder if I can find some of this Nutzo stuff in Ireland. I love that it has flaxseed in it. I’m a bit obsessed with it at the moment. I actually make some healthy oat bars myself using natural peanut butter, honey and flaxseed but they take a bit more work than these so it’s nice to have a quicker no bake alternative when I’m in a hurry.

  6. I’m one of those people who needs an afternoon snack too! Even with one, I’m typically hungry at 5 on the dot! These look really tasty! I’m saving this recipe for the weekend!

    Lauren

  7. Kelsey Yoki says:

    I love making homemade bars, but my favorite is the chocolate mint Builder’s Bar (by the Clif brand). They never fail to fill me up with their 20g of protein! Our kitchen needs a magical transformation to accommodate my cooking/baking needs!

  8. I love nuttzo, great stuff. Lately ive been introducing good whole grains back into my diet so I am excited to try these since I have all the ingredients!!

  9. I love making my own snack bars when I have the time, these look really good and healthy too! 🙂

  10. Love this!!! These sound so simple, and I agree with actually knowing the ingredients.! Great recipe!

  11. I’ve been wanting to try Nutzo. It sounds delicious. And I love making granola bars at home because the ingredient list is completely in your own hands. 🙂 These look delicious, Liz! May have to whip up my own batch soon!

  12. i have been wanting to make my own granola bar for so long. I need to seriously. NOW.

  13. I love how there isn’t any fruit, just chocolate chips 🙂 That’s my kind of granola bar.

  14. Those look amazing! And definitely simple. My go-to afternoon snack is also some sort of bar…I usually go with KIND 🙂

  15. Yum! I’m an afternoon snacker too, and if I forget to pack something to bring to work, that usually means I hit up the dreaded vending machine!

  16. I love you for making a bar that isn’t loaded with sugar. I got the Nuttzo too and CANNOT stop eating it!!! With a spoon of course. Maybe I’ll smarten up and make these bars. : )

  17. I HAVE to have an afternoon snack too! Perhaps that mini-meal is ingrained in our daily life because of the routine afternoon snacks in elementary school? Whatever it is, I love the idea of these bars versus store bought. My wallet and taste buds could really appreciate these!

  18. These sound awesome! I love knowing what the ingredients are instead of buying packaged versions that contains ingredients that I cannot even pronounce. And I am totally with you on the afternoon snack thing. I am a bit-time snacker!

  19. Mmmm this recipe looks simply darling.

  20. I’m with you on snacks in the afternoon. It keeps our metabolisms working, right? I’m not a fan of most store bought granola bars either because of all the random stuff in them. Your recipe looks good- I like the simplicity!

  21. I need to work on making homemade granola bars! I probably spend way too much on store bought ones too… for school, they’re super convenient, but when I’m at home, might as well do homemade! These look super simple and delicious. AND they have nut butter and oats and antioxidant filled chocolate so they’re totally healthy 😉

  22. These look awesome! I actually saw Nutzzo at my store the other day– it was totally random and like hiding in the back behind the Jelly lol I considered getting it but the price was wayyyyy too much for me lol

  23. LOVE Nuttzo! I also love that you’re looking more deeply at labels. You’re right, it’s so important to look beyond the calories, fat and sugar. Especially in granola bars since they really don’t need all those added ingredients! Home made are my favorite for sure!

  24. Protein bars *can* get pretty expensive- making granola bars is so much fun because there are so many different add-ins to play around with. Using peanut butter is a great idea!

  25. What is it with those three-dozen-ingedient store-bought granola bars, right?! Just reading the labels makes me glad I never was a huge granola bar fan. That being said: your recipe sounds great and I like that you’re using honey in them the goodness of which I’ve been rediscovering these past weeks.

    • In college I would only read the nutritional facts, so they seemed fine! But now, I can’t believe all the ingredients they put in one little bar!

  26. homemade granola bars = LOVE. I’m seriously obsessed with making them, whether they be baked or raw!

  27. I haven’t had any type of granola bar in just over a year since developing an allergy, so I really should start making my own. I made homemade bars a few years ago, but it has been so long that I can’t remember the recipe!

  28. I love these Liz! They look awesome. Like you, I always need an afternoon snack at 3 p.m. 😉 My body clock always tells me I’m hungry at that time. When I’m craving a bar, I usually reach for a KIND bar because they are all natural and usually have between 5 and 7 ingredients. You would love them!

    • Ohh I’ve tried a couple of them before and really liked them! The dark chocolate and sea salt one is like dessert!

  29. This sounds so delicious!!!!! Need to seriously buy that nut butter, I have found it but it hasn’t landed in my basket….why!!! lol 🙂

  30. Yum these sound simple and delicious thanks for sharing : )

  31. I’m the same way about needing an afternoon snack. Usually, it’s because I’m hungry, but sometimes I do it just because I want to!
    I’ve also recently become more concerned with ingredients than calories. Even if something has miniscule calories, why would I want to put it in my body if it has a whole bunch of “nasties” in it?
    Great recipe!

  32. Ooh, they look delicious!

  33. I have become OBSESSED with kind bars and also Perfect Foods Bars. They are seriously all I want to eat!

  34. Papa John says:

    Sounds like something your dad would enjoy on the links or on the slopes this winter……

  35. Those look delicious! I wish I had the motivation to make my own granola bars!

  36. I never tried Nuttzo – I think I will grab a jar this weekend! I don’t often eat granola bars but I have made them a few times for my son and I kept them in the freezer since they can be crumbly. I should make them again, I haven’t in a while! These would be good with raisins too.

  37. These look delicious! Can’t wait to try this recipe out.

  38. I am so jealous of your Nuttzo! But aside from that, I love the idea of this recipe (and not only because I have half a box of Rice Krispies going stale in my kitchen….) It looks so great and customizable, and how could it NOT be delicious when you use such basic, yummy ingredients.

  39. Do you think these would work with puffed quinoa?? I bought some on sale but have been to lazy to find a granola bar recipe for them.

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