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No-Bake No-Problem

So, we’re about to open another post talking about the weather.  We hate to be repetitive or predictable, but really, the weather has so much of an effect on what we eat that it really must be mentioned!  At least in this post, anyways.

Because today we’re talking about these:

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No-bake peanut butter banana granola bars!

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You see, we try to always have quick snacks in the house that we can toss into our lunch bags when we go to work.  Lately, though, we’ve been on a huge muffin-kick.  Remember these?  So what do muffins have to do with the weather?  Nothing.  Except that they require an oven…

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And you might recall us mentioning a couple times the heat-wave we experienced a few weeks ago.  Definitely not muffin-baking weather.  Which is where these granola bars come in.

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Our first attempt at these granola bars was made during said heat-wave.  Unfortunately, while they tasted really good, they fell apart very easily and so we knew we needed to give them another try before we gave the recipe to you guys.

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But then the heat wave came to a very abrupt end (as in the temperature literally dropped by about 20 degrees Celsius overnight), and suddenly not using the oven wasn’t such a priority.  But we had already made one attempt, and we knew we couldn’t back down from the challenge!

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On the second attempt, the stars aligned and they turned out just the way we wanted!  Don’t you love it when that happens?

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Confession:  The first time we made these they had chocolate chips in them.  The second time around we went to put chocolate in them again and realized we were all out- yes, it was a shock to us too- so these ones are chocolate-free.  But adding chocolate chips is highly recommended.

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So we’ve put muffin-mania on hold for a few days, because right now we’re all about the no-bake granola bars!  Our oven could use a little vacation, anyways 😉

No-Bake Peanut Butter Banana Granola Bars

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Makes: 12 bars

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats, divided
2 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flax seed*)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
1 ripe banana, mashed
1.2 c. peanut butter (we used all-natural)
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 c. chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

Grind one cup of the oats in a blender or food processor until it is a fine flour.  In a large bowl, combine the ground oats with the remaining 2 cups of whole oats, chia seeds, salt and chopped peanuts.

In a separate bowl combine the mashed banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla and stir until it is smooth and fully mixed.  Pour the peanut butter banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until no dry spots remain.  You may add the chocolate chips at this point if you are using them.

Line a 9×9 inch square glass dish with wax paper.  Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the dish and set in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to firm up.  When they are ready, use the edge of the wax paper to gently lift the un-cut bars out of the dish.  Cut into 12 bars and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

*You can use ground flax seed in place of chia seeds, however we have not personally tried this and cannot guarantee the bars will stay together as well.  If you decide to give this a try, please let us know how they turn out!

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite no-bake treats?  Have you ever tried making no-bake granola bars?

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All-Bran All-Good

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Does anyone remember this commercial?

It’s about Kellogg’s All Bran bars, and everyone is laughing at the guy eating one because he said it tasted great. Bran? Tasting good?!? Ya, right!

Actually, these just happen to be some of our favourite granola bars! We don’t normally buy store-bought granola bars (making our own is just way too much fun!), but when we do those are often the ones we get! Of course, whenever we really like something, be it from a restaurant or a family classic, we just can’t help but remake it ourselves! Of course, we always try and go the healthiest route possible. 🙂

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These granola bars are seriously easy to make, and are so portable! They don’t require refrigeration and can be tossed in a bag for and on-the-go snack.

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Another great thing about them is that they can be made with pretty much any flour, because they don’t require any rising, in fact, the flatter the better! We haven’t actually made them with a gluten-free flour, but we will do some trials and let you know how they go. Or, if you try it with a gluten free flour before we do, please let us know how they turned out! 🙂

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And we mean really, who couldn’t use a little bran in their diet? And we swear they taste good!

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That’s the Two Saucy Sister guarantee!

Home-made All-Bran Bars

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Prep time: 15-20min
Bake time: 15min
Makes: 12 bars

Ingredients:

2 c. bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground flax seed

1 egg
1/2 c. honey
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 c. + 1/8th c. milk of choice
1/4 tsp almond extract

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly, until it forms a slightly sticky dough that you can pick up with your hands.
On a cookie sheet-sized piece of greased parchment paper, roll out your dough until it almost completely covers the parchment. Make sure you flour your rolling pin as well as the surface of the dough to avoid sticking and tearing.
Once you have rolled out your dough, cut it into 12 bars (we used a pizza cutter). Then, cut a line through the middle of each bar, making sure to cut just the surface (not all the way through) for a more “authentic” look. Separate each bar so that there is a couple of centimeters or more of space between each bar. If you are having trouble moving them without them falling apart, bake them for 5 min and then separate them.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until they are firm and the edges are crispy and golden brown. Immediately transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Rolling out the dough:

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Cutting the bars:

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Separating them before baking:

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~twosaucysisters

Do you have a favourite store-bought or home-made granola bar?