I’m not a health nut, I don’t stand in the grocery store aisles comparing the amount of calories, fat, and sugar from one brand to another. Everything I buy is not organic and on the nights that we have macaroni and cheese, it’s most likely out of a box. Homemade, organic everything just isn’t practical for everyone. However, one of my goals is to make these things more practical for me. I feel so much better about eating something that I made myself instead of something prepackaged because I KNOW what I put in it.
Store bought granola bars have more ingredients than I care to count. I realize that the ingredients in store bought granola bars are necessary in order for them to have a longer shelf life. Store bough granola bars will most likely last in your pantry for months, where the granola bars I made last in your refrigerator for a week. I know, I know, who would rather go through the trouble of making your own granola bars when you can swing by the grocery store on the way home from work. I would prefer to spend a little extra time in the kitchen and enjoy something much more delicious AND know what all went into it but like I said, it’s not practical for everyone. I’m just striving to find ways to make it practical for me. I must say that I do feel a sense of accomplishment when I spend a little extra time to make things homemade. Having a sense of accomplishment gives you a positive attitude and having a positive attitude helps you achieve more, mentally and physically. At least it does for me! Make these granola bars, you won’t be sorry!
As I strive to change my eating habits by eating cleaner, fewer processed foods, and making as much as I can in my own kitchen with fresh ingredients, I hope that I will improve my health. I hope with a cleaner diet and regular exercise, I can reach my goal of being fit and lean. Now, don’t get my wrong, my goal isn’t to be stick-thin and for my scales to show a certain number, for me, it’s all about being healthy and fit! Healthy doesn’t have a number, happy doesn’t have a number!
Homemade Granola Bars
Slightly Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1. Cut out a 7 x 11 inch square of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper in the bottom of a 7 x 11 inch baking pan.
2. In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
3. Stir in the oats and crispy rice cereal. Stir until well coated. Pour into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan.
4. Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars, melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the cut granola bars.