Chocolate granola bars…

It’s hard to believe spring break is already here!  Oh, how this year is flying!  We hadn’t planned on going anywhere over the break, however with the below normal temps and inordinate amount of snowfall we’ve had over the past few weeks we had a change of heart.  It’s not like me (or my husband) to be spontaneous but that’s exactly what we were with this decision.  We pulled up a map on-line and randomly picked a city in the continental United States.  Phoenix, Arizona showed average temps in March at 75 degrees so without much thought we booked our airline tickets.  It wasn’t until the trip was booked that we started looking at activities in the area.  We were delighted to find that Sadona, Arizona is a short drive from Phoenix so we are planning to spend a day or two there doing some hiking through Red Rock State Park.  Then we’ll head back to Phoenix where we’ll catch a Brewer’s spring training game and just hang out in the sunshine for a few days.  I’m very much looking forward to spending some time with my family…especially in some warmer weather!

Rather than post lunch box photos this week I thought I’d share a few of my favorite “travel snacks” throughout the week.  These are all recipes I made up specifically for our trip knowing they would come in handy while we’re out and about on our Arizona adventure.

The first snack recipe is for a VERY easy chocolate granola bar.  My boys LOVE these!

This recipe is adapted from one I found here:

1/4 c. unsweetened Hershey’s chocolate chips

1.4 c  natural peanut butter (I use Skippy natural, but almond butter, sunbutter or another nut butter would work)

1/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)

1 c. oats

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp Sweetener (I use erythritol, but you could use agave syrup, truvia, etc…)

2 Tbsp Other Dry Ingredients (flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, protein powder, etc…)

Directions:

Melt the first three ingredients together in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring and checking

Then add the oats and the additional ingredients, stir to combine.  (You want this mixture to be somewhat dry.  If it’s not dry enough, add more oats one tablespoon at a time.)

Press mixture into bars or balls.   I have a small rectangular plastic container I line with wax paper to form the bars.  You could use an 8×8 pan for thin bars, or smaller pan if you want thicker bars.  Simply pour the “batter” into a pan lined with wax paper.  Spread batter until even and put in refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes, or until bars have set up.   Slice into bars.  When we’re home I store the bars in the freezer and pull them out for lunches as needed.

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3 Responses to Chocolate granola bars…

  1. Cyndi says:

    Hi, would you mind sharing where you got some of your cookie or vegetable cutters? Specifically the letters and the stars?

  2. Jessica says:

    Hi! I try to eat healthy too, but cost sometimes interferes :( I also have a soy intolerance which is in many “protein” style bars. But, I notice that your recipes do not have soy- yay! I can have all nuts and nutbutters with no problems! I have even began making my own almond milk- it’s easy! A little time consuming- but easy.

    I have never used erithrytol before. Is it expensive? Where does it come from (meaning, in nature) and where do you buy it? I have tried Stevia before but it did not agree with me (terrible diarrhea- excuse the ickiness). Do you think Splenda is a good substitute? Also, labels say, and I’ve experienced this, that too much consumption of sugar-free foods can have a laxative effect. How do you deal with this? Do you only use so much per day?

    Any help is appreciated!

  3. Linda Bares says:

    Love this recipe!! I’ve made it with 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/2 unsweetened Baker’s chocolate. Where do you find the Hershey’s unsweetened chocolate chips? Do you still purchase Skippy Natural as your pb choice, as a serving contains 3g sugar. It’s so hard to get away from anything with added sugar! My oldest is almost 4 and will be going to school soon enough. I’ll definitely be referring to your blog for lunch ideas! Thanks!!

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