No-Bake Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars {Gluten-Free}

As a mom of young kids, it is vitally important that I always have at least a couple of snacks packed in my bag whenever we leave the house. Store-bought granola bars are a great option due to their portability and long shelf life, but even the “healthier” brands have a longer ingredient list than I would like, not to mention too much added sugar. Homemade granola bars solve those issues, and this recipe is super easy and quick!

The bars do not need to be baked, so they’re ready to eat in mere minutes. They’re soft & chewy with a healthy balance of nutrition and unrefined sweetener; and, of course, they’re absolutely delicious!

 

No-Bake Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars {Gluten-Free}

by Lauren Zembron (adapted from Present Glo Bars in The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (12 bars)

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats (you can certainly use regular old fashioned rolled oats if you don’t need a gluten-free recipe)
  • 1 1/4 cups crispy brown rice cereal (naturally gluten-free; I love the Erewhon brand)
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup all natural unsweetened peanut butter (the only ingredients should be peanuts and salt; you can also use almond butter)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan (a 7 x 11 rectangular pan also works) with parchment paper going both ways, making sure to leave enough overhang to assist you in taking the granola bars out of the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, crispy rice cereal, and salt.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the brown rice syrup and peanut butter. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until the peanut butter has liquified. Add in the vanilla extract and stir until completely combined and smooth.

Spoon the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until well-combined. Make sure you scrape all of the wet ingredients out of the bowl and into the dry ingredients.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and, using lightly wetted hands, press into an even layer. Lay an additional sheet of parchment paper on top of the mixture and firmly roll a pastry roller over the top to compact the mixture.

Place in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. Lift the granola bars out of the pan by picking up the overhanging parchment paper, place on a cutting board, and cut into bars.

Store bars individually wrapped in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Snack Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

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Snack cake. Those two words – individually – make me happy, but put them together and I’m downright blissful. Cake that you can justifiably get away with eating at any time of day? I’m in 100%. How about you? If for some odd reason you’re still not sold, just feast your eyes on that glossy peanut butter sauce…

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… which, as it cools, slightly hardens into a caramely, sticky, delicious glaze crowning the chocolate chip-speckled banana cake below.

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If there’s a more phenomenal flavor trifecta that peanut butter/chocolate/banana, then I have yet to taste it.

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I could eat this snack cake all day long!

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Chocolate Chip Banana Snack Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
  • 1/3 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil (I used safflower oil)
  • 1/4 cup unrefined granulated sugar, such as evaporated cane juice
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, preferably organic
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1/4 pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk, preferably organic (or a non-dairy milk alternative)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 9 inch pie plate (or cake pan).

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk mashed bananas, oil, both sugars, egg, and vanilla extract until well-combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until a wooden tester (or toothpick) inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

When the cake has about 5 minutes left to bake, make the glaze by whisking together the peanut butter, maple syrup, and milk in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth and drippy (about 3-4 minutes), then remove from the heat.

When the cake is done, pour the glaze evenly over the top and let the cake cool completely.

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