Thursday, July 11, 2013

Monster Cookie Granola Bars

It's summer. We've got things to do, places to go, people to see... Let's keep everything else easy, shall we?

This weekend is going to be a doozy. On the docket: Relay for Life, lab work, Color Run, lab work, packing for a trip to Boston, lab work, running errands, trying to relax a little bit and enjoy the weather...

Oh, and more lab work.

All this to say, food will need to be quick, easy, and satisfying. Let's take ten minutes and make our own wholesome granola bars to sustain us through all the crazy, shall we?

These granola bars come together quickly and easily... and end up being cheaper than buying them at the grocery store. You can throw whatever you want in these bars... the only really necessary ingredients are oats, some cereal, and brown rice syrup (as a binding agent). I just was craving monster cookies, so I decided to take that delicious spin on it. I also threw in some soy protein powder to bulk up the bars and make them slightly more meal-worthy (slash balance out all the chocolate in them!)

Wrap the bars individually in wax paper to grab and go. They'll keep this way for about a week, but will last two if you throw them in a ziploc bag once wrapped.

Monster Cookie Granola Bars

Inspired by Super Natural Cooking

1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chopped salted peanuts
1 cup oat bran
1 1/2 cups fiber cereal (I used Fiber One's Honey squares)
1 cup raisins
1 cup M&Ms
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
6 scoops soy protein powder (I used one from Trader Joe's, unflavored)
3 tbsp peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups brown rice syrup

In a large bowl, toss together the first eight ingredients; set aside. Line a 13"x9" pan with wax paper.

In a medium saucepan, heat the peanut butter, brown rice syrup, and brown sugar, stirring constantly. Once close to bubbling, remove from heat, drizzle over the previously mixed ingredients, and stir until everything is well moistened.

Transfer the mixture to the lined pan and press into the pan evenly. Allow to cool to room temperature, or chill in the fridge; cut into desired bar sizes, wrap individually in wax paper, and store up to two to three weeks in an airtight container.

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