I love a hearty, chewy granola bar. It makes for a great pre-workout snack, post-workout snack, after school snack, mid-morning snack…I think you get the idea. Using pre-made granola instead of oats in this recipe cut back on prep time and added the right textural element that I love in granola bars. The use of banana adds a hint of sweetness and body without having to add in oil, while the peanut butter binds and gives yummy flavor! These bars are full of fiber, potassium, protein, and healthy fat to keep you going through your day. Snack on my friends!
3 1/2 cups gluten-free granola (I like Udi’s brand)
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter of choice)
Sea salt to taste
Mash bananas with a fork until few chunks remain. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the mashed bananas, nut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, and agave or honey. Stir mixture for a few minutes until it is fully combined and warm, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl combine the banana mixture with the granola. Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Leave an inch hanging over each side of the pan to use as handles for easy removal of the bars after baking. Pour the mixture into the pan. Use a spatula to spread out and flatten the mixture evenly. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Let cool then place pan in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment handles. Use a sharp knife to cut out individual bars.