Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Detox January, Week 1: Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Peanut butter-oatmeal breakfast bars
"Mocktail Hour" with a virgin Bloody Mary is not quite the same as the real deal with a chartreuse vodka gimlet, but hey ... otherwise Detox January is not bad at all.

(Sidebar: Except for the annual mob scene at the gym. But I'm not worried: the resolution-breakers will be gone by the end of February. Cynical? Yes. But it's true.)

Take, for instance, these breakfast / snack bars. Wicked, wicked good! And no baking involved -- just some melting. And everyone can find time for a little melting.

Regular readers will recall that I am always on the hunt for good make-ahead, grab-and-go breakfast recipes. I think this one may be the best one yet: sweet yet salty, chewy yet crunchy. Perfecto!


Ninjas don't lie.

At least I don't think so.

These bars are definitely kid-friendly, too -- unless your kid has a peanut allergy. Then I guess they would be Death Bars. But I shall leave it to you to use your parental judgement.

So let's get melting.

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (from Cuisine at Home magazine)
Cautionary note: Beware store-brand cereal. One of the reasons many of them are cheaper in price is because they use high-fructose corn syrup rather than real sugar. I only discovered this recently and was quite dismayed.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds (original recipe calls for whole, but I think slivered would work well, too)
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup Rice Krispies (no HFCS)
1/3 - 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When heated, spread the oats and almonds on a baking tray and toast for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. (Honestly I think you could even skip this step.)

Heat peanut butter, honey and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until peanut butter melts.

Combine the peanut butter mixture, the oat/almond mixture and all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well to coat. Press the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 baking pan and chill until firm (about 15 minutes).

Cut into 9 (breakfast size) or 12 (snack size) bars and wrap in plastic wrap.


  1. A few years ago I was given a subscription to Hiking or Outdoor World or some such titled magazine. The BEST thing I found all year was a recipe almost exactly like this. Homemade granola bars are awesome! I love that you can mix out and substitute in all sorts of ingredients in this recipe. Only problem is that it doesn't make much and goes FAST :)

  2. "the resolution-breakers will be gone by the end of February" - my thoughts exactly! It's the same thing every year, they just never last. Oh, and these bars look yummy!

  3. Enjoy the bars, Brain -- and the empty ellipticals at the gym. :-)

  4. What a scrumptious looking breakfast or snack. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your bars up.

  5. I've been experimenting with these - sub'ing in agave for the honey and sprinkling in a little flax. Yummy!

  6. I found a close-but-slightly-different recipe that I now like EVEN BETTER -- it has flax in it, too, o you might want to check it out:

  7. I've made this recipe twice now. The first time I skimped on the honey just a bit (didn't think I had enough for something else I needed it for). We still loved them even though they didn't stick together very well. This time, I was sure to add a very full amount of peanut butter and honey! I want to make sure they stick together. In any case, I know we'll love them just as much. I doubt there will be any left for the week. :) Oh well. Guess I'll just have to try another recipe of yours. ;)

  8. Great! So glad you like them. And YES, please try some additional recipes and let me know what you think.

  9. Just found these on Pinterest. If I had some Rice Krispies, I would seriously get up and make these right now. These sound like the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up!

  10. Jenn: they are so easy, it's absurd! Be sure to also try the alternate recipe I posted in the comments. LOVE that you found me via Pinterest!

  11. I used Erewhon brown rice cereal and agave nectar. YUM.

  12. I absolutely loved these, I have made them three times now and plan on making them on a regular occasion. I must confess though, I add 1/4 c dark chocolate chips on top delicious!

  13. Okay, I ran out of cranberries, so I spread a thin layer of batter (or whatever you want to call it) in the pan, sprinkled chocolate chips on it, and pressed the rest of the mixture on top. In the fridge cooling now.
    Oh, and I'm adding toasted coconut to this batch as well. NOMZ!

  14. Nice, Margaret. It's easy to get creative with this one -- enjoy!

  15. This sounds like a great one to send with my husband when he works long days so he doesn't come home hungry and grumpy! Thanks for joining Snacktime Saturday again :)