Trail Mix Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter*
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cupold-fashioned oats — gluten free if needed
- 3/4 cup crispy rice — or other puffed grain cereal, whole grain if possible (I used this one)
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit — I used 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup mixed nuts — and/or seeds, I used a mix of toasted pumpkin seeds and almonds
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips — dairy free if needed
- Line an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on two of the sides like handles. Generously coat the foil or paper with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey, peanut butter, and coconut oil. Melt gently and stir until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cereal, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt, then stir in the dried fruit, nuts/seeds, and chocolate chips. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the top, then stir until the ingredients are evenly moistened.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking pan, then with a spatula or your fingers, press into an even layer. If the mixture is too sticky, lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top, then press on its surface. Place the bars in the refrigerator to set, at least 2 hours or overnight. Once fully chilled, remove the bars from the pan with the foil or paper “handles,” then, using a very sharp knife, slice into bars. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer for later.
- *I used Jif Creamy Natural Peanut Butter, which does not need to be stirred at room temperature. If you use a different brand or formula, you may need to alter the amount of liquid/oats/salt to suit your desired taste and texture. This recipe is flexible and forgiving, so feel free to adjust as needed.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.