peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Besides that I adore it staying light much later, I regret it hasn't felt incredibly summery over here. We have done a few picnics by the beach, my shoulders are tanned and I'm eating my weight in fruit, but I can't say I have felt this season. I think it's easier to see summer with kids or a school schedule, as these three months are marked by a break in routine. Now it's nearly Labor Day, the holiday that reminds us summer is fading, I just now feel called to be more present in this time. Maybe I'm not in school and my work demands carry on just as they did in the spring and winter past, but I want to be here. It's likely not just summer I'm needing to witness, I think it's the curse of the (primarily) self-employed that there is always something to do, which takes away from rest and presence. There is so much wonderfulness to take in if we'll stop and pay attention. I wish I'd stop and pay attention. Luckily September and October are my favorite months around here. Time to suit up and jump in. 

I keep tinkering with granola bar recipes to find just the right texture. Typically, I use brown rice syrup in granola-type bars, but wanted to try the maple route this round. I will say that the rice syrup creates a stickier bar, making everything hold together more easily. The maple is great, but expect the bars to be more loose and fragile. I added a few more dates and peanut butter in the written recipe than the photos reflect so they stay together a bit better. I toast the oats for a little extra favor, but otherwise these guys are no-bake, so they yield a chewier bar, not the crispy shattering sort. You can play around with the nut or seed butter, maybe a different dried fruit besides dates, but it's nice to have a tasty snack for your beach bag or lunch box. 

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS // Makes 12 in an 11x7 pan

An adaptation from Minimalist Baker

I used a 7x11inch dish. Try to use something close, they will be thinner bars in a 9x13 or super thick in an 8x8. 

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia, buckwheat, flax seeds or a mix of these (I used this blend)
  • 2 cups pitted dates (about 14 large Medjool dates)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate




peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350'. Toast the oats on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crisp rice, almonds, seeds, cooled oats and stir to mix. Chop up the dates well to make a chunky paste (this could be done in the food processor but I hate cleaning it for one small task). If your dates seem dry, add a splash of warm water to get them tacky. Think toothpaste sort of texture.

Warm the maple, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and stir to mix. Pour the PB mix and dates over the dry ingredients and mix everything together, breaking up the date clumps with your hands to disperse. Just get your hands dirty, you need a big sticky heap.

Line a 7x11inch pan with parchment paper. Press the mixture down in an even layer, using the bottom of something flat to push the mixture down tightly as possible.

In a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate (or spread it evenly) on top of the bars. Chill in the fridge for one hour before cutting. Keep covered in the fridge for optimum freshness or wrap them individually and store in the freezer.

The bars will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

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Reader Comments (68)

Love the combo of maple and peanut butter. These look so good.

August 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma Galloway

Looks Great!!
Is there an Alternative to crisp rice cereal?don't know Wehre to buy them...
Thank you!!

August 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarter

These look delicious! I love the addition of the rice crisp cereal. Peanut butter is most definitely my greedy pleasure, so seeing it combined with so many other yummy things gets my mouth watering. And with chocolate?! I'm sold.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHarriet

This summer seemed to fly by. I live in Portland, so I know just what you mean: we have had a few warm days but overall the summer season never really shines. Fall will forever be my favorite season so I really don't mind that September is at our door. I adore granola bars: they are just so comforting. Add chocolate and peanut butter and now you are speaking to my heart! Definitely making these this weekend...

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJade Sheldon-Burnsed

Such a great idea to put peanut butter in a Granola bar. And the chocolate on top - heaven!

Yum! Love the addition of dates, my favourite. I will give them a go! Thanks for the recipe.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaja

I am definitely going to try these! They look awesome!

These look delicious! I love peanut butter-will definitely be giving them a go.

Oh Sara, I totally hear what you're saying about the season slipping away. I have a full time job but I'm self-employed outside of that, so it's really easy to spend entire days doing nothing but work. Admittedly, nutrition-related learning, fitness, and cooking are also super fun, but all the advance prep and planning definitely makes the days fly by, and sometimes I totally forget to be 'in the now'. And about these granola bars... they sound fantastic!! I have a lot of nut butter in my cupboard at the moment so I'm going to try them out!

I'm always looking for a great easy granola bar! Thanks :)

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

I just tried the "Q'ia" blend for the first time this week and it is so delicious! I add it to my morning muesli.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTammela

These look so much heartier and nutritious than the average peanut butter bar! I definitely want to try these. Thanks for the recipe!

Hello, this recipe sounds awesome. I am trying to reproduce it and I do not see where the vanilla goes in the recipe. You mention it in the list of ingredients but then I cannot see when I should add it during the process.
Thank you!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSara

We've been playing around with the pb granola bar recipe from the Standard Baking Co cookbook, and loving it. It's not quite as respectable as this, with butter, and brown sugar, and other lovelies. But it does bake up into an entire half-sheet pan, and we pack it full of wheat germ and flax seed. And chocolate chips, naturally. The peanut butter, though, is the bomb, providing both fantastic glue and flavor, both. Will have to try pitted dates the next round. Oh, and toasted, roughly chopped walnuts are excellent -- soft enough to bind into the oats.
Fall's my favorite, too :)
Suit's on!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermolly

I'm love these kind of granola bars (especially with the magic peanut butter + chocolate combo). Totally making these so I have a stock in the freezer at all times!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

I've been prepping to send a care package to some friends across the country who were recently laid off. They need low-gluten and completely dairy-free foods, so these looks just perfect, and sound so delicious! I hope they will travel well :) I'll report back. I agree that this summer hasn't felt quite as celebratory as the usual. We went through some transitions with our normal group of friends, last summer we spent every weekend together swimming, grilling, hiking, drinking beer. This summer we've kept so much more to ourselves. And today it's raining and I fear I've missed out on the sunny activities all together. Thanks for the reminder to be in the present... something I am working on, myself. xo

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

This looks rather suspiciously like an adaption of Minimalist Baker's 5 ingredient granola bar. In which case, you should give credit where credit is due.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJill

I am ready for the summer to be over and also staying in at work doesnt make much difference to me :( love that chocolate drizzlee

@jill - they are and that was completely my mistake. Don't worry, not trying to be blogger sneaky. It has been fixed.

August 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterSara

Looks Great!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered

Nothing better than peanut butter and chocolate! Love this!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Come to think of it, summer seems to be passing me by too quickly, too. The curse of the self-employed is an apt explanation. I've never actually made granola bars. I'm saving this recipe for my next road trip! Thanks, Sara.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryne

Come to think of it, summer seems to be passing me by too quickly, too. The curse of the self-employed is an apt explanation. I've never actually made granola bars. I'm saving this recipe for my next road trip! Thanks, Sara.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryne

Come to think of it, summer seems to be passing me by too quickly, too. The curse of the self-employed is an apt explanation. I've never actually made granola bars. I'm saving this recipe for my next road trip! Thanks, Sara.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryne

Oh! They look amazing!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArthur in the Garden!

looks absolutely perfect!

you've basically managed to combine all of my favourite flavours into a recipe that's actually good for you..... new best friend?!?! great post, thank you! x

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

I think I just peed a little. Thanks for the mention! Your bars look gorg. xo

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdana

OH MY!!!
Totally going to make these today so I can take them camping over the weekend!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElisa

I feel the same way about wanting to feel more present in these fading summer days. You're right -- self-employment has its perks, but it does have a tendency to leave one restless!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha @ Vignette

I made these last night and they rock. Well, they did after I swept up the first batch of toasted oats I made - they ended up all over the kitchen floor! This is my second favourite Sprouted Kitchen recipe after the green tea poached salmon with soba noodles and roasted broccoli. Thanks Sara!

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracyJ

I've been on a quest to become That Mom and make all sorts of nutritious lunchbox treats ever since Caroline started kindergarten. These will be on the list, for sure! Hope you are well. xo

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShauna

These look great! they've got some of my favorite things: maple syrup, peanut butter, chocolate... they're the perfect snack :)

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie @ Eat My Tortes

Suiting up, jumping in! Oh, and these look bomb. Obvi.

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

I often find myself in the kitchen trying to perfect, or come up with a new and improved granola bar recipe. This one looks great, and I'm excited to give it a go.

August 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Yum! Totally doing this with almond butter!

August 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea

Yum! As you may have figured out, peanut butter and chocolate are my favorite. :) Can't wait to try these! And, the summer slipped by us, too. It happens every year, alas. But I'm looking forward to autumn, and what it brings. xo

August 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Yum!! I often resist on having to many sweet bars, but this one really looks yummy. a must try.

September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChefDeHome

Nothing is better with peanut butter granola bars than a drizzle of chocolate! Love this recipe Sarah, best to you!

I love the simplicity of these bars. They look so light and beautiful! What a great treat to make.

September 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea@BigBitesLittleBudget

I totally get it about summer -- it just feels so short this time. Lovely granola bars for a light snack :)

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKiran @

I've been feeling like I need to be more present too. Something about the season changing into autumn wakes me up to be more awake and aware (definitely left overs from childhood memories and excitement about school starting). On another note, I've been working on granola bars too! I might make these w/ apricots or tart cherries. But my date tree is ripening soon. We shall see :)

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Ranjani

Wow what an idea,These look delicious! I love peanut, I can't wait to eat this.
Custom Cakes in Pune

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCustom Cakes in Pune

These look wonderful Sara! I love a good chewy, nutty bar.
Spring has just sprung here in Australia and today feels like a summer's day already so I think it's going to be a hot one.

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeepa@onesmallpot

What a great idea! I love peanut butter and granola--now I'll have to make my own! :) Thanks for the recipe

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKenton @ Lemon & Olives

Chocolate ! Yummy.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered

Erewhon has a good brown rice crispy cereal- probably available at your natural foods store/co=op.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlouise

Lovely! ;)
I just wanted to come by and say that I just purchased your book and I'm super excited about it ;)
Thank YOU! xox

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPure Ella

I made this using dried plums and apricots instead of the dates. I used sesame seeds and mixed choc chips in with the mixture instead of a drizzle of chocolate. It wasnt that sweet. They're really good. They're a bit sticky and not very conducive to eating in a bar shape. I dont think I'll make them again, but I'm glad I made them. Oh and the rice cereal adds a great crunch! Thanks!

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEliza

These have good flavor and it was fun to make with a 3yo who enjoyed getting his claws in there to help with the mixing. He enjoyed sampling them too.

I hoped to be able to put them in his lunch for preschool but they completely crumbled apart when I tried to cut them. He'll still enjoy the crumbled bits I'm sure but they'd need to be more durable before I could put them in a lunch. I measured everything carefully. Any thoughts on making them sturdier?

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrainey

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