Monday, August 12, 2019

Back-to-School Treats: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites #peanutbutter #nobake #lunchbox #afternoonsnack #healtyeats

Hard to believe, but it's back-to-school time here in Texas. That means parents are busier than ever getting their kiddos ready for school in the morning, taking them to after-school activities in the afternoons, then dealing with dinner and homework in the evenings. Recipes that are simple, quick to make...or can be made ahead are lifesavers. Today, I'm sharing a simple, tasty no-bake snack that kids of all ages will love: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites. These bite-size granola treats come together in less than 30 minutes. Simply whip up a batch on Sunday afternoon, and you're ready to face the school (or work) week! They're perfect for an afternoon snack or addition to as a brown bag lunch. They also make a quick breakfast on those crazy mornings when you're rushing out the door to keep from being late! I especially like that I control what ingredients go into them. I used dried cranberries here, but feel free to use whatever dried fruit you have on hand to customize them to your family's personal tastes.

Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites
adapted from Martha Stewart
WW Freestyle SmartPoints: 3 SP per granola bite

Ingredients (makes approx. 16 granola bites):
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1/4 cup hone
  • 4 tbs. crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup crisp rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries [NOTE: can also use raisins or other dried fruit]
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
Step 1: Add the butter, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla to a large non-stick saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the ingredients are completely combined.
Step 2: Add the cocoa powder and cinnamon. Whisk these dry ingredients into the peanut butter-honey mixture. Turn off the heat and add the dried cranberries, oats, and rice cereal. Stir with a sturdy spatula until the oats and cereal are evenly coated.
Step 3: Use a cookie scoop to form the mixture into uniform balls -- make sure to really pack the mixture into the cookie scoop with your hand to ensure the granola bites hold their shape. While the granola bites firm up a bit, melt the milk chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave. 
Step 4: Place the granola bites into mini muffin liners and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Place the granola bites in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let the chocolate harden before serving. Store the granola bites in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
If you're a peanut butter and chocolate lover, you'll love these crunchy-chewy treats! The combination of chocolate, peanut butter, earthy oats, and crispy rice cereal is familiar...then the dried cranberries provide a tart burst of flavor. The honey lends a subtle sweetness and a bit of chew to each granola bite. Because they're no-bake, little chefs can help make them These granola bites are a winner, for sure!

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