Monday, August 7, 2023

Perfect for the Back-to-School Rush: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites #healthysnack #peanutbutter #nobaketreat


Where has the Sumer Break gone?!?!? It's back-to-school time here in Texas this month. That means parents and kids are busier adjusting to getting up earlier in the morning, taking part in after-school activities, then the with dinner and homework routine in the evenings. Recipes that are simple, quick, or can be made ahead are lifesavers. Today, I'm sharing a simple no-bake snack that kids of all ages 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 got a tasty lunchbox treat...or afternoon snack...for the coming week! 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
Ingredients (makes approx. 16 granola bites):
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1/4 cup honey OR sugar-free maple syrup
  • 4 TBS low-sugar 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 butter, honey/SF maple syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla to a large non-stick saucepan. Cook over Medium heat -- stirring -- until butter is melted and all ingredients are completely combined.
Step 2: Add cocoa powder and cinnamon. Whisk these dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture. Turn off 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 cool and set up, melt the milk chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave. 
Step 4: Place cooled granola bites into mini muffin liners and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Place granola bites in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let the chocolate harden before serving. Store granola bites in an airtight container in the fridge 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, hearty oats, and crispy rice cereal is familiar...and the dried cranberries provide a tart burst of flavor. The honey/sugar free maple syrup lends a subtle sweetness and a bit of chew to each granola bite. 

These versatile granola bites are easily customized by changing out the dried fruit and/or nut butter used. A combination of almond butter and dried apricots is also delicious! They're also a perfect on-the-go breakfast when you're rushing out the door...and they're a tasty post-workout snack for us big kids. Bottom line: these granola bites are a winner, for sure!

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