Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

For the next few weeks, I’m taking a little vacation from blogging – don’t worry, I’ll be back! – but in the meantime, some of my favorite bloggers are stepping in to take the reins while I’m away. First up is Jen from My Kitchen Addiction, who I am very fortunate to call not only a blogger friend, but a wonderful real-life friend as well. Her kitchen creations always leave me drooling, especially her gorgeous decorated cookies. Thank you Jen for guest posting today!

Hi, I’m Jen from My Kitchen Addiction. It’s great to be visiting here on Sugarcrafter today! I have been loving Tracy’s kitchen creations for years… And, I’m also lucky to call her a friend. So, as soon as Tracy asked if I wanted to share a recipe here, I jumped at the chance.

I have quite the sweet tooth, and it often gets the better of me in the afternoon. If there is a pan of brownies in the house, I have a big problem on my hands. So, to make sure that I still fit in my jeans, I’ve been focusing on making some healthier snacks. The thing is, I still need something sweet… Celery sticks and carrots are great, but they leave me still craving a brownie.

Granola bars have always been a favorite snack of mine… Especially the peanut butter and chocolate ones. But, most of the store-bought ones aren’t much better than a brownie. (Are you sensing a theme here?) I’ve stumbled on a few homemade granola bar recipes, but most of them called for a large amount of sweetener – honey, agave, maple syrup. Sure, those sweeteners are fairly natural, but I wanted to take things a step further and try to make a sweetener-free granola bar.

It took a bit of trial and error, but I eventually came up with a recipe that I was happy with. The secret? Prunes and dates. When they are blended with a bit of water, they have a nice sticky consistency that is perfect for holding together some homemade granola bars. That may not sound like a tasty afternoon treat, but when you add some peanut butter (or Sun Butter or Nutella for those of you with a peanut allergy, like Tracy!) and mini chocolate chips, you have a delicious homemade granola bar loaded with fiber and protein… And, not too much sugar. Though, to be fair, the chocolate chips and peanut butter do add some sugar to the recipe.

I’m not claiming that these are the perfect diet food, but they have satisfied my sweet tooth… And, kept me from reaching for a brownie in the afternoon!

  • 1 cup dried prunes (with pits removed)
  • 1 cup dates (with pits removed)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, Sun Butter, or Nutella
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside. In a large food processor, combine the prunes and dates. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add the water and peanut butter, and blend until well pureed. The mixture will be very sticky. Add the oats to the food processor, and pulse until well combined with the prune and date mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, and add the chocolate chips. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate chips are evenly incorporated.

Spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Makes 16 – 18 bars.

23 Responses to “Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars”

  1. 1 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Mmm, these look so good – and love the simple ingredients! I have a huuuge bag of dates, I wonder if I could just use all dates instead of part prunes?

  2. 2 Aimee @ ShugarySweets Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Yummy, looks great!

  3. 3 Eliana Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I wish all healthy snacks were this tasty. Love them.

  4. 4 Jenna Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 11:43 am

    These look like a great treat to pacify my morning sweet tooth. =) Great photos, and thanks for the fun guest post!

  5. 5 mel tardy Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    These look great! Is there any chance you would have a ballpark idea of nutritional value? calorie, fiber, fat and carb?

  6. 6 Melanie Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I am definitely going to make these! I am so tired of spending money on store bought granola bars,cuz I buy a lot of them!

  7. 7 Ashley Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you SO much for this recipe! I have been looking for one with no sugar/honey/syrup/etc! Can’t wait to try this!!!

  8. 8 Kim of Mo'Betta Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    yum! I bet these are similar to the brownie Larabars! (which I love!)

  9. 9 Aimee @ Simple Bites Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Oh gosh, YUM! I can see we’ll be needing a big old batch of these for our summer camping trips.

  10. 10 Casey@Good. Food. Stories. Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    oh, THANK YOU for this! I’m also obsessed with the pb/chocolate granola bars, even though I know they’re basically candy bars. This is a much better option!

  11. 11 Life of a Modern Housewife Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    These look absolutely delicious! Ivebeen wanting to make granola bars for some time now, will definitely give this a try.

  12. 12 Becca-cookie jar treats Says:
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I love love granola bars, especially chewy chocolate ones. Ive never heard of makingtem with prunes and dates though, sounds interesting.

  13. 13 Raina Says:
    February 2nd, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I have a big sweet tooth too and would love to have a healthy treat like this to curb my craving. My kids would love these too. Thanks for sharing them. They sound great:)

  14. 14 Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies Says:
    February 4th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Hooray for Jen guest posting! I actually bought all the stuff to make these yesterday. I can’t wait to make them for David and Ava.

  15. 15 jeralyn Says:
    February 9th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Girl you just became my best friend…these look amazing!

  16. 16 E Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    How do these store? Refrigerate or no?

  17. 17 Tracy Says:
    February 16th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    E – I checked with Jen, and there’s no need to refrigerate! Just store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

  18. 18 SC Says:
    February 26th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I made these today and they are absolutely delicious! Very much like these overpriced bars I buy at the coffee shop every day for an afternoon snack. I did substitute figs for dates because all the stores seemed to be out of dates. Worked great. Thanks!

  19. 19 Gabrielle Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Am currently in the process of making these. Had planned to use unsweetened carob chips, but I feel the batter is very sweet without them. However, in order to create more of a granola bar feel, I added 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 raw sunflower seeds, and a 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds. They are very delicious, and I haven’t even put them in the oven yet!!

    Am wondering if there is anything I could add to the batter to cut the sweetness a little bit. I had thought of using dried cranberries, but the thought of adding dried fruit to a dried fruit base was a little overwhelming…

  20. 20 Carolyn Says:
    April 9th, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I calculated the Weight Watcher points plus calculator and it works out to be 5 points for 16 portions. Not too bad, thank you for sharing.

  21. 21 Rachel Says:
    June 4th, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I keep coming back to this recipe to make these again and again. I’ve even doubled the batch on two occasions. I love that they keep well un-refrigerated too. They made the perfect on-the-go snack for vacation! Thank you for sharing!

  22. 22 Toni Says:
    January 5th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Oh my gosh I love these!! I just made them the other day and they are awesome. I used Almond Butter instead of PB and they came out great. I didn’t have mini chips so I just chopped up some larger bitter sweet chips I had on hand and I added walnuts. These are so good. Next time I might cook a few minutes less and mix it up a bit maybe stirring in some chopped dried apricots or something like that.

  23. 23 Sara Says:
    February 7th, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Sad! Not only did mine burn on the bottom, but my food processor was killed in the making! Oh well…lesson learned! The ‘batter’ tasted fantastic enough to keep raw, and I am happy to have a reason to buy a better processor. The flavor options using this as a base recipe are endless…as long as they spend less time in the oven. Thank you!

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