Homemade Granola Bars

Peanut butter and oats.

These are the only two foods that I REALLY miss after adopting a mostly Paleo/whole foods lifestyle.

Okay I lied. Beer and Ice cream are close behind, but that’s neither here nor there.

If you’re not sure why peanut butter is not “paleo” (Whattt??? It’s a nut, isn’t it?), it’s because they are technically a legume and not a nut. Legumes contain anti-nutrients that bind to minerals and vitamins in our digestive tract instead of letting the body absorb them. How rude of them!

Regardless, I don’t think I’ll ever give it up completely! Sun-butter is a great substitute though! When I make these bars for my hubby I’ll use peanut butter, but you can use any nut butter you want. I make sure I get the natural peanut butter sans trans fats (I just wanted to rhyme there).

As far as oats….they have the same ‘anti-nutrient’ thing going on, but they also have benefits (such as fiber and carbs to fuel your day). I consider them kind of “neutral”. Many bloggers and mainstream health professionals hold them on a pedestal as a pinnacle of health, which I don’t agree with. They’re not the healthiest thing in the world but they’re not the worst either. So if you’d like to include oats in your diet one way or another and you’re not extremely sensitive to grains why not? Especially if you make sure you get the gluten free variety!

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The ability to use oats in recipes I find isn’t something I’m completely giving up yet! Especially making these crunchy, nutty granola bars as a snack in my husband’s lunch or a quick bite when I get home from school. With minimal ingredients you most likely have on hand, they are a great naturally sweetened alternative to the sugary, pointless ‘Chewy’ granola bars I used to consume with reckless abandon in the past. They have been a routine part of my Sunday food prep lately! Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Granola Bars
Yields 8
Crunchy, nutty, naturally sweetened perfect after school snack!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 2 cups certified gluten free oats
  2. 1/2 cup nut butter (such as natural peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc)
  3. 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  4. 2 tablespoons grass fed butter
  5. 2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  6. 1 egg
  7. 2 tablespoons crushed pecans (can sub any other nut, or omit! Feel free to add in other things like chocolate chips, dried fruit, or whatever you want here)
  8. Coconut oil or butter to grease pan
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease an 8X8 pan with coconut oil or butter
  2. Melt the nut butter and butter in a microwave safe dish
  3. In a large bowl, mix the oats, chia seeds and softened nut butter/butter
  4. Mix well until incorporated, and then add the honey/maple syrup
  5. Add any additional add ins (nuts, fruit, chocolate chips)
  6. Finally, add the egg and make sure everything is well mixed and wet
  7. Pour into a greased or a parchment lined 8X8 pan
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned on top
  9. Cut into 8 bars after they cool and enjoy as a snack!
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/
 I know hardcore Paleo people do not include oats and/or peanut butter as part of a healthy diet but part of eating well is figuring out what works for you. The addition of these two things in my diet doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on me, so I’ll eat them occasionally. It’s about finding what works for you! Sometimes I don’t like saying I eat “Paleo” because then there are certain expectations that go along with it. Paleo a framework for the way I eat and guides me to understanding which foods work the best for my body.

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Oh how I wish beer was one of those foods that made me feel my best…..FYI, it’s not 🙁

Peanut butter/ oats? Yay or nay?

What foods do you miss the most if you eat Paleo/Whole foods?




7 thoughts on “Homemade Granola Bars

  1. Madison @ Eating 4 Balance

    I think peanut butter is a great exception.

    Side comment… I just downloaded the Chowstalker Community Cookbook last night and immediately searched for your recipe! Sounds great…. And apparently I am a fortune teller with my comment about meatloaf on your offal/kidney/liver post the other day 🙂

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