Monster granola bars are loaded with peanut butter, mini M&M’s, and mini chocolate chips. You can make these in a single pot, with baking step required!
Remember when I posted these 7 Homemade Granola Bars? Well, it's about time these delicious monster granola bars get their very own post.
These monster cookie granola bars are Kai's favorite recipe of the bunch, because of those M&M's....I mean, it's pretty hard to pass up M&M's, right?!
Even though these granola bars have mini M&M's and chocolate chips, the base is free from refined sugar, made from good for you ingredients, and a much better choice than store-bought granola bars.
There are so many crazy unpronounceable ingredients in those store bought granola bars!
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These monster granola bars
- are made in a single pot, with no oven/baking step required
- can be prepped and into the fridge in under 20 minutes
- are free (for the most part) from refined sugar and processed ingredients
How to make them
These granola bars are one of my go-to recipes for a little sweets fix!
I find if I don't meal prep treats that we reach for other processed sweets, and these monster granola bars are a much better option since they provide a little bit of nutrition and leave us feeling way more satisfied.
- Combine coconut oil, peanut butter and honey in a saucepan. I recommend weighing the ingredients right into your pot so you don't have to use a measuring cup!
- Melt everything, then bring to a simmer. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART! Simmering the coconut oil, peanut butter and honey for one minute reduces is it and gives it the consistency necessary to bind the bars and hold everything together.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped almonds, oatmeal, chocolate chips and M&M's.
- Press into a parchment or foil-lined 9 x 9 inch baking pan. TIP: spray your spatula with spray oil to prevent the mixture from sticking to it. Press down firmly. Really, don’t be shy. I do two rounds of pressing down and spray the spatula in between.
- Sprinkle with some extra chocolate chips and M&M's, then cool in the fridge for at least two hours. If you can do overnight, even better.
- Cut into bars and store in the fridge. These bars do best stored in the fridge. They can soften up and be hard to handle when stored at room temperature.
Are these granola bars OK for a packed lunch? Because the base of these bars is natural nut butter, they do not hold up when stored at room temperature and must be kept cool. If you had an ice pack in the lunch, they would probably be OK.
How long do these bars last for? They keep well for up to a week in the fridge, and you can freeze for up to 3 months.
Can I use almond butter? Yes! They are fantastic with almond butter. In theory, any natural (drippy) nut or seed butter should work, though I've only tested with almond butter.
Help! My granola bars are crumbling! Two steps are extremely important for holding these bars together:
1. simmer for 1 minute. Do not start the timer until the pot looks like the photo above, and don't touch it for the full minute while it simmers.
2. Press the bars down firmly...go over them 2-3 times to get them nice and pressed into the pan before refrigerating.
Tips & equipment
- ½ cup honey (156 g)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil (refined coconut oil recommended; 74 g)
- ⅓ cup all natural peanut butter (84 g; almond butter works great, too)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 cups rolled oats (284 g)
- ½ cup almonds (coarsely chopped)
- ½ cup mini M & M's
- 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (18 g)
- Combine honey, coconut oil and peanut butter in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, and once pot starts bubbling up all over (see image at top of post), start the timer for 1 minute.
- When time is up, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Let it cool down for 10-15 minutes.
- While pot is cooling, prepare a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper (I secure mine with binder clips).
- Stir in rolled oats, chopped almonds, mini M&M's (reserve some for the top) until evenly coated and press into the prepared pan. Sprinkle tops with reserved M&M's and mini chocolate chips.
- Spray a spatula with oil and press down into the pan. Press firmly (I go through and press 2-3 times, spraying spatula again as needed).
- Cool in the fridge for 4 hours- overnight (overnight is best!), before slicing into bars.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge (they soften at room temperature) for up to a week or the freezer for up to 3 months.
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