In thinking about needing wholesome snacks to avoid the “hangry traveler” scenario at all costs, I decided it was finally time to achieve soft and chewy, no-bake granola bar perfection.
Because these types of bars don’t meet the oven, getting them to set properly while still being nice and chewy is a challenge. I’ve been working on the recipe for a few months, testing different binders, sweeteners, ratios, and finally found the salty-sweet flavor combined with the bendablity that I was looking for.
Creamy peanut butter.
Salty, crunchy gluten-free pretzels.
Dried cranberries that give you a pb & j kind of memory.
And toasted pecans.
But the real key to chewy, no-bake granola bar bliss? Brown rice syrup. If you haven’t used it before, think of it as a real food version of Karo syrup. It’s made by culturing cooked rice starch, and is sweet like honey, but even stickier. That means it’s an excellent binder that never fully hardens, and works like a charm when you want things to be chewy without falling apart. You can find it in the sweetener section of the grocery store, or here.
You’ll warm the syrup, peanut butter, and a little bit of honey on the stove, then mix it with all the dry ingredients. Press them in a pan and let them chill out in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Yes, I could buy granola bars, but truthfully, I haven’t found one this chewy and flavorful yet. These healthy, homemade beauties land halfway between peanut butter bliss and a warm oatmeal cookie. They travel well.
And it’s a huge bonus to be able to control the exact ingredients going in, without preservatives or other odd additions I often see on labels in the store.