Quick & Easy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I developed this recipe for a mayonnaise recipe contest.  I didn’t win the contest, but I love this recipe.  It is so easy and healthy!  Great for a between meal snack, or for breakfast on the go.  If you can’t have peanut butter, consider subbing in almond or cashew butter, or tahini (sesame paste).

Need it completely nut free? Replace the peanut butter with one mashed banana or 1/4 cup mashed pumpkin or sweet potato and 4 tablespoons softened butter.

For a Gluten Free version, simply replace the wheat germ/whole wheat flour with gluten free flour mix or almond flour. Make sure your oats are gluten free. If your flour mix doesn’t contain xanthan gum, add 1/2 teaspoon to the flour/oats mixture.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

1 ¾ cups quick cooking oats

¼ cup wheat germ or whole wheat flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar (or brown sugar, or turbinado sugar)

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup mayonnaise (or 2 large eggs, stirred to break up the yolks)

½ cup crunchy peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 cup mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease or line an 8 x 8 square baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.  Stir together dry ingredients (oats, wheat germ or flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon) just until mixed.

Add vanilla, mayonnaise, peanut butter, honey and chocolate chips.  Stir together until all ingredients are mixed well.  Turn mixture out into pan and spread with spatula until mixture is flat in the pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Let cool 30 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.  Makes 16-20 bars.

You can also bake this in a 9 inch pie plate. Grease it lightly before baking so your slices come out well. Cut into wedges to serve.