I think I could easily live off granola bars. Those little dynamite sticks of instant energy and protein – perfect for breakfast, or packed to go hiking, they’re such an easy-peasy no fuss option.
A box of my personal favourite brand sets me back CAD $2.49 for 5 (Approx. 50 cents a bar) – and I wondered if I could achieve cheaper on my own.
The recipe that follows is one that I adapted from this blog – and, bear with me, it involves powdered peanut butter. I know, this doesn’t sound gourmet, but if like me you like to keep an eye on your calories even as you chow down on your delicious treats, it can be a lifesaver. Basically, this is dehydrated peanut butter that you reconstitute with water. Less fat, less calories, and a good approximation of the taste of peanut butter (I’m not one of those true zealots who is going to tell you it tastes exactly like the real thing – it doesn’t – but nor does it taste at all bad).
A jar of PB2 on Amazon comes with a fairly hefty price tag for the budget minded – CAD $15.49 – but when I tallied up the cost of the ingredients per bar for this recipe, here’s what I found:
- 95g of PB2 or other dried peanut butter alternative: ~ CAD $3.24
- 180g of Oats (rolled or old fashioned style): CAD $0.54
- 42.5g (1/8 cup) honey: CAD $0.34
- 50g dried cranberries (chopped): CAD $0.33
- Pinch of cinnamon – uncosted larder ingredient
- Pinch of salt – uncosted larder ingredient
- 3/4 cup of water – uncosted
- Total Cost: CAD $4.45 for 10, with a per unit cost of CAD $0.45 per bar.
A quick note on costings: Because a lot of what I’m using here comes straight from my store cupboards I don’t always have the exact prices that I paid to hand. What I do is use my local grocery store’s online shop feature to figure out the best price per 100g I can easily find. I’m also not costing out the larder ingredients such as salt and cinnamon because I’m not even sure how to, to be honest.
I have no doubt many of the recipes I’m making could be made cheaper if I was buying in bulk or shopping around. In fact, as this blog progresses I plan to figure out how to shop more cost effectively.
Ok, so a five cents saving per bar may not seem like a lot but what’s that saying about every penny and all? And you get the pleasure of a home made granola bar made with your own fair hands!
This recipe couldn’t be simpler:
- Combine your dry ingredients + honey in a large mixing bowl. I would add cinnamon (or another spice you have to hand) and salt to taste.
- Add water, and mix together using a wooden spoon. Do this slowly, as you don’t want to have your mixture become too runny. You’re looking for a gooey but not sloppy mixture, where all the ingredients bind together well. If you don’t need the full 3/4 cup, don’t use it.
- Line an 8×8 baking tray (or other square-ish dish) with parchment paper. Using your wooden spoon, scoop the mixture into the tray, and use the back of the spoon to press into place, making sure the mixture is evenly spread.
- Pop your tray into the fridge – I’m not fussy about covering with cling film or anything personally, but if you are it can’t hurt. Let the bars set for a good couple of hours, or overnight for preference. When they’re ready, cut them up and there you have it! Ready to eat granola bar goodness.
- These are a little stickier than your regular grocery store granola bars – personally I like that, but realize these aren’t an exact replica of what you might get in a shop.
- This recipe is infinitely flexible – the original recipe called for chocolate chips (which tasted great by the way), but why not experiment with whatever you have to hand? Dried fruit, chopped nuts, seeds, different spices? With such a basic recipe you can definitely make this your own. (And let me know if you do!)
- I keep my bars in the fridge, where they seem to hold up pretty well. They’ve made it at least a week without any noticeable problems. I’m also guessing they’d freeze ok, but I haven’t tested this yet.
|Total Fat 3 g|
|Total Carbohydrate 29 g|
|Dietary Fiber 6 g|
|Sugars 9 g|
|Protein 7 g|