Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Chocolate Chip Granola Bar Bites




Peanut Butter Protein Packed Cold or Frozen Chocolate Chip Granola Bar Bites or could be called Healthy Frozen Cookie Dough Bites...My family just calls them Cold Granola Balls...whatever you want to call them...it all started during a hot Texas summer in Dallas in an apartment with very inefficient AC.  We lived on homemade granola bars but that one hot summer day I started to make my granola bars as usual and then before I could finish, just couldn't bring myself to turn on the oven.  I thought of the days I would sneak those Spunkmier cookie dough balls from my moms freezer (I think they were a fundraiser and you got a gallon size bucket with scoops of cookie dough you kept in the freezer and had cookies ready to bake at anytime.)  I used my cookie scoop and plopped the granola the bar dough onto a parchment lined cake pan and put it in the freezer...my husband and I were HOOKED!  Now I form them into smaller balls by hand so they are easier for the kids to manage and keep them in the fridge or freezer.  I love freezing them and then throwing in a ziplock bag or small container when we go on hikes because they are full of protein and keep everyone going.

These are so awesome to have year round but especially great in the summertime when we crave something cold yet filling to keep us going.  These make a great protein packed breakfast on the go instead of a bowl of hot oatmeal or when you're in a hurry. Throw them in a picnic cooler and bring to the pool or lake for a great snack to keep energized and feeling satisfied instead of snacking on chips and popsicles.


After 8 years since my first time making homemade granola bars and playing around with it, here is my Cold Granola Ball Recipe.

1 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c coconut oil
1/2 c honey
1 Tbsp vanilla (or at least 2 tsp min)
3 cups oats (I use bobs red mill gluten free quick oats or gluten free rolled oats I get through Amazon)
1 cup crushed crispy cereal (such as Rice Chex or Honey Nut Cheerios or GF Crispie Cereal)
1 cup Chocolate Chips (we are dairy free and use Enjoy Life, Kirkland Semi-Sweet or the gold bag by Ghiridelli)

Optional Add Ins
You can add 1/2-1 cup of any other add ins like
1/2 c flax seed
1 c puffed millet
1 c puffed brown rice
1/2-1 c dried fruit like craisins 
1/2-1 c nuts (u would recommend they be finely chopped though if you have barge pieces of things it will be harder to shaped into balls and hold together)

Line a 9x13 inch cake pan with parchment paper or a large plastic food storage container.  If you don't line it and freeze these they can freeze to the container and be hard to remove.

Mix first 5 ingredients together til smooth.

Add in oats, crispy cereal and chocolate chips (and any optional add in if desired) and mix thoroughly.

Scoop out spoonfuls into your hand and form into balls. 

Place into prepared container, cover with plastic wrap, tin foil or container lid and then refrigerate or freeze.  These are yummy to eat frozen or just cold.

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