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To ease my morning stress, I made some lunchbox treats –  peanut butter granola bars – with my children this week. I must admit, I had a moment of hesitation – trying to decide between quickly whipping up the treats in peace or baking with my children. But I involved them.


Yes, my four year old insisted on cracking or “crushing” the egg, (not required for peanut butter granola bars) which was traumatic to watch. But he was very helpful with the nut chopping (and eating) and my two year old emptied a packet of sesame seeds over the floor. They had fun, and thankfully set off outside to lick the spoons, giving me a glorious few minutes to clean up the aftermath in peace.


packed with good stuff

So, bring on the lunchbox packing this week, I’m armed and ready. These granola bars are high in omega oils and immune-boosting, brain-building nutrients:

  • Coconut oil boosts immunity and fights harmful bacteria and viruses, as it has antibacterial properties.
  • Seeds and nuts are a powerful source of protein, healthy fats and minerals needed for bone development, immunity and energy production.
  • Raw honey is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants, supports good bacteria, aids digestion, has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is said to slow ageing.
  • Oats provide high levels of fibre and protein and low levels of fat. Oats also stabilise blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes.

These peanut butter granola bars contain all raw ingredients, so none of the nutrients have been destroyed by high temperatures. They are great for breakfast, high-energy snacks or lunchboxes and take 10 minutes to make. Just make sure there isn’t a nut allergy among your child’s classmates if they are taking them to school.


Read our articles for tips on preparing budget-friendly lunchboxes and nutritious, appealing lunchboxes.

Peanut butter granola bars

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or macadamia nut butter)
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ⅔ cup raw honey
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups mixed seeds (raw sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, raw chopped pecans or cashews)
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit (dates, raisins, apricots)

1. Gently and very slightly warm the peanut butter, coconut oil and honey in a pot until thoroughly mixed.

2. Remove from heat and add the oats, seeds and fruit.

3. Mix thoroughly and spread in a large pan.

4. Use a potato-masher or spatula to press the mixture down firmly and evenly.

5. Cover the pan with foil and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours. Once chilled, cut into bars and store in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer.


Catherine Janse van Rensburg