Alison Lewis

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Heart-Smart Snack: No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

September 13, 2011

For those who know me well, you know that eating healthy and staying active is extremely important to me. I have been a runner since I was 16 and in love with anything related to health and nutrition since college. Over the past 20 years, my dad has had three heart attacks and open-heart surgeries, which has made me even more conscious of keeping my family fit and heart-healthy.

As you know, I’ve been working with CanolaInfo on its World Heart Day campaign and have learned a lot! For example, cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease, stroke and diseases of the blood vessels, is the number one cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than 17 million lost lives every year. In the U.S. alone, more than 81 million people (37 percent of the population) have CVD, resulting in nearly 850,000 deaths a year. Research has also shown that obese children are at a high risk for being obese as adults, which is a risk factor for CVD. There is good news though – with healthy diet and exercise, CVD can be prevented up to 80 percent of the time!

I’ve tried to teach my three children (10, 12 and 14) the importance of a healthy lifestyle through examples I’ve set and it seems to be working! As a family, we like to ride bikes, take walks, play tennis – anything active that we can do together. I also urge them to join team sports every season and we discuss the importance of making healthy food choices. I include them in meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. I am always proud, impressed and grateful when I see them making wise decisions with healthy snacks and other foods. But kids are also, well kids, so I try to make heart-healthy foods fun like these No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars I developed for CanolaInfo’s “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection.

These easy and tasty granola bars are perfect for breakfast, a lunchbox dessert or afternoon snack. For more great kid-friendly recipes and information on living a heart-smart lifestyle, visit

No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Prep: 25 minutes
Yield: 16 servings
2 cups low-fat granola cereal 500 mL
1 1/4 cups crispy brown rice cereal 300 mL
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats 250 mL
2 tablespoons chopped almonds 45 mL
1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries 60 mL
1/2 cup honey 125 mL
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter 125 mL
1 tablespoon canola oil 15 mL
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 mL
1. In large bowl, combine granola, rice cereal, oats, almonds and dried berries; set aside.

2. In small saucepan, bring honey, peanut butter, canola oil and vanilla over low heat and heat 5 minutes or until blended.

3. Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated. Press mixture into lightly greased 9 x 13-inch (22 x 33-cm) pan. Press mixture down tightly with wax paper. Cover and cool completely in pan in refrigerator at least 1 hour before slicing into 16 bars.


31 Responses to “Heart-Smart Snack: No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars”
September, 14 2011at 01:30 pm
You're the best mom. Love the pix of you and your kiddos!
September, 14 2011at 08:26 pm
You had me at "peanut butter", one of my favorite foods in the universe...these look great!
Kathleen says:
September, 14 2011at 11:21 pm
These look really delicious! Love that they're healthy. Just stumbled ;)
marla says:
September, 14 2011at 11:27 pm
Fun granola bars & I love that they are no-bake too.
September, 15 2011at 01:21 am
OMGoodness I love granola bars in fact just made some yesterday. Your kids are adorable!
Elle says:
September, 15 2011at 10:50 am
Just bookmarked the recipe--I love no bake bars! Especially good for you ones.
September, 27 2011at 06:37 am
[...] (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the U.S for men and women as well as something that has affected my family directly. Unfortunately, childhood obesity has continued to grow at an alarming rate. The reason this is so [...]
September, 14 2011at 08:03 am
what a great snack for kids of any age, even me! These will be great to teach my girls!
Amanda says:
September, 14 2011at 11:05 am
I am going to have to make these asap!
September, 14 2011at 06:19 am
Great recipe, Alison! Health and wholesome nutrition is SO important! PS - I noticed your son's football jersey. GO STEELERS! :)
October, 01 2011at 07:28 am
What a sweet photo of you and your kids :D I love this recipe, especially because it's healthy. DS and I have always tried to pass healthy eating habits on to our boys. I can't wait to make these with them.
September, 13 2011at 07:11 am
Yum! Peanut butter AND no bake! :-) Love it!
Jeanette says:
September, 13 2011at 07:18 am
Your family is so lucky you're heart healthy conscious! Love these no-bake granola bars (and your kids are adorable!)
September, 13 2011at 08:31 am
Look at your cute family! And those bars? Go ahead and just shove them down my throat, please.
Sharon says:
September, 13 2011at 09:30 am
These look great! Cute picture of your family!
Sheila says:
September, 13 2011at 09:30 am
Great information Alison and recipe! Can't wait to make these for my kids
September, 13 2011at 09:55 am
They look so good and easy to make. I have to give them a try. Thanks for sharing. Alba
September, 13 2011at 09:57 am
Thanks for the info Alison! At first I thought, "aww my kids don't like peanut butter", but then the light bulb turned on (not enough coffee yet) and I thought "MORE FOR ME". I am definitely making these. Yum!
September, 13 2011at 10:34 am
I would totally make these (all for myself and not share... is that bad? ;-)
Maria says:
September, 13 2011at 10:41 am
I love homemade granola bars. Love this recipe!
Carolyn says:
September, 13 2011at 11:14 am
These look great, Alison, I know my kids would love them. So good to see you with your family!
September, 13 2011at 11:34 am
these look amazing! what an awesome, heart-healthy breakfast or snack. going to bookmark 'em!
Sandi says:
September, 13 2011at 12:30 pm
Great job! I make it a priority to include my kids in healthy living & cooking too :)
September, 13 2011at 01:11 pm
Oh, great recipe!!! Would you mind telling what brand of granola you use? Thanks!
September, 13 2011at 01:15 pm
This looks like such a great snack, Alison!
September, 13 2011at 02:56 pm
Great recipe, I always like to munch on granola bars as a snack and these are filled with great stuff.
September, 13 2011at 03:13 pm
Great recipe and cute kids!
September, 13 2011at 03:17 pm
I love that you're keeping your family active, and including them in meal planning and cooking. Sounds like my family! My son will eat pretty much any "bar" I put in front of him, but my daughter, who is a really good eater, is quite picky when it comes to granola bars. I'll definitely have to try this recipe and see if she approves!
September, 13 2011at 05:09 pm
I need to make a batch of these - I'm personally keeping Big Granola Bar in biz...
October, 16 2011at 07:37 am
These bars are lovely, my dear! I need to start making (healthy) snacks like these... the wedge of cheese i have every day just isn't helping :-)
January, 03 2012at 09:24 am
[...] No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars [...]

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