Peanut Butter Rice Crispie Oatmeal Bars

Holy family parties over indulging weekend, batman!

That’s what Robin would be saying in the batcave right now as he tried to strip off his spandex suit and give his tummy some room to breathe.

Whew. A Barbecue with three rounds of delicious homemade food on Saturday (burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, cake, perogies, kielbasa, more cake) followed by a surprise Birthday brunch today (bacon, eggs, pancakes, sausage, french toast, pizza, sushi, cake, brownies, and yes I said pizza and sushi. Who doesn’t like sushi with their pancakes?)

I’m laying in bed in sweatpants right now wondering how I am ever going to find something in my closet for work that I can actually zip tomorrow.

So with this gluttony in mind, I prepped for a healthy week.

I did my usual food shop of fresh fruit and came home and washed it and chopped it all up. It’s stacked in the fridge and ready to go. There’s Greek yogurt, too. So we’re good.

But here’s my downfall.

I always need something crunchy.

Yes, fruit is crunchy.

But it’s not the same crunch factor.

I love granola in my yogurt and granola bars are a great grab and go, but they’re so… processed.

After all the stuff I put in me this weekend, I’m feeling like I want all pure, natural, fresh foods.

And as few chemicals as possible.

When I’m in my holistic, granola earthy-crunchy moods, my first thought is always Trader Joe’s. I know I can trust what’s in the store, but at the same time, not break the bank like I would at Whole Foods.

Remember, this itty bitty city kitchen doesn’t come cheap.

So off we went to Trader Joe’s for a few more things to set us up for a healthy week. We got some dried fruits and some nuts for munching.

Then I saw this.


Puffed rice cereal. No artificial colors or flavors and no preservatives. We’re talking my language.

There’s a recipe on the box for a sort of peanut butter rice crispie treat, but it had way too much sugar going on.

So I got home and came up with this less sweet, but salty and satisfyingly crunchy, and healthy!, snack bar.

Pour 2 cups of the cereal and 1 cup of quick cook oats into a bowl.



Add 5 tablespoons chunky peanut butter. I like the extra crunch factor of chunky peanut butter.

Drizzle over about a tablespoon of honey.



Line a baking dish with plastic wrap, leaving enough extra to be able to fold over and cover the top.

Turn the mixture out into the plastic-lined dish and press down.


Pull the plastic wrap over the top, pulling tight and pressing down to bring the mix together.


Pop in the fridge for a few hours so it firms up.

Cut, grab and go!


This satisfies my salty and crunchy cravings so I stay out of the peanut M&Ms at work.

At least for one day.

Oatmeal Bites

We are healthy eaters.

I mean that in both senses of the phrase.

We have big appetites and will rarely say no to food when it’s put in front of us.

But we also try to eat healthy. No crazy diets or anything like that. I love milk and cheese too much to be vegan, and mom’s meatballs (I promise the recipe is coming) and a juicy burger are just cravings I know I could never kick. But still, for the most part, we limit chicken and meat to 1-2 times per week and try to have as many fish and veggie-centered meals as possible. Our fridge is always stocked with a rainbow of fruits and veggies for munching- strawberries for yogurt, blueberries for cereal, apples to dip in peanut butter, carrot and celery sticks for pre-dinner snacking.

I don’t stress about food. But I like to feed my body well. And I just feel better when I eat fresh foods.

But I have a few weaknesses, namely bread (you will see a crusty loaf of bread play a role in many a meal on here) and cookies (okay okay and ice cream, but ice cream is milk and has a ton of calcium and vitamin D so it doesn’t count as a weakness since it’s good for me).

I’m Italian, so the bread is hardwired in my DNA. You will not take the bread away from me.

Cookies, though. I’ve indulged in my fair share.

And my share no longer fits in last year’s bathing suit.

And I really don’t have the money to spend on a new one.

So, a healthier cookie it is!

I’ll admit, this isn’t so much a cookie as an oatmeal bite.

I don’t really know what to call it, but I like the way oatmeal bite sounds. And that’s really what it is, oatmeal and cinnamon and almonds baked into a soft bite.

There’s no flour or eggs or butter to be found in this.

No joke.

For these bites you will need

  • 1.5 cups oats (instant or quick cook work here)
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 oz apple sauce (I had the single serves in my fridge and one of those is 4 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil if the mixture is dry

That’s the basic “dough” recipe.

In a bowl mash together (see, see, potato masher again!) the bananas and apple sauce.


Stir in the oats and honey and the vegetable oil if mix is dry.

You will get a cookie dough like mix.

Now add in whatever you want.

I used cinnamon and almonds this time, but you can mix in some chocolate chips and hazelnuts to give them more of a dessert cookie feel, or toasted coconut and macadamia nuts for a taste of the islands or some walnuts and nutmeg for a play on banana nut bread.


Spoon out the mixture in golfball size mounds onto a greased cookie sheet.

I got 20 bites.


Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes. The outsides will brown and the insides will be a little soft.

Your kitchen will be filled with scent of oatmeal and cinnamon and your neighbors will want to come make friends.

Bake these the night before for a grab on the go breakfast or to pack for mid-morning snacks, or for that 3 o’clock slump, or have them warm that night with a steaming cup of chai tea.

They’re even quick enough that you could make them in the morning before work. If, you know, you’re a morning person and capable of doing anything before coffee.