Healthy Snacks

PB&J no-bake oatmeal bars recipe

school lunch debates ::::

When Peach started kindergarten, she quickly went to the darkside … of food. The first few days, she was all about her princess lunch box, packing up the milk and crackers, fruit and pink spoon. She refused peanut butter and jelly. No hummus. No thanks on the boiled eggs. Then it occurred to her, seeing the hoards of students in the cafeteria poring over turkey and cheese sandwiches, brown rice, and public school issued pizzas, that THAT food was way more interesting than the turkey sandwich, brown rice, or mini pizza that I could make at home. I remember eschewing my mother’s lunches too, finding that wheat germ on yogurt and apples and peanut butter were fellow students’ fodder for jokes even though they tasted good. The greasy mat of pizza on Fridays was a big pull for many of my classmates. It was mine only after removing the pools of oil with an absorbent napkin.

Eat and I relented and signed her up for the hot lunch program, after I explained to Eat that surely school lunch quality has jumped leaps and bounds since we were children. Peach has been happy with this decision, and just as interested in food at home at the end of the day. She refused peanut butter and jelly, so I refurbished it, in a sense, in a granola bar. These PB&J no-bake oatmeal bars are great for breakfast or a snack. And maybe she’ll realize that a spongy square of pizza isn’t all that great, coming back to mom’s cooking, when she’s in college, no doubt, experiencing the darkside of college cafeteria food and subsequently turning vegan.

One year ago: white beans with onion confit

Two years ago: sage-mint tea


4.8 from 4 reviews
PB&J no-bake oatmeal bars recipe
Recipe type: healthy snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • ½ cup unsweetened peanut butter (I used crunchy)
  • ¼ cup honey (use agave if you want to veganize)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup oats
  • ⅓ cup dried blueberries
  • ⅓ cup toasted pepitas
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened, dried coconut
  • pinch salt
  1. Melt together peanut butter, honey and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat and add in oats.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Press into 8x8-inch pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Chill for 2 hours then cut into bars.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for days. I like to eat these chilled better at room temperature.



  • Trisha March 9, 2017 Reply

    Great recipe I am curious I’ve tried using both regular peanut butter as well as the lowest in sugar that I could find and it seems the bars never harden. The first time I used normal peanut butter, no honey but a squirt of sweetener and I preferred that over the honey. Do you have any suggestions?

    • story kitchen March 10, 2017 Reply

      Make sure you give a firm press to help stick things together. Keeping them cold also helps. Honey is also very sticky which helps keep things together; the sweetener you’re using likely doesn’t have the same consistency. The creamy unsweetened peanut butter seems to work a little better here if you want to hold things together, over the chunky/crunchy. Although I haven’t done the math, I bet using unsweetened creamy peanut butter with honey could have less total sugar content than regular peanut butter and sweetener. I tend to “undersweet” these types of recipes because I don’t like the taste of strong sweet. Good luck!

      • Justin M July 5, 2018 Reply

        It was helpful to read the comment regarding ‘a firm press’ prior to attempting recipe. Excellent recipe! Delicious! I have yet to find someone who doesn’t love it! Will definitely make again. Thank you for sharing.

        • story kitchen July 5, 2018 Reply

          Great! Thanks for the feedback.

  • pradeep kumar April 4, 2018 Reply

    I definitely try this dish, I think it is yummy and tasty as well as healthy for me. Thanks for it.

  • Ash July 1, 2018 Reply

    Do you happen to know the calorie count on this?
    Would love to try it but I need to make sure it fits within my “diet” 🙂

    • story kitchen July 1, 2018 Reply

      Depending if you cut into 9 or 16 pieces, probably around 225 or 125 calories per piece. respectively. There are a lot of websites that can estimate calories in a recipe if you plug in the ingredients.

  • Tasha December 23, 2018 Reply

    I have tried this in the morning, was made delicious and loved it very much. I am probably gonna make it again.. thanks for sharing the healthy snack recipe. Appreciated!

    • story kitchen December 23, 2018 Reply

      Sure thing! Glad you like the recipe.

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