No-bake oat bars recipe

Zackary Kiebach/ File/File

We love shopping at Whole Foods. We love walking down the aisles of organic kale chips and pondering exactly how nutritional yeast can constitute as “nacho cheese.” We love staring longingly at beautifully packaged glass bottles of milk through clear fridge doors. We love sneaking more sample snacks than is socially acceptable while waiting in the check-out line. But all these things come at a price — an organic, locally sourced one. Every time we take a hesitant peek at the price of a particular item we are contemplating buying, we sigh and often shoot a disheartened glance to one of the often sympathetic Whole Foods employees who we imagine can’t buy the items they themselves are stocking on the shelves. Our habits are a bit masochistic. We know.

If we do choose to go to Whole Foods instead of Trader Joe’s for some reason, we’re usually relegated to the bargain bulk section of the store, where you can find us filling up bags of almonds for the week. Among the regular bulk items such as dried fruits and nuts, we always see these little squishy balls called “Raw Energy Bites.” But these “Raw Energy Bites” have a price on par with that of the name-brand snacks. From our investigation of the ingredients label, we’ve garnered that these squishy balls are made simply from some sort of nut butter, dried fruits, maybe some oats and maybe some chocolate chips. The short ingredient list inspired us to make some of our own so that we could save $7.99. We figured if some guy with a beard and a man bun working at Whole Foods could make these in the back of the store, so could we.

Ingredients

2 cups of rolled oats

1 ¼ cup of peanut butter

¾ cup of honey

½ cup of raisins

¼ cup of shredded unsweetened coconut

Oars in pot

Nora Harhen/Staff

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Use a spoon or a knife or your hands — whatever you like. You also don’t have to worry too much about measuring the ingredients correctly. We don’t have a measuring cup so we just use an old salsa container that looks the size of a standard cup. You can guess-timate how much you need, and add more as you see fit.

Oats in Pan

Nora Harhen/Staff

2. Transfer to a pan of your choosing or Tupperware if you don’t have pans (we don’t either). Lining it with tin foil would be a good idea too, if you have it, in order to keep the oat bars from sticking to the pan. We chose not to go with spherical shape of the original “Raw Energy Bites,” as we don’t like the idea of carrying around squishy balls. Bars seem to be the ultimate on-the-go snack shape. Place in the fridge for at least an hour. Overnight is best.

Finished Oat Bars

Nora Harhen/Staff

3. Take out when ready to eat and cut them into whatever size squares you desire.

Contact Nora Harhen at [email protected].