The true test of a successful recipe in our house is when the kids eat it, ask for more, and there are no leftovers. It is our goal to make sure that those recipes are made from natural ingredients, contain no preservatives and are easily accessible. We have an easy time making healthy dinners, but after school snacks can sometimes be a challenge. Of course we fill our house with fresh fruits and vegetables but let’s be realistic, sometimes you need that snack when you are ‘on the go’. What better way to get that little boost of energy than from a granola bar. But don’t grab one of those boxes off the shelf at your favorite grocery store — have you ever looked at what those are made of???? Corn Syrup solids, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and BHT — where in the world do you buy that??
We have spent weeks trying to make the perfect ‘natural’ granola bar — and FINALLY have done it!!! In fact, when I get a text that I should be selling these, I consider that a success! And when I got home…yes, they were all gone! So no more, 100 calorie granola bars from a box — it is time this family makes their own Homemade Granola Bars for good!
Homemade Granola Bars
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup puffed or crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup chopped or slivered nuts (I used almond slivers)
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup honey (or brown rice syrup to make it vegan friendly)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons peanut butter (or any nut butter freshly ground)
1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Line the baking pan with parchment, leaving extra parchment to hang over 2 of the sides. Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mix the oats, cereal, nuts, and raisins together in a mixing bowl.
3. In a small bowl, mix the honey, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and peanut butter.
4. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are completely coated and start to stick together in clumps.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Use an extra piece of parchment paper to firmly press the mixture into the pan.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes for chewy granola bars or 25-30 minutes for crunchy bars. As soon as you remove the bars from the oven, press them again with the back of a lightly oiled spatula for well compacted granola bars.
Of course you can customize this recipe to make to your own specifications — add cranraisins, or almond butter. Whatever you choose to do, experiment and I am sure you and your family will love the results!!
Mary and Jim
**If you would like to receive our Recipe Of The Week each Friday – be sure to sign up to follow the blog, hit the “like” button on the Facebook sidebar, or follow us on Twitter.