Recently, I received several emails and verbal requests for healthy snacking tips and recipe suggestions for both adults and kids. Let’s start with homemade granola bars. Yum.
I’ve been trying to get this recipe right for a few years now. Peanut has tree nut allergies and so, most granola bar brands are off limits. In fact, most “healthy” store brand snacks are off limits so we make them at home. What I like about making my kids snacks from scratch is two things:
- There are no preservatives and I can control the amount of sugar and salt.
- My kids get involved: Peanut knows that I care because we are making “safe” snacks while Spud and Stew love getting messy. I think helping in the kitchen inspires creativity and enhances their eating enjoyment as well. With our busy schedules, I think it’s important to involve kids in the kitchen as much as possible because it’s a nice way to just spend time together.
On to Granola Bars…
I adapted this recipe from inspired taste and it is the only recipe that I have found that actually sticks together. I have tried many versions but this is the winner. It’s a super-easy to follow and it’s a far cry from the overly sweet, processed, store bought versions.
As far as toppings go, it’s completely up to you! I used chocolate chips and peanuts
(peanuts are not tree nuts) and they were at hit! Raisins, dried pineapple and cashews would be great additions as well! Be creative! That’s what cooking is all about!
First, toast your oats and nuts in a dry skillet.
Next, melt butter, honey, sugar and vanilla together in a saucepan.
Next, combine the wet and toasted ingredients. Stir until well combined.
Finally, press the granola mixture into a pan, add more chocolate chips and let cool in the fridge for at least two hours before cutting.
The Perfect Granola Bar
- 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup unsalted peanuts
- 1/3-cup honey
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ chocolate chips
- In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, dry toast the oats and the peanuts for 3-5 minutes. You want them golden brown.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, honey, sugar, vanilla and salt and stir to combine.
- Pour the butter mixture directly into the skillet with the toasted oats/nuts.
- Let cool about 5 minutes then add a ¼- cup of the chocolate chips.
- Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is a good thing as they help to hold the bars together).
- Transfer oat mixture to a parchment paper lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan.
- Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut —
- Scatter remaining 2 tbs. of chocolate chips over granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top.
- Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Remove block of granola mixture from pan
- Cut into 12 bars.
- Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week.
- For the softest bars, keep at room temperature.
- For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge.
Spud-eye-view- she calls this “sneaky shots” of me waiting to try the granola bars with my kids. Love how my head is chopped off! Enjoy!