NUT FREE BACK TO SCHOOL GRANOLA BARS

With the start of the school year quickly approaching, what better time to learn a new recipe that will be a healthier take on the packaged granola bar? The recipe is nut free, quick and easy to prepare, and customisable to your kids' tastes.

Description

Ingredients

2 cups oats

1/2 cup sugar

 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon or other spices as desired (cardamom, nutmeg, etc.)

 *2 1/2 cups additions: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, flax meal, bran cereal, chocolate chips ... the combinations are endless!

 1/3 cup peanut or other nut butter  (SUBSTITUTE 1/3c mashed banana or apple sauce)
 
6 Tbsp. olive oil ­ canola oil, other oils, and melted butter will work here as well
 
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, or Agave syrup
 
1 egg white
 
1 Tbsp. water

 

Instructions:
 
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Depending on desired thickness, line a square (8x8 or 9x9) or rectangular (9x13) baking dish with parchment paper, then lightly grease the paper with non­stick cooking spray, oil, or butter.
 
2. Process 1/3 cup of the oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground.
 
3. If necessary, chop up dried fruit and nuts. Raisin­ size pieces are fine, but dried apricots should be chopped.
 
4. Stir together all dry ingredients (oats, ground oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon, fruits/nuts/seeds).
 
5. Whisk together wet ingredients ­ oil, honey, egg white, peanut butter/banana, and water.
 
6. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, then spread in the pan. Press firmly into the corners and edges so the top is even.
 
7. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the top starts to brown. Thicker bars will likely take longer, so you'll need to watch them, depending on how much batter you've spread in what size pan. The edges will become deep golden and they may feel underdone in the center, but that's okay. They'll firm quite nicely as they cool.
 
8. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack completely before removing from pan.

*(I used 3/4c choc chips, 1/4c each of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax meal, shredded coconut, 1/2c raisins)

 

The original recipe had peanut butter, but I substituted that with mashed banana.  I have since substituted with apple sauce and it is a yummy alternative.  I tried about 5 different recipes and this one is my favorite.  It could also be made gluten free if you use gluten free oats (and ensure your add-ins are also GF).

Start with the dry ingredients and you can let kids can take turns measuring a whole lot of yummy things into a big mixing bowl.  Oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and all of the delicious fixings that we chose for our bars: chocolate chips, raisins, flax meal, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and shredded coconut.

 

Then move onto wet ingredients and added them to a separate bowl: olive oil, mashed banana, honey, an egg white, and water.  

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix.
Pour the granola bar recipe into a parchment lined 9X13 baking pan, pressing down firmly and evenly, and baking at 350 for 30 minutes.  The key to making the granola bars stick together is letting them cool completely in the pan.  

 

Note: Recipe adapted from Honest Cooking 

 

Related tags

Back to school Nutrition