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Grab and Go Granola Bars

Saturday was one of those days!  We really wanted to take the kids to an Astronomy Festival at BYU. They were having free planetarium shows, physics demos and lectures by Astronomy professors.  Nate (my 13 year old loves Astronomy, and we were all looking forward to the view of the Solar Eclipse last night).

As always, when we are gone all day, we try to pack some snacks to limit the moodiness that accompanies waiting in long lines on a hot day with nothing to eat.  That's where our little snack basket is handy.  I've got nuts, seeds, and granola bars (although the snacks change in and out often).  If it's easy for a child to reach into a box of commercial granola bars for a quick treat, it's just as easy to reach into our basket for one.

grab and go snack basket

I'm sure you can find commercial granola bars that have limited and natural ingredients, but you will also pay more for the more natural bars.  If you are on a budget,  cheap granola bars often contain chemicals and additives that you don't want your kids eating.

We've been using this granola bar recipe lately, and it has replaced our old favorite recipe, as I was searching for ones with less sugar, and more good stuff!   This new one, originally posted here by Anni Daulter,  is truly delicious!

  • 2 cups Rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon flax oil
  • 3 TBL brown sugar
  • mini chocolate chips (optional - white or milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a ceramic or glass 9X13 inch baking dish.
  2. Mix oats, sunflower seeds, cranberries, wheat germ, and almonds altogether in a bowl. Spread mixture on a sheet pan and toast in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Return mixture to a large bowl.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine salt, peanut butter, honey, flax oil, and brown sugar.
  4.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and immediately remove from heat. Pour over oats mixture and combine until dry ingredients are evenly coated. Stir in chocolate if you are using it.
  5. Pour into baking dish. Press mixture down into pan.
  6.  Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool for up to 2 hours and then cut and serve.

granola bars for kidshomemade granola bar recipe

Then, we sealed the cut bars with sandwich bags and a food sealer.  (like a food saver).   Otherwise, it's too easy to keep slicing off pieces right out of the pan, and eat out of boredom or habit.  Packaging them ourselves, limits portions, and allows us to pack them in a lunch or when we will be gone all day.homemade granola bars

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Comments

Jill Farrell
05/21/2012 10:02am
Thanks! I've been looking for a recipe like this. What would you recommend for someone with a peanut allergy, though? BTW, when I first read the opening paragraph I thought it said, "physics demons" and thought, "That sounds interesting...." hahaha.
05/21/2012 10:10am
Ha ha ha!! That is funny! Demons would be entertaining! Who has a peanut allergy? Do they also have an almond allergy? You could use almond butter, but if it's a nut allergy, try sun butter, made from sunflower seeds!
Kristen
05/21/2012 10:10am
I'll be trying these out this week, thanks for the recipe! (Also love the snack basket idea!)
Megan
05/21/2012 10:55am
Sounds a lot like a recipe I use from Smitten Kitchen except I loce that this one has peanut butter to make it more kid friendly. I will probably omit the brown sugar as its usually just white sugar mixed with molasses and we are trying to reduce our white sugar intake. Thanks for the recipe!
05/21/2012 10:58am
I must say, it was PLENTY sweet! I would take it out next time too. I got it from my blog-partner Natalie, so she may have gotten it from Smitten Kitchen too.
Amanda Carroll
05/21/2012 11:26am
These look great! I can't wait to try them. Also, I have been looking into getting a food saver. What do you use?
05/21/2012 11:41am
I have just the regular "food saver" brand, food saver. I actually only use it for heat sealing bags, and almost never use it to vacuum pack something. I just hate buying those special bags for that purpose!
jamie
05/21/2012 2:02pm
Thank you for reminding me that I DON'T have to use the special bags with my food saver. I've had mine for years and don't really remember the last time I used it. I knew that it could re-seal bags but why I never thought of using regular sandwich bags to seal stuff is beyond me. I think I might just go on a sealing spree!
Vanessa
05/21/2012 3:48pm
Do you think coconut oil can be subbed for flax oil?
05/21/2012 3:53pm
Yes! Actually, I used canola oil (even though the original recipe called for flax oil)
Vicky
05/21/2012 6:34pm
Are these crunchy or chewy? Either way they look yummy!
05/22/2012 12:58pm
This is just what I was looking for! I've tried multiple recipes and this is the best so far. I just made them and they are chewy and delicious. Thank you.
05/23/2012 4:34pm
This is great! Perfect for those days where I work out but don't have time to sit down for a proper meal.
05/24/2012 10:46am
Chewy!! Did I reply yet? Sorry, I'm behind. It has a lot to do with how long you cook the sugars over the heat. The longer you cook the honey, the crunchier it will be (just like if you were making hard candy). But if you just heat to barely boiling, then take it away from the heat, they should stay chewy.
05/25/2012 4:01am
[...] had a bag of sunflower seeds that we’ve been snacking on since we made the granola bars last weekend, so we decided to make [...]
sallyjrw
05/30/2012 5:42pm
Chewy granola bars! I've been looking high and low for such a recipe. Thanks Amy for explaining how to do it.
Meredith
05/31/2012 11:06pm
in step 3 it says almond butter but it isn't in the recipe?
06/01/2012 6:42am
Sorry Meredith, I'll edit that. The original recipe is for almond butter, but I didn't have any, so I made it with peanut butter! Thanks for noticing, and I'll fix it!
06/25/2012 8:04am
[...] Homemade granola bars (these are unbelievably delicious and super easy to make) [...]
Sats27
06/29/2012 10:42pm
Just perfect, never tried any so good. Thanks Amy, i just love your blog and all the yum recipes.
Erica
10/24/2012 6:39pm
I can't wait to try these! And a question...once you heat seal them,how long do you keep yours? Wondering if I can make a month's worth at a time....Thanks!
10/30/2012 5:19am
Hi Erica, I get questions about how long things last a lot, and they are hard to answer because my kids eat everything so fast!! LOL. I don’t think just sealing them would let them last a month, but they could go in the freezer for a month for sure!! Let me know how it turns out.
Dawn
11/24/2012 4:50pm
What other nut could I put in place of almonds my daughter has a sensitivity to that type of nut. Would the same amount of peanuts work well?
11/25/2012 6:05am
Yes Dawn, I think peanuts would work great!! It’s crazy- usually kids have the peanut allergy and almonds are fine with them!!
dominique
11/25/2012 8:27am
Just made this and it was sooo yummy. I substituted the wheat germ for flaxmeal and chia seeds and added a cup of protein powder which i baked with the oats first. I didn't use any sugar but a bit more honey and they are seriously delish!!
Marlleen Montelongo
11/26/2012 5:08pm
We made these and loved them! Turned out delicious!! We used almond butter and added about 1/4 c chia seeds. The only issue I had was getting them out of the pan. I did grease it, maybe too lightly? Do you have any suggestions in that regard?
11/27/2012 5:33am
Hi Marlleen, It does not seem like I’ve had that problem so it’s hard for me to figure out what to do.. I would definitely start with a bit heavier greasing. Did you use cooking spray?
Angela M
02/16/2013 12:34pm
Wow they are delicious! So glad I found your recipe and blog :) I think I need to shorten the cooking time by a few minutes but they are soooooo good!
Kaitlin
08/24/2013 7:24pm
I tried to make these today and they ended up very dark and very hard. Did I just overcook? Would love to try again.
08/27/2013 8:21am
Hi Kaitlin! Just try reducing your cooking time. Honey browns much faster than other sugars (and burns faster too). So, you have to watch these very carefully, and take them out before they get too dark.
Randi V.
10/08/2013 7:16pm
is there anything i can use in place of sunflower seeds my husband is highly allergic.
10/09/2013 6:20am
I would just leave them out! I've made this a lot of times, and the nuts and seeds can be super flexible. I use what I have on hand, and omit those things that I don't!
Cheryl
01/07/2014 6:10am
I have a gluten allergy instead of rolled oats, have you tried quinoa flakes? Also what would I sub for the wheat germ?
01/07/2014 6:32am
I've never heard of quinoa flakes, and you can just leave the wheat germ out altogether! Let us know how they turn out!
Natasha
01/07/2014 11:01am
Cheryl, You can get gluten free rolled oats too, I use them a lot
Karen A
01/08/2014 1:12am
I need a recipe to make Nutrigrain style bars for hubby.
01/08/2014 7:23am
mmmm.. I want that too! I'll get in the kitchen today and see what I can come up with!
01/08/2014 7:23am
mmmm.. I want that too! I'll get in the kitchen today and see what I can come up with!
Darlene Rodgers
01/08/2014 10:35am
I didn't think flax oil was supposed to be heated over 300 degrees??
01/08/2014 10:57am
Hi Darlene, as with meat, when your oven is a specific temperature, that doesn't mean the food reaches that temperature. When you cook meat at 350 with a meat thermometer, it's always pulled out when it reaches 165. Unless we were boiling the oil, it will never reach 350. In fact, even boiling I don't think it would.
Darlene
01/08/2014 11:19am
Thanks for responding so quickly! I was toasting the ingredients for them when I thought about the oil. So I posted here then quickly searched the internet. I found a similar answer to yours. Frying with flax oil a definite no, no. Boiling is okay and baking is okay too since the oil itself doesn't reach that hot. Thanks, again! Oh, and I made the quinoa coconut bars yesterday and the kids loved them! I did leave out the coconut since my crew are not coconut fans but that's the great thing about bars, you can tweak them to your liking. Also thanks so much for the idea to use the foodsaver to seal the zipper type bags....never thought of it. However that's what I'm doing with these and the quinoa bars. Great job!
01/08/2014 11:23am
Darlene- Actually glad to hear I'm not totally off-base. ha ha.. Glad they liked the quinoa bars!
Darlene
01/08/2014 10:04pm
I made these today and I like them even better than the Quinoa Coconut Bars!! lol My two kids and my son's friends loved them too. They gobbled them up with stuffed mouths and big eyes nodding yes when I told them they could have one when they come over! lol Unfortunately, the foodsaver with zip lock bags didn't work for me :( I think my baggies were too thin. My foodsaver didn't sense there was anything even there.
01/09/2014 8:18am
Glad everyone liked them Darlene! Too bad your bags didn't seal. lol
Paula
03/03/2014 1:18pm
How long does they last in your pantry? Can you freeze them ??
03/07/2014 1:09pm
In my pantry? About one afternoon. :) ha ha. but If my kids didn't eat them so fast, they would last about 3-4 days. In the freezer 1-3 weeks.

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