When you need an on the go snack for your little one, there is nothing better then a healthy granola bar to fill them up with nutritious and delicious ingredients. The problem is that most packaged granola bars are not filled with anything that is remotely healthy for them, just added sugar, artificial flavors and quick oats that do not contain any healthy fiber. And if you look closely, most granola bars have just the same amount calories and fat are in cookies [read more here]
They are mostly just empty calories that lead to empty tummies.
Then I found this recipe and had to make it. Filled with healthy old-fashioned oats, almonds, flax seeds, peanut butter and a drizzle of local honey, I just knew it was going to be a winner. And there was no baking involved! Bonus for us busy moms. As you know, I couldn't just leave the recipe alone and decided I had to doctor it up a bit with some dark chocolate and dried cherries.
Trust me, once you rush to your kitchen to try this recipe, you will be hooked and never ever again buy those expensive pre-made granola bars, and I don't want you to get in a granola bar rut, so here are some more recipes to switch up your new weekly rotation:
Toddler Gluten Free Granola Bites with Dark Chocolate + Dried Cherries
Adapted from this Yummy Mummy recipe
2 cups Organic Oats [Gluten Free is desired]
1 cup Organic Brown Rice Crisp Cereal
1/4 cup Slivered Almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1-2 tbsp Flax Seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup Organic Peanut, Almond or Seed Butter
1/4 cup Organic Local Honey
1/2 Organic Dark Chocolate Bar, roughly chopped [1.5 ounces + some for you to nibble on]
1/4 cup Organic Dried Cherries, roughly chopped
Spray or line a 8" baking dish.
Mix together the oats, brown rice cereal, almonds and flax seeds. In small sauce pan, gently heat coconut oil, peanut butter and honey, stir until well mixed. Let cool until just about room temperature, then poor into oat mixture. Mix together until well incorporated. Depending on how you like your granola bars - dry or chewy you may need to add a little bit more oats or peanut butter. I like mine chewy and followed these directions to the measurements above. This recipe is very forgiving so have some fun making them custom to your family. Add chocolate and cherries, gently mix.
Scoop mixture into baking dish and firmly push down until mixture is level and even. The first batch I made [see pictures above] I didn't push down that much and I found the bars where a bit crumbly. The second batch I made, I really kneaded the mixture into the pan to make sure it was really stuck down, resulting in a firmer bar that didn't crumble.
Place in fridge or freezer until hard and cool, about 1 hour. Lift out of pan and cut into desired amounts. Since I have a toddler, I cut mine into small 2x2" pieces for easier handling.
Store in fridge for 2 weeks or freezer for 2 months.