Granola bars without preservatives or unknown ingredients. Super delicious, too, and great for breakfast, lunch boxes or after school snacks.
And just like that, my oldest boy enters first grade. This is a big year for him (and, uhhm, me...sniff). Will someone please tell him to stop growing up? He is now in school all day long, which means I need to start thinking ahead about what he will be putting into his body during the day. Dan and I recently decided to do a trial period where we limit the artificial sweeteners/dyes/preservatives that go into his body. I have heard so many positive stories about kids' behaviors being positively affected by removing that junk. We ended the summer with a bang in the behavior department, so we are willing to give it a shot.
One of the snacks my boys seem to be constantly asking for are on-the-go treats such as granola bars or cereal bars. I am not opposed to spending a little bit extra to purchase the "good" ingrediented-bars, but if I can make my own and know exactly what is going in them? Even better.
These bars are tasty and packed with good ingredients. The downside? The absense of sugar and preservatives makes them a bit crumbly and you'll need to gobble them down within a few days. Shucks.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine:
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup crispy cereal (I used Koala Crisp)
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Press down firmly and evenly, using your hands.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Let the bars cool completely. Holding onto the sides of the parchment paper, transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 equal rectangles (or 32 little squares) and store in a sealed container.