Saturday, August 4, 2012

Customize Your Granola Bar!

My kids are really good eaters. Honestly. They just don't always like the same things. My daughter, for example, loves tomatoes. She'll eat strawberries by the pint, and devours cucumbers. My son, on the other hand, tends not to like any of these things. He does, however, like apples, carrots and is a voracious meat eater. Doesn't matter what. Just meat.

The same situation often comes to snacks. Both kids like granola bars, just not always the same flavour. We'll sometimes buy them as a treat, but I've come to realize that letting them create and customize their own is cheaper, healthier, and a lot more fun.

I've created a little template below, that allows you to mix and match, making your bars as healthy, exotic, or   bad for you as you like! Enjoy.

Recipe: Customized Granola Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes.

1. Base Ingredient: 2 1/2 Cups, Total, of any of the following:
     Rolled oats, Puffed wheat, Rye Flakes, Barley, Red River cereal, or other combination.

2. Something Sweet: 3/4 Cups of any combination of the following:
     Honey, Grade B Maple Syrup (I like our local McLachlan Family Maple Syrup Farm), Molasses, Agave or other trendy sweetener.

3. Something Chewy: 1 Cup of any or all of the below:
     Dried Cranberries, Raisins, Apricots, Dates, Pineapple, Figs, Cherries, Blueberries etc. (Just keep the size of the fruit relatively small (ie, diced if larger, like dates).

4. Something Crunchy: 1Cup of any. (exclude peanuts if sending to school)
     Sunflower Seeds, Pepitas, Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts. (chop larger nuts)
     Could also sub in Chocolate Chips, Reese's Pieces, etc.

5. Something to Hold it All Together: 1 Cup
      Try using Applesauce, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Pureed Dates, Nutella, Biscoff Spread, etc. (again, avoid peanut butter if sending these to school).

1.  Heat Oven to 325 F.
2.  Line an 8x8 Baking pan with parchment paper in cross-wise fashion with lots of extra overhanging.
3.  Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. (ie. base, chewy, crunchy). Add spice to taste. (ex cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt).
4. Mix wet ingredients together. ( ie. sweet, and something to hold it all together).
5. Combine wet into dry, and mix well.
6. Pour mixture into baking pan, and with the extra parchment paper overhanging, press mixture firmly and evenly in pan. When you think you've pressed it firmly enough, do it again and press a little more.

7. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for 2 hours. Remove from pan and cut into desired size (squares or bars).

You can store these in an airtight container for 5-6 days. (if they last that long!)



  1. Hey, this is an awesome post. I wanted to pin it on Pinterest, but I didn't want to post a picture of your children without your permission. Are you ok with posting to Pinterest? Do you want to add another photo to link to?

  2. this is a terrific recipe - I've customized my version using rice and O cereal, a little whole oats, chopped almonds, raisins, choc chips, peanut butter and brown rice syrup. All organic, of course! :-) I've been sharing your blog with many friends too! Thanks for this great post!!

  3. I can confirm that Red River Cereal does NOT work at all with this recipe.

  4. This is perfect. I was looking for a recipe I could use with my students in foods class. I'm definitely saving this one.

  5. This is perfect. I was looking for a recipe I could use with my students in foods class. I'm definitely saving this one.

  6. Can I skip the sweetener if using pureed dates?