Snacks & Treats
Lunch Box Granola Bars
BY GWEN LERON, DELIGHTFUL ADVENTURES
Mar 2, 2017
Parents who have a little one with a nut-allergy already know that there are some great nut-free snack products out there. However, the thing that gives most of us the best peace of mind is making our own homemade treats for school and home snacks.
Most Sundays, you can find me in my kitchen making snacks for the week ahead. Nut-free muffins, cookies, loaves and granola bars all make perfect, safe snacks. Over time, my kids have chosen their faves and they like to stick with them, but to avoid making the same things week after week, I mix things up by trying new-to-us recipes or making a new one up every now and then.
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One Sunday, I set out to make a no-bake granola bar recipe based on my baked granola squares recipe. I had way too many things going on at the same time in the kitchen, got distracted and the way I had envisioned the recipe turning out, isn't quite how it turned out. I warmed up the liquids too much, which melted all the chocolate chips. (I meant for the liquid to only be warm to the touch, not hot enough to melt anything!) Luckily, the result was great and it was a happy mistake. Sometimes the best recipes happen by accident! Potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, popsicles — all accidents!
The great thing about these bars is they are very customizable. So the 3/4 cup of add-ins? You can have those be whatever you want/whatever your kids love! In the bars you see in these pictures, I used dried cranberries, shredded coconut and hemp hearts. Some other suggestions: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins, dried blueberries, dried apricots, dried apples, or mini chocolate chips (but if using mini chocolate chips, make sure the mixture has cooled off a bit before adding or they'll melt). The possibilities are endless and each time you make them, they can be different!
You Will Need:
- 1 1/4 cup old fashioned or quick oats
- 3/4 cup crisp rice cereal
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup add-ins of your choice (see suggestions above)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
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- Line a 8x8" dish with parchment paper. Leave a bit of an overhang so you can easily remove the bars when ready.
- In a medium bowl, add the oats, crisp rice cereal, chocolate chips, add-ins, cinnamon and salt. Mix together to combine.
- In a small saucepan, add the brown rice syrup and the coconut oil. Stir to combine and heat until hot, but don't let it boil. You want it to get hot enough to be able to melt the chocolate chips.
- Pour the liquid into the dry mixture and stir to combine until the chocolate chips are melted.
- Pour the mixture into the parchment-lined dish and using a rubber spatula, flatten and even it out.
- Place the dish in the fridge and allow it to cool and harden. It should take about one hour.
- Take the dish out of the fridge, and using the parchment overhang, remove the bars from the dish.
- Cut into squares or bars making them as big or small as you like. I like to cut mine into bars, and I cut out 12.
- Individually wrap the bars or place into a storage container and store in the refrigerator.