DIY Granola Bars

One of the hardest things for a mother to do is to get out of the front door. There is so much to juggle – Are the kids dressed? Teeth brushed? Shoes and socks on? Do you have all the pertinent papers, backpacks, sack lunches, and money? Do you have the car keys, sunglasses, and cell phone? And, by the way, did you remember to change out of your pajamas?

Remembering all that plus getting a nutritious breakfast in everyone can be overwhelming. But don’t be discouraged. There are strategies for feeding your family that don’t involve a drive-through window. One of them is to plan ahead and make some food bars.

They can be eaten one-handed while running a comb through a child’s hair, signing a permission slip, or while waiting at a stop light. Unlike the one-handed breakfast from the drive-through, these granola bars have lots of anitioxidants, whole grain goodness,  no processed sweeteners and a lot less fat.

Do yourself and your family a favor. Stock up the refrigerator with these meal-on-the-go bars and you’ll have at least one part of the morning under control.

Berry Granola Bars
Photo by Lynn

Berry Powerful Bars
4.7 from 3 reviews
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Recipe type: Snack
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 8 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, preferably golden
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened whole-grain puffed cereal (see Note)
  • 1 cup assorted dried fruits (blueberries, cranberries, cherries, golden raisins)
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.
  2. Spread oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cereal and dried fruit; toss to combine.
  3. Combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, stir frequently until the mixture bubbles lightly, 2 to 5 minutes.
  4. Immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until no dry spots remain. Transfer to the prepared pan. Using a silicone spatula, press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes; cut into 8 bars.
Notes
I used Kashi Go Lean cereal.

 

What are your best tips to help mornings run more smoothly?

About Lynn

Lynn Craig is a mother of four (two out of the nest, two to go) who homeschools, bakes obsessively, quilts sporadically, and occasionally finds time to clean the house. She and her husband live in Bellevue, Washington where she chronicles her kitchen triumphs and disasters on her blog Cookie Baker Lynn.

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Comments

  1. Sounds great! My husband doesn’t eat honey- do you have any suggestions of what else could be substituted?

  2. I’m inept at making homemade granola bars. I don’t know what it is, but I struggle. Having said that, I really want to make these. They look absolutely perfect. Thanks, Lynn!
    .-= Jan (Family Bites)’s last blog: Rhubarb Buttermilk Mini-Muffins =-.

  3. Great breakfast or snack! Homemade granola bars are so much better than store bought!
    .-= Maria’s last blog: 2peas3-0 =-.

  4. These sound good! How long do they last for? I noticed that you mentioned they were kept refrigerated. My tip would be do not hit the snooze button; that extra five minutes of sleep is not worth the stress of frantically running around trying to get out the door on time.

    • I would say for about a week in the refrigerator. Good tip on the snooze button, but that one’s soooo hard for me to do.
      .-= Lynn’s last blog: Granola Bars on Simple Bites =-.

      • Can you believe I don’t even hear the alarm anymore? Thank goodness my husband wakes me up –with coffee usually, I’m spoiled.

    • So…I made these today! I used some of the reader suggested substitutions (brown sugar, peanut butter, and peanuts), since I had those ingredients on hand already. My small taste before putting them in the fridge was good, so I think they turned out well. :)

  5. Thanks for getting back to me!

  6. Great idea! Can’t wait to try these out. Do you think this would work with peanut butter instead of almond butter?
    .-= Nikki Moore’s last blog: Why Are Small Children’s Ages Referred To In Months Instead Of Years? =-.

  7. I have made these twice since you posted them on your Cookie Baker blog. They are very good, though a little sweet for us. The second time I made them I left out the sugar entirely. I found the honey and the natural sweetness from the dried fruit were just right.

  8. I just made granola bars yesterday-and they are almost gone! My (almost) two year old loved them. Though, I’ll have to try this recipe b/c it looks a tad bit better than mine!
    .-= Melissa’s last blog: Lemon-Lime Curd =-.

  9. Jamie Fisher says:

    FABULOUS!!! I’ve never found a recipe that is like what my kids like…which cost a LOT! Just out of curiosity I’m going to try to figure out the cost–unless someone else already has? We’ll make these for sure!!

  10. For quick energy and breakfast on the go these are perfect Lynn.

  11. Given all the bad press that pre-packaged granola bars get, I’m glad to have a healthier home-made alternative. These look easier to make than home-made granola, too.

  12. Lynn, these look SO good! I’m going to have to give them a try – my alter ego is Rockin’ Granola, after all ;-)

    Thanks!
    .-= Kara Fleck’s last blog: Parenting Preschoolers: A Starting Place for Social Graces =-.

  13. These bars look great…I have little preschoolers and it’s especially challenging to get out the door in the morning. I used to buy frozen waffles for breakfasts, but now I make my own. We love having “brinner” (breakfast for dinner) on occasion so I double up my recipe and freeze the leftovers in single size portions- we just pop them in the toaster in the morning and it’s a great, healthy breakfast.

  14. I’ve been wanting to make granola bars for a long time. Maybe this recipe will finally send me over the edge to homemade bar bliss!
    .-= Julia’s last blog: Wordless Wednesday: Backyard Fun Without a Swing Set =-.

  15. I like how you added a lot of different kinds of nuts and seeds to your recipe. Granola bars with nuts and seeds always fill me up for a lot longer than bars that are missing these awesome tasting ingredients. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. Hi, I just made these and I love the taste. However, mine are a bit crumbly, any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    • Did you follow the recipe exactly? The sugar, almond butter, and honey are binders, holding the whole thing together. Did you mix the almond butter mixture with the dry ingredients thoroughly? If you have dry ingredient spots, that could be the source of crumbliness.

  17. I did follow exactly, it seemed there was not enough wet to coat the whole thing. I made it again with more honey and less sugar and it held better, though taste was different. I’ll keep trying, maybe it works better with kashi than the puffed cereal I used…

    Thanks!

  18. Did you post a yummy recipe for quick granola cooked in the skillet? I can’t find it! I made it and it was so yummy and quick. Can you please help?

  19. I just made these in a double batch and I just want to say OMG these are the best granola bars ever! They were a tad on the sweet side for me but that prevented me from eating a whole batch in a night (not necessarily a bad thing). Next time I plan to leave out the added sugar too. They were fairly expensive overall to make (about $6 per batch of 12) but a great treat. I altered the recipe a bit and used some cheaper ingredients the second time and while these were not *quite* as good, they are certainly passable substitutes for bringing to dinner parties and as hostess gifts. In the 2nd batch, among other things, I substituted the almond butter for tahini and left out the almonds so they were safe for my child to bring to his nut-free school.

    I actually made them to give to my “new mommy” friends since they are packed full of nutrition, easy to grab when you don’t have the time and the oats are a great and natural way to boost breastmilk supply :-)

  20. Sounds good. Is it possible to get the nutrition info; calories, fat, fiber per serving?

  21. Corinne Brennan says:

    Hi Lynn! This recipe looks great and easy – just wondering, have you calculated the nutrition per bar? (i.e. calories, protein, fat, etc.)

  22. I have made granola but never took the next step to make actual granola bars. The almond butter mixture sounds wonderful in taking what is somewhat routine granola and really turning it into something great! Great idea.

  23. BrownSok says:

    These sound delish but I have the darndest time finding unsweetened, oil-free dried berries (i.e. natural ones). Any good sources you can recommend? Maybe you know of some in Canada, Aimee (I’m in Ottawa).

  24. Colleen says:

    What would you suggest as a substitute to the almond butter. My kids attend a “nut-free” school including tree nuts.
    Thanks

  25. These are delicious, thanks for the recipe!
    Paula’s last post: An Uncomplicated Life: Cleaning

  26. Hi, I have been wanting to make chocolate chip granola bars. Would the recipe work and taste good with chocolate chips?

  27. Your granola bar are so nice to eat. I haven’t make granula bars and it seems perfect to eat for my kids and for me so I will try this one.
    Azslyn Cole’s last post: How To Get Whiter Teeth

  28. Thank you for this recipe. My husband loves it and I’m pretty sure that it’s the holy grail of granola bar recipes. :)

  29. Thank you Lynn for sharing that wonderful recipe on line…. I never was a kitchen person when I was younger — so consequently I am playing ‘catch up’ and find most of my recipes on line… Anyway – love, love, love the taste!!! and I did mostly sunflower seed butter with almond butter – also to reduce the sugar a little I did raw honey and a little stevia, still plenty sweet!! Added egg white (for cohesion) and baked for a few minutes longer, then let cool — seems to work, but will store in the fridge as well :) –thanks again! Liz

  30. These are extremely delicious. I used pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts baked as recipe directs. I also added 4 tablespoons of chia seeds which I did not bake so as to preserve all their wonderful omega 3 oil. I used plain puffed millet ( no other ingredients in this puffed cereal ). I only used 2/3 cups dried fruit ( cranberries, cherries, currents, raisins ). I formed them into granola ‘Balls’ instead of bars. Seriously yummy, like a glorified rice crispy square, more delicious and much healthier. My only issue was that the heated ‘wet’ mixture was very sticky and thick and extremely difficult to mix well through the dry ingredients. The latter is why I ended up using my hands to mix ( when a bit cooled) and then making balls. Thanks :)

  31. Matthew Morris McCormick says:

    Do you think they would come out OK if I replaced all of the sugar with Stevia?

  32. Thats Sounds Great!
    Foodeaser’s last post: Oven Roasted Lamb Shanks with Roasted Tomatoes and Toasted Orzo

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