Granola bars are one of the best snack foods you can eat. They’re portable, delicious, and not only are they satisfying, they’re much healthier than candy and chips! There are a few downfalls to the store-bought versions, though, like preservatives, added sugars, and the cost per box. A box of 8 can disappear fast when they're a favorite school and sport snack. We have found that a good alternative is to just make our own with natural, wholesome ingredients that we can feel good about feeding to our families! There are a lot of different recipes and they all have one thing in common--they're easy to make! Here are a few of our favorites!
Oats & Honey Granola Bars
If you like the Nature Valley granola bars, then you’ll love this recipe. This is a copycat recipe for their Oats ‘N Honey bars, but we think this homemade version is even better. This recipe will give you 6 bars so you may want to double or triple it (they’re that good!).
1 1/2 C. rolled oats
1/2 C. rice krispies
3 Tbsp. cornmeal
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. honey
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9x9 glass baking dish with parchment paper. This step is pretty important as it will help you get the bars out of the dish later.
Step 2: Add all the dry ingredients except the brown sugar to a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Step 3: In a small, microwave-safe bowl, add the honey and coconut oil and microwave for around 30 seconds to soften. Then add the vanilla and brown sugar and mix until well blended.
Step 4: Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry and then add the mixture to the baking pan. Press it down onto the parchment paper as hard as you can. You may want to use a flat bottom bowl or something to help press them down. Compact all the ingredients together otherwise your bars will fall apart.
Step 5: Bake the bars for 20 minutes or until golden on top. Remove the pan from the oven, and using your bowl or a measuring cup, press down on the bars again.
Step 6: Let the bars cool in the pan for 10 min and then lift out the parchment paper. Cut the bars and then cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
Store the bars in a sealed container to keep them fresh. You can wrap them in plastic individually to make them more portable. These are delicious and nutritious and your family will love them!
Pretzel & Candy Granola Bars
This recipe is great for satisfying a sweet tooth. They have a salty yet sweet taste with the goodness of oats! While these won't win a Healthiest Granola Bar contest, they’re definitely better for you than a candy bar or bag of cheeseballs.
2 C. rolled oats
1 C. rice krispies
1/2 C. chopped pretzels
1/4 C. mini M&Ms
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. honey
1/4 C. peanut butter
1/4 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Extra mini M&Ms for topping
Step 1: Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper or wax paper and set it aside.
Step 2: Add butter, honey, peanut butter, and brown sugar to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
Step 3: Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl and toss to mix. Pour in the wet mixture and stir until everything is well coated.
Step 4: Press the mixture down into the pan. Throw some extra M&Ms on top and use a bowl or measuring cup to compact them so they stick together.
Step 5: Refrigerate for 30 minutes to cool and then lift the bars out of the pan with the paper. Cut the bars and store them in the fridge!