Kim and I try hard to feed our family healthy food. One area this gets difficult is snacks. Cheerios get old after a while and fresh fruit is often expensive or poorly received. We thought about granola bars or cereal bars but they are a long way from healthy and can be expensive to keep in stock. So, my wife took it upon herself to find a quick and easy snack we could keep on hand. This is what she found. In its initial form I am not sure it would have passed the healthy test. After a few passes and some tweaking we now have a granola bar snack that is healthy enough we don’t mind feeding it to the kids a few times a week. So, here it is:
40 minutes | 15 min prep.
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cups raisins (increase or decrease at will)
- 1/4 – 1/2 butter or margarine, soften (more butter makes chewy bars);
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal (Rice Krispies – or other cereal)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (We use white chocolate. It makes less of a mess when eaten)
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
Now collecting these ingredients is usually not too difficult. The true challenge comes in executing the cooking directions. I am pretty sure the ease of cooking is indirectly proportional to the number of kids helping. My wife usually has a two and three-year old helping. Things don’t get too out of control unless I try to jump in as well. Anyway… here is what you do:
- Remove toys from the oven.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F and lightly grease or spray a 9×13 pan.
- Take a large bowl off your child’s head.
- In the large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Remove the slightly melted toy pan from the oven, explain that this oven a real hot oven and not a toy.
- Blend in the honey, vanilla and egg.
- Re-grease or spray the 9×13 pan, wash your child’s hands.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- Chase down your child and put the sugar mixture back into the large bowl, wash your child’s hands again.
- Add the flour mixture gradually to the sugar mixture and beat until combined.
- Re-measure the chocolate chips, remind your children not to eat the ingredients.
- By hand, stir in the chocolate chips, oats, and raisins until well mixed.
- Save Thomas the Tank Engine from driving into an active volcano. Padlock the oven door closed.
- Press mixture firmly in bottom of greased pan, and bake at 350 °F for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Cool and cut into squares.
- Delight your children (and husband)
You should now have a wonderfully yummy snack for your kids, and husband. They taste great and are better for you than the store-bought version. They are also considerably cheaper which never hurts. You can always mix up the recipe if you like. You could use brown chocolate or even use Cheerios for the cereal (we did this once and it worked pretty well). There you have it. A healthy homemade granola bar. What are some of your favorite homemade snacks?