Grandparents are the best at spoiling our kids…and what better way than with delicious treats?
Thankfully, my parents respect our views on food, so they try their best to keep healthy snacks on hand for when we come to visit (thanks for that, by the way, mom and dad). 9 times out of 10, when we walk into their house, my kids will ask for a snack (I swear mom, we do not starve our children!)…
One of their favorite special treats that they get at my parents house, are granola bars… more specifically, chocolate chip granola bars. While there are plenty of healthier options out there, most of them still have some undesired ingredients; natural flavors, caramel color, and the like.
So I made it my mission to find a delicious, healthy, and easy recipe for homemade granola bars.
Every recipe I stumbled upon, contained refined sugar. Yuck. I try to save my organic pure cane sugar or brown sugar for use in recipes we don’t make often, as a special treat…but for a food that I want to keep on hand more often, I needed to make sure it only has honey or maple syrup as the sweetener. And even that in moderation.
I finally found a recipe that worked! Granted, I still subbed out the brown sugar for more honey…and the verdict?
I love that I now have a healthy and delicious base recipe, that I can make and serve my kiddos, without feeling guilty! I say “base” recipe, because it can easily be customized. You can add sliced almonds and dried cranberries…peanut butter and flax seed…the possibilities are endless!
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups whole grain crispy brown rice cereal (I used Erewhon Brand - see affiliate link)
- 4 Tbls unrefined coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is awesome - see affiliate link)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread out oats onto a baking sheet.
- Prepare a 9x12 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and rubbing a bit of coconut oil on it (to keep bars from sticking).
- In a small saucepan (over medium heat), melt the coconut oil and honey, stirring occasionally. Bring it to a light simmer and let it bubble for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract, stir, and remove from heat. Allow to slightly cool.
- When oven is ready, bake the oats for about 5 minutes. Watch them closely so they don't burn. When they begin to turn a light golden brown, remove them right away.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice cereal, and salt.
- Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to coat.
- Once the granola mixture is no longer hot to the touch, you can stir in the chocolate chips. I recommend waiting until they are barely warm, to make sure the chocolate chips don't melt.
- Pour mixture into baking dish, and using a separate piece of parchment paper, press into the dish.
- Place dish in fridge and allow to chill for about an hour.
- When you are ready to cut them, remove the parchment paper and set on a cutting board.
- Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week.
- This recipe can easily be customized to add in other ingredients that you may like! Peanut butter, almonds, cranberries, you name it! Have fun and enjoy!