KITCHEN SINK GRANOLA BARS:
I am always trying to find healthy snacks that will fill up my groms between meals.
This recipe blows me away. It is filled with ingredients that I am thrilled to give to my boys. What’s funny is that individually, I don’t think my boys would eat most of the ingredients in them. But something magic happens when you put it all together, and bake them.
KITCHEN SINK GRANOLA BARS…VEGAN AND KID-APPROVED.
- 2 C. steel cut oats
- 2/3 cup wet sweetener (agave syrup or Maple syrup.)
- 1/4 cup Another variety of sweetener (wet or dry.) I used honey. but play around with it.
- 4 Tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter.
- 1 1/2 cup dried fruit assortment. Any kind will do.
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut.
- 1/2 cup whole nuts.
- 1. cup chopped nuts. I had Trader Joe’s chopped pecans. Play with it, any nut will do. Especially a Trader Joe’s nut…(I dream of having Trader Joe’s on island…)
- (NEXT would be the 1/2 cup of wheat germ or flax seed meal…which I didn’t use this time.)
- 1 T. vanilla extract.
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon ( I go a bit heavy on that.)
- spray of canola or olive oil.
- dark chocolate chips or carob chips optional.
okay…so it isn’t pretty yet.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Layer foil in a square casserole dish. Grease the insides with canola or olive oil.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add the oatmeal, coconut and nuts and toss well. Transfer this mixture to the casserole dish. Spray the top with some oil to aid in the toasting process.
4. Place dish in oven and toast for 10-15 minutes.
5. Use a medium saucepan over low heat to combine the peanut/almond butter, all sweeteners, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon. Heat until it has all combined and is becoming bubbly.
6. Put the chopped dried fruit mixture in a large bowl. Add the toasted oat/coconut/nut mix that has been toasted in the oven. (turn the oven down to 300 degrees when you take it out.)
7. Next pour the butter/sugar hot liquid into the mixing bowl. Stir well until the mixture is thick and firm and well combined.
8. Pour the entire mixture into the lined caserole dish.
9. IF you like a topping, sprinkle some extra nuts, or chocolate chips on top evenly. I used carob which I love, but the rest of my family does not. Next time I promised to use real chocolate chips.
10. Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.
11. Allow the dish to cool for a FULL HOUR before slicing into bars. Then store the bars in the fridge so that they will become chewy and firm. This is key!! If you cut into them too soon, they will crumble apart and that will be really frustrating after all of your hard work.
You can wrap these in individual baggies for easy snacks for the groms.
I love these for breakfast before a workout.
Keep in mind that I change these up in some way pretty much every time I make them. You can experiment with all of the ingredients to make it right for your family.
Hope you love them.
Have a great Wednesday~~~~