Today, I'm very excited! The Nutrition Mama has invited me to do a guest post over on her blog! Chelsea and I connected via the blogosphere and I was thrilled when she asked me to be part of her series called "Mama Monday" where she introduces her readers to moms from all over the world that are passionate about feeding their families healthy and nutritious food. If you have a child that tends to be very picky or if you're planning to raise your baby in a healthy environment, be sure to head over to her blog! I'm sharing my very best granola bar, as well as my professional and personal mama tips for getting kids to eat a wide range of healthy foods.
These granola bars are the perfect go-to snack for little ones (and adults too!). Most brands you find in stores are made with preservatives, refined sugar like high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy ingredients.
Homemade granola bars are super easy to do. My version is loaded with nutritious seeds (hemp, chia, sesame), nut butter, cranberries, almonds, dark chocolate chips, oats and puffed rice. If you’re looking for a nut-free bar (especially for the school lunchbox), you can customize this recipe. For example, try sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter and omit the almonds (or substitute them with roasted soy beans or pumpkin seeds). As for the sweetener, I use local honey, but you could also use rice syrup or agave nectar if you want (or if you are vegan). The end result is a crunchy, nutty and "just a tad" sweet bar and my son thinks they taste similar to rice crispies :) That sure is an extra point for me!
The best granola bars : chocolate, cranberry & almond
Yield : 12 bars or 24 mini bars
- 1 ½ cup oats (you can use gluten-free oats if you want)
- 1 cup puffed rice
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup honey (or agave nectar or brown rice syrup)
- ¼ cup almond butter or peanut butter (or nut-free butter like sunflower seed butter)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup unsulfured dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips + ¼ cup more if you want to drizzle chocolate on your bars
- Line a rectangular pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
- Preheat you oven at 350F. In a bowl, mix the oats, puffed rice, chopped almonds. Pour on a parchment covered cookie pan and cook for about 7 minutes. Note : you can skip this step if you want and do a no-bake version.
- In a small saucepan, stir the nut butter, vanilla and honey and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Mix the oats, puffed rice and almonds with the seeds (hemp, chia, sesame) and salt. Pour the liquid mixture on top and mix well to combine with a spatula. Set aside and cool down for about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the cranberries and chocolate chips and combine (you may use your hands if you want).
- Transfer the mixture in the pan and press down with your hands to even it out (especially on the edges). You can drizzle some melted chocolate on top if you want. I prefer my granola bars as is. Set in the fridge for about 1-2 hours.
- Cut the bars with a sharp knife into 12 bars or 24 mini bars.
Or you can get this yummy gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy, granola recipe here : HEAD OVER TO HER BLOG