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Granola Bars

Yup. I’m that Mom.

This girl is going to be smothered in so much pink crap that she’ll be mortal enemies with it by the time she’s nine. Or maybe she’ll become as obsessed as I am…

Having only had a boy before having this lovely girl, I had already succumbed to the thought that I would never have girls and would be stuck dressing my boys in monster truck shirts and washing muddy socks and pants. But now I have the power, the power to play dress up that is. One day she’ll be the best dressed kid in school.

Today is a big day for a lot of kids. The first day of school, or the first day back to school after a long summer break. Exciting and scary, nerve racking and over stimulating, the first day of school was always something I equally dreaded and revered. I wanted to be excited, but I hated school. In all honesty, living out in the middle of nowhere has made me seriously consider homeschooling my children. I will do it! I am just not that into the public school system. I have a lot of reasons, which I won’t go into here, but let’s just suffice it to say, I am not a fan of the public school system in British Columbia. There, I said it. Sorry about that.

Okay, politics over. School requires nourishment. Sustenance to sustain you through breaks, classes, studying, learning, cavorting, gossiping, locker decorating, vending machine finding, etc. What better than a homemade granola bar made with love packed neatly into your kids lunch box? Lower in sugar, sodium and fat than anything you could buy commercially and they taste fabulous! Make these today for your little munchkins and watch as they grow up right in front of your eyes.

**Note:  There is another reason I made these treats. Warning! Long Story!

One night, we took the whole family down to the lake for a little fishing excursion. That’s me, the mister, Cohen (son) and Isla (daughter) plus our doggie, Domino (a puggle).

We fished, we laughed, we threw sticks for Domino, we had good times. Then it was time to go and we couldn’t find him. We called, we waited, we yelled some more. Nothing, not even a peep. Sometimes he gets stuck in things and we have to rescue him, but usually he whines or barks to us. This time, nothing.

We decided to head home, a two minute walk, to see if he had gone back before us. Nope.

We headed back down to the lake, where I swore I could hear him choking on water, but it sounded far away. We couldn’t see him anywhere. Adrian (Mr. Guilty) waded into the lake and around the corner to see if he could see him, but nothing.

We headed back up the hill towards our house and stopped at our neighbour’s house. We asked if they had seen him, but they said no. Then the husband hopped on his bike and cruised up the road to see if he could find him. Nothing.

They headed back to the lake, and we had been missing our doggie for about 30 minutes at this point.

Nate, our neighbour, headed down to the lake with Adrian and all of a sudden he jumped in, shoes and all!

Domino was paddling his little butt in the lake, mouth full of a Kong toy that someone had tied to the side of their boat! He was unsuccessfully trying to deattach it and drowning slowly in the process. He would absolutely not let go and had to be pried off! What drama!

So for Nate’s courageous jump into frigid waters and the rescuing our our son;s beloved puppy, we thanked him with somewhat healthy baked goods. Thanks Nate and Tracy!

Granola Bars

Yield: 12 bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup hazelnuts (filberts)
1/2 cup pecan pieces or halves
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried figs
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (use gluten free oats for a gluten free product)
3 tbsp wheat germ (omit for gluten free)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/8 cup honey
1/8  cup +1 tbsp agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. On a baking tray, lay out nuts and roast for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven, stir once after five minutes. Cool slightly and chop into small pieces.
2. Chop fruit into small chunks and set aside.
3. Line an 8 x 8 square pan with parchment paper, allow enough to extend out over the sides as well; this makes it easier to remove once cooled. Grease parchment.
4. Stir together remaining dry ingredients in large bowl, add fruit and nuts. Stir to combine.
5. Whisk together peanut butter, brown sugar, melted butter, honey, agave and vanilla.

6. Mix wet ingredients into dry mix and pat into lined baking tray.
7. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350°F or until golden brown on edges.
8. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes, remove from baking tray by using extended edges of parchment and cool in refrigerator until set. Slice only when cooled and wrap individually.

Similarly delicious recipes from other blogs:

Easy Homemade Granola on The Amateur Gourmet
Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp on Smitten Kitchen
Homemade Granola, Gluten Free on Gluten Free Girl and The Chef
Granola Bread on Wild Yeast
Banana Chocolate Granola Bars on Bitchin’ Camero

22 comments to Granola Bars

  • Yep, my Noah would be all over these. “Did you put love in these, mom?” He’d say, “‘Cause I can taste it.”.

    I’m printing this to bring with me on my next trip to the health food store. So many goodies packed into a bar!
    Aimee recently posted..Back to…Cooking School- Roast Chicken 101 Recipe- Lemon &amp Oregano Roast ChickenMy Profile

  • DeJana

    Have I told you lately that I love you? 😉

  • We also baked Granola bars over the weekend and yes, they are in my kids lunch boxes. They love them.
    I like your recipe with the different nuts, especially hazelnuts, in them a lot. I will try them next time. Thanks!

  • She is a cutie….and those bars a filled with so much god stuff…Wish I had a lunch box…
    norma recently posted..PIMIENTOS DE PADRON Padron peppers from Galicia- SpainMy Profile

  • I LOVE granola bars! This recipe looks fantastic – I love how you use so many different nuts and dried fruits. Can’t wait to try it 🙂
    Joe @ Eden Kitchen recently posted..Warm Millet &amp BroccoliMy Profile

  • Can I tell you how refreshing it is to see a granola bar recipe without an obscene amount of sugar in it?? Bless you. 🙂

    I hope you can live your dream of having the best dressed daughter in her school. I took my 3-year-old daughter to her first day of school today donned in a dress, jeans, bows, and shoes that didn’t match. She’s very opinionated and that’s one battle that I have given up on. I have yet to live the best-dressed dream.

  • Love all these homely back to school recipes; I was one of the lucky kids who always, always had food like this in my lunchbox. Love the little bonnet on your baby girl too.
    Anna Johnston recently posted..MEET THE INTOLERANT CHEFMy Profile

  • foodlvr

    I made a batch of granola bars a week or so ago. Most are gone already. I used the recipe from 50 After School Snacks booklet that came in the latest Food Network magazine. Came out great. I will make them again – maybe tomorrow? These look excellent too.

  • Considering joining the homeschool crowd? I’m a grad, and I loved it. Got to travel and volunteer while other kids were stuck behind concrete walls,… and yes, I was thoroughly socialized. 😉
    These granola bars look fantastic! Do they turn out more crunchy or soft?
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) recently posted..Summer Left While I was in the HospitalMy Profile

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Steph! We are very excited about the prospect of homeschooling. I am looking forward to it! As for the granola bars, they are a bit soft with a crunch to the outer edges.

  • Mr. Guilty

    These bars were just awesome. Funny, the story about why these were made is sadly missing from this post…. Care to fill people in Mrs. Guilty?

  • awww, what adorable pictures – she’s just lovely . . . I LOVE a homemade granola bar – these look great. My curiosity is now piqued after reading Mr. Guilty’s comment above!!!
    Michelle (Jelly Shot Test Kitchen) recently posted..Top Nine!My Profile

  • Cute story behind the granola bars! Ya gotta wonder what goes through those dogs’ heads in situations like that – rescuing Kong from drowning? Tastes too good to let go? Compulsive stealing? 😉 Glad he was ok.
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) recently posted..A Salad Guys Will EatMy Profile

  • Oh my, that’s one stubborn dog! Your little girl is adorable. It’s funny, I thought I was anti-pink, until I had my daughter. There’s just so much cute stuff out there… And lastly, I’ve been looking for a granola bar recipe that wasn’t loaded with sugar — will definitely be trying these!
    colleen @ foodietots recently posted..Savoring SeptemberMy Profile

  • Hey! Your granola bars look chalk-full packed of great ingredients. Although Mark Bittman says that there is so much media about granola bars these days being touted as ‘healthy’, it’s basically the equivalent of green-washing, but with foods, and transforming them into something you can believe is great for your body/weight/teeth, whatever. He says, however, that it’s no better than having a candy bar. For me, I would say that’s a bit of a stretch seeing as there’s fruit, (and when it’s dried => more sugar packed in), wheat germ, NON-processed ingredients, a moderate amount of chocolate (dark preferred), no pretzels or caramel or nougat, toffee or any other teeth-rotting substances, and there’s oats! think fiber, vitamins, minerals! I would say granola bars are great, but in moderation of course.
    Thanks for posting this recipe. It looks like one of the best I’ve seen so far, and there are SO many out there. I especially like the addition of peanut butter (my drug), cardamom, blueberries, hazelnuts, flaxseed and figs. Keep up the good work! I hope I can start a food blog one day- and then weave in my travels with it, but currently college is keeping me too busy to bother updating something that I have to be 1) an ambitious photographer and setting stylist for, 2) have a enough time on my hands to load those pictures on a blog and write about it….

    • Elizabeth

      It does take a fair amount of time Hope, but if you really want something, you’ll do it!

      Mark Bittman is right, most granola bars ARE candy! These are a healthier, lower sugar option, but I still wouldn’t eat them every day, that’s for sure!

  • Andrea P

    I made these the other day and I think I added too many dry ingredients, because they crumbled apart. However, this recipe does make for the most awesome breakfast granola when mixed with plain yogurt. Yum!!!

  • Mine were too brown, way before they were finished cooking. I think I will omit the butter & add more peanut butter to the recipe. They also crumbled apart, not sure what to do about that? However, my husband, who does not like granola,love it!

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Debra, I think adding more peanut butter would help with the binding for sure, although removing the butter might negate that. You could always add an egg as well.

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