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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nutfree Toddler Granola Bars

Nutfree Toddler Granola Bars
K loves his cereal bars. We buy the organic ones from our grocery store all the time for him. But from the way he was devouring them, we were going to either go broke (haha not really cuz we're not that poor) or he'd  go crazy from all that sugar. That got me wondering about the possibility of making my own granola bars for him to take to daycare. It's a nut-free facility so I had to make sure there wasn't any nuts in the product. Poor guy. K loves his peanut butter but basically can only have it at home. Oh well.

Of course I researched and then decided to make these granola bars instead of the cereal bars where I have to ground all the stuff into flour. Good thing cuz I'm too lazy to do all that extra work. This turned out pretty well. But I think I'm going to use a bigger pan or split the mixture in two and make two separate dishes worth so that the bars wouldn't be quite so thick. And maybe add some applesauce to it so that it's less crumbly.


Nutfree Toddler Granola Bars
(makes 12 thick bars or 24 thin bars)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 8" x 8" square baking pan (for thick bars) with parchment paper. Line two pans if you want thinner bars. Make sure there's some parchment paper hanging over the sides so you can use them to pick up the slab of granola later. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (oats, raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, wheat germ, flours, sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg). Once mixed well, stir in honey, oil, egg and vanilla extract until everything is mixed very well.
  3. Transfer mixture to your parchment paper lined pan(s) and use your hands or a spatula to smooth out the top so that it's nice and flat.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes (thin bars) or 18-20 minutes (thick bars), or until the sides start turning golden brown.
  5. Let the slab(s) rest out of the oven for about 5 minutes, then lift them out of their pan(s). Using a sharp knife, cut the slab(s) into bars.
  6. Let the bars cool down completely before storing in an airtight container or a large Ziploc bag to keep the bars chewy.