Granola Bars

gluten-free ~ dairy free ~ refined sugar-free

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 80 minutes

It’s that time of year ya’ll….Back. To. School. And if you are anything like me, you were not entirely prepared. Don’t get me wrong, I was prepared in the sense that I had all the school supplies, clothes and accessories ready to go and packed at the front door. And I was BEYOND ready for the kids to have some structure and activities that were not supplied by yours truly. But I was definitely not ready for the early mornings, hurried breakfasts, frantic lunch packing or meal planning that I had let drift off to never, never land during the summer. Add in a lazy Labor Day weekend where I throughly enjoyed my last days of afternoon drinking and grilling out, and by Monday it was a four-alarm “holy shit” kind of day.

So..I do what I do best. Got in my kitchen, put on some jams, enjoyed my greens and got down to the business of fueling my kids to learn! To conserve time, which i obviously had let fly by…I wanted to make a couple of items that could pull double duty, and either be a snack or a quick on the go breakfast. So, I decided to make granola bars to start.

These bars are super easy to make and are SO versatile! You can literally change-up the ingredients without a second thought and they are always on point.

I put some variations below that we have tried and jam on, but please post a comment below with your variations. Enjoy! nom nom

2 cups quick cooking oats; I use Trader Joe’s brand

1 cup of almond butter or any seed/nut butter

1/2 cup of nuts or seeds; I love pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds but almost any nut or seed will work in these!

1/4-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips; I use Enjoy Life mini dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened dried fruit: I alternate between cranberries and blueberries

1/4 cup of honey; extra if your bars are crumbly

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until all the ingredients are combined. If your mixture still seems crumbly add 1/2 TBS of honey at a time until your mixture sticks together.
  2. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment and press the mixture into the pan. Make sure to press all the way into the corners so your bars are even when you cut them.
  3. Place the bars in the freezer and let chill for 50 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from freezer and lift parchment out. Cut the square in half and then cut lengthwise six times for a total of 12 bars.
  5. Wrap each bar in plastic and place back in the freezer for another 20 minutes.
  6. Keep the bars in the fridge or freezer and enjoy!

 

Bar Variations:

  • Slivered almonds, dried cranberries, cacao nibs
  • Pumpkin seeds, dried blueberries, mini dark chocolate chips
  • Pistachios, cranberries, blueberries and unsweetened coconut

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