In pursuit of the nut free granola bar, I find my self (against my better judgement) turning down the snack aisle in the grocery store. I do it cautiously, as if I am lurking in muddy waters hoping that no one is watching. I look around and start to pick up an assortment of boxes, one by one, intently reading the labels in the hopes that one box will not contain or be labeled “may contain” for peanuts or nuts. That this one day will be the jackpot, and I will be able to buy a package of store bought granola bars.For some reason I am compelled to repeatedly perform this task knowing that most likely the outcome will remain the same, no store bought granola bars for us.
Over the years I have made a number of healthy safe granola bars and snacks. There are some good no-bake options which I will share soon, but often are messy and need to be refrigerated. I recently came across this recipe on allerrecipes. My kids LOVE it. These granola bars are tasty and turn out crunchy, so make sure you like the crunchy type of granola bars. They travel well and are good for after school and sporting activities. You can modify these to your dietary needs. I included the variations we made below.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup wheat germ (I used flax)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used Gluten Free)
- 3/4 cup raisins (optional) (I used currants)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (I skipped)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. ( I used my hands the first time and would not recommend this. I used a spatula the second time, much easier!)
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.