Back-To-School Granola Bars

Written by on 9/6/2012 7:10 AM in . It has 0 Comments.

HPM Insurance offers granola bar recipe 

School is back in session for NH students, which means back to packing lunches.  As a mother of two young boys, I am always trying to get them to eat healthier.  This can be a challenge given the quality of food presented to kids in school.  (Once, my six-year-old told me that he HAD to get the chocolate milk because the only other choice  was lemon milk.  He assumed it was lemon because the carton was yellow.)

Anyway, there is a treat that is loved by my boys, healthy, and relatively easy to make.  It is granola bars.  I love them because  you can use this recipe loosely and throw in almost any nut, dried fruit or chocolate chip (if you are feeling nice), and they always turn out great.   Anything that is healthy, and creates less debate is a winner in my book.  Enjoy!

 2 cups oatmeal
 1/4 cup brown sugar
 1 cup sliced almonds*
 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
 1/4 tsp kosher salt
 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
 1/2 cup pitted dates*
3 Tblsp butter
 1/2 cup dried apricots*
2/3 cup honey
 1/2 cup raisins*

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Butter or spray an 8x12 inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

2. Toss oatmeal, nuts and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.  Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in wheat germ.

3. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

4. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook for one minute and then pour over the oatmeal mixture.  Add the dried fruits and stir well.

5.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Wet fingers and lightly press evenly into the pan.  Back for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 2-3 hours before cutting into squares.

* I have experimented with substituting pistachios, walnuts, pecans, banana chips, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried pineapple and chocolate chips.  I simply switch out a dried fruit or nut and replace it with equal proportions of the substitute.

 

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