I am constantly seeking snack options that are reasonably healthy to put in my 5-year-old son’s lunch. Now that he is in day camp for the summer, he is burning even more energy during the day and needs more snacks. While they are by no means virtuous, these granola bars are a healthier version of what you can buy in the store and satisfy the nut-free requirements of most schools and camps. They are also gluten-free. You can use this recipe as a base and adapt with different grains (try substituting half the oats with rye or spelt flakes) or dried fruit and nuts. This flavour combination of chocolate and dried cherries is my son’s favourite but feel free to test different options.
Erin’s Homemade DIY Granola Bars
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ¼ cup oat flour (or blitz the same amount of oats in the food processor)
- 1/3 cup uncoocked quinoa
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¾ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- ¾ cup chopped dried cherries (or other dried fruit)
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¾ cup white chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips )
- ¼ cup sunflower seed butter (can use peanut or almond butter if nuts are not a concern)
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup agave, maple syrup or honey
- Heat oven to 350 F
- Line 8×8 plan with two sheets of parchment which hangs over the edges to create a “sling”
- Mix oats, floor, coconut, quinoa, salt, chocolate and dried cherries in a large bowl.
- Mix sunflower seed butter, vanilla, coconut oil and agave in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix until combined.
- Transfer into prepared pan and press down using a flat object (e.g., bottom of glass) until firm.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Leave in pan until completely cooled. Remove from pan once cooled and cut into desired portion size. Be warned, they will crumble (small crumbs are perfect for snacking!)
Bars can be kept for a week in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last longer in fridge or freezer.