We eat a lot of granola bars in our house. They’re portable, usually mess-free, and they’re good at sneaking in healthy ingredients. Plus, they’re almost always delicious.
Most granola bars have nuts, though, (or they’re made in a factory with…) and not only can the kids not take foods with peanuts to their school, but we also try to be thoughtful about taking snacks with nuts out and about where there are lots of other children.
I’ve been experimenting with bar recipes and this one has been a winner so far with my kids.
(And in addition to nut free, these can also be made dairy free and vegan if you omit the chocolate. Maybe. If honey is vegan.)
Raisin Bran Chia Granola Bars
The main ingredient is a long-time favorite for our family: Raisin Bran.
Raisin Bran has fiber, which keeps you full longer, and has whole grains, protein, B vitamins and antioxidants. Since Raisin Bran is the base, I feel good about giving these to my kids for a snack or even as a part of breakfast on mornings when we’re rushing out the door for school.
CLICK HERE for a coupon you can use for Raisin Bran and all Post cereals.
Measure out 4 cups of cereal.
Then get your toddler off the table.
Realize you lost this battle six months ago.
Combine Raisin Bran and dried cranberries, and put chia seeds in a separate bowl to add later(otherwise they’ll all just sink to the bottom) You can add nuts if you want, but we’re going nut free.
In a saucepan, heat up honey, maple syrup, light corn syrup, and black strap molasses.
Molasses adds a little extra calcium and iron (and apparently cuts down on hair frizz too?), and I’m going to keep experimenting with upping the ratio of molasses to replace the other syrups.
Heat syrups to a boil, continuing to boil until it reaches 240 degrees (soft ball stage).
Remove syrup from heat and immediately pour over dry ingredients. Mix well (it’ll be gooey!), then add chia seeds, and mix again.
Pour the mixture into a greased 11×9 inch pan, and make sure to press the cereal down to really set it. If it’s sticking, put some butter on a spatula (or I’ll be honest, I just use my hands) to avoid sticking.
Refrigerate the bars for about 30 minutes, and then slice into about 20 bars.
Melt some semi-sweet morsels and coconut oil in the microwave. (Or omit this step for dairy free bars!) Dip each bar into the chocolate (And for this, even if you love chocolate, a little goes a long way. Try for a thin layer or it’ll overwhelm the bar.)
Put the bars on parchment paper (or if you always forget to buy parchment paper like me, just put them chocolate-side up back in the same 11×9 pan you used earlier) and refrigerate for 30 more minutes.
Eat! And repeat!
And repeat again!
Raisin Bran Chia granola bars
- 4 cups of Raisin Bran
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3 T chia seeds
- 1/4 c honey
- 1/4 c maple syrup
- 1/4 C light corn syrup
- ¼ C black strap molasses
- 1 t vanilla
- sea salt (optional)
- 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 t coconut oil
Measure 4 cups of Raisin Bran. Crush bigger flakes, then combine with cranberries. Measure chia seeds and set aside.
Prepare a 11×9″ baking pan with cooking spray or a thin layer of butter.
Combine honey, maple syrup, light corn syrup, blackstrap molasses, in a small sauce pan. Heat to boiling, and continue to boil until mixture reaches 240 degrees. Remove from heat, then stir in vanilla. Immediately pour over cereal mixture. Mix well, then add chia seeds and mix again.
Pour cereal into prepared pan and press well to set bars. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut into about 20 bars.
Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave (about 10 seconds at a time until melted). Dip each bar into chocolate, making sure the bottoms are just barely coated. Place bars on parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 more minutes.
Store bars in an airtight container.
Oh and the absolute more important step — don’t forget your coupon.