Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chewy Granola Bars

Does anyone else struggle with snack ideas for your kids? My girls usually get tired of eating something about half way through the box, so I have learned to only buy things for them that I am willing to finish off. Along with that issue, I much prefer to make them snacks-they are more healthy, not full of processed junk, and a little cheaper.
These granola bars were perfect! They are so versatile- you can completely cater to your own taste preference. And they are beyond easy to make, and really tasty too. They are made just like rice krisy bars, just with different ingredients. Not including cooling and cutting time, it took me less than 10 minutes to whip these babies up! And the cost difference compared to store bought is pretty big. My rough estimate indicated that store bought bars cost about $.27 per bar (for the cheaper brand!) and these much healthier, tastier, basic version cost only about $.09 per bar! Chewy Granola Bars

2 cups oatmeal (I havent done this yet, but try toasting it first)
2 cups cheerios (or rice krispys, puff cereal, etc.)
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup ground flax seed (or wheat germ)
-any other mix in ingredient (nuts, seeds, more fruit, etc)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup corn syrup (or honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, etc)
1/2 cup brown sugar

*Mix the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
*Combine the peanut butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in a large pot and heat over medium until the mixture just boils.
*Toss the dry ingredients into the gooey mixture in the pot and quickly stir to coat.
*Dump into a greased 9x13 pan and press down with fingers or a fork dipped in water to prevent sticking
*Allow to cool completely (about an hour, or put it in the fridge to speed the process)
*Cut into bars (I found it easiest to pop the whole thing out of the pan, put it on a cutting board and chop through it with a big butcher knife)
*Makes 18 bars

I haven't tried it yet, but I read that they freeze well. Wrap individually in seran wrap, place in a freezer bag and you will always have ready some easy, fairly healthy, really good grab and go snacks. (or like in our house, breakfast, with some yogurt and a banana)

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