Healthy, Sugar-Free Granola Bars
Why make your own sugar-free granola bars? I love quick snacks I can toss to my kids in the back seat of the car or pull out of my bag while running errands. But often those pre-packaged snacks are full of sugar. Now, I'm not against all sugar. But I personally try to avoid sugar, and I like to be careful about how much I'm giving my kids, especially as it gets closer to nap or bed time.
Sugar-Free Granola Bars for a Healthy Cooking With Kids Recipe
The last time I was at the grocery, I took the time to check out the labels on the granola bar packages. Those things are more like candy bars than nutritious snack. So I figured, how about I make my own? And how about I occupy Kate and let her help me? Win, win.
Ingredients for Healthy Granola Bars Kids Can Help Make
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cups rolled oats (not the quick cook kind)
- 1/2 ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- Dried fruit (Optional. You could also use dark chocolate chips, vegan chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, or forgo the chocolate chips. Or nothing at all!)
- Parchment paper
How to Make Kid-Friendly Granola Bars
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. While you wait for the oven, add the bananas, oats, flax seed, chia seeds, and coconut flakes into an electric mixer bowl and mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
3. After the ingredients are incorporated, add the almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup and almond butter. Toss in your dried fruit (if you're using dried fruit or chocolate chips). The mixture should be a bit like cookie dough. You could form a ball with it. Not too sticky, not too wet. If you find it too sticky, add more almond milk. Too loose? Add more oats.
I let my children pour in the ingredients and work the mixture.
4. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out the mixture to create an even layer. Try to flatten the mixture, but don't leave large gaps. You can cut a small piece of parchment paper and use it to press down carefully but firmly to really pack the bars so they stay together.
After I got started, I let Kate take over. She was pretty enthusiastic about this part.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. When you start to smell banana, pull them out! They're done!
Refrigerate one hour before cutting into the bars. Enjoy!
What do you think? Would your kids go for these? Do you have a kid-friendly recipe to share?