Kitchen Sink Granola Bars

They say that many hands make light work. But, I think that all depends on the size of the hands.

Although little hands—like those of two energetic and competitive (“no, I want to add the honey”) ponytails —certainly do make things more fun. Well, fun in a making sure your helpers don’t eat all the ingredients before they are added kind of way. Okay, and fun in a bonding kind of way too.

These granola bars are perfect for making with little ones, because there are only four simple steps involved. Measure. Add. Mix. Pour. Of course you must also put them in the oven, but that is no different than lifting a spoon or a fork to your mouth, is it?

The end-result of all that adding and mixing is pretty tasty, and rather healthy I might add. These are perfect to make if you’re looking to reduce the number of pre-made, store-bought snacks (with packaging) in your world. Not that there’s anything wrong with buying snacks—we all have busy lives. I just like to mix things up (literally) and add some homemade snacks to our routine. These are fast and easy.

I’ve adapted the recipe that I found with some substitutions, and added in a few extra goodies. We really like this recipe, but if you have a granola bar recipe that you recommend, I’d love to hear about it. 

Kitchen Sink Granola Bars

Adapted from the printed version of TogetherFamily.ca

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup dried blueberries (substitute with chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries)
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup butterscotch chips
  •  ½cup marshmallows (optional)
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the oats, sugar, wheat germ, sesame seeds, cinnamon, flour, raisins, dried blueberries, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, marshmallow (if using) and salt.
  4. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil honey, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Pat the mixture down well in the pan.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Be careful not to overcook.
  7. Cool for 5 minutes and then cut into squares. Do not let them cool completely or they will be difficult to cut. Once cut, let cool completely before removing from the pan—as they crumble easily if they have not had time to set.

TIPS:

  • When adding your ingredients with your measuring cup, be sure to add the oil before the honey. The oil coats the measuring cup, making the honey slide out more easily.
  • We also added ¼ cup of cranberries, along with the blueberries because we had lots on hand. We didn’t add any nuts because the school is a nut-free zone.
  • Be sure to follow instruction #7 because they will be too hard to cut if you don’t cut them shortly after taking them out of the oven. And, if you try to remove them from the pan right after they are cut, they will be crumbly.

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