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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24 Comments on “Kitchen Sink Granola Bars”

  1. Kristy says:

    Miss A would love these -and love making these. What a fun recipe. And my daughter has the same Hello Kitty shirt. 😉

  2. The older ponytail sure has a very determined and serious look on her face; takes after Dad, I’m sure, because Mom is a jokester! I made granola bars last year after JTs surgery, he really liked them but asked me not to make them again (because he ate them all in a very short period of time ;-)). Great snack, and to know exactly what is in them is the beauty of making them at home.

    • Good point Eva — it is nice to know what goes in them. When you see how a real marshmallow looks when it cooks, you wonder what the perfect looking ones are made of in store-bought. The seriousness definitely comes from Kevin.

  3. Charles says:

    Oh, the look wonderful Barb – they remind me of something my mother used to make when I was a kid. She added a bit of cinnamon and ginger one day and “whoa”… that’s where it’s at, in case you ever feel like trying something a bit different, but in the meantime, there’s definitely nothing wrong with these little sweet morsels. Something to make and relive my childhood sometime – thanks for sharing, Barb 🙂

  4. Ann says:

    Oh, YUM! I’ve never made my own granola or granola bars….which is too bad because I love the stuff – yours look particularly delicious! thanks for sharing them AND the tips!

  5. Sissi says:

    Barb, I also appreciate home-made snacks (sweet or savoury) and your granola bars look terrific! They also seem healthy and easy. Luckily you have little helpers 😉 Very cute making-of photos! They remind me of my childhood days and some sweets I used to make which didn’t require baking either.

    • Thanks Sissi! They really are easy to make — especially with the helpers! You know I had dried blueberries in the house for ages, so it is nice to be able to finally use them up in something that girls really like. Now, if I can find the energy to make snacks for this coming week! BTW, I was in a Japanese restaurant on Friday night where they sell ingredients. Unfortunately they were all out of Dashi — but I’ll try again so that I can make your recipe …I think it was called stranger noodles or something like that!

      • Sissi says:

        Stranger bowl 🙂 It’s a pity you couldn’t get dashi. You can always try making it on your own (it takes about 20-30 minutes and there is a recipe on my blog, actually two: one very quick (only with dried fish flakes) and the second one, real one). The former takes 10 minutes to prepare. Good luck! I hope you can start cooking Japanese soon.

  6. These granola bars look amazingly good…I’d probably eat the whole batch! Your ponytails are the cutest little things I’ve seen lately. Adorable girls!

    • Barb, I can’t access your email to address this “offline”, but WP says that you’d need to go back to the subscribe by email button on my blog, re-subscribe and confirm the subscription. But before you do that, if you’ll go under the blog/follow section in your dashboard, find me and make sure that you’ve enabled email updates, that could be the problem. I found out that when you “follow” someone with the button, it doesn’t automatically enable email updates until you do that. Apologies for this long reply here…just want to try and help! 🙂

    • Thanks for your comments about the girls and the granola bars. The nice thing about the granola bars is that they are filling — so it keeps you from going way overboard. As for the girls, well I’m their mom so I’m rather biased. I have to say that I’m really enjoying them these days, now that they can participate in so many more activities. Can’t believe we have to register my youngest for Junior Kindergarten in two weeks!!!

  7. Those girls are just adorable. And I LOVE this granola recipe. I heard of people saying.. “Everything but the kitchen sink”.. but since you say Kitchen Sink granola bars.. I KNOW they will be delicious :). Can’t wait to make these

  8. ceciliag says:

    Oh look at the little cooks! Those smiles. i LOVE to see children in the kitchen. How wonderful that you are teaching them to cook. So many people forget to, or cannot deal with the mess! and it looks like the girls made a fantastic mess.. nothing like it! c

  9. I make something very similar but I am loving the extra healthy kicks like wheat germ and sesame seeds! I am definitely going to try this. my son would have a field day!

  10. Tara says:

    Great recipe Barb. I just made them today and everyone loves them. Nice and easy which is great for me when it comes to baking. I did have to go buy honey and believe it or not I’ve never purchased honey before. I added walnuts as Cooper isn’t in school yet so we don’t need to be nut free just yet. Thanks for sharing.

  11. […] the recipe. I also added a handful of butterscotch chips on the top of the bars before baking. (The Kitchen Sink Granola Bars that I posted a while back are another breakfast bar option as […]


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