We're getting more granola by the day over here... especially now that I've sworn to only make my own granola bars over the ones that come out of a box. These are just so much better - better tasting and better for you! They're easy to make and way less expensive too. Seriously, you can make at least six batches of these (60 bars) for the same price as two boxes (10-12 bars) of those healthier (but are they?) organic granola bars at the store.
I've been pinning granola bar recipes since our twins started eating food but just got around to pulling out all the ingredients to make them. I never had time and it really is just so much easier to grab a box off the shelf. Then I kept putting it off... (more on that below...).
And don't get me wrong, there are some great granola bars for kids and adults out there right now. Some of our favorites are Kind, LaraBar, Annie's and Happy Baby. People want healthier options and it shows on the shelf. But you pay for it. And then they're healthier but most still have a lot more added sweetener than you'd probably add at home.
Well, I finally got around to making some and let me tell you, they are so easy! You really just throw everything in a bowl and mix it up, then put it in a dish and bake it. If you use parchment paper (my favorite cooking/baking trick), you don't even have to clean it.
I like to double the recipe and that gets us through the week. They keep about that long anyway. Now that I've come up with this recipe that we all love, I plan to start making bigger batches and freezing them.
I just need to do it.
And then it's easy and becomes routine. I do this a lot... find something I want to make or try or do and I put it off, forget about it, think about it, procrastinate... Anyone else??
But then when I finally just do it I wonder 'why did I wait so long to do this??' And if it's a recipe, it ends up as a staple... a healthy practice becomes a ritual... a tip, part of my routine.
We can get stuck going through the motions of our daily habits and it's hard to make space for something new. Sometimes we just need a little push or inspiration to mix it up, try something new or make a change.
So if you're like me and you've had something in your mind, anything that's going to make you healthier, happier, feel better, smile, or make your life easier... do it. Like today. That one thing, big or small, may be just what you've been missing.
Speaking of things that can make you feel better and your life easier, check our my new Energize and Eat Healthy programs. And definitely try these granola bars if you're a fan of granola or if you have kids that need endless snacks... I think you'll really like them.
Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats*
2 tbsp ground flax
1 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup rasins
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper so the paper extends over the edges. In a large bowl, combine oats, flax, cinnamon and salt and stir until evenly mixed. Add apple, vanilla and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Mix in raisins.
Pour mixture into your lined baking dish. Using either your hands or a spatula, spread it out, pressing down so it reaches all edges and corners and is even. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, until begins to brown.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Lift the edges of the parchment paper to pull it out of the dish and place on a cutting board. Cut into bars.
*Not all oats are gluten free. If there's an allergy or if you're avoiding gluten be sure to buy rolled oats that are labeled gluten-free.
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.