Lately I’ve been on a mission to spruce up our afternoon snack time. I don’t have too much patience for cutesy animal shapes or snacks that can’t pull adult duty, too. Seems like we’re all in need of an afternoon pick-me-up right around 3 PM.

A little pinterest browsing and googling, the Bug and I decided to tackle some granola bars. I love that she’s old enough now to jump into the decision making process with two feet! After eating these granola bars, I may never buy the prepackaged kind again. {{Sorry, Quaker.}}

Full of nutrients and antioxidants, this little bar is a perfect energy booster. The Bug and I whipped them up together Sunday afternoon and we’ve been munching on them since! You can use whatever dried fruit you or your kiddo would like. Our girl chose raisins, apricots and cranberries. I could easily see dried mango and cherries in here, too!

Fantastic for lunch boxes or the morning rush, too.

{Can you hear the school bells chime…?}

DIY Fruity Granola Bars

Adapted from Ina Garten | 25 hands on minutes + baking/cooling | Makes about 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

How to Make Granola Bars

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil spray. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan. {The Bug loved doing this!} Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Butter an 9 by 13-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the raisins, apricots, and cranberries and stir well. {Stirring — another great kid task! Be sure to warn them that the ingredients are hot}.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan (you may need to wet your fingers). Bake for 25, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Try not to eat the whole batch in one sitting. Well, I guess you could…

If you like these, you’ll love Angela’s pumpkin spice granola!

Kid-Friendly Granola Bars - (cool) progeny