I started making my own granola bars years ago. Since I first started, the recipe has evolved and I’ve reduced the sugar and increased apple sauce to produce a delicious, kid-friendly, Non-GMO, organic and easy granola bar! If you have a child that goes to a school where kids have allergies to peanuts, you already know how difficult it is to source granola bars without nuts. I only know of one brand of traditional granola bars that are nut-free and after you read this article from Fooducate, you’ll understand why 1 granola bar that contains GMO ingredients, 43 ingredients (!!), and have 2 teaspoons of sugar (candy bars have 4 teaspoons) is not a food that will fuel your child properly during the day. The below recipe is nut free, making it a wonderful alternative to bring to school or serve where lots of kids hangout and not worry about allergy or ingredient concerns. Yes, when using organic ingredients in the beginning, you’ll experience higher costs, but you’ll get savvy and start buying organic oats, raw honey, and organic flour in bulk.
After you try this recipe one time, you’ll realize you should double batch. I always do as they go quick around here! I have given these out to hundreds of different children over the years as a concession snack, after sport snack, and packed in lunches. I haven’t met a kid that doesn’t like them. And they contain 11 ingredients that you can easily recognize, rather than the 43 ingredients above that contain a lot of sugars and preservatives.
2 cups of organic quick cooking rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup raw organic sugar (can sub coconut sugar)
1/4 – 1/2 cup ground chia (I use The Chia Co.)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup organic flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins
1/2 cup raw honey
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup organic apple sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square baking pan with butter.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, raw sugar, chia, cinnamon, flour and chocolate chips. Make a well in these ingredients and add honey, egg, oil, vanilla extract, and apple sauce. Use your hands and mix. Pour into the square pan. The mixture should be gloppy (if that is an official word). Don’t worry about adding too much apple sauce – it’s the secret ingredient to these chewy bars!
Bake for 30-35 minutes, watching them until the bars turn golden on the edges. Remove from the oven, wait 5 minutes and cut them into bars while the mixture is still warm. When they have completely cooled, remove and store in an air-tight container.