If you’re searching for a kid-friendly granola bar recipe, look no further! Also named Triple-Almond Chocolate Chip Maple Flax Bars, these addictive granola bars are a perfect snack for active kids (and their parents), and this easy recipe is a great way to get them involved.
Granola bars are a popular snack with kids and a parent’s best friend: they are portable, packable, convienent, tasty, and generally healthy. Unfortunately, despite the aisles full of granola bar options, there are a few problems with store-bought granola bars:
- they’re generally too sweet
- the ingredients aren’t always ideal
- they have excess packaging
- they can be expensive
Fortunately for us, granola bars are relatively easy to make, usually with whatever pantry ingredients you have on hand. I have wonderful memories of my mother’s homemade granola bars and can still remember the smell of them coming out of the oven. It filled the house with a wonderful smell that signaled an upcoming “adventure”. Somehow I wasn’t even bothered by the raisins that she included! (personal preference, I know)
Not having my mother’s original recipe, I have turned to the internet for inspiration (thank you, baking bloggers!). Over the years, I’ve tried several variations of granola bars and eventually found a favorite. I have finally tweaked and re-tweaked these bars to make them easy and delicious.
It’s a fairly flexible recipe, so you can adjust it to your family’s preferences. It’s also forgiving! On different occasions, I have forgotten the butter, left out the sugar, and baked for an extra 30 minutes (after falling asleep on the couch). But each time they’ve still been edible/delicious. (Even according to my kids!)
- 1 2/3 cup quick oats (rolled oats are fine, but sometimes result in more crumbly bars)
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- (or replace the last 4 ingredients with your own combination to make up approximately 3 cups of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 0 – 1/3 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you’d like them to be)
- 1/3 cup smooth almond butter (or your preferred nut butter)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8×8 pyrex dish with parchment paper.
In large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.
In glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk/stir together the nut butter, maple syrup and melted butter. (The warm butter should help soften your nut butter, making it easier to stir.)
Add to the dry mix and combine.
Press FIRMLY into your pyrex dish, pushing down on the mix with the back of a spatula. Alternately, cover the mix with parchment paper or saran wrap and push down with your hands. The more you press down, the less crumbly and fall-apart-y that your granola bars will be.
Bake for 35+ minutes. We like crunchy sides and golden all over, so often bake for 45 minutes or more.
Let cool completely before cutting.
PRO TIP: If your granola bars do end up being fall-apart-y, they make excellent… granola! (I’ve also been know to intentionally destroy a bar or two for my yogurt topping.)
For more ideas on kid-friendly snacks, check out our post on trailside snacks for kids and a trail-mix buffet.
Although this may be a kid-friendly granola bar recipe, it’s not allergy-friendly! (sorry) If you’re looking for nut-free granola bars, try using seeds and puffed rice instead of nuts, and a nut-free “butter”. Or check out these, these, these or these. Enjoy!