The other day whilst perusing the aisles of Target (sans grocery list), I began grabbing random items from the grocery aisle, and tossing them in to my giant, red shopping cart. (Clearly I cannot be trusted without a grocery list.) In addition to my usual, aimless home-goods browsing, I was looking for a few easy on-the-go snacks for Ayden. I am not one of those perfectly raw, organic moms (although I wish I was), but I do read labels. My typical shopping guidelines are as follows:
- If it grows out of the ground, I try to buy organic.
- No sugar in the first 3 ingredients.
- No high fructose corn syrup (to the very best of my ability.)
Like I said, I do this imperfectly. However, these guidelines are what matter to me most days, when it comes to feeding my family. Anyway, back to Target. I was walking through the snack aisle, about to throw a box of granola bars in my cart. I checked the label, like I do, and noticed all sorts of disturbing corn syrups, ‘modified this’, and ‘modified that’. I thought to my self, ‘Self, I bet we can make this from scratch using real food’. So I did, and here’s how.
Stuff you will need:
- 1/2 cup raw or brown sugar
- 1.5 cups honey (After making this recipe, I would cut it to 1 cup of honey)
- 1/3 cup real butter or coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp salt (sea salt if you have it)
- 1 cup 100% crunchy peanut butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups rice crisped cereal
- 2 2/3 cups old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips
How to make it:
In a large bowl, combine oats, rice cereal and ground flax. Stir until well combined, and set aside.
Measure out sugar, honey, Butter/coconut oil and salt into a sauce pan. Heat over medium, and bring to a boil. Stir the entire time, and let boil for one minute so sugar dissolves.
Take off heat, add vanilla extract and peanut butter, stirring until smooth.
Pour wet mixture over the dry ingredients that you set aside earlier.
Stir until well combined.
Set mix aside for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a large cookie sheet (12.5 x 17.5 x 1 inch) with parchment paper. (Trace bottom of pan on to paper, cut along lines and it should fit perfectly in the bottom of the pan).
Pour the granola mixture on to the lined cookie sheet.
Make sure you distribute the mixture evenly. Then get another piece of parchment paper and another cookie sheet, place on top of mixture, and press down to help set the bars.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, and repeat pressing technique.
Allow bars to fully cool, (either in fridge or on counter).
Cut bars to desired size, serve and enjoy!
***Original recipe was found on the Happy Money Saver blog.