Every month, we were spending approximately $50 on organic granola bars at the grocery store. They are about $5/ box, and there 6 bars/box, and Banks and Adam take one in their lunch everyday, so we went through about 10 boxes/month. After doing the math, I decided surely I can make these for much cheaper, and after doing some research, I could! They are super easy and absolutely delicious! Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Spread out 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes and then give them a stir and bake for 5 additional minutes until toasted.
While the oats are toasting, combine 2/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp kosher sea salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until butter is completely melted and sugar is dissolved.
Line an 8×8 or 9×9 square pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. When oats are finished toasting, place them into a large mixing bowl and pour the saucepan mixture over them. Stir until mixed well with liquid. Let cool 5 minutes and pour 2/3 cup coursely chopped cranberries (I used craisins) and 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips for added antioxidants, fewer calories, plus my boys love dark chocolate) into oats mixture and stir with a rubber spatula. The chocolate will probably melt. That’s ok. It will act as glue to hold the bars together.
Place mixture in foil-lined pan and press firmly and evenly into pan. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp chocolate chips over mixture and press the chips firmly into oats mixture. Cover and place in refrigerator for 2 hours to set.
Once the bars have set, lift out of pan, peel off foil, and cut into 12 bars. Wrap individually and ENJOY!
When grocery shopping, Banks ALWAYS begs for fruit roll ups, and I always say, “no.” There are hundreds of chemicals in them, and absolutely no real fruit! One of my favorite blogs, A Healthy Slice of Life, posted a homemade fruit roll up recipe, and it is SUPER easy and soooooooo yummy! Purée 2 cups of strawberries, hulled and cut in half, 1 cup bananas cut in rounds (approximately 2 organic bananas), 1tsp lemon juice, and 2-3 Tbsp honey. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap and pour mixture on baking sheet. Spread out evenly until about 1/8 inch thickness. Place in 170 degree oven for 6-8 hours. Remove from oven when tacky to touch but not sticky. If some of the edges are hard, dab with wet fingertips to rehydrate the fruit. Remove from lined pan and cut with pizza cutter and roll up in strips of wax paper. Store in airtight container and wait for your kids to swoon! You can use any combination of fruit as long as it equals 3 cups. I think I will try peaches and raspberries next! Mmmmmmmmm!
Even though the clean-up and time spent making these goodies is somewhat exhausting, it’s totally worth it! We truly are what we eat! It’s taken me a long time to get to this place and this understanding, but I’m so thankful I’m here, and that God has given me the opportunity to stay at home and make these delicious treats for my husband and kids. My husband’s quote about the granola bars was, “These are delicious! They are far superior to the organic ones from the store.” Banks asked for 2 granola bars and 2 fruit roll ups in his lunch today to share with his friend at school. A huge thanks to my precious, health-conscious mom, Pam, for opening my eyes to how important wise food choices can be for not only myself but also my family! Let me know if you try either of these recipes, and I will continue to post some really fun snack recipes for your loved ones to enjoy right after Bama beats Texas A&M this weekend! Roll Tide Roll to all my readers!