Packing healthy snacks for the ski hill, car trips or any old time isn’t always simple. Grabbing fruit is easy but finding a sweet treat that my kids will eat, is tasty, satisfying and full of healthy stuff isn’t always simple.
To keep my kids full (or at least full enough to last until lunch or supper) I need something that will stick with them, takes time to digest. I also need something that feels a bit like a treat because homemade snacks have tough competition — My kids’ first choice is always a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
These Crispy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars fit the bill. They’re a sweet treat that’s a bit healthy.
To make these school-friendly, or simply change them up, replace the almonds with a mixture of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. To really amp up the nutrition use half blackstrap molasses.
No-Fuss Crispy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars
Adapted from Foodess
Makes 18 generous bars
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats*
- 2 cups crisp rice cereal*
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup whole almonds, toasted
- ⅓ cup butter
- ⅓ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 4½ oz (125 grams) coarsely chopped dark chocolate
*To make these gluten free choose gluten-free rolled oats and crisp rice cereal.
- Line a 9”x9” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
- Combine the oats, rice cereal, cranberries and almonds in a large bowl.
- Melt butter, molasses and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract (it will sputter).
- Pour hot syrup over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Allow to cool for a minute then stir in chopped chocolate. Press mixture firmly (and I mean firmly) into prepared pan and ensure it gets right to the edges. Try laying a sheet of parchment paper overtop to make it easier to press down.
- Refrigerate until set and cut into bars.