Alright, who out there, like me, has to make lunch for at least one kid to take to school everyday? Are you always looking out for something different? I swear Punky eats pretty much the same thing everyday. It doesn’t seem to bug her much, and it does make things easier for me in the mornings. Still, I like to make different things to put in when I can. Like many kids, Punky likes granola bars. But since our school is nut-free I can’t send most of them. And most of the bars that are nut-free are also covered in chocolate and full of squicky little marshmallows or candy or something. They’re really only one step away from being a candy bar (Yeah, Quaker I’m looking at you. Wholesome goodness my ass.)
So I am always on the lookout for a home made granola bar recipe – one without nuts. There are lots out there, but many use peanut butter as a binder and are so full of nuts that substituting everything out is beyond my comfort zone. But a couple of weeks ago I came across this recipe. No peanut butter, and only 2 kinds of nuts! This I felt I could make substitutions for and still have it come out recognizable as a granola bar. Check it out:
I’m not going to reprint the whole recipe here, especially since Pioneer Woman has made such a lovely photo tutorial for you. But here’s what I did differently:
I cut the salt down to 1/2 tsp (if that). I didn’t think it needed the whole amount.
I added a big 1/2 tsp of cinnamon – more or less. I didn’t really measure.
I subbed apple sauce for the apple juice – worked fine.
This is Canada – I used maple syrup not molasses.
As a sub for the nuts I went really basic and used raisins and sunflower seeds. I didn’t really measure these either, but the amounts given for the nuts seemed skimpy for such a big pan of bars. Next time I’d put in even more.
These are the crunchy kind of granola bar. I think if you wanted chewy you could maybe bake them a bit less or cut back on some of the dry stuff. Also, if you need a gluten free bar you could do a gluten free cereal, and I’m sure there’s a good sub for the wheat germ – I think I’d just run some oatmeal through the food processor until it was sort of powdery like wheat germ and use that. Easy, and no hard to find ingredients. I’m not well versed on gluten free ingredients though – maybe someone has a better idea?
These were a hit with all of the kids and adults who tried them. It makes a big tray, I shared.