My son has a slight granola bar addiction. This is a problem, because I feel incredibly guilty giving him most of what I can buy in a store - yet (like most people) I don't have the time to prepare homemade ones weekly. There is one brand I've recently found, however, that is a pretty good compromise (small serving size, low on sugar, decent ingredients) - if you just do not have the time to make your own, check out Made Good bars.
But when you DO have time, this recipe nails it. You won't find any garbage ingredients in these bars - no refined sugar, syrups or sweeteners, of which there are far too many in store-bought brands. One popular brand that I used to buy for my husband and kiddo all the time (the list of ingredients is short - a plus) contains Sugar, Honey, AND Brown Sugar Syrup, bringing the sugar total up to 11g in just one serving (the current maximum sugar total recommendation is 16g PER DAY - and that's generous). Kinda nuts.
These are sweetened with honey and a little coconut sugar - the rest of the ingredients are wholesome, crunchy, chewy, delicious goodness that you and your kids will love.
Cherry Almond Granola Bars
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups dried cherries (no sugar added - juice-sweetened or unsweetened)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8x12 inch baking dish with parchment paper and grease with a little butter.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, coconut, and almond meal. Turn out onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Pour back into the bowl and reduce oven to 300F.
- In a small saucepan, bring the butter, honey, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Stir for 1 minute while boiling, then add to the bowl with the oats mixture. Add the dried cherries and stir to fully combine.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking dish, gently pressing into the pan with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light brown. Let cool in the pan for 3 hours, then cut into bars.
- These are best kept cold - wrap them in parchment paper and keep them in the fridge.