Kids love granola bars and these home-baked treats are sure to bring smiles. Without the additives found in store-bought bars, these delicious snacks give kids a healthy way to stay energized throughout the day. Best of all, they can be cut into any shape kids like!
Feel free to play with other dried fruit, nut or seeds, and nut or seed butters for variety. Baking the bars for the earlier time yields a chewier bar, while baking them longer makes them extra crunchy.”
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment, leaving a 2" overhang on at least two opposite sides.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice cereal, almonds, sunflower seeds and dried fruit. Mix well to distribute ingredients.
In a small bowl, combine the honey or brown rice syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, sunflower seed or almond butter and oil. Mix well to blend ingredients.
Pour honey mixture over dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly coated and start to clump. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Using extra parchment, or your hand slid into a zip top bag, press mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan using extra parchment or your hand covered with a plastic bag.
Bake 25-35 minutes, around 25 minutes for chewy bars, and 30-35 for crunchy. Remove pan from oven, and using a spatula, press bars down to compact. Move pan to rack, let cool for 10 minutes, then lift bar from pan by using parchment overhangs to gently pull up. Cool completely on rack before cutting bars to desired size. Store in an airtight container.