Finding snacks for kids is always a challenge. Finding healthy snacks you can make at home, is even more difficult. Granola bars have all the appeal that kids love. They are the perfect healthy finger food, and are crunchy and sweet, two things that kids crave. Granola bars you find in the stores are expensive, and they tend to have far too much sugar in them. Moms who want to have more control over what goes in their kids food can make healthy, tasty granola bars right at home. These granola bars are easy, versatile, and can be changed up depending on what you have at hand.
- 5 cups old fashioned rolled oatmeal
- 1 cup of dried fruit (apples, cranberries, raisins, or berries)
- 3 apples
- 30 dates
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Peel apples and then chop and place into a large mixing bowl. Pit dates and soak in water for 15 minutes. Run dates through a food processor with the almonds until chopped and well mixed, do not over mix. Put in bowl with apples.
Add dried fruit, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, honey, oil, cinnamon and vanilla, and mix well. Add oatmeal and stir until combined. Adjust the amount of oatmeal you add based on the texture of the mixture, you do not want it to be too runny, but neither should it be dry and falling apart. Aim for a mixture that is sticky but holds it shape.
Form granola bars using plastic wrap, by rolling up and then pressing flat to 1/2″ thickness. Cut bars into 6″ lengths and place them on the dehydrator trays. Dehydrate for 4 hours at 135 degrees, then turn and dehydrate for another hour. This will produce a chewy granola bar. If you prefer a crisp granola bars, dehydrated for a total of 8 hours after you turn them.
Store granola bars in an airtight container. For longer storage, store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Variations: One of the great things about making granola bars is there are so many things you can mix into them. Just use a little bit of what you have on hand, and they come out differently every time. Coconut, chocolate chips, yogurt covered raisins, left over cereal, and pecans are just a few of the things you can add to your granola bars.