by Jennifer Bauer
With three busy kids, our family is constantly on the hunt for quick and healthy snacks, especially ones that pack well for outdoor adventures. Years ago, a college teammate gave me her recipe for homemade granola bars, and over time adjusted it a bit to include favorite hiking treats – walnuts, almonds, coconut and chocolate. Full of ingredients for long-lasting fuel while snowshoeing or hiking, kids, and especially our son, Evan, have a special fondness for these bars.
It?s a regular thing to include our children in cooking activities. Allowing little ones to help initiates independence while building skills and a connection between what they eat and how it is made. For this recipe, our four-year old daughter Addison likes to measure and mix the dry ingredients. After the adults prepare a syrup mixture on the stove, Addie stirs everything together and helps us press the granola bars into shape.
EVAN?S NO-BAKE ENERGY BARS
- 2.5 cupsRiceKrispies
- 1 cup oats (steel-cut or rolled)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds
- 2/3 cups flaked coconut
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Spray a 13×9 pan with oil (we use olive oil). In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (except chocolate chips). Combine honey, almond butter, and coconut oil in a saucepan, and melt over medium heat until they become a smooth liquid. Pour the liquid over dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Press mixture into the pan, making sure to press down firmly and evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Cut the bars into 16 pieces and wrap individually in plastic wrap.
NOTE: Make substitutions to the dried fruit and nuts – try using cherries or cashews.
Jen Bauer and her wife Kendra are raising their three young children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. On her blog Adventurous Moms, Jen writes about their travels, outdoor adventures and life as gay moms. Jen?s writing has also been featured on theBump, National Park Foundation, Travel Mamas, BonBon Break, FamiliesGO!, VillageQ and Equallyfamily.