Chewy Granola Balls

One of the greatest challenges when it comes to making kids snacks or desserts is coming up with recipes that are actually both healthy and something kids WANT to eat. As a parent, you want what they eat to have nutritional value, but still also have eye and taste appeal. From the moment Kenya saw these Chewy Granola Balls, I knew I fulfilled both criteria.

Loaded with whole grains, protein and fruit, these granola balls have just the right amount of sweetness and a crunchy, chewy texture that kids seem to love. I brought a batch of them to my informal "focus group" of classmates at Kenya's school and play groups and I didn't have enough to fulfill the demand for seconds. I'm sure I don't have to tell you, when the crowd is happy, so is mommy!

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:276]

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Chewy Granola Balls (Makes about 30 Balls)

Prep Time: 0 mins Cook Time: 2 mins

egg free

dairy free

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Almond Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Rice Syrup
  • 1 Cup Rice Crispys
  • 1 1/2 Cups <a href=\"http://b12.ba4.myftpupload.com/2008/09/15/wee-granola/\">Wee Granola</a>
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries, Cherries, Blueberries and/or raisins, chopped

Preparation

1. Place the almond butter and rice syrup in a small saucepan over low to medium heat and warm for 2 minutes or until it becomes smooth and combined.
2. Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
3. Pour the warm almond butter mixture into the bowl with the granola mixture and stir to combine.
4. Roll into 1 inch balls (I used a mini ice cream scooper to scoop out each portion, but you could also use a tablespoon) .
5. Serve.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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46 comments

  • Charlotte

    These look so good! Do they store well? What do you think is the best way to keep them fresh? Thank you!!!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      They store great! Just put them in a container for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long, they are usually gone before that amount of time). I usually have them on the counter, you can refrigerate them if you want but there is no need too.

      leave a comment

  • Courtney

    Any sub for rice syrup?

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    • Catherine

      Not really, because of it's sticky tacky texture and it has a neutral flavor.

      leave a comment

  • Jan

    This look fantastic and I love that they use rice syrup. Yum!

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  • Christie

    Can you use brown rice syrup? All I could find.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes you can! Brown Rice Syrup, light brown rice, or regular rice syrup.

      leave a comment

  • Christie

    Thank you for replying back! I actually made the o's &amp; my 13 month loves them, as do I.

    leave a comment

  • Heather H

    Could Sunbutter or soynut butter be substituted for the almond butter?

    leave a comment

  • Alana

    These are delicious! I bought the brown rice syrup after debating in the store for awhile. It was over $7.00 for a smallish jar! It`s very yummy, though, so I`m glad I splurged. I`m going to try to make these nut-free next time so I can send them to school in Sept.

    leave a comment

  • Angela

    Ooohhh! These look so good! Can sunflower butter be used in substitution for the almond butter? Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes! You could use any type of nut butter you prefer :)

      leave a comment

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  • Dlwitzke

    I have tried 3 different stores to try to get rice syrup...Even the health food stores here says they don't carry it (I live in Canada). Is there anything that can be used to substitute?

    leave a comment

    • Kelly

      I found this website when looking for a substitute - http://www.foodsubs.com/Syrups.html

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    • Kim

      In Edmonton, Canada I found this syrup in the Organic section of Save on Foods. I bought brown rice syrup.

      leave a comment

  • Jennifer H

    I'm excited to try these b/c I can make them gluten-free (w/ GF rice krispys) for my daughter!! I've been trying to find a yummy recipe that's GF too. This looks great!

    leave a comment

  • Dan

    These look great but my son has a tree nut allergy. Any substitute for nut butter?

    leave a comment

    • Carrie

      There is a peanut-butter substitute made from soybeans (and unfortunately I can't recall the name - Smart - something?) however you can usually locate it in the health food section next to the other nut butters. Double check the label of course to be on the safe side. It has a somewhat grainier, and definitely less sweet quality than the nut butters, so you may need to add a (oh dear) granular sugar such as brown sugar to it to get it to \"adhere\" properly. Good luck!

      leave a comment

  • Reena

    any idea what the calorie content might be for these? Thinking it might be a healthy snack for adults too :)

    leave a comment

  • Deanna T.

    Since many people were trying to work out a substitute for the rice syrup - let me help you avoid one more thing that won't work - Agave Nectar. It totally thinned out the peanut butter and I ended up with something more like 'granola clumps'. However, these tasted AMAZING - even my household's pickiest eater gobbled them up. Already picked up my jar of rice syrup so no more clumps :)

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  • Bethany

    I made these this morning using crunchy Sunbutter and honey and they came out great. My boys love them!

    leave a comment

  • Samantha

    Just wanted to say that these are literally my favorite snack ever and I love them so much! Thank you for sharnig the recipe!!!

    leave a comment

  • Andrea

    Do these have a sticky texture when cooled to serve?

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    • Catherine

      no they do not :)

      leave a comment

  • Sarah

    These are great (kind of addicting though)! I made them with peanut butter instead of almond. Also, instead of the rice crispies, I used popped quinoa (sort of like puffed wheat but the size of Grape Nuts - I found them in the bulk food of my local health food store). It worked great with the quinoa, perhaps not as crunchy as the oringial recipe but more nutritious and still very delicious!

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  • Jennifer

    I made these yesterday (using peanut butter instead of almond) and they were a HUGE hit with everyone -- with my 2 year old, my 1 year old, my hubby AND my in laws!! So much so that today I'm heading BACK to the store to get more granola since there's not enough left for my daughter's lunch this week (the original reason I made them)!! When cooled, they were nice and hard on the outside (not sticky as I thought they were going to be) and held together GREAT! Thank you so much for a fantastic treat!

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  • Pokemon&#8230; This Lunch Rox

    [...] if peanut allergies are a concern), strawberries/blueberries, cauliflower, cajun cheese curds, granola bites (I substitute natural p.b. for the almond butter, but you could use sunbutter if nut allergies are [...]

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  • Smcqueen

    THANK YOU for this! Looking for snacks that little hands can hold, and made with ingredients I don't cringe at--so fits perfectly:) Just one question: Do these freeze well? Even though we are a small family, it works best for me if I can make 2-3 batches of everything and then freeze.
    Thanks for the reply!

    leave a comment

  • Laura

    I made these for my 2yr old ...and my picky husband and the both gobble them up. They don't last long in our house. They are so good! I found the brown rice syrup at my local publix but not all publix stores carry it. Thanks for the recipe, Catherine!

    leave a comment

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  • Karla

    I made these today.... used brown rice syrup and peanut butter.. kids loved them! I have a question though... i have a 13 mo old, whom also loved them... but I forgot that I shouldn't be giving her PB till age 2... what can I substitute for the nut butter? Thanks! And thanks for the amazing recipes on your website!

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  • Catherine

    You could try a seed butter instead! And check with your pediatrician about the age limits, it all depend on you and your baby!

    leave a comment

  • Joy

    I am stocking the kitchen for the kids when I go out of town in a few days. I am sure I will need to make a new batch before then because they are amazingly yummy! We have lots of food allergies so I used wow soybutter and enjoy life allergy free granola.

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  • Pam

    I can't have gluten or oats....anyone have a suggestion on a substitution since I have yet to locate a granola without oats since supposedly oats are a \"non-allergen food\" and are the substitute for wheat in way too many things! These just sound amazing! Otherwise, I'll just have to make them for the kids &amp; hold myself back....

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I have seen gluten-free granola in a few places. Try looking in your local grocery or see if you can find a health food store or a higher-end grocery!

      leave a comment

  • Ruth

    Yum! Made these with granola, organic cocoa krispies, dried mixed fruit, and an equal mix of peanut butter and sunbutter. Based on other readers comments, I decided to make them into a loaf shape and then cut into bars when cool - no problems at all with crumbling, and the 5-yr old is scarfing them down! He has not been inclined to eat granola previously, so this is a great recipe for us.

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  • Cbartz

    I am late to the game, but wanted to cheer on this recipe some more. Just made them with my 4 year old. They were easy to make, easy to clean up, and delicious to eat.
    My recipe substitutions were peanut butter and agave ... that's all I had on hand. So far so good. :)

    Thank you!!

    leave a comment

  • tami32

    Just made these and ate them right along with my little guy for a snack....sooooo yummy! I was not familiar with brown rice syrup prior to seeing this recipe, but I found it easily in my regular grocery store in the organic/health section. Thanks so much for a healthier alternative to corn syrup! It's really nice to be able to have a sweet treat for my son that I feel good about giving him!!

    leave a comment

  • Aprilgaietto

    I made these a few days ago and they were soo tasty! I used sunflower butter and dried cherries. I pressed it into a pan instead of making balls. Thanks for the great recipe! My toddler didn't like them, but me and my husband did.

    leave a comment

  • VPeabody

    How long will these keep? Should I freeze half the batch if I can't eat all of them right away or are they stable enough to keep in a zip loc bag in the pantry for a few days? I'm also interested on knowing how long I can keep the wee granola. Thanks.

    leave a comment

    • VPeabody

      Sorry. I had a problem loading the page. I couldn't see the comments. I found my answer! Thanks!

      leave a comment

  • Kate

    These turned out great -- held together, not sticky -- and my picky 5- and 3-year-old gobbled them up. I used peanut butter because it's what I had, and added a small scoop of mini chocolate chips. My husband declared them delicious as well. Super easy, and my local store carries rice syrup with all the other syrups (agave, honey, maple) so I'm all set!

    leave a comment

  • Carolina

    hi i just made these but they turned out very greasy. They are still warm but i wonder if that is the way they are supposed to be. I used peanut butter

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      Hmm strange that they turned out greasy as I have never had that issue. It could be the brand you used. The dark color could also be attributed to the brand of peanut butter and rice syrup used. I use natural peanut butter that doesn't have anything added to it!

      leave a comment

  • Carolina

    Hi i also wanted to add, that mine do not look at all like those in the picture, i used the same ingredients but the rice Krispies and mine look very dark i guess from the peanut butter and rice syrup mix, maybe that amount is too much for just 1 1/2 cups of granola

    leave a comment