Do you have any idea how much money you spend on granola and/or nutritional bars for your kids? Take a minute and add it up; I would bet it's more than you think. Before you say "they're convenient", trust me, I get it. On those busy mornings when you don't have time for breakfast, there's nothing easier than tossing a bar into your child's lunch box and another one into your purse, but a majority of the brands on the market are not as healthy as their manufacturers would lead you to believe. Plus, they are made with ingredients I can't even begin to pronounce.
About 8 years ago, I got so fed up with what my husband was spending on bars to take to work with him, I devoted myself to figuring out how to make them myself. I worked so hard at it, I even flirted with starting my own bar business! These Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are unbelievably delicious and, if you wrap them individually, just as easy to grab when you're on-the-go as the ones you buy at the market (plus, you'll have no problem pronouncing all of the ingredients in these). But the best part? This recipe makes 30 bars. Most pre-packaged bars will run you a dollar or more. That would come out to about $30 (!) compared to the less than $4 it costs to make this recipe (and don't forget the time you'll also save not having to go to the grocery).
If you can't bear giving your kids chocolate chips first thing in the morning (my husband always gets tweaked when he sees the kids eating these at 8am), you can easily replace them with naturally sweet dried fruit like cranberries, cherries or raisins. My feeling is if my kids are going to have chocolate at all I would rather it be at the beginning of the day than right before they go to bed.
Chewy and crunchy with toasted oats and a sweet surprise in every bite, these Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are a must for your back to school rotation!
Photo by Maren Caruso
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (makes about 30 bars)
- 4 Cups old fashioned oats
- 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/2 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 Cup brown sugar
- 1 Cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Cup canola oil
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup honey
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
4. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
5. Place granola mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a rectangle, about 13 x 9 x 1 inch thick.
6. Bake for 40 minutes.
7. Allow to cool completely then cut into 3 x 1 inch bars.**
* You can substitute raisins or other dried fruit for the chocolate chips.
** Individually wrapped, the bars will remain fresh for several weeks.