Recently I was lamenting the fact that we ever introduced our toddler son to granola bars.  Whenever he sees a long, rectangle, shiny package he exclaims “Bar! Bar!”.  I hate that the ingredient list, while mostly benign, is quite long with words I cannot pronounce and higher in sugar than I would prefer.  Even the “organic” ones I found were chocked with sugar.  To my great delight, I can across this fantastic muesli/granola bar recipe in the latest publication of our local organic grocer, PCC.  This recipe is by Leika Suzumura, their nutrition educator (and once a dietetic intern of mine at WIC, I might add).  I love that this recipe uses no granulated sugar, a very modest amount of honey, and heaps of nut butter.  Just be sure to pick a trail mix that does not have chocolate bits or other items you don’t want in your bars.  All of these ingredients, of course, can be found at PCC.  If you have questions about where to find anything in your area, please ask.  Oh, and I should add, these are not just for kids.  I can hardly keep my hands off them and have been eating them about as much as my son.  Great for on the go meals or snacks, and full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.  I might be making these every week.

*One note: I found the addition of the 2 Tbsp of oil made the bars a little wet.  I might suggest try adding only 1 Tbsp or none at all.  May depend on how oily your nut butter is.
Homemade Muesli Bars
Makes 15-18 bars
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups prepared trail mix from bulk bins or nuts and dried fruit of your choice
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons oil 
1 cup almond butter or other nut butter (I used cashew butter and it was delicious)
Method:
1.  In a bowl, combine oats, trail mix and salt.
2.  Place brown rice syrup and honey in saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low boil for 2-3 minutes.  Add in oil and almond butter and mix thoroughly until consistency is smooth and even.
3.  Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients and combine until evenly mixed.  Press into an oiled 7 ½ x 11 ½ inch baking dish (I used the back of a spatula to really press it in there).  Let cool, then flip out onto a cutting board and cut in 18 or so bars (I cut them right in the pan since they were hard to remove, so do what works best for you).

About Danielle VenHuizen

Registered Dietitian, Certified LEAP Therapist