Here's a great recipe for the littlest snackers in your house. These homemade granola bars are simple to make and you'll know exactly what's going into them. The other great thing is that they're customizable to little palates-- switch out the fruit, nuts and chocolate for other goodies.
To make the granola bars you will need: 2 ½ cups rolled oats ½ cup almonds, chopped (or whichever nit you prefer) 1/3 cup local honey ¼ cup unsalted butter ¼ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon sea salt ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped (or whichever fruit you prefer) ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, going up the sides of the pan. Place oats and nuts on a small baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a large mixing bowl. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat the butter, honey, vanilla and salt and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour butter mixture into the bowl with oats and stir until combined. Let cool for 5 minutes. Pour fruit and ¼ cup chocolate chips into the bowl and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to the lined pan and press into the bottom. It helps to dampen your fingers and press the mixture hard into the pan, making sure it’s packed really well. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top and press them in to the granola. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove the block of granola from the pan, pulling the parchment paper from both sides. Cut into 12 equal size bars. Bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for one week, if they last that long!