Pantry-Friendly Snack Bars That Won't Mess Up Your Whole Kitchen

Talk about a win-win.

April 16, 2020

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A lot of snacking goes on in this house. And while I'd much rather give my kids homemade goodies than rely on single-serving packages filled with ingredients I can't pronounce, the daunting mountain of dishes is holding me back!

We stock the cabinets; the kids empty them. I put the dishes away; the sink fills up again. Every. Single. Day.

But I've discovered the secret to working with what I've got, keeping the kids satisfied and saving my hands from endless hours in soapy water: the Fully-Loaded Snack Bars class, hosted by Dana Beninati, on the Food Network Kitchen app.

The bars rely on a basic formula, with plenty of opportunities to customize the nuts, fruits and flavoring based on personal preferences and what you have on hand.

"This [recipe] is just a framework for what you have in your pantry. And these bars should be very friendly and easy for you to make," Dana says. "There are no nuts or seeds to avoid ... there's no wrong way to go here."

The recipe calls for a mix of rolled oats, dried fruits and sunflower seeds. But if you're like one of my kids and just not that into raisins, skip them! Dana suggests using dried pineapple or dried mango and any nuts you have on hand — simply use the measurements as guard rails and feel free to play within them, using your favorite flavor combinations.

I love that I can customize these bars to please our palates. The fact that I dirty little more than the food processor while making them is like the icing on the cake — or the crushed banana chips sprinkled on a batch of snack bars. (Yes, you should definitely give that a try!)

You'll get a dozen bars out of one baking session, so whip up a batch today and save yourself from wondering what you'll grab the next time someone asks for a snack.

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