Mix-and-Match Granola Bars

Let kids design their own after-school snacks!

Related To:

Clockwise from top left: Coconut Granola Bars with M&M's, Peanut-Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, Pepita-Cranberry Granola Bars with Yogurt Chips, Pistacio-Apricot Granola Bars

Clockwise from top left: Coconut Granola Bars with M&M's, Peanut-Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, Pepita-Cranberry Granola Bars with Yogurt Chips, Pistacio-Apricot Granola Bars

1. Prepare the Base Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang; coat with cooking spray and set aside. Toss 3 cups rolled oats with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter on a rimmed baking sheet; spread in a single layer. Bake until toasted, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely, then transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup of the following (choose one or a combination).

  • Salted roasted nuts (any kind), chopped
  • Salted roasted sunflower seeds
  • Salted roasted pepitas
  • Toasted shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened

2. Choose Your Mix-Ins Measure out 1 cup of the following (choose one or a combination); set aside.

  • Dried fruit, chopped if large
  • Mini M&M’s
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Carob chips
  • Yogurt chips
  • Yogurt-covered raisins
  • Crisp rice cereal
  • Pretzels, crushed
  • Cookies (any kind), crushed
  • Graham crackers, crushed

3. Make the Bars Combine 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (or 2 tablespoons each coconut oil and vegetable oil) in a medium saucepan with ½ cup light brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey or light agave syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. (The mixture will bubble and foam.) Cook just 30 seconds, then pour over the oat mixture and stir. Let cool slightly, then stir in your mix-ins. Pour into the prepared pan and press firmly and evenly with a rubber spatula.

4. Let Cool Let the bars stand at room temperature until completely cool and firm enough to slice, 1 to 3 hours. (Bars made with agave will take a little longer to firm up.) Lift out of the pan using the foil overhang; remove the foil and cut into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Here’s How I Keep my Kiddo Busy (and Learning) During School Breaks

Spoiler alert: We spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

50 Colorful Snacks

We dreamed up a rainbow of small bites.

Diet Myths, Debunked: Does Eating Late Cause Weight Gain?

How many times have you heard that you shouldn’t eat after 8 pm? Does the time you eat really play a role in weight gain? Yes and no—we’ll explain.

Robin's Healthy Take: March Madness Munchies

So what if your bracket is busted? You can still cheer along your favorite teams, old and new, with these snacks by your side.

Win These Tortilla Popchips!

We’re giving away one case of PopChips each (that’s 24 single-serve bags!) to five lucky, randomly-selected commenters.

5 Snacks to Fight Off Hunger

Snacking is a must! It helps you get from one meal to the next -- no headaches, drops in energy or stomach rumbling. The secret: choosing snacks that contain hunger-fighting ingredients. Here are five favorites.

Healthier Homemade Cheese Pretzels

You can find soft pretzels in airports, malls and carnivals nationwide. The problem is, these mass-made pretzels are often loaded with calories and salt.

5 Ways to Cut 100 Calories: Snacks

Snacking on healthy foods can help maintain a healthy weight and keep energy levels high throughout the day. The only downside -- you can overdo healthy foods too! We’re taking a look at 5 healthy options and shaving off 100 calories from each.

Latest Stories