Lunch Box Granola Bars
Whether you are packing these lunch box granola bars in a school lunch, taking them in your work lunch or grabbing them as a snack to go, you can feel good that they are homemade with whole grain oats and sweetened with honey.
Not only are store bought granola bars expensive, a lot of them also have a list of ingredients a mile long, including additives, preservatives and ingredients I simply would rather my family not be eating.
Not only is this granola bar recipe a favorite of ours, but I love that I can adapt it slightly to suit the different dietary restictions of friends and family. That also means it makes a terrific choice for family get-togethers, play-dates, school parties and fundraisers, as well as team games, competitions and events.
The recipe as it stands is nut free, a must for a lunch box granola bar. And it is also egg free, but if I want to make it gluten free, I simply use gluten free rolled oats. If I want to make it dairy free, I substitute 1 cup of dried fruit or seeds (or even chopped nuts if it doesn’t need to be nut free) in place of the chocolate chips. So with very little fiddling around, I have a go to snack, that can suit several different dietary restrictions.
These granola bars also freeze very well. When I make a batch, I place half of the granola bars in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper and put them in the freezer. They keep up to 3 months, but the chances of them being around that long are slim to none in my house. The kids pop them right into a lunch container, straight from the freezer and I have even caught them eating them frozen, right out of the freezer:)
And while it’s terrific to be able to accommodate so many different dietary restrictions, it’s also fun to experiment with add-ins that your family enjoys. That 1 cup of chocolate chips can be a combinations of any dried fruit, chopped nuts or seeds. It’s like a different granola bar recipe every time.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips*
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- Gather ingredients and tools.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan heat coconut oil over low heat, until melted.
- Remove saucepan from heat, add honey and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Let cool slightly, so it won't melt the chocolate chips.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the oats, coconut, chocolate chips and salt.
- Pour the cooled coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
- Place granola mixture on parchment paper lined baking sheet and using a spatula, spread evenly, especially near the edge.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Use parchment paper to slide granola off baking sheet and cool completely.
- Cut into 3x1 inch bars.
Bars can be frozen in an air tight container, layered between parchment paper, for up to 3 months. We pack them in lunches straight from the freezer.
I have to say that what I dread most about making granola bars is cutting them, so often I just break them apart like bark:)
large mixing bowl
liquid measuring cup
dry measuring cups
large sharp knife for cutting bars