On weekday mornings it’s just easiest to grab a breakfast bar and a cup of coffee when starting the day. But because I have food allergies to barley and tree nuts, finding a breakfast/granola bar that I can eat can be a challenge. Usually gluten-free bars create texture with tree nuts and bars without tree-nuts often have barley in them.
I got accustomed to buying Luke a box of Cliff bars and myself a box of (one of the few “safe” flavors) Luna bars once every two-weeks. But then Luke realized his Cliff bars were almost 300 calories each and loaded with Caffinene. Plus these boxes could cost upward to 11-12 dollars for only 10 bars (that is more than a dollar a piece!)
With all that in mind I decided it was time to experiment with my own homemade gluten, barley, and tree-nute free granola/breakfast bars. The first batch was a little sugary and too sticky but by round three I had adjusted the ingredients and felt confident this was worth the time.
This recipe will make approximately 20 bars (depending how you cut them). If your recipe yields 20 bars then they will be only around 150-160 calories each!! Plus a whole batch will cost you less than five dollars! That is 25 cents or less per bar versus my 1.25 each from before!! It does create a few sticky dishes but I have been finding it is well worth the mess.
Even better this is a good basic recipe with plenty of room for changes and subsitutions. In the ingredients list I will mention some potential changes you can make, but be aware that substitutions may not change your portions but they are apt to change your calorie count.
½ C honey
1/3 C peanut butter
substitute: (you can use coconut oil, sunflower oil etc. or add more honey and remove the peanut butter if necessary)
1 and 1/4 C rolled oats
1and 1/4 C rice cereal
substitute: (you can use flavored chex, corn chex, crispix, etc. based on your allergies or lack there of)
3/4 C peanuts
substitute: (you can use different tree-nuts if you not allergic, or seeds)
3/4 C dried cranberries
Subsitute: (you can use any wide variety of dried fruits)
1/2 C white chips
Substitute: (you can use carob, semi-sweet, peanut butter, butterscotch-you name it)
-Heat the honey and peanut butter (or other liquid ingredients) in a small saucepan until combined. Here also you can add any spices or powdered protein etc.
-While the honey and peanut butter heat, put oats, nuts, cereal, & cranberries in a large mixing bowl.
-Remove saucepan from heat.
-Slowly add the honey PB mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. (It is easiest with a mixer but it can be done by hand).
-Once all ingredients are incorporated and cooled a little mix in the chips.
-Spread mixture evenly in an 9×11 square pan pressing it down with the back of a spoon or spatula.
-Let it cool (fastest to clear room in the fridge to place the pan).
-When cooled it will harden, cut into squares or bars.
-Store in fridge. I layer them in tupperware with foil between layers.
As I mentioned before there is plenty of room for variation. How about a fall recipe: replacing peanut butter with pureed pumpkin, tree nuts with pumpkin seeds, and cranberries for raisins? Or what about winter recipe: replace peanut butter with a little nutella or chocolate syrup and mint extract?
Be creative! And let me know how your own recipes turn out!
What are your favorite granola bar ingredients? Flavors?