Grab 'n' Go Crispy Granola Bars
by Missy Chase Lapine
Studies show that providing kids a healthy breakfast before school ups their attention span, decreases their chances of child obesity, and is just an all around great idea. But your typical breakfast cereal can hardly be called “healthy.” Looking for a better alternative? Try these nutritious bars, perfect for breakfast or beyond. They're full up with calcium, whole grains, and nuts, and they deliver a healthy dose of vitamins into the bargain!
Makes about 18 bars
2/3 cup rolled oats, ground in a food processor to about ½ cup
½ cup blanched, slivered almonds, ground in a food processor to about 1/3 cup (omit if allergic, and add another 1/3 cup of ground oats instead)
¼ cup wheat germ
1 cup crispy brown rice cereal (or Rice Krispies)
1 cup nonfat dry milk
½ teaspoon teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cup canola oil
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Optional extra boost: ¼ cup raisins or dried blueberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 9-inch square or 13-by-9 inch baking pan completely with foil and butter the foil (or spray with oil).
In a medium bowl, combine oats, almonds (if using), wheat germ, cereal, dry milk, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the canola oil, honey, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips (and/or dried fruit, optional). Mix well, then pour into the prepared baking sheet. Press down with palm of hand, evenly distributing the mixture into the corners of the dish and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Check occasionally to prevent burning.