Food for Thought

I have felt convicted lately about the nutritional quality of snacks my kids are getting. We are usually schooling in the morning and skip over a snack then, but they always want something after rest time. Usually I just dump some animal crackers in a bowl because that is what they ask for. Not terrible, but not the best choice day after day. We need some variety!

I have wanted to try homemade granola bars for a while and today I took the plunge. I kind of made them on a whim, so I had to substitute some ingredients. I would also like to look into some healthier alternatives (carob instead of choc. chips, natural sweetener in place of brown sugar) for some of the ingredients and I definitely want to add some dried fruit next time (I didn't have any). I tried one and thought it was really good - it isn't as crunchy as some of the store-bought ones so it will be easier for Jackson to eat, and I know everything that is in them instead of pondering over a long ingredient list trying to figure out what's what. Here's the recipe:

Homemade Granola Bars (courtesy of Raising Olives)
2 cups oatmeal (I had old-fashioned oats)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ (I used wheat germ and milled flaxseed)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour (didn't have any, used all-purpose but will definitely get some ww for next time)
3/4 cup raisins (I used choc. chips)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil (used canola but would like to try the coconut oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together first 7 ingredients, then make a well in the center and add the honey, beaten egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the baking dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn golden. Cool for 5 minutes and then cut into bars and remove from dish WHILE STILL WARM.

Nuts can be used as well, I just knew my younger 3 wouldn't eat them then.

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