By Blake Eligh
My kids are crazy about granola bars, and so am I. They’re portable, with lots of nutrition, but many store-bought brands contain nuts, which rules them out for school snack solutions. The remaining “no nuts” brands are filled with marshmallows or jammy fruit filling, and are limited for flavour selection.
That’s why I was so pleased to discover this homemade Granola Bar Recipe from from Sproutright nutritionist Lianne Phillipson Webb. The no-bake bars were far superior to the store brands, and are easily customized to conform to dietary and school requirements. My version swapped out the almond butter for sunflower seed butter (soy butter would probably work, too), and coconut instead of almonds to keep them lunchbox-friendly.
Even better, homemade versions are lower in sugar and salt than the commercial brands, which is sort of the point of going granola, no?
The cereal version of granola is a bit more labour-intensive, but just as adaptable. My mum is allergic to hazelnuts and almonds, which rules out most grocery store brands. This recipe for Heart Healthy Granola is endlessly variable. I take a tip from Canadian Family food contributor Eshun Mott, adding pepitas instead of nuts, and a mix of dried cranberries and finely chopped candied ginger for a grown-up zing. Just make sure you use the same total volume of ingredients so you don’t overcrowd the baking pan.
If you like your granola ready-made, check out our Family Tested Granola Bars which picks the top three granola bars on store shelves. Adding granola to a berry smoothie adds a toasty flavor, and is a great way to add fibre and nutrition for a healthy breakfast on the go. You can also layer it with yogurt for a breakfast or snack parfait, like this Sassy Strawberry Granola Crunch.