A weekend snack – 5 minute cranberry oatmeal granola bars

30 Mar

Okay, so this has nothing to do with my weekly dinner planning but dinner is of course not the only meal we eat around here. One of the meals I struggle with most is actually breakfast for the boys. Their daycare provides a “morning snack” which is sufficient for some kids for breakfast but my boys have what you would call “healthy appetites”. Seriously they can put away more than me sometimes. And so I always send them to preschool with something to eat. It has to be easy to transport and low maintenance. I used to bake them muffins but they’re kind of tired of them and I’m tired I making them.
I started looking into granola bars but there are a few problems with them. First of all, they’re usually full of nuts (which aren’t allowed at school) or chocolate (which I don’t think is a healthy start to the day). Secondly, they’re just generally not the most wholesome things – full of processed ingredients I can’t even pronounce. And finally, they’re not exactly cheap. So I made my own.
I started with thisrecipe but again with the chocolate. So I substituted dried cranberries and added orange extract instead of vanilla. And they turned out great. The boys gobbled them up for a pre-dinner snack and they literally took 5 minutes to put together.
Ingredients:
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp orange extract
2/3 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

• Stir oats, cranberries, and rice cereal together. Set aside.

• Over medium heat, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together. Once it starts to bubble, reduce heat, and cook for 2 minutes so that all the brown sugar is dissolved.

• Stir in orange extract

• Pour syrup over the oat mixture. Stir until well coated.

• Pat into a greased jelly roll/baking sheet. Thoroughly press them together, or they will crumble when you cut into them. Seriously, if you can, I’d advise using some parchment or wax paper on top and really smushing it down. It should be about 1/2 an inch thick and take up about half the length of the cookie sheet.

• Allow to cool for at least 2 hours.

• Cut into bars, store in air tight container at room temperature.

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