No Bake Granola Bars with Clean Ingredients

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No bake granola bars are a great snack that are kid-friendly and perfect for packing into a lunch box. Because the recipe uses clean eating ingredients, you can feel good knowing that your kids will be snacking well!

The kids are heading back to school and moms everywhere are facing the “what to pack in their lunch” dilemma. The truth is, kids just want a lunch that tastes good and makes them feel like they are “part of the crowd” in the lunch room.

pan of no bake granola bars with 3 on a plate next to the pan

HEALTHY LUNCHBOX SNACKS

Most kids have no idea what lurks in those seemingly harmless packages of sugar and chemical infested “treats”.  And as a kid, they probably don’t care all that much anyway. They just want to be like their friends. Nobody wants to stand out from the crowd at that age. It’s the same way with every generation.

I was reminded of this when I saw Mini Chef watching one of his friends pick through her after-school snacks to get to “the good stuff” first. While it was a healthy treat, I sat there watching him quietly wish she would share her goodies with him. It brought back my own school lunch memories so vividly, that I just knew I had to come up with a no bake snack bar that he would love to have in his lunch bag. So I set off to create a really yummy, super-duper delicious, no bake recipe made with real food ingredients.

This is an easy recipe that makes quick snacks or a quick breakfast using healthy ingredients. It uses cocoa nibs, though you could replace those with chocolate chips if you prefer.

No Bake Granola Bar Recipe Options

You have two choices with this healthy snack. Quick oats or traditional oats. You will get a different texture, depending on what you use. Quick oats will be more like the commercial granola bars that kids are used to. Traditional oats will be a chunkier, chewier bar.

You also have a choice in type of nut butter you use. Try peanut butter, almond butter or even sun butter.

But no matter how you make them, they are a great snack for school lunches and much better than anything you can pick up at the grocery store.

Quick oats – This will give you a finer, chewier texture that is less toothsome. It will give you more of a cereal mixture.

Traditional oats – These will give you a chunkier bar because it will be more of a chunky granola mixture that gets pressed together.

GRANOLA BAR INGREDIENTS

  • Oats – You can use either traditional (old fashioned) oats or quick cooking oats. The traditional oats will give you a chewier texture while the quick oats will blend in with the other ingredients more. If you are making these for kids, you might try the quick cooking oats first. They give a texture that is more conducive to what kids usually like. But if your kids are used to eating whole grains, then the traditional oats will be just fine.
  • Nut butter – You can use any type of nut butter (or seed butter) you prefer. In fact, if your child’s school has strict rules for nut allergy kids, then something like sun butter will work well here too. Pick the nut butter you like best for flavor. Just be aware that if you choose peanut butter, that will then become a predominant flavor. Almond butter is a milder flavor that will showcase the flavor of your mix-ins more.
  • Mix-ins – Mix-ins are what give you granola bars that extra zing. Feel free to play around with what you add in here. You don’t have to use the same ones I did. While I love this particular combination, there are many other possibilities out there that would be equally delicious. Try other dry fruits, chopped nuts, dark chocolate chips or even seeds like chia, flax or even sesame.
  • Sweetener – Using a sticky sweetener like honey will give you a slightly sticky granola bar. I have found that the benefits of the flavor and sweetness level of the honey make a little bit of stickiness worth it. But if you have a child with texture issues or want something that is just slightly less intense in sweetness, you can also use maple syrup. And if you really want to cut down on any stickiness at all, you can use half maple syrup and half dry sweetener such as Sucanat or coconut sugar. You can also use a piece of parchment to really press down on your granola bars without getting your hands sticky. If it sticks together once pressed, it will hold together in a lunchbox.

TIPS ON MAKING GRANOLA BARS

  • Chop – The best texture in a no bake granola bar happens when your chunky ingredients aren’t too big. Feel free to chop ingredients as needed. This will help the bars stick together better and give them a better texture for eating as well.
  • Press – Make sure you really press everything down. Compression is the key to everything sticking together.
  • Set – Let the bars rest before you cut them. Give them an hour or two minimum, to let everything set and stick.

THE GRANOLA BAR PAN

The shape and size of your pan will effect the size and even number of bars you end up with. I’ve noted my pan size above. But if you want more bars that are smaller or thinner, use a slightly larger pan. Just make sure you chop things small and press them really well so they don’t fall apart.

Ingredients

2 cups old fashion oats

½ cup dried cranberries, fruit juice sweetened

⅓ cup raw cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 pinch sea salt (optional)

⅓ cup coconut oil

⅓ cup honey or brown rice syrup

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

¾ cup raw, creamy almond butter or sunflower butter for nut free

Optional – Add a pinch of salt to truly bring out the sweetness. A little goes a long way.

Optional Additions

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Other dried fruit like raisins

How To Make No-Bake Granola Bars

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cranberries, cocoa nibs and cinnamon. Stir well.

In a small pot, combine the oil, honey, vanilla extract and almond butter over medium heat. You want to warm this enough to combine the liquids well. But DO NOT BOIL! Stir constantly to avoid any simmering. This warmth is strictly to get everything to combine as well as to make it a bit more fluid for mixing with the oats.

Pour the nut butter into the mixing bowl and mix well to completely coat the oats.

Press mixture into an oiled or parchment paper lined baking dish. (Mine -pictured above- was 9 x 4 1/2)

Freeze for 2 hours.

Cut the homemade granola bars with a sharp knife and store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 months, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, so no air gets to them. Note that by the time lunch time comes around, these will no longer be frozen and will be perfect to eat at room temperature. (These keep in the fridge for about a week.)

Need Supplies?

The main thing you’ll need to make these no bake granola bars is an appropriately sized pan to press your bars into. Here are 3 suggestions. The one I used was very similar to the white dish on the right.

More Healthy Granola Bars

No Bake Granola Bars Recipe

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry
no bake granola bars in pan and on plate

No Bake Oatmeal Granola Bars

These delicious bars are a great way to beef up your lunchbox game!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 7 bars
Calories: 458kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashion oats
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, fruit juice sweetened
  • cup raw cacao nibs
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch sea salt (optional)
  • cup coconut oil
  • cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup raw, creamy almond butter

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cranberries, cocoa nibs and cinnamon. Stir well.
  • In a small pot, combine the oil, honey, vanilla extract and almond butter over medium heat. You want to warm this enough to combine the liquids well. But DO NOT BOIL! Stir constantly to avoid any simmering. This warmth is strictly to get everything to combine as well as to make it a bit more fluid for mixing with the oats.
  • Pour the nut butter into the mixing bowl and mix well to completely coat the oats.
  • Press mixture into an oiled or parchment lined baking dish. (Mine -pictured above- was 9 x 4 1/2)
  • Freeze for 2 hours.
  • Cut bars with a sharp knife and store in the freezer for up to 2 months, tightly wrapped so no air gets to them. Note that by the time lunch time comes around, these will no longer be frozen and will be perfect to eat. (These keep in the fridge for about a week.)

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 20g | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 2.1mg


Recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted 9/23/13.

Clean Eating Lunch Ideas

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186 Comments

  1. Jennifer Edwards says:

    I’ve liked Arrowhead Mills on FB

  2. Jennifer Edwards says:

    This looks like a great recipe, thank you! One thing that would have made me feel like I fit in a little better with the lunch crowd was actually paying for my lunch. My Dad made so little that I actually got my lunch for free, and used to get picked on for it 🙁

  3. Tanna Ray says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook.

  4. Pinned it on Pinterest.

  5. My favorite thing was fruit by the foot. Every time I had it I felt so awesome.

  6. Marcy Miller says:

    I liked the Arrowhead Mills Old Fashion Oats!!
    And I unfortunately can’t put my finger on any one thing that would have made me fit in any better. I kind of fell through the cracks.

  7. Pinned on Pinterest. Cannot wait to make these!

  8. Cheryl Sparks says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook!

  9. Cheryl Sparks says:

    These look awesome! Pinned!

    I remember as a kid having all of those chemically laden foods and I would trade them out left and right for more unique foods! LOL! I was secretly envious of the kid with the Bento box!!! I felt very sorry for the girl who always brought liverwurst sandwiches. The kids made fun of her terribly. My lunch box itself helped make me fit in — I remember having strawberry shortcake and then Bionic Woman lunch boxes. 😉 Now as a mom, I allow one item in the lunch that the kids pick out — the rest is mom-approved!

  10. I like Arrowhead Mills on Facebook

  11. Richard Liley says:

    Having the current popular clothes was always a big thing if you wanted to fit in. I always felt one step behind though.

  12. Richard Liley says:

    I like Arrowhead Mills on Facebook. Great recipe too!

  13. I pinned the recipe.
    I hope that I’m able to make them today! I don’t think I have that much cocoa nibs, but I’m sure I can find something to add to them.
    I liked Arrowhead Mills on FB – what an amazing blessing it would be to win the give away!
    Thanks for sharing an amazing recipe!
    I was one of those kids that bought their lunch, my Mom actually worked in the lunchroom! But I always envied the kids that brought their lunch – the grass always looks greener!

  14. Pinned it…looks good.

  15. Funny I almost always bought my lunch and felt like I would have fit in more with a homemade lunch. Of course, I would have wanted the cool pre-packaged foods which would not have happened. It seems we always think the grass is greener on the other side when it’s really not.

  16. What would you use in place of coconut oil? My daughter is allergic to coconuts.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole C – Hard to say. I used coconut oil because it hardens when cold. So anything that does that will work.

  17. Liked Arrowhead Mills on FB. Thanks for the new resource.

  18. I grew up in a small community and everyone just sort of fit in. It’s different today with my kids. We did not have school uniforms so sometimes I thought I’d fit in better if I had some of the clothes my friends had. My friends, though, were always jealous of my homemade lunches.

  19. Carin Gavin says:

    Hello!

    I have liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook.

    Also, when I was younger I was DYING for a beautiful, bronzed tan because people made fun of me for how pale I was. And still am haha.

  20. Mary Nolan says:

    envy…..one boy’s Mom gave him ‘nutterbutter’ sandwiches….I always wondered what those tasted like! He was also the first boy to kiss me (on the the cheek) in grade school! His name is Tim and we still chat occasionally…..and we are both 50!

  21. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook!

  22. Katherine H says:

    I liked Arrowhead on FB

  23. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook!

  24. I liked arrowhead mills on facebook.

  25. Things that made me feel like I’d fit in included clothes, music choices, having certain friends, having Lisa Frank and/or TrapperKeeper supplies…as far as lunch was concerned, Lunchables were all the rage.

  26. Mary Ramos says:

    I’ve liked Arrowhead Mills on fb.

  27. I saved this great recipe on pinterest.

  28. Thank you so much for this. My kids are feeling like “outsiders” because they don’t have the pre packaged snacks. This will definitely help! We’re I am from the school encourages garbage free lunches so I don’t have to worry so much about packaging the granola bars up! I keep telling my children that one day they will thank me for making them healthy treats and not pre package junk!

  29. Stacy fairleystacy says:

    I liked arrowhead mills on Facebook.

    Having a great lunchbox was a great way to fit in at school with the cool character/star.

    Trying to figure out how to copy pin URL.

  30. Anthony Messina says:

    Arrowhead Mills liked on FB and pinned.

  31. Stacy fairleystacy says:

    Figured it out 🙂

  32. Anne Fjellheim says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook 🙂 About to pin the recipe to pinterest now 🙂

  33. When I was a kid I would have liked to have lunchables, but now I wonder what I was thinking. Everyone had them though lol.

  34. Anne Fjellheim says:

    To fit in in school, I was nice to everyone, I gave everybody a chance no matter who they were. Turns out I never had any enemies and I got along with EVERYBODY! No drama or bullying at all. I wish it could be this way for all.

  35. Liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook!!
    Pinned on Pinterest!
    During school, I ate school lunch every single day. I was jealous of my friends who brought their lunch. The “cool” kids back then brought their lunches, in their fun lunch boxes, with their fancy homemade whatever. I would have loved to fit in with those cool kids!

  36. Anthony Messina says:

    Something that made me feel like I fit in at school was being part of scouts, both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. I was always a heavy kid, so didn’t do well with organized sports, so this was my place to bond with other kids my age since I didn’t have too many kids my age near my house. I honestly can’t recall much about my lunches as a kid other than I know I brought my lunch and remember a Thermos soup container which was one of the greatest inventions ever. (It probably held a lot of processed canned junk like chef boyardee or something, but I’m sure I got some homemade things as well)

  37. I used to braid my hair to try and fit in 🙂 whether or not it worked is still up in the air haha!

  38. Anthony Messina says:

    Question: what would you use to make this nut free since my children both have classmates with severe nut allergies? I imagine sunflower butter would work just as well?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Anthony – Any “nut free” butter will work so long as it gets hard or thick when it’s cold. (Like in the fridge)

  39. Like Arrowhead Mills.
    Pinned.
    I feel I was very fortunate as a child. All my teachers made me feel like I belonged there, that I was special.

  40. 1 thing to help me fit in more? Probably to have a skinny, rockin’ body would have helped.

  41. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook

  42. Kimberly Gardner says:

    Liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook, and accidentally made my husband like it too since he was still signed in on Facebook. Thanks for making me aware of another great brand, Tiffany. Love your website and recipes!

  43. I HATE peanut butter. I was always teased about not liking PB&J at school!

  44. Colleen Wilson says:

    Pinned. I also “liked” Arrowhead Mills on Facebook.

  45. I thought I just had to have Fruit Roll-ups! 🙂

  46. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook and pinned on pinterest

  47. These look yummy! Can’t wait to try them!

  48. Katie DuPriest says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook! Thank you for telling us about them! love them!

    The one thing I had to have that made me fit it was a Jansport Backpack haha it was all about the backpack.

  49. Rachel Lowrance says:

    I liked Arrowhead mills on facebook!

  50. Rachel Lowrance says:

    I always felt so cool when I could buy my lunch at school. It was a rare occurrence!

  51. Robin (at Stone Soup Homeschool Resources) says:

    I love these Clean Eating No Bake Oatmeal Granola Bars, Organic and no GMO’s!

  52. I liked Arrowhead Mills on FB and pinned this on pinterest.

    I’m going to give it a try tonight!

  53. Also, when I was a kid I always had an insulated lunch box but as I got older I felt so nerdy carring the thing around and just wanted my mom to use brown paper bags for my lunch every day. Now I use insulated lunch bags regularly to bring my food to work and wouldn’t dream of throwing away a lunch bag every day…

  54. Hi Tiff!

    I Liked Arrowhead Mills on FB!

  55. Pinned!

    As a kid, I think I fit in by playing in extracurricular sports or joining in activities. Once I got to high school, I quit joining anything, and I seemed to start to struggle with friends. Those who didn’t like sports, clubs, school, etc seemed to be the “wrong crowd.” I’ve since gotten back with the right folks, but it was rough for awhile.

  56. Liked Arrowhead Mills on facebook

  57. Jessica F. says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills on FB

  58. amy smedley says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills facebook page

  59. amy smedley says:
  60. amy smedley says:

    what made me feel like I fit in during my school days was having a best friend to sit next to a lunch time.

  61. I’ve been using Arrowhead Mills for years. Can’t wait to try these!

  62. I think what helped me fit in as a kid were my girlfriends. We always stood up for each other, never let anyone get picked on, and when something bad happened to one of us, we closed ranks and helped each other heal. We all experienced loss at a young age, and my school counselor formed a group that we went to once a week to share our feelings and talk about things. I guess I never really thought about how lucky we all are to have each other. 25 years later and we are all still friends, and very drama free!

  63. Anna@The Measured Mom says:

    Liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook!

  64. Anna@The Measured Mom says:

    Pinned it!

  65. I liked them on Facebook!

    I’m a new follower, and I LOVE your site!! It’s been super helpful for learning about clean eating!!

  66. Pinned it 🙂 Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  67. These bars sound delicious. I am new to clean eating, but when I Iived in central Europe I made most meals from scratch, so I have been doing a lot of this – just did not know it had a name :-).

  68. Kristy G. says:

    Liked Arrowhead mills!

  69. Kristy G. says:

    If I could have liked the popular girls! *lol*

  70. Getting invited over to hang out with people has always been the main thing that make me feel like I fit it.

  71. Pinned it on Pinterest.

    Not sure how to get the URL. Definitely trying these this afternoon. I’m sure my kids will love them

  72. Pinned

    Liked it on FB

    Was always the chubby kid growing up,most felt that I never fit in. I am on an insulin pump and it is difficult for me to loose weight. I am just learning about clean eating and could use all the help I can get, restocking pantry etc. threw out some stuff today, haven’t eaten processed food in 2 days!

  73. Wendy Ward says:

    I like Arrowhead Mills on FB

  74. Stephanie says:

    What made me feel like I would fit in – Guess Jeans with the zippers at the ankles and an Espirit Bag. I still have those bags, but not the jeans. 🙂

  75. Stephanie says:

    Pinned it! Looks GOOD.

  76. Liked!

    Pinned!

    Something that would have made me feel like I fit in better at school…..My parents were very dictatorial about clothes/hair/make-up/activities. They felt they were doing what was in my best interests, but when it comes to those teen years there’s got to be a happy medium. a conversation between parent and child, an understanding and a modicum of trust. There was none of that.

    Thanks Tiffany!

  77. What a great idea. It looks yummy. If you want to make a wrapper, measure your bars and add 1/2 inch on one side and design a cool wrapper on your computer. You can print it on glossy paper and cut out, wrap and tape onto your bars. You can even personalize it. I make candy bar wrappers for showers and birthday parties and they are easy. You should wrap your bar in foil, plastic wrap or wax paper first.

  78. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook. I pinned this on Pinterest. As a child to try to fit and I had to wear the same clothing.

  79. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook.

  80. Suzanne Lefever says:

    I liked arrowhead mills on Facebook

    Thanks

  81. Pinned on Pinterest.

    As a kid, I did feel more like I fit in when I was eating the same food as my classmates. Or what looked like the same food… I packed my own lunch and made sandwiches that looked like what the other kids had. PB&J … but on whatever bread we had, not the Wonder Bread I knew they were eating. Treats portioned out in a baggie instead of chips in a store bought snack pack.

  82. I also liked Arrowhead Mills on FB. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win.

  83. Carrie Peck says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills of Facebook.

  84. Kristi McConaugha says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook!

  85. Kristi McConaugha says:

    Pinned

    As a younger kid in school, I think the lunches definitely played a part in what made me feel “cool” or not. We always wanted to see who else had what in their lunch boxes, my mom made some pretty great lunches! Of course, getting older, everything revolved around what clothes you wore, and as an awkwardly chubby kid, I was not one of the “cool” kids.

  86. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook.

  87. I am definitely going to try this recipe it sounds easy to make and looks really yummy. I am pretty new to Pinning…. Pinned

  88. What made me feel like I fit in was having a friend to have lunch with during lunch hour 🙂

  89. Like Arrowhead Mills on FB

  90. I was sometimes made fun of about my clothes, so probably having a different brand of jeans or something like that would have made me feel like I fit in more.

  91. Jessica McGee says:

    I pinned this!

  92. Like it on Facebook

  93. I like Arrowhead Mills on facebook & pinned your recipe, cant wait to try it. My kids love granola bars! When I was a kid I never wanted to bring in the leftover Cuban food my mom sent me in with. I just wanted to eat what everyone else at. Also my grandmother made my clothes so it made me feel even more like an oddball.

  94. I had previously liked arrowhead mills on facebook…I pinned the recipe on pinterest. I have been making granola bars for my husband and my son’s lunches. I can’t wait to try this recipe!! Being in the band beginning on sixth grade until I graduated helped me feel that I fit in. Also I had great friends and caring teachers that encouraged me to excell and that made me feel very much a part of my school!!

  95. Unable to find url after posting to pinterest from my kindle. 🙁

  96. Carrie A. says:

    Liked it Arrowhead, pinned it and what helped me fit in at school was my bestie! She and I are still friends – since age 1.5 years old … my life wouldn’t be what it is without her!

  97. Julie Crum says:

    Liked Arrowhead Mills on facebook

  98. Pinned

    Thank you for this and all you do!!!

  99. Julie Crum says:

    I always thought new clothes that were in style would make me fit in. That and not wearing glasses

  100. I “liked” Arrowhead Mills on FB.

  101. I pinned the recipe.

  102. When I was a kid I felt like I didn’t fit in because I didn’t have the cool clothes.

  103. Well, I can’t join the contest because I am outside the US, but I will try making the bars, possibly with a few local substitutions. I’m happy my kids love healthy snacks and these will be great for them.

  104. I “like” Arrowhead Mills on FB… Thanks to both of you for the giveaway!

  105. Michele Barrett says:

    I pinned this.
    I also liked it on FB. I didn’t feel I fit in in much as a kid because I was always a little overweight and I didn’t always have the best clothes since my family was a big family.

  106. Christine says:

    I like Arrowhead Mills on fb. I pinned this.
    I thought it was great when I had enough money for a school lunch, hang out with friends and all. But we lived so close to school that I went home for lunch. No fun when both parents worked every day. Nothing hot, just whatever would make a sandwich. Never any leftovers cause mom never cooked anything but mac & cheese from a box. No fancy treats cause they were too expensive. No homemade treats either.

  107. Pinned!
    I would say I would have fit in more if I didn’t have as many responsibilities when I was a kid. I had a lot of pressure growing up. Made me who I am today though!

  108. Sara @ Dear Skim says:

    As a kid, I always thought that eating school lunches would help me fit in — it was an opportunity to sit with my friends who also bought lunch. Totally didn’t appreciate the magic that was having my mom make me lunch every day!

  109. Carol in Kentucky says:

    I don’t remember anything specifically that made me think about fitting in. Peer pressure “back then” wasn’t anything like it is today.

  110. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook.

  111. Being in Band always made me feel like I was part of something, and fit in, especially Pep band.

  112. I liked on facebook

    And I pinned on Pinterest

  113. Let’s see. What did I feel would make me fit in. One thing was buying lunches. We always took our lunches and felt like if I could eat the same food as the other kids, I would be better accepted.

  114. I liked Arrowhead Mills on Facebook! Would love to win the gift card.

  115. Pined the recipe and liked the Arrowhead Mills facebook page. Would love the gift card to purchase more great items from Arrowhead Mills. I can’t wait to make this recipe this weekend! I love granola bars:)

  116. Tara Hovis says:

    I just liked Arrowhead Mills. I had never head of them until now, but you can bet I’ll be checking them out. I’m GF and they are GMO-free to boot! Woo hoo!

  117. Tara Hovis says:

    Pinned.

    Can’t wait to try these. I’ll have to use soy butter instead of almond butter, but I’ll bet it will be great!

  118. Laurie Kramer says:

    I liked Arrowhead Mills on FB.

  119. Laurie Kramer says:

    I pinned this recipe and will be looking for Arrowhead products.

  120. Laurie Kramer says:

    I always brought my lunch to school but wanted to try the school lunch. I never did just bought ice cream. To make me fit in, I always wanted to wear jeans but couldn’t find my size. This was in the early ’70s and I was a bit chubby!

  121. Ah, good one! I’d definitely say Gushers because for some reason my mom never would buy them for me, but everyone had them in their lunches!

  122. I had alot of trouble fitting in at school, particularly in junior high and high school because my family moved to a new state and into a very small town. In that community, new kids were just not accepted and that was really hard. However, I do remember that in 4th grade my mom made me an awesome pilgrim outfit for a field trip… at that was a really good year. So, I think that helping your kids participate in school activities can really help. PS – I never liked those school lunches!

  123. Hi there,
    I have been searching for a great granola bar recipe to send with my kids to school. Only problem is that I can’t send nuts and many homemade granola bar recipes call for a nut butter (peanut, almond etc.) Any suggestions? I know that someone said to me that Sunbutter (sunflower) works, but do you think it would alter the taste too much! Any tips would help!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – It’s hard for me to say because I’ve never used sun butter. But I can’t imagine that it would change the flavor all that much. And with such a small yield, I think it’s worth a shot!

  124. STephanie says:

    Just made these. I only had minute oats, so I added a few more. These taste like no bake cookies, which my family will love. I need to get some no sugar almond butter, all I can find locally has sugar. I actually prefer the sugar free nut butters!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stephanie – I don’t know that I would have made that association with the cookies. But I won’t argue! 🙂

  125. amanda mattar says:

    Loved your story, you brought me back to my lunch break envys as a child. Funny when we look back but a reality for our kiddos. Look forward to making these yummy snacks.

    I am based in Abu Dhabi for the last 2 years, so if you ever want a cool place to travel to let me, My family has a really good restaurant “Tarbouche Al Basha” and I would love to share our yummys like you shared with me 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amanda – Thanks! That’s really sweet! 🙂

  126. AnneMarie Darichuk says:

    This recipe sounds really yummy. I will try these to keep on hand for after school snacks. I was wondering if you have a “nut free” substitution for the almond butter as my children’s school is a nut free environment.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      AnneMarie – The only thing I can think of would maybe be Sun Butter. Not sure if that would work though. I’m not well versed in nut allergies.

  127. I made these last week and have to say….they were “amaaazing” (the exact words our 7-year-old daughter used, and I have to agree). I used a dried berry mix of blueberries, cherries, and cranberries and added 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, and they turned out great. These will be a staple in our home, for sure. Thank you for your wonderful creativity and taking the guesswork out of play for so many of us :)!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alyson – My pleasure! I’m so glad you all enjoyed them! 😀

  128. Is there a way to make these bars without coconut oil?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Angela – You can try, but it’s part of what holds them together.

  129. Taylor Widler says:

    Do you have the nutritional information for these bars? I meant to try to figure out the calories when making them and totally forgot.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Taylor – No, sorry. But MyFitnessPal.com has a good nutrition calculator.

  130. I am new to your site and this is the first recipe I tried. They came out amazing! Way better than anything store bought. These were a great to go breakfast 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amber – I’m so happy you enjoyed them! 🙂

  131. I have been trying to find more choices for my husband’s breakfast. He gets burned out on cereal and oatmeal pretty quick so I think this with a smoothie or homemade Greek yogurt will be a different choice. Thank you for sharing your brilliance, I can’t wait to try them.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – I hope he enjoys them!

  132. My family loves these granola bars!! I make them at least once a week using the base ingredients but change it up a bit by making various batches. I will add peanuts. Reduce the cinnamon, remove the cranberries and add raisins. We usually look at the granola bars at the grocery store and tweek this recipe to replicate them 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Leanne – How fun!!! I’m so glad you’re enjoying them! 🙂

  133. We all love these! I used clean pb instead since that’s what I had on hand! 🙂 These are sure to be a new staple in our house! Thank you.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Julie – My pleasure! I’m so happy you enjoyed them! 😀

  134. Rebecca Knight says:

    I’ve just made these but had to swap the cranberries for goji berries as I can’t seem to find unsweetened cranberries anywhere – grr! However they taste amazing and I will definitely be making them again.
    Almond butter is expensive in the UK so could you use peanut butter instead? X

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rebecca – Absolutely!

  135. Stephanie says:

    This is delicious. My daughter and I made these today. I love them cold straight from the freezer. But question for you: How do you get these out of the dish easily? I used Coconut Oil Spray from Trader’s to oil it up, but they are hard to cut and to get out. Mine fell apart. Any suggestions?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stephanie – If they are really sticking, the best bet is to line the dish with parchment paper. That way you can just lift them right out. So glad you like them! 🙂

  136. I just made these, they’re so good! The process made my house smell good too with the heated up vanilla. Thanks for sharing!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jenna – My pleasure! So glad you enjoyed them! 😀

  137. Vanessa - Natural Family Today says:

    Yum! These look awesome. We are going on a road trip in a couple of days and I think I will make these for the morning that we leave. They look like a great “grab and go” breakfast item. I shared this on my pinterest and facebook page 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Vanessa – Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

  138. I’d love to know the nutritional info for this. Also would it be ok to add protein powder? Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jodi – There are lots of online calculators you can enter the recipe into. I usually use MyFitnessPal.com. And in theory, you could add protein powder. But I’m not sure what that would do to the texture or if the bars would still hold together. You’d have to experiment a bit with that.

  139. Delicious!! Healthy and quick treat.
    I definitely am going to try with protein next time.
    These sure are hearty as well.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Matthew – So happy you enjoyed them! 😀

  140. Would agave syrup work in place of honey?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Peggy – It wouldn’t be considered clean, but yes, it would work. 🙂

  141. How many calories per slice? or the hold batch of granola

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Fabiola – I recommend MyFitnessPal.com. They have a good recipe calculator that will give you that information.

  142. I love your clean eating ideas and recipes. Do these bars actually have 458 calories EACH, or is that the total for the entire batch?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kathryn – Thanks so much! If you cut this into 7 bars, then yes. That’s the ballpark figure on the nutrition. More of a meal replacement bar in that respect.

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