I like to make homemade snacks because they taste great and they do not include the chemicals, artificial colors or preservatives that are commonly found in store bought foods and which are all things I actively avoid in my family’s diet. By making snacks at home I am also able to fully customize the flavor to my taste and, very importantly, to my kids’ taste. In most cases, making your own snacks is way more cost effective than buying store bought snacks so you can really stretch your food budget by putting in a relatively small amount of time and effort.
One of the snacks that I have had great success with is homemade granola bars because the recipe is very simple and endlessly variable. I love that the basic recipe is a template that lets you “fill in the blanks” when it comes to the add ins. The “regular” add ins such as dried fruits, nuts, seeds and/or chocolate chips are always popular in my house and I have also had great success with add ins such as; pretzel pieces, puffed millet, puffed rice, chia seeds, flax seeds, and coconut flakes. The combination of add ins is completely up to you and you can play around with them to get different flavors and textures. One of my personal favorites is a “sweet and salty” variation where I use pretzels, peanuts, dried cherries, puffed millet and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
If you have a food allergy, this recipe is perfect for you because you are in control of the ingredients from start to finish. In fact, after a visit with my Dad and Step-Mom, I realized that with very minor modifications this recipe could easily be be made Gluten Free in order to accommodate their dietary needs. The same would hold true for a family with a nut allergy or chemical sensitivities.
These bars are extremely simple to make and pack well in lunch boxes (or purses!) making them a nutritious and natural addition to your diet, I encourage you to give it a try! For this recipe click the link above and for other natural, whole foods recipes please visit my cooking site Jen’s Natural Kitchen.