No Nuts

Part of having a youngster in elementary school is making sure she has a healthy snack to enjoy each morning. Oftentimes, it consists of fresh fruit, vegetables, or string cheese. But sometimes, she's just in the mood for a granola bar. And this year, she happens to be in a nut-free classroom, so I need to be cautious about what I send. Rather than pull out a magnifying glass to scrutinize the ingredient list on various boxes, I opt to make my own. And why wouldn't I when the results look like this:

Packed with all the goodness of oatmeal, coconut, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries, these granola bars are simple to mix together and only take about a half hour to bake. Then I have a couple of weeks of snacks for my youngster (and the adults - we love them too) without having to be concerned about whether or not a box of granola bars might have a nutty ingredient that avoided detection at the grocery store.

What's really lovely about these is how easy they are to put together. In fact, you can get the youngsters involved in mixing them together and pressing them into the baking pan. Next thing you know, they'll be taking on the snack-making all on their own. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Nut-Free Granola Bars

  • 2 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. coconut
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir well to evenly coat everything. Place the mixture into a greased 9 x 9-inch baking pan and press well into the bottom of the pan.

Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. Cool for at least 3 hours before slicing into bars.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes plus cooling time