Granola bars purchased from stores often contain many unnecessary preservatives and sweeteners. By making your own, you control what goes into them and can adapt them to your tastes.

Below are 3 different granola bar recipes – Try them, adapt them to your family’s tastes.

Oatmeal Bars

This recipe makes a crunchy baked bar.

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar so doesn’t spike blood sugar so readily, can be purchased at the Bulk Barn or healthfood stores)
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp baking soda

1) Boil all ingredients, except oats.
2) Remove from heat, add the oats and mix.
3) Spread into a 8″X8” square parchment paper-lined pan. Bake at 350oF for 10 minutes.
4) Cut while warm, but allow to cool in pan.

Optional additions:
½ cup soaked raisins and ½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup slivered almonds and cranberries
½ cup chopped dried apricots and pecans
½ chopped dates and pumpkin seeds
½ walnuts and soaked raisins

Crunchy Cereal Bars

1 cup unpasteurized honey
1 cup almond butter
1 cup large flake oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower/pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
5 cup brown crispy rice cereal
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1) Over medium heat, stir together almond butter and honey.
2) Pour over remaining ingredients, and mix well until all are coated.
3) Press into parchment paper-lined 9×13 pan. Wet hands and press really well into pan to help bars stick together.
4) Refrigerate and cut into squares when cool. mmm…

Classic Glo Bar

adapted from Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups brown rice crisp cereal (Nature’s Path is great)
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp fine grain sea salt
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp brown rice syrup
¼ cup sunflower butter (or almond or peanut butter if not making for school)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup non-dairy chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand) – optional

1) Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper (this is important – you’ll use it to life the bars out to cut)
2) In a large bowl combine oats, crisp rice, hemp, sunflower, sesame and chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt and mix well
3) In a small saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup and seed/nut butter until well combines. Cook until it begins to bubble, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
4) Pour the seed/nut better mixture over the oats mixture. Stir well with a large metal spoonuntilthe oat mixture is coated. If using chocolate chips, allow mixture to cool clightly before folding in the chips.
5) Transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly. Lightly wet your hand and press down on the mixture to even it our. Use a rolling pin to compact mixture (this is really the key to helping it stick together so nicely)
6) Place in freezer uncovered and chill for 10 mins or until firm. Lift using parchment paper, onto a cutting board. Using a pizza rollerslice the square into 6 rows and then in half to make 12 bars.
7) Store in airtight contained in freezer for up to 1 month or refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.