Homemade cereal grain bars are even tastier than the boxed version, but so much healthier. These are made with oats, flaxseed meal, and honey, and easily made vegan or gluten-free.
My kids love nutrigrain and other fruit cereal bars. At first glance, they look like a healthy easy lunchbox option. Many are even organic. But after looking at the ingredients on the back of the box I decided I could not continue to buy these very often. The long ingredient list is the first red flag. Then comes sugar listed as the first ingredient, gums, maltodextrin (possibly GMO), and carrageenan (a thickening additive thought to cause GI tract problems). So I set out one night to make my own version without any white sugar - just a tablespoon of honey and no white flour - just good, real food ingredients.
Guess what. These homemade grain bars are even tastier than the boxed version! At first I was lazy and used organic store bought jam. They were good. But the second time? AMAZING! I simmered down some fresh blueberries (feel free to use frozen) while I was making the dough. I have been storing these in the fridge and hubby has been taking one to work every day. They will be great for lunchboxes. I'm planning to make another batch soon to freeze for the girls' school snacks and lunches.
Then things got crazy. I thought, hey, why not try some peanut butter and chocolate as the filling for some? Helloooo nutrigrain folks... why have you not done this? These were so yummy warm from the oven, and no sugar other than the choco chips! I was a happy mama having one of these for breakfast the next day.
Keep reading for step-by-step pictures and recipe!
One last tip - my kids weren't interested in these the first time I made them. The second time I added a tiny sprinkle of turbinado sugar over the top and that sold them :)
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