I feel a little bad that my two most recent recipes are both “no-bake” and in the granola bar category. It should be no surprise by now that I love both of those, but I should mix things up a little, eh?
But I do have a reason to be posting this specific recipe today – because this was the recipe for my most recent food column in our local paper on honey. Honey is really amazing stuff, and not just because it’s super sweet and yummy. The health benefits from raw, local honey are incredible! Although, a lot of the honey that’s readily available at grocery stores is heated, and/or from bees that are fed a liquid sugar instead of allowed to do what they normally do, which makes that honey no better than plain old refined white sugar. Sad, isn’t it?
I do have plenty of recipes that use honey but quite a few of them involve heating the honey(which is still better than using a completely refined sugar) so for this column I made a no-bake recipe using honey so that you can get the most benefits out of your honey
As with any granola bar recipe, these can be switched up so many different ways. I used almond butter, but if you need to avoid nuts for any reason, sunflower seed butter or another nut free alternative can easily be substituted. Don’t have almond butter? Peanut butter works just as well. I used dried cherries that I dried last summer, but if you don’t have a source of them any other dried fruit is fine! Mix it up, these will still be super delicious.
Also, just as a note – these would be a lot of fun if you just take a large spoonful and press it together in your hands to make little granola bites or balls. If they don’t stick together at first, chill the “dough” for 10-15 minutes first. Also, just be sure to store the granola balls in a cool place so they keep their shape and in an airtight container or wrap them individually or in groups of 2(or as many as you’d like at a time).
One more quick note – these should last fine in a school lunch, but I do prefer them a little cold because they hold together better. They do crumble easier when they’re at room temperature, but even if they fall apart a little they’re still good to take on trips.
Makes 10-12 bars
- 3/4 C crispy cereal(I used Kashi Original, but look for anything whole grain with very little if any added sugar)
- 3/4 C puffed grain cereal(such as puffed wheat or puffed kamut)
- 3/4 C old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/3 C dried cherries(or other dried fruit)
- 1/4 C raw honey, preferably local to you
- 1/2 C natural almond butter(or natural peanut butter. For a nut free option use sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
Prepare an 8×8 pan by lightly oiling it, or just lining with wax paper.
Warm the honey and almond butter slightly if it’s not already liquid at room temperature. Mix in the ground flax, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl mix the cereals and rolled oats. Add the wet ingredients and mix very well. Press the mixture into the pan and flatten with the back of a spatula. Place in the fridge till firm, remove and cut into bars and wrap individually. If the bars break or crumble while cutting, just press back together before storing. Store in the fridge or freezer individually wrapped and in an airtight container.
Notes: To make these vegan sub pure maple syrup for the honey.