granola bars are for grabbing

homemade granola bars

For years, my brother has made fun of my father. About string cheese.

You see, my father simply grabs a stick of string cheese and takes bites. To my brother, this is ridiculous. “Why buy string cheese, then?” he queries, a little querulously. The point of string cheese is not the taste, which is bland grocery-store mozzarella. It’s the novelty factor, the chance to rip tiny shreds of salty whiteness and dangle them above the lips. You miss all the fun when you simply bite down and chew like it’s cud.

My father, who runs more toward the prosaic than the poetic on such matters, simply answers, “But it’s convenient.”

This is the point at which my brother and I scoff, and say, What’s so great about that?

Well. Andy, if you’re reading this, I have to tell you: since Little Bean was born, I eat my string cheese like Dad does.

In fact, I think I ate 1/3 of my calories when I was pregnant in string cheese. When I was out and about, and ravenous again, it was hard to find something I could hold in my hand and eat as I walked, something that didn’t have gluten in it. When in doubt, I grabbed another string cheese.

However, when I walked through the world slowly, with the enormous belly, I still relished the chance to dangle a slender thread of cheese above my mouth.

Now, home with a baby (a darling-hearted baby), I’m gobbling my string cheese in bites, not shreds. I feel sort of guilty, and I know what I’m missing, but really, there’s not much else of a choice.

Eating is still pretty interesting around here. Little Bean is bigger now, no longer a newborn, and her sleeping habits are more and more predictable. But if I take the time, during one of her naps, to make an elaborate meal, I’m asking for her to wake up. She always does. And so, I snack and nibble.

I can’t tell you how many half-eaten salads were left around the house the first weeks that Little Bean was home. Soup seems easy, but soup is hot. I don’t want to spill hot zucchini-lemon-egg soup on my daughter’s forehead. Full meals can only happen at breakfast and dinner (at nearly midnight) when the Chef is here. And so, for most of the day, I need food I can hold in my hand.

Sandwiches were, of course, invented for this purpose. And I can have sandwiches, on gluten-free bread. Only, I haven’t had the time to make much bread from scratch, my favorite gluten-free bakery is quite a long car ride away, and the sandwich bread from Whole Foods is about $9 a loaf. We’re spending our money on wipes and diapers these days. Overly priced loaves of bread are a splurge item now.

There’s cheese, of all kinds, which can be bitten in small portions. I’m in love with the stick pepperoni made by Brent at Olsen Farms, and I buy some every Saturday at the farmers’ market. But if I eat cheese and pepperoni all day long, I won’t be able to leave the house through the door, eventually. There are hard-boiled eggs, handfuls of walnuts, and carrot sticks with hummus. (Plus, the occasional coffee cup full of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.) And fruit. Fruit is the world’s gift to new mamas. However, after 12 Italian plums in one day, I lose my gratitude for that gift.

This is the time in which my passion for good food is truly tested. I’m sure many people give in to tv dinners, fast food, and packaged snacks at this point. I feel the lure. Here’s where having to be gluten-free comes in handy. I can’t.

Instead, I eat simply. I still insist on the best ingredients for myself. Little Bean’s big debut into the world was at the farmers’ market, and we’ve been back to one a couple of times a week ever since. Red Haven peaches from Rama Farms have bristly skin and juicy flesh. The sweet Italian sausages from Skagit River Ranch make a great lunch with rice. The fat heirloom tomatoes from Billy Allstot have broad shoulders and wild colors. This is the time of year when food doesn’t need much fixing anyway.

Every time I eat, I feel like I’m teaching my daughter how to be in the world. So many people have told me, “Oh, wait until you have children. You’ll have to give up this making food from scratch, everything fresh, a different recipe every night stuff. Eventually, you’ll settle for the chicken nuggets too.” May I politely say? No thanks.

There may not be many five-hour, tasting-menu degustation experiences in the near future for me and the Chef. It may be months before I prepare a meal that requires more than several steps in the kitchen. But I’m not settling for frozen foods and snacks that don’t taste like much of anything but fats and salt.

Right now, for awhile, I may have to eat my string cheese in bites. But if most of my food has to fit into my hand, I still want it to be the best palm-shaped food I can find.

homemade granola bars II

Gluten-Free Granola Bars

Granola bars are perfect for this particular eating dilemma. Packed with nutrition, sweet with dried fruit, and compact for the hand, power bars and granola bars have taken over the land. However, most of the commercially packaged ones have gluten in them. And other kinds of bars, while mostly good, grow bland after awhile.

So I set out to learn how to make my own. While the Chef held the baby and played with her, I set up in the kitchen: all ingredients arrayed out; saucepan, casserole dish, and big bowl waiting; good music on the player. While he’s home, I sometimes take my space and make the kitchen my own again. Half an hour later I was dancing to Bill Frisell and patting down the last of the granola mix into the pan. Life felt good in that moment.

There are so many ways to make granola bars. I was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s recipe in Super Natural Cooking and a dozen more I found on the internet. This is really only a template. Find the fruit you like best. Play with cereals and grains. Use honey instead of agave. Just find a way, as I did, to make these. They’re sweet and nutritious, crunchy and chewy at the same time, and really quite addictive. And with their density preventing me from eating more than one at a time, they’ll be around for a bit, waiting for me in that emergency situation where I have to eat now, but there’s no time to eat.

2 cups rolled oats, certified gluten-free
1 cup hazelnuts

1 cup agave nectar syrup
1 cup muscovado brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup brown rice cereal
2 cups mixed dried fruit (here I used mangoes, raisins, and cranberries)

Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a small casserole dish with parchment paper. (If you want thick granola bars, use a small casserole dish. For thin ones, choose a larger casserole dish.)

Slide the oats and hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and into the oven. Let them toast, turning them once in a while, for about ten minutes.

While those are toasting, put the agave nectar syrup, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and sea salt into a saucepan. On medium heat, bring the syrup to a slow boil. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the toasted oats and hazelnuts, the sunflower seeds, brown rice cereal, and dried fruit. Pour the syrup over this concoction and stir it all up, making sure everything is evenly coated.

Pat the mixture into the casserole dish, on top of the parchment paper. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Put the dish into the oven to bake.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the bars to be. Allow them to cool for at least an hour before cutting them up into bars. (You’ll probably have to hack at them a bit. These aren’t soft granola bars.)

Feeds 20.

61 comments on “granola bars are for grabbing

  1. Kitt

    You do have your hands full! But I’m glad you’ve got some room in them for these granola bars. They look great.

  2. Anne

    You sound as though things are going well, although this stage of life can be frustrating — one thing to remember — it really really doesn’t go on forever.

    I know you’re not asking for advice, or even sympathy, but I well remember just how different motherhood was to what I expected it to be. It still is (mine are 6 and 4), but we eat well, we eat gluten-free and my children are some of the least picky eaters I know. But they do watch television, they do play on the computer and I do shout at them and say “No!” far more than I ever thought I would.

    As for the convenience of frozen meals — it doesn’t count if you’ve made them yourself, right?

  3. Christina

    “Eventually, you’ll settle for the chicken nuggets too.” May I politely say? No thanks.”

    Thank you!! I have three children, 4 1/2, 2 1/2 and 6 months, and I cook from scratch, 99 days out of 100. It’s possible, and SO worth it. My children request parmasan cheese with their pasta, love blue cheese (with dates? yes please!) and the list goes on. They’ve always eaten with us. My husband and I have always said that if we can give them a love of learning and good food then we’ve achieved a lot. Keep at it, she’ll appreciate your efforts!! It may not be until she’s an adult herself and realises that knowing what good food tastes like is an amazing gift, but trust me, she will!

  4. Gemma

    These sound great. I’m a big granola bar fan as they are great for fending off blood sugar dips when out and about and I love the look and sound of the hazlenuts in these. I need to make a big batch of granola so maybe I’ll make some bars while I’m at it.

  5. Li loves David

    I second Christina — thank you for passing up the chicken nuggets! And thanks for the granola bar recipe, I’m looking forward to trying them soon. I’ve been looking for something tasty and portable. ~Li

  6. Rosita

    You are right to say “no thanks” to all that preprocessed food. It is certainly possible. I have two children (3 1/2 and 22 months) and a third due in January, and both my husband and I work full time and he is finishing up his masters. And we still find time to make good home cooked meals. It is certainly possible. Like you said, it may not mean the elaborate meals you had before you had children, but it is certainly possible.

    Crock pots and pressur cookers are great for helping me make this possible. Also, I try (although I don’t always succeed) to plan my meals a week at a time, so I know what needs to be defrosted and such. Also making a double batch of sauce or a second pan of lasagna or chicken pot pie or 3 loaves of bread at a time and putting the extra in the freezer for the next time is helpful.

    Just wanted to encourage you as your writing is often an encouragement to me.

  7. Adrienne

    I LOVE the idea of hazelnuts in a granola bar — that sounds wonderful. I just discovered a great spice shop that sells all sorts of dried fruits, and now I have another excuse to go there! It sounds like you’re hanging in there well and sticking to your guns :)

  8. Julia

    I’m so excited and inspired to make these now! I have never been able to stomach those gf cereal bars. There’s always something funny about them to me, but it would be really nice to have something around to snack on when i’m out and about and my blood sugar is dipping.

    I have always preferred a chewy granola bar to a crunchy one, though. Any suggestions on how to modify these?

  9. Michelle

    Do you have any idea how long these last? (as in, if you don’t eat them all right away!) I’ve never made my own granola bars before, but it sounds like a great idea. Those certainly look much more delicious than the preservative-laden ones at the grocery store!

  10. Meg

    Good for you! Don’t let anyone presume to tell you what kinds of foods you’re going to feed your child. Lucky is one lucky little bean :-)

  11. Kimberly

    I agree with Christina. I hate freezer meals and the like.

    Where would I find these in the Seattle-Tacoma Area:
    agave nectar syrup
    muscovado brown sugar

    Where do you buy yours?

  12. Mama Bear

    I agree about the chicken nuggets! My son has just turned a year and I’m still making dinners from scratch, trying out new recipes, and chicken nuggets have not entered the picture.

    I bring him into the kitchen with me — and he loves it.

  13. Gina Perry

    delicious! i’ve been meaning to try making gf granola bars, but this is the first recipe that really calls to me (and my pregnant belly!) — except for the agave syrup — i ran across some scary (but inconsistent) reports that it’s to be avoided during pregnancy, honey will do just fine.

    i often use soft corn tortillas (from a package, usually mission b/c they say GF on the package) for ‘sandwiches’. i just toast them in a hot dry pan for a minute to soften them, and stuff with anything quick. it’s much cheaper AND lower calorie than most GF breads, and they hold up VERY well. It’s very tasty with tuna or egg salad, or my favorite — turkey, grated carrot, avocado, red onion.

  14. Sho

    “But I’m not settling for frozen foods and snacks that don’t taste like much of anything but fats and salt.”

    Good for you, Shauna! (Shhhh…I ate Think Thin gluten-free, sugar-free protein bars. I still do.)

    ~Shoshannah

  15. liz

    So good to hear you’re all doing well.

    Moms always ask me how I have time to cook all of my meals, wash the diapers etc. It’s priorities. It’s important to me.

    My son eats what I eat, and like you it’s not always elaborate anymore, but it’s homemade and well made.

    I’m making your banana bread today for my brother and his wife, their baby Henry is 5 days old and they need some gluten free nourishment! Thank you!

    Liz

  16. Zoomie

    You’re so smart to realize that food at this time of year really doesn’t need much “fixing.” A small tomato eaten out of hand like any other fruit is wonderful. Romaine lettuce leaves make great finger food. And, of course, there’s always string cheese! :-)

  17. annie

    Shauna, congratulations to you and the Chef for your wonderful baby. Enjoy her as much as you can at this stage,because before you know it, she will be starting school and you wonder where the years went! I love your blog because of the healthy, but never boring recipes. I do not have celiac, but am borderline gluten,lactose intolerant, and have other sensitivities. I have a question about agave. We see it more and more in recipes. What is it and is it as high (glycemic index) as sugar? Thank you, Annie

  18. annie

    Shauna, congratulations to you and the Chef for your wonderful baby. Enjoy her as much as you can at this stage,because before you know it, she will be starting school and you wonder where the years went! I love your blog because of the healthy, but never boring recipes. I do not have celiac, but am borderline gluten,lactose intolerant, and have other sensitivities. I have a question about agave. We see it more and more in recipes. What is it and is it as high (glycemic index) as sugar? Thank you, Annie

  19. ljallbee

    Good for you not giving in to convenience foods! My kids are teenagers now and turn up their noses at the foods their friends eat–they love REAL gluten free food. It’s not impossible to raise kids who hate fast and convience foods;)(sometimes hate is not a bad thing, hehe)

  20. EB

    I cannot WAIT to show this post to my brother. He’s a vegetarian and a busy working divorced dad.… and a friggin’ nurse who all too often goes in for the nuggets for the kids because “they’re convenient.” Drives me crazy!

    That granola looks so tasty.

  21. Wheatless Foodie

    The granola bars look wonderful. Sometimes, finding the time (and energy) to cook from scratch does feel like such a luxury.
    Cindy

  22. Nova

    Good for you for sticking to your food morals! As a gluten-free mother of three I can certainly sympathize. My kids eat food from scratch and they love it. They always tell me their favorite place to eat is at home. They love to help me prepare meals and we sit and eat them together, every night, even during soccer and baseball season. We do enjoy the occasional take out meal from our favorite Indian or Thai place. They are great when I don’t feel like cooking and they give me ideas for new recipes.

    I was also going to suggest the Food for Life brown rice tortillas. I use these instead of bread when I want a sandwich. I still don’t really like bread much after being gluten free for 27 years. They can be a little stiff but I get mine damp and microwave for about 20 seconds and they soften right up. I like mine with some Applegate Farms smoked turkey, spinach and avacado.

    Keep on savoring these wonderful first few months with sweet Lucy. You will never again be as needed in your life as you are right now. And as everyone says, it goes by soo fast.

  23. Susanna

    Thanks for the recipe! I recently bought a breadmaker. I know, I know, it takes the fun out of making bread but it sure beats paying $9.00 a loaf for bread at Whole Foods. I just put the ingredients in and in about 4–5 hours, I have a pretty delicious loaf of bread with ingredients that I want in there. When dealing with limited time, I feel its worth the $150.00 I paid for it.

  24. glutenfreeforgood

    I love all the variations of granola and granola bars. I like adding pure maple syrup or almond butter to the “sticky mix.” Or full-on honey. And cinnamon. Well, the list goes on — that’s what makes granola a fun project.
    In good health,
    Melissa

  25. jenA

    if ever you or the chef are lucky enough to come across the time…

    A few times in my gf life I have bought good deli meat and cheese and made two or three batches of pao de queijo (cheese bread).

    I bake the rolls, slice them partially, stuff them with meat, cheese and whatever veg I’ve got that I can slice quickly, wrap them all separately and grab one every time I’m hungry and pressed for time.

    It kept me full and the flavors were complex enough that i didn’t grow sick of eating 12 in a row.

  26. Mom of the Beauty

    Your granola recipe looks wonderfully delicious!

    The only gluten-free bread I give my daugter, and it’s the best we’ve tasted, is Whole Foods 365sandwich bread mix in a box. Just add water, eggs and butter. And it’s just under $4 a box. Of course, you have to hope your baby girl will sleep long enough for you to mix it and let it rise.

  27. Anonymous

    “I think I ate 1/3 of my calories when I was pregnant in string cheese.”

    … You just described me perfectly. I’m 16 and a half weeks and have been practically living on string cheese. I still pull it apart by hand, though. :)

  28. Lauren

    Mmm, I love handheld food. It’s always so nice. I’m not that big of a bread person, and I don’t live in the states, but here in Canada, you can get a like tax refund thing for the difference between gluten free food and regular. You need proof from your doctor that you cannot eat gluten, but I’m not sure if the states has this, but if so, you could look into it.

    Anyways, those granola bars look amazing, and I love hazelnuts, so they’re perfect!

  29. Clean ClutterFree Simple

    I have NEVER cooked chicken nuggets in my home. NEVER. And yes, I’ve got two kids:-). I did bend to the blue box mac & cheese, but frankly, I love the stuff in a low-rent sort of way.

    Those bars look yum!

  30. Anonymous

    I am proud to say that, although my children are fairly selective in their food choices, (to my great chagrin!!) they strongly prefer my homemade chicken nuggets to the commercial variety. We have a free-range chicken subscription through our farmer’s market, so once a month I cut up the fresh carcasses and make cornmeal– & coriander-coated nuggets from the breast meat.

    And thanks, Shauna, for the granola bar recipe! My dear gluten-free, dairy-free friend just gave birth early Thursday morning to a healthy baby girl. (She carried this baby full-term after being GF for over a year, having experienced two miscarriages prior to going GF.) I am coordinating meals for her family and would like to make an adaptation of these bars for her desperately hungry moments in the coming days and weeks.

    As for mothering, you may already know that you are getting close to a significant milepost — three months — when a breastfeeding baby and mama’s milk bar get even more efficient at nursing and milk production, after the growth spurt of course. Perhaps cooking a full meal is in the cards for you soon after all!

    Kris in Virginia

  31. Kathy

    I so agree with you, Shauna, and the other commenters who have pointed out that it’s not mandatory to feed your kids processed non-food in order to have a quiet life.

    I will be the first to admit that most of the meals I make my family are simple and involve few steps (or can be prepared in advance and frozen — freezing is the salvation of busy mums sometimes!) We eat a lot of stews, soups, homemade gf pies, mild curries of various kinds, stir-fries, gf pastas, risottos, BBQ food in the summer, salads, roasts, and so on.

    If I’m feeling lazy or running very late, I’ve been known to serve bacon, onion & cheese on gf toast for dinner, or steamed fish with microwaved frozen veggies, or maybe pasta made with a store-bought sauce. But that really is as bad as it gets, and I have a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, am 18 weeks into a difficult third pregnancy, have a spouse who works long hours and travels for work, work part-time myself at home when the children sleep, and live many miles from family networks … oh, and I’m a Coeliac of course. All of this is not to say what a hero I am, but just to point out that Shauna (and the rest of us) aren’t clinging to a pipe dream here — you can eat real food and feed it to your family too, even in the context of a full-to-bursting life.

  32. Petra

    Oh String Cheese it was my easy snack too when I was in your shoes. Now my sis is pregnant and she’s doing the same thing :)
    The introduction of gf oats is so huge for me (being celiac for 15 years) I just made granola for the first time and now I want to try hazelnuts in my next batch. For me putting granola in my yogurt is something we did growing up and it’s so nice to have again.

  33. MariChucky

    Hi Shauna. I’m so happy that Little Bean is ok. And about you… well I’m sure you’re incredibly happy although you can’t enjoy some meals :) In spanish we say “dále tiempo al tiempo” and I think it can be translated as give time to time.
    Congratulations for your motherhood, enjoy and live it.

  34. Jenn

    Ah, I’m so glad to hear that you share my love of the homeade granola bars — these have been my snacking savior for years, since my diagnosis! Hazelnuts and dried cherries have been a favorite of late, and I confess to using 1/2 c. of dark chocolate chunks, scatter and melt atop the hot bars, then smooth the chocolate into a thin skim on the top. YUM!

    I cut and wrap mine in that Glad press-n-seal wrap…maybe not the most environmentally friendly, but it helps keep them fresh. And then I stash the tub of bars in the fridge (so I don’t grab one every time I walk by).

  35. Grommie

    These look really good. I’ll be looking forward to trying them.

    I agree with the nibbling of string cheese when that’s all I can find at the store. I really prefer the Sargento cheddar sticks. Much tastier than rubbery mozzarella and they come in 2% fat varieties as well.

    Fresh green beans and snap peas are great ‘hand foods’ also.

  36. Lourdes

    Though I agree that chicken nuggets on a daily basis are not a good idea, I personally think it’s best not to judge other moms and parents. In my nearly 4 years as a parent, I’ve learned that one moms don’t, is another mom’s has to. And, like Anne alluded to, you’ll find yourself doing something eventually that you said you’d never do. My best advice to other moms is to support each other — not judge each other.

  37. Anonymous

    Hi Shauna! I’m fifteen and a faithful reader of your blog…I have Celiac. I live an extremely active, on-the-go life, yet am not into processed food. (Yuck!) I’ve found a few good gluten-free energy bar options. I’d consider them processed (in terms of them being in wrappers and the like), but the ingredients are good. Cliff’s “Nectar” bars are soft, tasty, and gluten-free. They are simply dired fruit, nuts, spices, and some of them have seeds. “Larabars” are pretty much the same…they have some chocolaty flavors if you’re craving some cocoa! Another option is the “Mrs. May’s” fruit-and-nut bites. They are hard, sweet, nutty little cubes perfect for quick snacking. All of the options are gluten-free, you can find them at pretty much any health store. I’d say are fairly good…for processed food!

  38. qb2family

    Shauna,
    As the mother of 2 teenagers, I have found that as they grew, so did my from scratch cooking. My niece tells my daughter that she is so lucky to have “whole meals”-her phrase for a meal that I have made from scratch and that we, as a family unit, have eaten together.
    My kids love the smell of home baked goods, simmering soups and stews, not to mention the smell of roasting chicken. I will be honest though, as the kids have gotten busier so has my crock pot!Little Bean is so very lucky to have you as her mommy!
    Thanks for the yummy granola bar recipe-it looks so yummy! Can’t wait to bust out a batch tonight!

  39. Red Freckles

    I can’t eat oats. Even GF ones. quiet sad. Sometimes I use buckwheat flakes or rice/corn cereal to replace them. I’m glad you’re not giving into processed foods! Being a college kid it’s hard too. But fruit and nuts are definitely a staple in my diet. Thanks for your wonderful and inspiring blog! Cheers to a bigger family!

  40. Julia

    So I went out right after reading this post and bought some dried fruit and cereal and whatnot to make these. I decided to substitute maple syrup for the agave, and i used dried cranberries, dried apples, walnuts and sunflower seeds to give it a fall flavor.

    BUT they totally fell apart! Perhaps the maple syrup is just not sticky enough, but now i have a big bag of granola to eat. It tastes great, and i’m excited to make it again. Just wondering if you or anyone had any thoughts on how to fix the problem. Thanks!

  41. melissaAnne

    Your recipes are great, much better than what I’ve seen on other sites. That said, I sometimes also use a site called
    gluten-free recipes
    that lets me search just the gluten-free recipes from Cooking.com and the other big big sites.

  42. Sho

    About the chicken nuggets, I never made them because I did not have time. I made them when that was all my kids would eat. I consider my lazy options to be frozen vegetables instead of fresh, etc.

    And those bars look so delicious! I never had homemade granola before.

    ~Shoshannah

  43. Dale

    My first trip out with my first son (now age 4)was to the farmers market too. Good for you to pass up the processed foods. I work full time, am the mom of 2 boys (4 and 1), and still am able to cook good meals each night. Yes, some nights we might have pizza and salad, but it’s always home made crust and home made sauce. I admit that I do have some gluten free chicken nuggets stashed in the freezer for when we really need them, but they take so long to cook up that I don’t serve them very often. My boys are happier with cheese and crackers, veggies and hummus (especially veggies with Braggs on them), and some leftover meat if we have it, or beans. My 1 year old eats anything we put in front of him, my 4 year old is in a phase were anything that is green or looks weird is “disgusting”. Eh, he’ll get over it and he still eats better than most of the kids in his peer group! I actually love being GF for this reason!

  44. Sophie

    Good for you for taking the time to dance and bake up tasty snacks like these :)! These look much tastier than the preservative-filled ones that aren’t nearly as fresh!

  45. Amy

    These look delicious!! It’s so hard to cook and eat with a baby constantly needing attention. I used to wear my daughter in a wrap on my back to cook supper every night, have you ever tried that? It works so well!

  46. amy

    I have a wee one as well and am all about Amy’s gluten and dairy free frozen meals. There are only about four different varieties–but its food. You’re doing great!

  47. Susan Macaluso

    OMG!!!!!! I’m still snorfing at how cute the nickname “Little Bean” is!(I nicknamed my little newborn Elizabeth, “Buffie” due to her softness and fragility.)

    These bars look SO good. I have to add things to my Lori’s Natural Food’s grocery list. By the way, I eat string cheese in bites, too. Okay, I knew abut the string part, but that isn’t as satisfying as a large bite.

    http://warmbunny.blogspot.com

  48. SpiderWomanKnits

    No Nuggets! I am a Gluten Free mother to two small ones (5 and 1) with another on the way and we sit down to eat lovely meals each night, some not as complicated as others, but meals not from a box or mix.

    The journey into motherhood is not without it’s challenges and with a newborn at home eating becomes an opportunistic even at times rather than an intentional event. You will have more time before you know it. Do the best you can and savor that wee one which it is apparent you are and you’ll be fine. As mothers we do the best we can do in each moment. Motherhood allows us to reassess all of our limits.

    Congratulations on your beautiful daughter.

  49. Kate

    Mmmmm … I just made these today & they are amazing. But I have a question: my granola bars came out gooey. A lot of the syrup pooled on the bottom. I baked mine for 35 minutes, and they wouldn’t harden any further. Has anyone else experienced this? I’ll have to make another batch … darn!

  50. LaCresha

    I just baked these a few minutes ago, I added a tablespoon of applesauce to make them chewy, but they look good. I also made some fruit and nut bars yesterday (no oats or flour) for myself, and added too much applesauce so i had to flip it over and bake more to dry them out a bit more. Great snack for the kids, and for me since I nurse.

    I am “suppose” to be gluten-free, so i am trying to find great tasting recipes on a budget. Would love feed back.

  51. Pam

    Thank you so much for posting a healthier recipe for granola bars. I scoured the internet. I am a fan of Heidi Swanson, and forgot I bought her book until you mentioned it. I am making these granola bars as snacks for a mission trip to Nicaragua. So thanks again!

  52. Melodie

    I just pulled a batch of these out of the oven! We are snowed in so I did not have a few of the ingredients, but improvised! I can’t wait to taste one when they cool off :)

  53. Shoshana

    This post certainly speaks to me loud and clear! I am reading this post at 2 in the afternoon while nursing my 3 week-old, having not eaten anything yet today because of the one handed problem. Granola bars certainly seem like something I need to keep on hand. Your look great, but i can’t tolerate oats. Do you have any suggestions for another gluten free alternative? Thanks.

  54. Heather

    This recipe looks great! I am so happy to find it! It will be so nice for my poor husband to have something like this to take with him on his long days of full time university and full time work.

    You can totally eat healthily with children! I cook from scratch every day, it’s just the way I was raised. It does take more time than heating up something premade but you’ll come up with all kinds of tricks to streamline and simplify your cooking process.

  55. Allie Rose

    I made these granola bars tonight, adding my own twist (coconut flakes, chocolate chips, cherries, raisins, almonds and leaving out the hazelnuts) and they are to DIE for!! Thanks for the guidance!!! I love your site!

  56. healing

    THanks again! We enjoys these every few months. This time, I used honey and coconut sugar along with dried cherries and a few other fruits. used ground up almonds as well.
    You are amazing at what you do.
    Thanks!