These Fruity Granola Bars For Kids are incredibly rich, dense, fruity, nutty, perfectly sweet, slightly crunchy and fun to eat. Not your typical granola bar.
I never cared much for granola bars; really didn’t see the appeal. But these Fruity Granola Bars For Kids are the exception! They seemed to all taste the same (sawdust comes to mind) and they’re not very exciting to eat. But after discovering Fruity Granola Bars for Kids, I can admit I was wrong. Finally, a granola bar that tastes amazing and still has healthy fruit and oat goodness. And to think, it only took me 10 batches to get it right.
Probably shouldn’t say this recipe is for kids, because truth be told, I made them for me. I wanted to find a granola bar that had tons of flavor, was moist and chewy with just a hint of peanut butter and honey. It seemed like a tall order. But then I thought, put in all the goodness of oats, almonds, prunes, apricots, and dates… but add M&M’s® to keep me coming back for more! The dried fruit makes it nice and sweet and you can’t even taste the coconut or the wheat germ. Plus you get a nice crunch from the almonds and the peanut M&M’s®.
Please don’t be scared off by the ingredients. I know when Brandon was younger, he would never have eaten prunes. But trust me, your child (or my big kid now) will love them! Please make a batch for a great after school snack. It will fill them up on something that is actually pretty good for them and still fun to eat. Now, I’m off to conquer Kale!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup whole raw unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
- ½ cup toasted wheat germ
- 5 individual pieces Medjool dates, pitted
- 14 individual pieces dried apricots
- 14 individual pieces pitted dried prunes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup creamed peanut butter
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ⅔ cup plain or peanut M&M's®
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
- Toss and spread out the rolled oats, coconut and almonds on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
- In a food processor, process the dates, apricots and prunes and pulse until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency (comes together in a ball).
- Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then stir in the peanut butter. Pour this mixture over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add in the date fruit mixture and stir well.
- Stir in the cranberries and M&M's® until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature or chilled from the refrigerator.