I think making granola bars is an excellent recipe to help kids understand that they can pretty much make anything on their own, from scratch.
Making such a food with your child is a wonderful way to have them experience the true amount of labor and time it takes to make these snacks & treats.
And when we have worked a little harder for something, we tend to respect & appreciate it more.
With all this in mind, let’s learn to make Skill It’s Cranberry Granola Bars.
There was a lot of research and taste testing in the Skill It kitchen before we created this version. It has a rich flavor from the molasses (and lots of antioxidants) and the texture is not too chewy. Also, it does not require baking, so the bars remain a little bit chewy and moist.
In our Fall Harvest class series last year, students made these bars from start to finish. We cut them into small squares to be shared with their parents. Not a scrap of leftovers could be found because students and parents ate every bite!
I know you must be getting hungry just thinking about them! So as the weather gets a little cool or perhaps a rain shower heads your way, spend a few hours in an afternoon mixing up a batch of these.
Swap things out to suit your tastes – just about any combination of dried fruits, nuts & seeds will work as long as the overall volume of dry goods remains the same.
Cranberry Granola Bars Recipe
Ingredients for Granola:
1 1/4 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. dried cranberries
4 T shredded coconut
Ingredients for Sauce:
3 T butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
3 T honey
1 T molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
First, toast oats, seeds, almonds and coconut in a skillet on medium heat. Stir often until fragrant and lightly browned. Transfer to heat proof mixing bowl and set aside
In a small pot, melt butter, brown sugar, honey, molasses, and cinnamon over medium heat. Stir until all ingredients just start to bubble and there are no lumps of sugar left, then turn off and remove from heat. Sugar gets VERY hot, be sure to have grown-up help for this!!!
Let sauce cool for a few minutes and then pour over your granola, mixing until it is totally coated with the sauce. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper. Pour in your granola and press down to fill the pan and make it even and flat.
Place pan in a refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When cool, lift out with paper, and transfer to cutting board. Cut into long slices and then into thirds or quarters. You can really cut this into size you want. Little 1” squares are fun and you can put 2 or 3 of these granola bar bites for a lunchbox treat!
Makes 12-15 bars (or about 40 small bites)