AWESOME Granola Bars! School Lunch Ideas Installment #2

My kids LOVE to eat granola bars! I also love it – when else can I get them to eat so much nutrition packed into a little bar, with only a small amount of sugar to make it all stick? Oh yeah, and I make these gluten free, oat free, dairy free and of course nut free. Well, what do they have??? Here’s the recipe that is always a hit in my kid’s school lunches. I must admit that I found the base to this recipe online a few years ago and do not know the source.

Homemade Granola Bars

1 cup puffed rice (if you eat oats, you can use them instead)

1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut (sulphate free if possible)

3/4 cup ground flax

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sesame seeds

2/3 cup brown sugar*

1/2 cup honey

4 Tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz dried fruit

  1. Mix dry ingredients in 11 x 13 baking dish with sides, toast in oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Put brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla and salt in saucepan. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly.
  3. Mix dry and wet ingredients in large bowl. Mix well.
  4. Prepare 11 x 13 dish by lining with waxed paper that is lightly greased.
  5. Dump mixture into baking dish, spread evenly, cover with waxed paper and press down HARD.
  6. Wait 2 – 3 hours until cool. Turn onto cutting board and cut with knife.
  7. Wrap individual bars in saran wrap, put them all into a large freezer bag, and store in the freezer. Go ahead and put these directly from the freezer into those lunch bags, they don’t take long to defrost.

*I should note that I always try to eliminate as much sugar as I can from a recipe, and I did try unsuccessfully to reduce the amount of brown sugar in this recipe (and increase the amount of honey) and my bars fell apart.

toasted dry ingredients











stirring liquids









Stirring wet and dry together









Pressing Down









I love the endless amount of variations that this recipe allows. Think dried apples and cinnamon or dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips. If you are making them for home and can eat nuts, go ahead and add almonds, or some peanut butter to the recipe.

Although this may seem like a lot of work, it takes only about a half an hour to make these (not including cooling time), and it makes about 24 bars when cut so they do last for quite a while if you are using only one a day in school lunches. Enjoy!

finished product!


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    1. This recipe is great! It’s the first time my homemade granola bars actually look and taste like store bought ones! They passed the husband test too, big accomplishment 😉
      Thanks for sharing.

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