What Foods these Morsels be: Homemade Granola Bars

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Some of my favorite memories of growing up involve baking with my mom. She was always so patient letting me help. I would stand on a chair, clad in my fisher price apron and she would teach me all about baking. Every year we drop everything and spend an entire weekend doing nothing but baking and eating Christmas cookies. It is probably my favorite weekend of the year, and it is coming up pretty soon!!
Anyway, I knew when I had kids that baking with them was something I wanted to make a priority. It is such a great way to bond and spend quality time, as well as for them to learn. Even as an adult it still feels rewarding to mix and bunch of ingredients together and have them change into something new and delicious. Hayleigh jumps at the chance to help in the kitchen. I try to cook with her at least once a week., but that makes for a lot of desserts in our house…and in her belly. I have been trying to find recipes that are a bit on the healthier side so that we are not always baking cookies and cupcakes etc. Today Hayleigh, the little boy that I babysit (Hayleigh’s BFF), and I made some yummy granola bars. These two kids are pretty obsessed with granola bars (aka canella or canola bars depending on who you ask) so this seemed like the perfect healthy recipe to try. I found it at Smashed Peas and Carrots. The results were actually yummier than I had anticipated, especially since there was no sugar added. They were very easy and it was fun for the kids to add the different add ins. I think I may have found a new recipe to add to the favorites!

Homemade Granola bars (italics mine)
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup shredded coconut (I skipped the coconut and actually dashed in some cinnamon.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I like to use fat-free)
2 Tbsp melted butter
1-2 cups of your favorite add-ins (chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, raisins, cranberries, whole nuts, marshmallows, dried papaya, dried mangos, trail mix...you get the idea) (We used raisins, cranberries and a few chocolate chips.)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. Mix together all of the ingredients and pour into your pan. Bake for 20-27 minutes depending on if you like your granola bars chewy or crispier. (We baked them for 22 minutes so they would be on the chewy side.)

So how about you? Does anyone have any yummy, healthy, kid-friendly recipes you use? If you do please send them my way! I would love to try them!

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