Granola Bars: Grab-and-Go Chemicals or Nourishment?

by kimgerber on 01/16/2011

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Granola bars stir up quite the controversy at our house.  My kids want to bring them to school for snack, but a nut-free school means no granola bars with nuts of any sort.  That rules out a lot of the granola bars on the market.  Then when we look at what’s left and examine what ingredients are actually in the remaining granola bars things really start to get interesting.  Let’s just say we’re left with…well, not much.

If you’re having as much trouble finding nut-free granola bars without a lot of sugar, corn syrup or undesirable additives as I am, then give these bars a try.  The creation of this recipe took a bit of tweaking to get it just right and I’m pleased to say that the kids who have tried it are happy with the results.  I wanted to create a bar that stuck together and didn’t crumble easily, but I wasn’t willing to use sugar or corn syrup to do it.  Peanut butter could have done the trick but I wanted to keep them nut-free so that most kids could enjoy them and bring them to their nut-free schools.  So after several trials and many taste tests by young palettes, I give you the Out of the Box Chewy Chocolate Granola Bar (named by my son).  I hope you’ll give these a try and pass along any feedback from your young granola bar connoisseurs.


THE COMPARISON: Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars vs. Out of the Box Food Chewy Dark Chocolate Granola Bar

(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at by clicking on the ingredient.  Please feel free to reference the ingredients on other reputable sites for further information.)


Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

*In addition to these links, please do your own additional internet search on the ingredient BHT. The is a lot of significant information on this frightening ingredient.


  • granola
    • whole grain rolled oats
    • brown sugar
    • crisp rice [rice flour, sugar, salt, malted barley extract]
    • whole grain rolled wheat
    • soybean oil
    • dried coconut
    • whole wheat flour
    • sodium bicarbonate*
    • soy lecithin*
    • caramel color*
    • nonfat dry milk
  • semisweet chocolate chips
    • sugar
    • chocolate liquor
    • cocoa butter
    • soy lecithin*
    • vanilla extract
  • corn syrup
  • brown rice crisp
  • invert sugar*
  • sugar
  • corn syrup solids
  • glycerin
  • soybean oil

Contains 2% or less of

**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label.  Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.


Out of the Box FoodSM Chewy Dark Chocolate Granola Bars


Special Equipment: small saucepan, medium mixing bowl, 9″x9″ square baking pan, parchment paper, pastry brush

Time: Prep – 6 minutes  Cook – 20 minutes (does not include time needed for Granola recipe)



  • Prepare baking dish with parchment so that parchment lines bottom of pan and part way up the sides.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Heat honey in small saucepan until hot but not boiling.
  • Meanwhile, in medium bowl mix granola and chocolate chips.
  • Pour hot honey over granola mixture and stir to combine.
  • Pour granola into prepared baking dish.  With wet hands, press granola to cover bottom of pan.
  • Tear off a square of parchment and press the top of granola mixture to firmly pack into place (a tightly pressed granola mixture will help with crumbling)
  • Dip pastry brush into beaten egg white and “paint” the top of the granola.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Remove parchment/granola bar from pan and let cool on wire rack.  Remove parchment and continue to cool completely.
  • Cut bars. (For a decorative lunchbox packaging, wrap each granola bar in a 2″ wide piece of parchment.
  • Store in an airtight container.


I hope these granola bars will not only help you use up the Out of the Box Nut-Free Granola recipe from last week, but will also give you something new and easy to add to your kid’s school snacks. Next week we’ll take on a good ol’ fashioned party treat and make it into a healthier lunch box alternative.  Keep up the good work, parents!  These small changes add up and we are making a huge impact on our children’s future.  Until next week…

© 2011, kimgerber. All rights reserved.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda August 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I wanted to make these but could not find the granola recipe. The links must be broken. :((((


kimgerber August 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Thank you so much for letting me know! I’ve fixed the link. Hope you enjoy them.


Medifast Coupon January 17, 2011 at 8:42 am

The nurtitional value on home made granola is the obvious choice. The prep time is easy on both making the bars, and the granola itself. Simply the best choice for kids and adults. A healthy snack. Great recipe idea!


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