Store-bought granola bars are convenient for school lunches but…
These lunch bars pack in 1 1/2 cups of grated carrot and apple!
The sunflower seeds add hunger-curbing protein and healthy fats that help tie kids over until dinner (read: avoid after school melt downs!). The stick-to-your-ribs oats in the recipe count towards the 2-3 whole grains kids should eat daily. 5 Ways to get more oats into kids’ school lunches.
Easy recipe swaps make for tasty variations.
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- 2 cups (500 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 cup (250 mL) barley flour (look for it in bulk stores) or whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) grated Ontario Carrots (about one medium-large carrot)
- ½ cup (125 mL) grated Ontario Apple (skin on)
- ⅔ cup (175 mL) roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
- 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1 Ontario Egg
- ½ cup (125 mL) canola oil
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) each Ontario Liquid Honey and packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
- Line a 13 x 9-inch (3.5 L) baking pan with parchment paper.
- In large bowl, combine oats, flour, carrots, apple, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and salt. In medium bowl, whisk egg, oil, honey, sugar and vanilla until blended. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Spoon mixture into prepared pan, press firmly into an even layer with a spatula. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and firm to the touch. Let cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into 24 bars. Store covered in the refrigerator or freeze extra in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Carrot-pineapple-coconut. Swap apple with canned, crushed pineapple and swap ⅓ of the sunflower seeds with toasted unsweetened shredded coconut.
Blueberry-banana. Swap carrot with fresh in season or frozen, thawed and well drained wild blueberries (small wild blueberries work best) and swap apple with one mashed ripe banana.
*All “Kids Cook!” ideas are meant as a guide only. You know what your child can safely manage. Make sure they understand your rules for working in the kitchen safely. Always supervise kids in the kitchen and have fun!