Gluten-free oatmeal energy bars
The school day can be long. Give your gluten-free kids these energy-packed granola bars and watch them power through homework!
Fact: Kids like chocolate chips. Fact: Parents like kids to eat healthy and do their homework right after school and have good table manners. (I know. That's three facts about parents.) The table manners might require an extended discussion in another venue. But I've got you covered on a healthy after-school snack that kids will love (chocolate chips!) and that will give them enough energy to leap tall notebooks in a single bound.
The other ingredients in these energy bars are unrefined sugars, fiber-filled rolled oats, protein-packed raw almonds (ground so kids don't even know they are there) and natural peanut butter. That means that a few chocolate chips won't hurt anyone. And if chocolate chips get your kids to buy-in to these energy-packed treats, they might just power through their homework with time to spare. You know what they say about back-to-school, don't you? It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Gluten-free oatmeal energy bars recipe
Makes 12 to 15 bars
- 4 cups certified gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw whole almonds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup dried blueberries or raisins
- 1-1/4 cups smooth natural peanut butter (can substitute any other smooth natural nut butter)
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B, which is darker and more flavorful)
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 4 ounces miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper, greasing the pan and the parchment paper well and making sure the pieces of parchment paper overhang all four sides of the baking dish. These will be your handles for lifting the bars out of the baking dish. Set the pan aside.
- In a blender or food processor, place 2 of the 4 cups of oats and the whole almonds and pulse until ground mostly fine. Do not overprocess, or you will make the almonds into almond butter. Transfer the ground oats and almonds to a large bowl. Add the rest of the oats, the salt and the dried blueberries or raisins, and mix to combine well. Set the bowl aside.
- In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the peanut butter, oil, maple syrup and honey. Heat the mixture, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the peanut butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and well-combined (about 2 minutes). Pour the melted peanut butter mixture into the large bowl with the oats and ground almonds. Mix to combine. The mixture will be thick. Allow to cool briefly, until no longer hot to the touch. Add the chocolate chips and mix to combine well.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press firmly into an even layer. Place the baking pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown and firm (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool until set (at least 30 minutes). Lift the bars out of the pan, using the overhanging pieces of parchment paper, and slice into 12 to 15 rectangles with a sharp, wet knife.