These grab-and-go snacks are nutritious and super simple to make

Some things are just better when they're made from scratch—and making something with your own two hands provides such satisfaction. When you cook from scratch, you know exactly what ingredients go into your meals, and it gives you flexibility to adjust your recipe for any dietary or taste preferences.

 

GRANOLA BARS 

These granola bars are nutritious and super easy to make yourself (and you can even freeze them). Have ‘em on hand for before or after your next workout, or make them ahead of time for camping trips.

It’s hard to get healthier than a recipe full of raw ingredients like this, but feel free to switch it up! Don't like cranberries? Swap for dried cherries. Try different kinds of nuts. Keep it nutritious, but make sure you enjoy what you're eating.Christine McAvoyChristine McAvoy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free)
  • ½ cup of rainbow (or regular) quinoa, rinsed

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed or puréed
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup almonds, chopped, slivers or broken up in a food processor

  • ¼  cup walnuts, chopped
  • to ½ cup of dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit)
  • ¼ cup of natural, organic peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a baking dish with parchment paper. (Smaller dishes create thicker bars and will take a bit longer to cook. I like using my 9X12 pan, but you could also use a 7X11.)
  3. Combine the oats, rinsed and drained quinoa, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla. Stir.
  5. Add the nuts (almonds, walnuts or whichever nuts you chose) and the cranberries (or whatever dried fruit you'd like) and fold until incorporated.
  6. Place the peanut butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan on low heat and stir until warmed and melted.
  7. Add into the granola mixture until well-combined.
  8. Pour into baking dish and spread until evenly distributed across the bottom of the dish. Use your hands if necessary to flatten.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top and edges are golden brown, then let cool before cutting. Cut into 8 to 10 bars, depending on the portion size you'd like.
  10. Wrap in parchment paper for easy storage. The bars should stay fresh at room temperature (or in the fridge) for a few days. If you want to keep them longer than that, place in a container or bag and freeze.

Makes approximately 8 to 10 bars