Full disclosure: I am a 26-year-old single only child. I have never been trusted to babysit someone else’s children, so it could fairly be said that I am not the most obvious candidate to teach your kid how to cook. When I first started giving Izzy cooking lessons every other week, I stuck to the baking basics, the cakes and cookies my mother first taught me when I was a toddler. (Listen up parents: making cookies is so much more fun than violin lessons or karate). But her parents wanted the classes to be much more than an activity – they wanted me to teach her how to make healthy dishes, and healthy decisions when it came to food, and to eventually start making dinner for the whole family.
I was desperate for guidance and inspiration, so I turned to my friend Kelsey Banfield, The Naptime Chef. We made her zucchini bites and other veggie-oriented dishes. They went over well, but nothing was more loved than these no-bake granola bars, inspired by Food52. Though there’s a good amount of honey to bind everything together, these bars are basically just fruit and nuts – completely gluten-free, and thoroughly delicious.
When Kelsey asked me to contribute a post to her Tales From The Trenches column, I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share with Naptime Chef readers for back-to-school – and I wanted to make sure to share it with you all too! Even if your child’s school is strict about no-nuts on the premises, these bars are a great healthy snack to have around the house, not to mention a fun cooking activity to do together before they start their homework.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Makes 6-8 bars
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup rice krispies
1/4 cup dried apricots, sliced thinly
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1. Toss the first 8 ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
2. In another medium mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and honey. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds until warm and gooey.
3. Pour the nut mixture into the bowl with the peanut butter and stir well until everything is well incorporated and sticking together.
4. Turn into a loaf pan lined with parchment. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the nut mixture and carefully press it into the pan without crushing the crispies. You want to make sure it is even and compact. Cover the whole pan with another layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
5. Remove the parchment paper granola bar bundle to a cutting board. Discard the plastic wrap and cut the granola into 8 or so bars, trimming the edges if you like. Wrap the individual bars in parchment paper to take with you throughout the week, or store in a Tupperware container until ready to eat.