These are delicious and made from shelf stable ingredients. Plus, they are a great way to get your kids to eat wheat germ. Wheat germ is one of the most nutritional products available. It contains 23 nutrients and has more nutrients per ounce than any other vegetable or grain. Wheat germ is very high in protein. It contains around 28 percent protein and has more protein than can be found in most meat products. The human body needs protein in order to repair tissue damage and to help minerals and nutrients reach our cells. You can change up the nuts and dried fruit with anything you have on hand making these really versatile. My boys aren't a big fan of nuts or dried fruit and they ate these like they were cookies. These are a chewy granola bar not a crunchy one.
Serves: 18 bars
Start-to-Finish: 15 minutes
Recipe By: Amber Brunson
2 1/2 cups rice krispies
2 cups rolled oats (can use quick cooking oats)
6 TBSP wheat germ
1/2 cup dried fruit (I did half dried apples and half dried cranberries)
1/2 cup chopped almonds (I did half sunflower seeds and half chopped almonds)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dark Karo
4 TBSP brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional: if you choose to include these please note that they will melt down when you pour in the hot ingredients and will add a chocolate flavor but not solid chocolate chips in the bar)
1. In a large bowl, mix together rice krispies, rolled oats, wheat germ, dried fruit, chopped almonds, and chocolate chips(optional).
2. Over medium heat mix honey, dark Karo, and brown sugar.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Add peanut butter and vanilla.
6. Pour over dry ingredients.
7. Press into a 9 x 13 pan.
8. Allow to cool, cut into bars.
9. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. (They will dry out quickly, 2 days, if they aren't airtight sealed. Individually wrapping makes them an easy grab-n-go option.)
These granola bars hold their shape pretty well and can be cut with cookie cutters into fun shapes for cute party snacks and holiday treats. This little brontosaurus made an appearance at a dinosaur-themed playgroup I hosted. They were a healthy and fun addition to lunch.