Well, I started to see a box full of granola bars as a box full of trash with a little granola thrown in. And I got to thinking. How hard could it be to make my own granola bars? That would probably be cheaper and for sure produce way less trash. Then I remembered my trusty Super Baby Foods book by Ruth Yaron.
What follows is a variation of her recipe for Granola Balls.
1 1/2 cup rolled oats (oatmeal)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground nuts (I use peanut butter)
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup melted butter or oil
5 tablespoons honey
1 beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped (normally I use raisins or cranberries, but this time I must have been feeling tropical because I used dried mango and a handful of coconut)
optional: 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, or 1/4 cup Grape Nuts cereal for crunch
Mix all this in a medium bowl. Add more honey to moisten or more oats to dry, if necessary. Press into an 8 x 8 glass pan or pie plate.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
I was feeling very virtuous about the trash-free aspect of these granola bars until I realized that I'm covering the dish with plastic wrap. Hmm. Next batch I'll cover with a plate.
Anyone want to join my Trash-Free Lunch Campaign?
Update: we like these granola bars so much that I make a double batch in a 9 x 13 inch pan, keep it in the fridge, and snack off of it all week!