Monday, October 21, 2013

Homemade (NUT-FREE) Granola Bars...(And The Story Of An Unknown Peanut Allergy)

 I started this blog to share my cake and cookie decorating journey...but as time has gone by, I've started enjoying sharing some of my favorite recipes with you as well.
 This recipe is the result of a personal story within our family.

I don't usually share too much about my family on my baking blog, I save that for my personal family blog...but there's a story behind these granola bars.
My oldest son has always struggled with severe eczema and hives and after 17 years (and no relief), someone suggested allergy testing to see if his eczema and hives were food related.  Well, we went through allergy testing and unfortunately none of the answers we received helped his eczema and hives, HOWEVER...we found out that he is allergic to peanuts, Brazil nuts, and pistachios.  He has eaten peanuts and peanut butter his entire life and never had an allergic reaction.  But our allergist said that just because he hasn't had a reaction YET, doesn't mean he won't ever get one.  So we are now to avoid peanuts and keep an Epi-Pen in our home.  Try telling a teenager, who's never had a problem eating peanuts his whole life, that now he can't have them.  He's not very happy about it...but he humors me.  I told him, "I know you've never had a reaction, but that doesn't mean you won't some day, and I couldn't bear living with myself if I allowed you to have peanuts and something happened to you."  

When he requested granola bars at the store the other day and I found out that most of them DO either HAVE peanuts/tree nuts or are made in a facility that does have scared me a little.  SO...I thought, "How hard could it be to make homemade granola bars?"  So I came home and did a little research online.  By finding various recipes online, I added and subtracted ingredients and came up with one that suited our family's needs.  So, if you or someone you know has a nut allergy, you can make your own homemade granola bars and not miss out!  I have to say, these are pretty good too!  Even my teenage son (whom is very picky) gave them his stamp of approval.   Feel free to edit them to fit your family's needs or tastes.  If you like them crunchier, add less honey/oil.  If you like them chewier, add more honey/oil.  If you like fruit, try raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or dried blueberries!  You could do a S'mores version by adding mini marshmallows!  The possibilities are endless!  I'm not one of those people who gets all bent out of shape over people doing what they want with my recipes.  
Share it, change it, do what you want!
Most of all enjoy it!
2 1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. crisp rice cereal
1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, together.  Stir well, incorporating wet and dry ingredients.  Take your time and let the dry ingredients really soaks up the wet ingredients.  Once it is thoroughly mixed, add chocolate chips.
Spray a 9X13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread mixture into pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool.  This part takes some time.  It must be thoroughly cooled, as this allows the granola to firm up.  If you cut it too soon, depending on how dry/moist you made could end up with a dry crumbly mess, or a moist sticky glob.  WAIT until the bars firm will be worth it!  I promise!
Once thoroughly cool, cut into squares or bars and enjoy!


  1. Hi Melody. Thanks for linking up your delicious Homemade Granola Bars to the Sweet Wednesday Link Party! I'm sorry about your son's allergy to 3 different nuts, but glad you came up with these bars for him. Hope your having a wonderful week!


    1. Thanks Heather! I really enjoy your link-up parties! It's so much fun seeing all of the other recipes/crafts out there and discovering new blogs! :)

    2. Melody,
      You won't believe this but you're in my top 5 again! I was surprised when I checked my stats for last week's party and your granola bars were one of them!

      Congrats and please keep bringing us your great recipes!


  2. Melody, these look so good! I remember when you made them originally. Cooking with food issues can be a challenge, but it is so rewarding once you figure out how to make something for your kids. And yum!

    Thanks for linking up at Fulfilled Fridays on Living in Green Grass. Have a great weekend!