Local dietitian breaks down granola bar choices, shares recipe

CLEVELAND, Oh -- With so many different kinds of granola bars on the market, how do you know which product is the right choice for you or your family?

Lindsay Bailey is a dietitian with Akron Children's Hospital and she explained to Fox 8's Stacey Frey what you are really getting in different brands. Lindsay also shared her own personal recipe for homemade granola which is big on flavor and very easy to make.

Click here to learn more about Akron Children Hospital's Lindsey Bailey.

Chewy Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars

Prep Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes    Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, and spread oats, nuts, and flax seeds out in an even layer (they can be mixed). Bake for 5-6 minutes, tossing/stirring twice, until the oats to just start to brown.
  3. In a small sauce pan, heat honey, coconut oil, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir for 3-4 minutes, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat, stir in vanilla extract, and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together crispy rice cereal, raisins, cinnamon, salt and toasted oat mixture. Pour in the honey mixture and stir until everything is well coated.
  5. Press everything into prepared 9x9 inch baking dish. Use a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper to press down on granola to pack it down evenly into baking dish.
  6. Place baking dish in refrigerator to chill for at least an hour before removing to cut into bars. To cut into bars, cut 9x9 square in half down the middle, and then cut nine 1-inch bars on each side.
  7. Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap or store in snack baggies to eat on the go.

Note: to lower sugar content further, make sure raisins are no sugar added and replace brown sugar with Splenda brown sugar blends.

Nutrition information: (completed using MyFitness Pal App)
Serving size: 1 bar
Calories: 150
Total fat: 6.6 grams
Saturated fat: 0.7 grams
Polyunsaturated fat: 2 grams
Trans fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 23 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugars: 10 grams
Protein: 3 grams