Energy for a New Baby

My sister welcomed a new baby to her family the other day! It is so much fun to watch our family grow, and it will be fun for Evie to have so many cousins so close to her age. Such joy!

I know the days after bringing a little one home can be exhausting and overwhelming (to say the least!), so to give my sister a little extra energy I whipped up a batch of homemade granola bars. Store-bought granola bars are loaded with junk; almost all of them contain icky high fructose corn syrup, a big no-no in our household. Making them from scratch is really so easy and the results are so tasty. I think I’ll go grab one to get me through the rest of this blog post…

Ina Garten’s recipe is a great place to start. To the below recipe, I also added flax seeds and chopped Hershey kisses, but I think any dried fruit would be divine. Melting peanut butter into the honey/butter mixture would probably be delicious, too. With granola bars, feel free to experiment and have fun – whatever you have in the pantry might be worth a try!!

Ina Garten’s Granola Bars


2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

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