No bake granola bites (our favorite snack food)

I have two active, crazy little boys, and they are constantly hungry! We have a pretty set eating schedule at our house that involves three meals and two snacks per day, and while we’re not perfect at keeping to this, I try to maintain it because they eat better meals when they haven’t been munching goldfish crackers and pretzels all day. But, if I’m going to require them to wait to eat until our designated times, I feel like it’s important to make sure that their meals, and especially snacks, are filling enough to satisfy their hunger for at least 2 hours. Goldfish and fruit snacks just don’t cut it. So, what to feed them?

Enter…No Bake Granola Bites. I originally found this idea over at my favorite food blog: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (seriously, my husband knows her by name, and her blog is my go-to for yummy, from-scratch, family-friendly meals…I should really be her poster child or something). Anyway, since I found this recipe two years ago, I’ve made it over and over again, tweaking it along the way according to our tastes and what ingredients I’ve had on hand at the time. Both of my boys love them, and I may have been caught more than once sneaking an extra bite from the fridge, too. They’re great because they are full of healthy things, and they keep in the fridge (or freezer) for quite awhile. It’s a perfect snack for making a big batch, freezing extras, and then thawing smaller batches as needed.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies…I’ve also used 1/2  puffed wheat cereal before, too)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (mini really do work better than regular, but I’ve used regular ones, too)
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons coconut oil (I finally tried this for the first time last week when I made these. Honestly, I didn’t notice a huge difference between using it or not)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, gently.
  2. Use a small cookie scoop to form balls (you have to smush them together a bit) and then line them up on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. They don’t have to be perfect balls. Mine are usually more like semi circles (just because that’s the shape of the scoop).
  3. Try not to handle them too much once they’re shaped or they may crumble.
  4. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. (*This step is super important! Once chilled, they hold together much better and are easier to handle and eat).
  5. Serve at will! (or store in the freezer or refrigerator. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week or for a few months in the freezer. I just keep mine in the fridge and pull them out for snacks as needed.)

These little beauties have been a great addition to our snack rotation. Hopefully you enjoy them, too!

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