My oldest kiddo has peanut allergies. This is a severe allergy. One that could kill him. When we discovered this allergy - just a few weeks before our second kiddo was born - we swept through the house, removing all items with the trace of peanuts. It was rough. Things I never imagined having peanuts had traces. Needless to say, I never bought a granola bar or products made by elves since then.
One of the things he could have was Nutri-grain bars. I bought them. We loved them.
Now, I am trying to stay away from products with ingredients that I can't readily identify or purchase myself. Here is the ingredient list for our favorite bars.
IngredientsCRUST: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN B1 [THIAMIN MONONITRATE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SOYBEAN AND/OR CANOLA OIL, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, DEXTROSE, FRUCTOSE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), FILLING: INVERT SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, STRAWBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, SODIUM ALGINATE, CITRIC ACID, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, METHYLCELLULOSE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, MALIC ACID, RED 40.
Here is my attempt to make a cookie bar like the Nutri-grain bars that we have given up. The recipe is based on one I found on Ree Drummond's website (love her.) These bars are really good. I use my own jam, whatever flavor I want. My oldest likes apple pie jam, I like any berry or apricot. I used strawberry for the pictures (that jar was already opened.)
A plus for those with allergies - there are no eggs in this. You could also make them gluten free, just substitute the all-purpose flour for any other kind of flour that you like. I even made these for the Nursery class that I teach at church (18month to 3year olds) and they approved. Happy day.
Jam Bar Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (not instant or flavored)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups jam (whatever kind you want)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut off 1-2 Tablespoons of butter. Use this to butter a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a food processor, put in the remaining cubed butter, flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Process and pulse in the food processor until it is mixed and will press together.
You can do this by hand if you don't have a food processor. Just cut the butter into the ingredients. I didn't do it this way because I am lazy.
Press half of the oat mixture into the buttered pan.
Spread the jam over the pressed oat mixture.
Sprinkle the other half of the mixture over the top and pat it down.
Bake until light brown, 30-40 minutes. I use the longer time on this one, otherwise I find that they fall apart.
Let the bars cool completely before cutting them. ( I actually like them better the next day.)