Work-at-home mom time-saving recipe for homemade no-bake granola bars

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I’m not much of a homemaker. I’ve been pretty honest about that from the start. My husband does tons of the household grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. I certainly couldn’t be a work-at-home mom without him.

But I know better than anyone what my toddler likes to eat. And no matter how much of a food strike he is on, how grumpy or tired he is, he will eat a Quaker Chewie Granola Bar. I know they won’t hurt him every once in a while when we feed it to him when we’re out and about and just need to calm him from being hangry. But I also know that when I read the nutrition label, I don’t feel like mom of the year.

And yet, heaven knows I’m not one of those crunchy granola moms who makes her own baby wipes, composts everything and buys all organic foods. Yikes, I don’t even do one of those things.

So how can work-at-home moms provide a healthy snack for their little ones while on the go without sacrificing precious work time to make the food? This no-bake granola bar recipe will be a new favorite for your household and will nourish both you and your little ones.

Homemade no-bake granola bars

Using just five ingredients, you can pop these granola bars in your fridge within about 15 minutes and slice them up after they chill for 30 minutes. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of pitted and mashed dates (After pitting the dates, I just put mine in the blender for about a minute to turn them into a paste)
  • 1 ½ cup of oats
  • 1 cup of crushed nuts (I used almonds) or dried cranberries (I used ¾ cup of crushed almonds and ¼ cup of cranberries to add the optimal amount of protein and healthy fats without sacrificing the antioxidant effect of cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter (you could use any nut butter of choice though)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional, but if you opt to exclude the honey, add more peanut butter to help your bars stick together)

Preparation

  1. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper
  2. Mix the dates, oats, nuts/cranberries in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter and honey and place it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir your peanut butter/honey mix again and then pour it over your other ingredients
  5. Be sure to blend the contents well so that all the oats and dates are well incorporated.
  6. Pour the mix into the lined 8×8 pan and press it down firmly. The more firm you are in pressing it in, the better your granola bars will hold together for little hands to enjoy!
  7. Place the pan in the fridge for a half-hour and then remove and slice into 12 bars.

How can work-at-home moms find time to cook?

Finding time to cook is tough when there’s so much to do as a business owner and as a stay-at-home mom. For me, I try to do meal prep on the weekends after we eat brunch. There are already plenty of dishes to clean. I’d rather blow up the kitchen with dirty dishes once then pause to clean multiple times per day.

After we get up from the brunch table on Sunday, I make a dozen scrambled eggs for me and my son to enjoy all week long for breakfast. It’s better than cleaning a pan each day. Then I make any sides, snacks or lunch items for the week.

My husband cooks dinner three times a week and we have leftovers the other three nights. On Fridays, we hit up a happy hour so that no one has to cook!

And when all of my clean-up and cooking is done for the week, I restock diapers and wipes throughout the house and in my diaper bag. Then I check on the status of laundry to avoid distractions or interruptions from that household chore during working hours Monday through Friday.

Sneak Peek: I got the dates from a subscription I’m trying out with Misfits Market. More on that Monday so watch the blog!

You can find the time to make a healthy recipe. Be sure to check out some of our other recipes on the blog to get even more ideas. And, never miss a recipe by subscribing to our newsletter!

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