Cranberry Almond Granola Bars {and a Road Trip}

Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars | The Law Student's Wife

ROOOAD TRIP!

Load up the iPod, the trunk, and the snack baggies, because we’ve got 10 hours of snowy highway ahead. Climb in the back seat and join Ben and me for the ride.

Ben is driving. Ben is, objectively, a better driver than I am. I’d categorize Ben as Actually Above Average and myself as Below Average; Lives Not Yet Endangered. Also, when Ben’s not driving, he insists on commenting on mine, which occasionally tempts me to rear-end the person in front of me, just to spite him. Not hard or anything—just a love tap.

Erin is eating. My favorite road trip activity. Something about driving through the Midwest gives me a chronic case of the munchies. Perhaps it’s the rolling plains, soft country scenery, or…oh, wait we haven’t even made it out of Madison yet.

Cranberry Almond Granola Bars | The Law Student's Wife

We are late. This is my fault. I’m not even going to pretend it’s not. What is it that I muse about while brushing my teeth that captivates me for six-minute intervals? Why do I not remember to pack underwear until we’re three miles from home?

Coffee stop. Mandatory. I didn’t have time to brew at home (see above), and even schedule-conscious Ben won’t risk my pre-coffee, gremlin-like attitude.

Let’s jam. Michael Bublé Christmas anyone? The N*Sync (Holiday) Pandora station is also a stellar option.

Let’s iPod. You are riding with Nerd Couple Número Uno. We have every NPR podcast that aired in the past five weeks queued up and ready to play. Would you care for Planet Money? Or are you a Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! kind of crowd?

Wait Wait

Let’s chow. Here’s what we are munching this road trip.

And by we I mean me. Ben’s level of self-control over senseless snacking is positively infuriating.

  • Chocolate Covered Pretzels: Dipped a monster batch last weekend while visiting friend in Chicago, with the honorable intention of bringing them home to share with my family. Ha. On the drive back to Madison, my hand was fishing for them in the back seat by the second red light; by the Rockford exit, I was left with only 15% of the original batch and shame. I’m an optimist, so I’m giving that remaining 15% until 9:45 a.m. today to survive (we left at 8:30).

Pretzels

  • Sun Chips: Because we have 50-million bags at home, and because we are “that” couple who will bring their own chips into a Subway, our predestined road-trip lunch stop.
  • Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies: These buttery, toffee-stuffed, white-chocolate-dipped wonders are NOT supposed to be within two feet of me; they belong in Milwaukee with Ben’s parents. The 15 inches of snow that pounded Madison and much of the Midwest on Thursday, however, thwarted our pre-Christmas plan to deliver them, leaving me with the Sisyphean task of resisting these goodies for the next 10 hours. Looks like we will be “that” couple who brings both their own chips AND their own cookies into Subway.

Kitchen Sink Cookies

  • CRANBERRY ALMOND GRANOLA BARS {Healthy!}: Baked during our “Snow Day” at home as a nutritious alternative to all of the above.

Cranberry Almond Granola Bars are taste-good, feel-good food. Tart cranberries, toasted almonds, and a heavy hand of vanilla combine with whole-grains to create a super-food-studded snack. Eggs act as the primary binder, so Cranberry Almond Granola Bars are lighter in the oil-and-sugar department than many granola bar recipes.

Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars | The Law Student's Wife

The Quaker should be afraid, very afraid: We are putting his Chewy bars to shame.

Speaking of chewy, Cranberry Almond Granola Bars are just that—soft and chewy. The addition of whole grain cereal adds a contrasting crunch for a more complex, satisfying texture. Also, the simple, unattended step of oven toasting the grains and almonds first enhances their flavor.

Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars | The Law Student's Wife

You are going to love these Cranberry Almond Granola Bars, because they are healthy, tasty, and you probably have everything you need to make them in your pantry right now. Swap whatever dried fruit/nut/spice combos you prefer, and pat yourself on the back for whipping up a wholesome, unprocessed snack. You may never buy another granola bar again.

Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars | The Law Student's Wife

Let’s leave the chocolate, the chips, and the cookies quietly in the back seat and enjoy these healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars, shall we?

Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars | The Law Student's Wife

At least until 10 a.m

Thanks for joining us for the ride. Wichita, here we come!

Wishing you all a very happy holiday! See you on the other side.
Love from the road,
Erin, The Law Student’s Wife (and Ben too!)

Cranberry Almond Granola Bars

A simple, healthy granola bar recipe. Feel free to swap the cranberries and almonds for your favorite dried fruit and nut combinations and add up to 1 teaspoon of desired spices. Some ideas: Dried apples, walnuts, and raisins; apricots and pecans; dried pineapple and coconut.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal, — puffed millet, high-fiber cereal mix (I used Kashi Go Lean), crushed pretzel sticks, or any other crispy grain or cereal
  • 1/3 cup almonds, — sliced or coarsely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed — optional
  • 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving extra hanging off of the sides. Coat with cooking spray.
  2. Spread oats, cereal, and almonds on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned, stirring once half-way through. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk egg, egg white, sugar, oil, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and flax seed (if using). Stir in toasted oat mixture and whole-wheat flour. Fold in cranberries. Pour into prepared pan and lightly press with the back of a spatula to flatten.
  4. Bake bars until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Using parchment paper or foil to lift out the bars and transfer to a rack to cool completely. With a lightly oiled knife, cut into 12 sections.

Recipe Notes

Storage Tip: Store bars in an airtight container for up to a week or wrap individually in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 1 month.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberry Almond Granola Bars, Healthy Granola Bars Recipe

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

25 comments

  1. I LOVE road trips! So overdue for one! And these granola bars would be the perfect snack; I just know it.

  2. I totally support your choice of road trip music. Michael Buble’s Christmas album is amazing. These granola bars look pretty darn good too!

  3. Yum! I love recipes for granola bars, well done! Site is looking amazing! Keep it up! :-) Happy Holidays to you and Ben! XO!

  4. While I wouldn’t really relish a 10 hour drive, particularly in the snow, I’ be happy to partake in a few of those treats!!! The granola bar in particular has caught my eye.
    I know what you mean about driving!! I leave ALL the driving to my ex-fighter pilot/instructor husband. He tends to critique each and every move I make, hence… I think he should just do it himself. As my 16 year old son is now on the cusp of his drivers license, I hope that someday I will be able to relax in the passenger seat as he drives, however, I’m not there yet. I’m hoping that the good driving gene is just taking it’s time and that it will be like his fathers.
    I’m thrilled to have met you this year, Erin! Thank you so much for reaching out to us, I’m eager to follow your travels and adventures into the New Year!! Wishing you a safe drive and a wonderful holiday!
    Kim

    • Hi Kim,
      It certainly sounds like you can empathize with the life of being with a passenger-seat driver, lol! Thank you so much for your kind words. It was wonderful to meet you this year as well. Have a wonderful, warm holiday with family and friends!
      Cheers,
      Erin

  5. I just love your writing…makes me laugh! I love road trips and must have a ton of food!!! and caffeine…glad you guys made it out from our blizzard -wowzer…safe travels

    • Thanks so much Angela! I definitely treated myself to a gas station “cappuccino”…or two. Have a very happy holiday with your family and friends!!

  6. These are some pretty awesome snacks for a road trip! Hope you guys had fun and that you are enjoying the holidays. Happy New Year!

  7. I have some pretzels and wasn’t sure what to do with them…I think dunking them in chocolate is the BEST idea I’ve heard all day. Happy 2013!

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  9. Stumbled across your recipe and was pleasantly surprised to find you’re in Madison too! I wish I had been as productive on my Snowpocalypse Day. :)
    Totally adding these ingredients to my shopping list for tonight.

    • Hey Krista! So exciting to hear from a fellow Mad-town resident. If you have any favorite local haunts, you’ll have to let me know–I’m always looking for new local places to explore!
      And I say Snowpacalypse days should be enjoyed in whatever manner you choose. Believe me: there was plenty of netflix watching around our apartment :)

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  11. I’ve been looking for a recipe for granola bars to bring along on my looooong bike rides. Will give these a try!

    • Hi Wendy! I’m so happy you found this recipe. I hope you love the taste and that they give you the boost you need during your rides. Thanks for giving them a shot and enjoy every bite! :)

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