Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
These sweet, satisfying granola bars (which just so happen to be vegan and can be made gluten-free) are as good for breakfast as they are as a mid-afternoon snack.Anna Stockwell

My first priority in developing my granola bar recipe was clear: they must be chewy! I remember unpacking my school lunches as a kid and being bitterly disappointed to see the brittle, powdery granola bars my mom insisted on buying, operating under the impression that a crisp, cardboardy texture equated a healthier snack.

As an adult, after prowling grocery store aisles reading nutrition labels and ingredients, I began to understand my mom's perspective a little more clearly. Many store brand granola bars are nothing more than candy bars in disguise, coated in processed chocolate and laden with refined sugar and trans fats - not exactly what a growing child or health-conscious adult needs.

So how to fulfill a healthy-eating requirement while providing an appealing texture and punch of flavor? I like to think that my version, bursting with fruit and nuts and chewy as can be, is the best of both worlds, making no compromises for the kids (or moms) in all of us.