Grab-n-Go Breakfast (Granola Bars)

I have a confession to make. I stink at making breakfast for my kids.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I’m totally falling down on the job! I’d say four out of five mornings, I hand them a toaster waffle as they are getting into the car. I never get up early enough to make them something hot, and frankly, we are so rushed in the morning that no one would have time to sit down and eat it anyway. Hello, what a horrible way to start my kids’ day, I know!

I could vow to get up 15 minutes earlier every morning, but honestly, that’s just not going to happen. So, instead, I’ve decided to focus on making healthy grab-n-go breakfasts that give my kids a bit of what they need to rev up their engines, while still being eat-in-the-car-friendly.

So far, I’ve experimented with apple muffins, hard boiled eggs and granola bars (not all on the same day!). The apple muffins were a big hit, but they have a bit too much sugar (2 cups for 18 muffins) for me to feel good about using them as a regular breakfast. The hard boiled eggs are popular with my kids and obviously pack a protein punch… but crumbled yolks make an unholy mess in the car seats.

When it comes to granola bars, my kids love the Quaker ones, but I’m not thrilled with the ingredients for their regular breakfast. The Kashi ones are better for them, but of course not as well liked. Plus my stockpile is running a bit sparse on both brands and you know me, I am loathe to pay full price!

So I went searching online for homemade granola recipes. A little bit of tweaking and here’s what I’ve settled on — a crowd-pleasing, not-to0-expensive recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars.

Grab-n-Go Granola Bars


  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or a bit more if you are using all-natural peanut butter without any added oil)
  • 2 ½ cups quick oats
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal (I used rice Chex cereal, since I have a lot in my stockpile, and broke them into smaller pieces by hand)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 9×13 pan with non-stick spray. Mix all ingredients together and press into pan. Cook for 13-15 minutes until the edges begin to lightly brown and pull away from the pan.

Let pan cool completely, then slice into bars. If you don’t let it cool long enough, the bars will crumble into granola. (Ask me how I know!) The bars can be stored in a glass or Tupperware container for up to 10 days. Don’t refrigerate.

Okay, folks, now it’s your turn to share. What is your favorite breakfast recipe? Must be kosher. Doesn’t hurt if it’s frugal. And it doesn’t have to be grab-n-go, although my oversleeping self would not complain if it was.

**Don’t forget: I am giving away a $10 Target gift card next month to one lucky reader who has shared a recipe on one of my Recipe Exchange posts. Yes, I’m trying to incentivize your participation (okay, okay, fine, I’m bribing you. Whatever!)**


  1. my recipe is cereal in a bowl. add milk. serve. 🙂

  2. I agree with Dara… Cereal. However, yogurt does the trick too sometimes. I always say I’m going to wake up earlier and make eggs or waffles before my husband goes off to work, but the mornings are always hectic. I will post the waffle recipe that I always intend to use. I usually use it for lunch or even dinner since it never makes of to the breakfast table.
    Basic waffles
    2cups flour
    2tablespoons sugar
    1tablespoon sugar
    1tablespoon baking powder
    1/2teaspoon salt
    1 3/4cups milk
    6tablespoons vegetable poil
    2large eggs
    Mix all iongredients until smooth. Let it sit for 5 minutes and pour into waffle maker.
    Yes I have a waffle maker and it’s wonderful!!

    • Yummmm, thanks for sharing Dassie! We’ve got a waffle maker, too – not the electric kind. I try to make extra, but we are such piggies, we always end up eating them before I can freeze ’em! I am so craving some waffles now!

  3. Oops the extra 1 tablespoon sugar was a typo.
    Also, these freeze really well.

  4. Frittata – Muffin or otherwise


    6 Eggs (I’ve used egg substitute before and it is still really good)
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper
    1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or any other kind you like)
    3/4 cup chopped zucchini
    1/4 cup red bell pepper
    2 TB chopped red onion


    HEAT oven to 350°F. BEAT eggs, milk, salt and pepper in medium bowl until blended.ADD cheese, zucchini, bell pepper and onion; mix well. SPOON evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, about 1/4 cup each.
    BAKE in 350°F oven until just set, 20 to 22 minutes. COOL on rack 5 minutes. REMOVE from cups; serve warm.

    You can also pour this into a 9″ pie plate and cook for 30 minutes.

    The combinations between cheese and veggies are endless! Mozz with tomatoes and basil. Red and green peppers with a spicy cheese.

    Great for breakfast, brunch or an EASY dinner.


  5. Hey Mara,

    Quick question about the Granola Bars (they sound delicious and EASY). You have a comment about using more if you use all natural peanut butter, but there is no peanut butter in the ingredients list. Is this an option? I was confused. I am easily confused these days 😉



    • Thanks, good catch! I’ve edited the recipe to INCLUDE the peanut butter. Sheesh, I guess this is why I shouldn’t be writing posts at 2 in the morning. 😉

  6. This is so what I needed.
    We have to leave so early in the morning that I dont want to wake the kids up even earlier and we end up eating breakfast in the car. I usually just give them a sandwich or cereal, but I also feel like I’m some how failing them.

  7. i make pancakes in bulk and freeze them. then put them in the toaster or microwave before the kids start getting dressed for their day so they are ready by the time we make it to the table. we’ll eat ‘pancake sandwiches’ with peanut butter or cream cheese, which are easy to bring in the car if need be.

    here is another recipe i found recently, (just nix the bacon part of it). it also freezes well.

    • I’m fascinated by these biscuit cups. I bet I could even get some of that soy bacon stuff from Morningstar. I like the pancake sandwich idea… the kids would love that, especially if I add some Nutella to the mix!

  8. here is my recipe for zucchini muffins. I make a double batch (about 4 dozen) at a time and freeze them. 15 seconds or so in the microwave, or about 15 minutes on the counter and you’ve got perfect muffins.

    Zucchini Muffins
    3 eggs
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
    2½ cups sugar—I use less, probably 2 cups…maybe even less
    2 cups grated raw zucchini (I probably use more)
    2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    3 cups flour*
    1 cup chopped walnuts optional
    1 tsp. baking soda

    Beat eggs till foamy

    Beat in oil and applesauce, add sugar

    Add zucchini, cinnamon, salt baking soda, baking powder – mix well
    Gradually blend flour. Mix well after each addition.

    Pour into 2 greased loaf pans or prepared muffin tins

    Bake 50 minutes at 350. if you are making muffins they take about 20 minutes.

    Cool 10 minutes, loosen edges, shake loose.

    *I’ve started experimenting with using some whole wheat flour. so far I’m up to about 1/2 cup in a double batch (so 1/4 cup in a single) I’m always afraid of replacing too much and ending up with hockey pucks. so far I haven’t had any complaints.

    • oh, I leave out the walnuts…my kids hate them.

      also, when we make waffles we freeze them. another great breakfast on the go

    • I bought zucchini two days ago to make these. Yay! Thank you for sharing. I’ve got a great zucchini bread recipe but for whatever reason it doesn’t translate into muffins. I also got mini muffin tins, so I can give them two for breakfast. (Why does two mini seem like more than 1 big?) Thanks for sharing, Amy!

  9. Got this recipe from my sister, and I love it!

    Breakfast bars
    1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup orange juice
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 egg — lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    6 ounces diced dried mixed fruit
    2 tablespoons oats
    Combine 1 1/2 cups oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, soda and salt. Combine juice, oil, egg and vanilla and add to dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in fruit. Spread into a 13×9 inch pan that has been sprayed with no-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining oats. Bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes or until lightly browned and edges pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. (Bars may also be frozen in individual bags. Thaw at room temperature or microwave on high for 30 seconds per bar.) Makes 20 bars.

    I use frozen fruit or raisins instead of dried fruit. If you use frozen you need to freeze or east sooner since the fruit gets bad. these are super yummy!

    • Wow, I never would have thought to use frozen fruit – interesting! These sound yummy, I’ll add them to my rotation once we finish the peanut butter ones!

  10. the breakfast bars sound like a great idea!

    In our house breakfast is the real loser — the most important meal of the day! My kids are not usually hungry in the morning and I hate to make them eat when I’m not home.

    Spirutein protein powder with milk is a yummy and healthy and super-quick breakfast. Careful, though, not all flavors are kosher.

    A friend of mine makes a sweet, cheesy breakfast kugel for her kids. Mine don’t like it but hers have been eating it for years. I don’t have the recipe handy though.

    I just found this blog recently and I am loving it!

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