My school-safe allergy friendly cranberry granola bars are Top 10 Allergen Free! You can easily adapt the flavouring by substituting the cranberries for your favourite dried fruit or even some yummy vegan chocolate chips. Anything goes with granola and this simple recipe takes just a few minutes to prepare. Easy vegan option available as well.
Why I Made This Recipe
I honestly love granola bars – they are my go-to snack during the day when I’m on the go or at work and need a quick bite to eat. Our kids love them as well and they are the perfect treat to pack in school lunchboxes and for road trips. As someone with multiple food allergies, it can be hard to find a safe store-bought alternative that ticks all the boxes so this recipe definitely fits the bill.
Why You Should Make These
If you’re looking for a school safe snack to send with your kids lunches that is packed with flavour, this is the recipe for you. These cranberry granola bars are free from the 10 priority allergens listed by Health Canada which also makes them school safe in Canada. That being said, please check with your local school board if you are unsure whether homemade baked goods are allowed to be sent in with your child.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This is a dairy, gluten, soy, egg and tree nut free recipe. As I am using honey to bind the granola, the granola bars are not vegan. For an easy vegan option, continue reading below and check out my FAQ for more recipe recommendations.
Dry Ingredients (pictured above)
Coconut Flour and Toasted Coconut: This recipe uses coconut which despite some confusion from its name is not a tree nut and as such is not included in the top 10 priority allergens guide in Canada. Read more about tree nuts on the Food Allergy Canada website here. Coconut is generally not included on the ‘banned food list’ in schools as well. However, if you can not eat coconut, you can substitute ithe coconut flour with cassava flour or brown rice flour and omit the toasted coconut.
Rolled oats (not in photo): these form the base for the granola. I do not recommend using quick oats.
Brown sugar: I love the caramel undertone that brown sugar adds to the granola. Sub with white sugar if you prefer a cleaner sweet taste.
Dried cranberries: our fruit of choice for granola but you can sub with any other dried fruit or even chocolate chips if you prefer.
Sea salt: this helps to enhance all of the wonderful flavours and also cut back on some of the sweetness.
Wet Ingredients (not in photo)
Canola oil: this helps as part of the binding agent for the granola. Use vegetable if you prefer. I tend not to use olive oil in my granola due to its stronger flavour.
Honey: the honey adds the sticky sweetness. To veganise this recipe, sub with maple syrup.
Vanilla extract: I find that this just helps to elevate the flavour of the granola. You can use vanilla bean paste if you prefer. Experiment with different extract flavours to suit your tastebuds.
How to Make Cranberry Granola Bars
First things first, let’s preheat our oven to 330F (165C) and line a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. This will make it easier to remove the granola once it has baked.
In a large mixing bowl, add 350 grams of rolled oats, 40 grams of coconut flour, 50 grams of toasted coconut, 65 grams of brown sugar, 150 grams of dried cranberries and one teaspoon of sea salt.
Stir everything together to combine it and make sure that everything is evenly distributed. You also want to break up any bits of brown sugar as well. Top Tip – if your brown sugar has firmed up in your pantry, pop some of it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up and it will break up much easier.
Next, we’re going to mix our wet ingredients together which will help bind the granola bars together. In a small bowl add half a cup of canola oil, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and half a cup of honey. Remember that you can substitute honey with maple syrup if you prefer. Whisk everything together to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
And then finally stir everything together with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine. The granola comes together really quickly. I often get the kids to help with the mixing stage as they like to get involved with making their school snacks.
Let’s get ready to bake
Pour the granola onto the prepared baking pan.
Shape and flatten the granola into a rectangle that is about an inch thick. The thickness of the granola will ensure that it stays nice and chewy in the centre once it’s baked. I used a spatula to help straighten up the edges as well, as you can see below. Bake the granola for 40 minutes at 330 degrees and when it comes out of the oven, it will be nicely toasted and browned a little bit on the edges as well.
Now I know that you’ll want to try it right away and they do taste so good when they are warm. But trust me, it is much easier to cut it up into bars if you let the granola cool first.
Allergy Friendly Cranberry Granola Bars
And there we go. Cut them up into bite-size snacks and you are ready to eat!
Store these allergy friendly cranberry granola bars in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. And then when you try them, tell me how much nicer they are than the store bought alternatives. I just know that you’re going to love these.
Absolutely. If you are not gluten intolerant you can use all-purpose flour instead.
Although there are no eggs in this recipe, it does use honey which is not considered vegan as it is made by bees. I often use maple syrup with this recipe when I don’t have enough honey and it works perfectly.
I recommend cutting up all of the granola as soon as it has cooled and storing it in an airtight container such as an oversized mason jar. There is no need to refrigerate it.
Coconut is a controversial ingredient in the allergy world as it is not considered a tree nut and therefore not classified as a top allergen. That being said, many people can not tolerate coconut. Check out my Ingredients and Substitution section for my recommendations if you need to omit the coconut.
This recipe will make approx 24 bars, depending on the size that you cut them. I like to keep them small to fit in my kids’ lunch boxes.
Looking for more small treats?
Check out my other school safe and mini treat snacks below:
- My mini chocolate donuts are always a hit (vegan)
- Recreate an allergy safe version of rice krispie treats (dairy free)
- How about my easy to make air fryer churro bites (vegan)
Allergy Friendly Cranberry Granola Bars
- 350 grams Rolled Oats
- 40 grams Coconut Flour (see note)
- 50 grams Toasted Coconut
- 65 grams Brown Sugar
- 150 grams Dried Cranberries
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Cup Canola Oil
- 1/2 Cup Honey (see note)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat your oven to 330F (165C) and line a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. This will make it easier to remove the granola once it has baked.
To Make the Granola Bars
- In a large mixing bowl, add 350 grams of rolled oats, 40 grams of coconut flour, 50 grams of toasted coconut, 65 grams of brown sugar, 150 grams of dried cranberries and one teaspoon of sea salt. Stir together to combine.
- In a small bowl add half a cup of canola oil, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and half a cup of honey. To veganise this recipe. you can substitute honey with maple syrup if you prefer. Whisk everything together to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients and mix together.
- Add the granola mixture to the lined baking pan and shape in to a rectangle, about 1 inch in thickness (this helps retain a chewy centre once baked).
- Bake for 40 minutes until lightly toasted. Allow to cool before cutting in to bite sized bars.
- This recipe makes at least 24 bite sized bars, depending on the size that you cut.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 weeks. No need to refrigerate.
- To veganise this recipe, use maple syrup instead of the honey (same quantity).
- Coconut is not considered a tree nut and as such is not included in the Top 10 Priority Allergens list in Canada. If you can not tolerate coconut, omit the toasted coconut and sub the coconut flour with all purpose (if you are not gluten intolerant) or use brown rice flour. See the full recipe post for further details.
- Nutrition information is based on 1 bar per serving with approximately 24 servings per recipe. Please note that nutrition information is calculated based on the ingredients in this recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons