This weekend, why not celebrate Earth Day by doing something good for your community? I'm heading to the beach for a local cleanup organized by a friend, and I plan on surprising the other volunteers with a picnic lunch. Hearty turkey sandwiches and healthy asparagus and mushroom salad are on the menu. To keep up with the figure-friendly theme, I"ll offer homemade chocolate chip granola bars for dessert. They're low in fat, but thanks to honey and vanilla extract, high in flavor. The addition of chocolate chips makes them just a little decadent. These bars are great for any picnic or school lunch, so check out the recipe now.

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars


  1. 4 cups of quick cooking oats
  2. 1/3 cup canola oil
  3. 2/3 cup honey
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  6. 1 cup chopped organic nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread oats on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Allow oats to cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cooled oats. Spread mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed or oiled, pressing down hard to compact it.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Makes 16 bars.

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