Kids are picky. Husbands can be picky. I was running out of snack ideas too quickly I thought B would love to make these easy homemade granola bars with me, but, he only lasted about two seconds in the kitchen. I guess they were too easy for him to stay interested.
My husband loves granola. I love the store-bought Chewy bars, but I knew I could make something that tasted better and with less unnecessary ingredients. Plus, homemade granola bars are much more filling.
Some of my favorite things about this easy granola bar recipe are:
- 98% of the time, I have all the ingredients in my pantry.
- This recipe takes me under 30 minutes of time in the kitchen.
- These are chewy granola bars that are easy to grab on the go.
- They are super versatile, you can switch out ingredients easily.
- These granola bars make great breakfast treats or a quick bedtime snack.
- My kid ADORES them.
Homemade Granola Bar Ingredients
So, what’s in these delicious homemade granola bars? Like I said earlier, most of the ingredients are pantry staples:
- Rolled oats
- Slivered almonds
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Honey or maple syrup (Sometimes I use both.)
- Light brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Vanilla extract
- Semisweet chocolate (chips, chunks, etc.)
I love how adaptable this homemade granola bar recipe is. My husband loves dried fruit in his granola bars. I don’t.
Sometimes, we want a healthier version.
So we’ll make some changes, like:
- “Healthy” Granola Bar Add-ins:
- Milled flaxseed,
- Dried fruit
- Almond butter
- Pitted dates
- Pumpkin seeds
- “Healthier” Substitutions:
- Coconut oil in place of butter
- Coconut sugar in place of brown sugar
- Honey or maple syrup in place of the brown sugar
- If you plan on doing this, you’ll need to alter the recipe a bit to make sure you’re not adding too much liquid. I would only add 1/8 a cup more honey/maple syrup.
Is this the healthiest recipe in the books? No.
But it does have some components that make me feel good about snacking on the granola bars for the third time today? Yes.
Let’s look at some health benefits to some of the ingredients.
Benefits of Granola Bar Ingredients
Benefits of oats:
Oats contain beta-glucan, which is a type of fiber that decreases your risk of heart attacks by controlling your cholesterol.
Benefits of honey:
Honey has high levels of antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Buckwheat honey, which has a molasses-like flavoring, has a high nutrient profile.
Benefits of dates:
If I’m being honest, and I am, I’m not a huge fan of dates. I’m a texture person. So, if I’m going to eat them, they have to be chopped up and thrown in something, like these granola bars.
But they’re a powerhouse of a food. One study found that women who ate dates late in pregnancy had shorter labor times.
Dates are high in fiber. One three-ounce serving has about 7 grams of fiber.
My little guy is a busy-bee, he’s always on the go, so if I can throw together a snack that doesn’t get him backed up, I’m all in.
How to Make Homemade Granola Bars
Start by preheating your oven to 325°F. Grab a sheet pan and line it with parchment paper.
Spread your rolled oats and almonds on the pan and bake for about 10 minutes, until you start to smell the beautiful aroma of baked almonds, but not burnt almonds.
Pull your sheet pan out of the oven, add your shredded coconut, and continue baking until the coconut and almonds are toasted and the almonds are a golden brown. This typically takes 5-7 minutes longer.
Pour your oat mixture in a large bowl.
If you are adding any dried fruits, this is where you would want to add them.
While your mixture is toasting in the oven, you can combine the honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, cook until the butter is melted and all the sugar has dissolved.
Remove the buttery mixture from the heat and let it cool for ten(ish) minutes. Since we’re adding chocolate chips to this recipe, we want the mixture to be cool enough that the chocolate won’t completely melt.
Pour the butter mixture over your oat mixture and stir until it’s all combine. Fold half the chocolate chips (or chunks) into the mixture.
I like my chocolate chips a little melty, so I usually add them to my granola bar mixture when it’s still a tiny bit warm.
Line a 9×13 pan or baking dish with parchment paper, I usually allow the paper to hang over the sides of the dish a little bit, so I can easily lift them out of the dish.
Pour the mixture into the pan or dish, pushing it down into the dish with a silicone spatula.
Add the remaining chocolate chips to the top of the granola bar mixture.
Let them cool in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Once your granola bars have completely cooled. Remove the block of granola from the pan using the parchment paper and cut them into whatever shape you desire.
I’ve tried to use cookie cutters on these for fun shapes, but haven’t mastered that yet.
That’s it. Enjoy!
Homemade Granola Bar Tips
These simple granola bars will keep at room temperature for about a week. But I doubt they’ll last that long.
Don’t skimp on the refrigeration time. These babies need to stick together, make sure you leave them in the fridge for at least two hours.
Get creative. Switch things up, try adding ingredients you think you’d enjoy–that’s the fun of homemade granola bars, you can add in whatever you like.
We love chocolate chip granola bars, but there are so many variations that you can do, like:
- Swapping out the almonds for pecans and adding some pumpkin spice to our bars in fall.
- Dried apples, walnuts, and a little caramel drizzle make for a delicious treat, too.
More Delicious Recipes
We love to eat these homemade granola bars with a cup of coffee and this homemade coffee creamer.
We’re also big fans of this three ingredient strawberry jam!
Homemade Granola Bars
- Small Pot
- Sheet Pan
- 9×13 baking dish or pan
- Parchment Paper
- 2 Cups Rolled Oats
- 1 Cup Slivered Almonds
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- ½ Cup Honey or Maple Syrup (Or a mixture of both.)
- ¼ Cup Lightly Packed Brown Sugar
- 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ⅓ Cup Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Chunks
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the oats and almonds onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until the almonds are fragrant.
- Remove from the oven, add the coconut, and place back into the oven for another five minutes, or until the coconut is toasted and the almonds are a golden brown color. Pour into a heat resistant dish and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the honey, brown sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla extract. Over medium heat, cook the mixture until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. About five minutes. Stir frequently.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the syrup you've created over the oats mixture.
- Fold in half the chocolate chips/chunks.
- Line a 9-13 inch dish with parchment paper. Use a little extra parchment paper so that you can take the bars out of the dish easily at a later time. Spread the granola mixture into the dish. Using your spatula, press the mixutre down evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips/chunks over the mixure.
- Refrigerate granola bars for at least two hours.
- Once cooled, remove the granola mixture from the dish and cut them into whatever shape you prefer.