Easy Homemade Granola Bars
Updated 31st August 2023
These versatile, delicious super chewy granola bars are my go to recipe for homemade ones. They are delicious and easy to make with basic pantry ingredients. They are also no bake granola bars. They can pass as a quick breakfast, and they make a perfect grab and go healthy snack. They are also the perfect snack or just the right fuel you might need for a pre or post workout, a great lunchbox addition or afternoon treat! Of course it’s always easier to buy a box of granola bar but making them is always better and more fun - you get to chose what goes in them and customize them to taste!
Easy Homemade Granola Bars Ingredients
These Healthy granola bars (or healthy’ish) are loaded with your favourite add ins including fiber and nutrition - customize them to your liking - the combinations are endless. Here is a breakdown of what you will need:
- OATS: I use old fashion rolled oats or quick oats too just not the instant oatmeal kind - and I chose gluten-free oats. Quick oats are a little more tender versus rolled oats that are thicker and have a bit more crunch or chew. For a finer texture, you can blend or pulse the rolled oats in the food processor a few times to slightly chop them up a bit or leave as is.
- BROWN SUGAR: Brown sugar is great for adding sweetness and gives the bars a caramelized flavour as well - feel free to swap it out for coconut sugar if you wish
- HONEY: Honey not only sweetens and adds flavour but it’s also sticky and binds the ingredients together. I prefer it to maple syrup in this recipe but if you are keeping things vegan its a good option or you can even swap it out for peanut butter or almond butter or any nut butter or even sunflower seed butter. Some recipes call for using mashed banana but I have not tested recipe with bananas so I can’t confirm if they will work.
- BUTTER: This helps bind everything together and of course adds loads of flavour - I don’t recommend making them without the butter. I have not tested them with coconut oil. SALT: For flavor - if you would like to add some extra flavor or spice feel free to add a pinch of cinnamon too
- VANILLA: I love to add a touch for flavour - feel free to use a little almond extract for a variation if you would like or a blend of the two of them
- ADD INS: My staple combo includes almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, dried fruit and mini chocolate chips the options are endless and there are more options in the next paragraph. Basically you have ½ cup of dry add ins and ½ cup of softer add ins like dried fruit and chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
- SHREDDED COCONUT: It is not only a great add in for flavour but also adds texture - I use unsweetened always
What can I add to my granola bars?
This super easy Granola Bar Recipe can be customized with your favorite add-ins. I love mine full of almonds and chocolate chips. If you wanted to go NUT FREE feel free to use sunflower seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds and for that extra bit of crunch in your bars or even puffed cereal like Rice Krispies. When it comes to dried fruit I love the tangy sweetness that dried cranberries add but feel free to use raisins, dried cherries, apricots and even chopped dried figs or dates. Other nuts to use include peanuts, chia seeds, pistachios, cashews, pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts. The possibilities are endless — all you need to know is the base. The staple ingredients that stay consistent are the oats, butter, honey and brown sugar. I often use maple syrup for honey or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar but other than that, those three things stay consistent. The HONEY and SUGAR not only provide sweetness but together with the BUTTER are the glue that holds everything together. Chocolate chips or chunks are also a great option - totally a must in my books. If you would like to add some extra protein feel free to stir in a little protein powder or collagen powder a tablespoon at a time into these little guys
How to make granola bars
Skip the store-bought ones and opt for making your own granola bars. They are more delicious and couldn’t be easier to make. Here is how easy they are to make:
- TOAST your oats and nuts or seeds for a few minutes. This is option but adds so much flavour
- MELT butter, sugar and honey
- STIR wet ingredients into the oat mixture
- FOLD in the rest of the add ins and transfer mixture to prepared pan
- PRESS mixture firmly into a lined square baking pan. That’s the critical part. Take a minute and really press all the ingredients into the pan firmly.
- CHILL 1-2 hours in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer until set
- SLICE and enjoy!
Tips For Making These No Bake Homemade Granola Bars
- Keep the staple ingredient ratios and amounts the same (honey, butter, sugar oats and add ins) so that your bars are the best flavour and texture and do not fall apart
- Take the time to press firmly on the mixture when its in the pan to ensure all ingredients basically are sticking firmly together - so they don’t fall apart easily when sliced
- Rough chop large nuts or dried fruit - whole nuts and whole pieces of dried fruit - like dried mango or dried apricots are harder to slice through when slicing bars and could potentially cause them to break apart
- Because these homemade granola bars are no bake its important to chill them for the allotted time so that they set properly and are easier to slice uniformly
- Use a sharp knife to slice through the bars - I don’t like using a serrated one but a heavy duty sharp one to slice through them evenly
- For best texture as they are no bake bars, its best to store the granola bars in the fridge
How To Store And Freeze These Homemade Granola Bars?
- STORAGE: Bars are best kept chilled in the fridge in an airtight container for 7-10 days. Feel free to wrap them up individually in parchment paper or just use sheets of it to separate the bars for easy access and prevent them from sticking together. They can be left at room temperature for a few days but they will get very soft. They don’t do well in the heat so not a great snack to take on a beach day unless they are frozen.
- FREEZING: These bars freeze really well for several months. Warp them individually and freeze in an airtight container. Defrost or thaw them in the fridge overnight.
They are the perfect portable snack packed with flavor, crunch, and the right amount of chewiness in each bite. I love making them Sunday as part of my meal prep and they last the week between me and hubby. I let them set overnight and slice them up in the morning ready to enjoy for my mid morning snack. They store well in airtight container for up to one week room temp for softer bars and for crunchier bars store them in the fridge. The combos are endless - hope you enjoy them.
More Tasty Oat Based Recipes You Will Love:
- Bircher Muesli (Swiss Oatmeal) Overnight Oats
- Classic Oatmeal Cookies
- Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Oatmeal Cookies
- Chocolate Granola Bark
- Homemade Pumpkin Granola
- Super Simple Vanilla Almond Granola
- Berry Oat Scone Loaf
- 2½ cups rolled oats or quick oats (not instant oatmeal)
- ¼ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ¼ cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup chopped nuts and or seeds like chopped toasted walnuts, almonds, pecans, coconut chips, cocoa nibs etc
- ½ cup dried fruit and or chocolate chips like dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, cranberries etc
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Toast oats and nuts (optional): Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease sheet pan or line with a piece of parchment paper. Place nuts and seeds and oats on prepared pan and lightly toast 10-12min stirring half way through. Transfer to a large bowl when done
- In a small saucepan combine honey, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt over medium heat and cook stirring until butter is melted and sugar is bubbling and slightly caramelized.
- Pour mixture over oats and stir well to mix with a rubber spatula. Allow to cool 3-5 minutes to cool slightly
- Stir in coconut flakes, cranberries and or chocolate chips.
- Transfer to lined 8x8 of 9x9 baking pan and press very firmly into pan so that the bars stick together and don’t fall apart easily (very firmly – this is important). I like to sprinkle over and press on more chocolate chips at this point too but that is optional.
- Cover and refrigerate 1- 2 hours or place in freezer for 30 minutes before slicing into 8 bars or 10 squares or whatever size you like.
- The bars hold up best if stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They don’t do well in the heat and they get quit soft at room temperature so when in doubt keep them chilled. They freeze well too.
- STORAGE: Bars are best kept chilled in the fridge in an airtight container for 7-10 days. Feel free to wrap them up individually in garment paper or just use sheets to separate the bars for easy access and prevent them from sticking together. They can be left at room temperature for a few days but they will get very soft. They don’t do well in the heat so not a great snack to take on a beach day unless they are frozen.
- FREEZING: These bars freeze really well for several months so its a good idea to make a double batch! Wrap them individually and freeze in an airtight container. Defrost or thaw them in the fridge overnight.