Easy Homemade Granola Bars (6 Ways)


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Updated: / First Posted: 79 Comments

Homemade Granola Bars are one of my go-to healthy snacks for kids. They’re super easy to make, require minimal added sweeteners, have a texture that even babies and younger toddlers can chew, and store SO well. And you can make them allergy-friendly as needed too!

stack-of-homemade-granola-bars

Homemade Granola Bars

These bars are seriously delicious—and versatile. They’re a great way to save money on groceries (since a batch is much less than buying a similar amount of store-bought bars) and you can vary the flavors by adding fruit or veggie puree.

Plus, they’re loaded with nutritious ingredients and minimal sweeteners, so they’re a satisfying healthy snack for kids. The texture is a nice balance of crisp edges, but a softer texture.

And the flavor is so, so good!

homemade granola bars on parchment with toddler hand

Soft-Baked Granola Bars

I made these granola bars regularly when my middle child was one—she loved nibbling them—and I always shared them with her.

There’s a subtle peanut butter flavor in this healthy bar recipe, though you can trade in almond butter or sunflower seed butter if you prefer. The nut or seed butter adds healthy fats, which help this bar satisfy those little bellies longer.

TIP: This recipe is super streamlined for busy parents and stores nicely.

ingredients-in-granola-bars

Ingredients You Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

TIP: You can use you can use gluten-free flour if needed.

how-to-make-granola-bars-step-by-step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the easy process involved in making this granola bar recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

  1. Add ingredients to a food processor, choosing your flavor. Grind until the mixture starts to hold together.
  2. Pour the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and press flat.
  3. Score the batter with a knife, which makes them easy to break into pieces once they’re baked.
  4. Bake, let cool, and enjoy.

TIP: In Step 1, you’ll see the batter start to pull together and you can also check it by squeezing a bit between your fingers—it should be sticky enough to hold together when you squeeze it. Add a little more water or puree if it’s not quite sticky enough.

Can I make these without chia seeds?

Sure! See the variation at the bottom that calls for omitting them and slightly increasing the nut butter. This keeps a good amount of healthy fats to ensure that the bars hold together and that the kids get a nicely balanced snack.

Can I make these gluten-free granola bars?

These bars are naturally egg-free and dairy-free. They’re also easy to make gluten-free by choosing gluten-free oats and a gluten-free flour blend.

homemade granola bars in storage container

How long do these healthy granola bars last?

I store our homemade granola bars in the fridge (because I like them cold) in an airtight container and serve them up until we run out.

  • In the fridge in an airtight container, they’ll stay fresh for about two weeks.
  • At room temperature in an airtight container, they’ll last about 1 week.
  • In the freezer, you can place cooled bars in a sealed zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

Can I freeze granola bars?

Yes, this granola bar recipe freezes really well. Simply let them cool and place into a zip top freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature, or directly in a lunchbox.

granola bar recipe with fruit and veggies

Flavor Variations

I’m so happy that a reader suggested this because it works so well to use a fruit or veggie puree instead of water in the original recipe! I’ve tried making Applesauce Granola Bars, Banana Granola Bars, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin Granola Bars.

Look in the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for the info.

Best Tips for Success

  • For kids under one, you can substitute brown rice syrup for the honey. You can also try using applesauce.
  • You can make them in the basic flavor, or banana, apple, sweet potato, butternut squash, or pumpkin.
  • To make these without coconut, omit and use additional oats.
  • To make these without chia seeds, omit and increase the nut butter to ¼ cup.
  • To make this without a food processor, use quick or instant oats and stir everything together. (Or grind the oats and coconut in a blender, then stir the ingredients together in a bowl)
  • Add chocolate chips to this recipe by pressing a few into the top of the rolled out batter just before baking.
  • Use room temperature honey and nut or seed butter to make the batter come together easily, or warm them briefly.
  • Wet your fingers or use a piece of parchment to press the batter down if it’s sticking to your hands.
  • You may also like No-Bake Granola Bars, Breakfast Bars, my Easy Oatmeal Bars, and my 3-Ingredient Cereal Bars.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe so please comment below to share!

This post was first published Jun 2017.

stack-of-homemade-granola-bars

Homemade Granola Bars (to Share with the Kids!)

Amy Palanjian

We like to have these granola bars as a snack or toddler breakfast with milk or a smoothie—and they’re an excellent lunch box component too. You can make them plain or choose a flavor to add!

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Course Snack

Cuisine American

Servings 16

Calories 96 kcal

Ingredients 

 

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or applesauce for kids younger than 12 months)
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (or Sunbutter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup water (or ¼ cup mashed recipe banana or banana puree, pumpkin puree, applesauce, butternut squash puree, OR sweet potato puree)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Warm the honey and peanut butter for about 15 seconds if not stored at room temperature.

  • Place the oats and coconut into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to grind into a coarse texture (like quick oats).

  • Add the remaining ingredients, including the peanut butter and honey, and blend well.

  • Add ¼ cup water and blend until batter comes together like thick cookie dough. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides once or twice to get things fully incorporated. You should be able to press the batter together between your fingers and have it stick together. If it doesn’t, add a bit more water.

  • Place batter onto the center of the prepared baking sheet and use your hands to press thin, about 1/4-1/2-inch thick and about 8×8-inches big. I measure roughly using an 8×8-inch baking pan. (You can also roll out the dough—just cover it with a piece of parchment paper first to make sure it’s easy to do.) Use a knife to lightly score lines for squares in whatever size you like.

  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool completely on the pan.

  • Break into squares and serve.

  • Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or a week at room temperature. To freeze, place cooled bars in a sealed zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

Notes

  • To make these with fruit or a veggie flavor, omit the water in Step 4. Choose one flavor from below. Proceed with the recipe as directed, though know you may need to bake up to an additional 10 minutes. Look for the edges to start turning golden brown. It just seems to take a little longer when you add a puree.
  • Banana: Add ¼ cup mashed recipe banana or banana puree.
  • Pumpkin: Add ¼ cup pumpkin puree.
  • Apple: Add ¼ cup applesauce or Apple Puree.
  • Butternut: Add ¼ cup butternut squash puree.
  • Sweet Potato: Add ¼ cup sweet potato puree
  • To make these without coconut, omit and use additional oats.
  • To make these without chia seeds, omit and increase the nut butter to ¼ cup. Or use ground flaxseeds.
  • To make this without a food processor, use quick or instant oats and stir everything together. (Or grind the oats and coconut in a blender, then stir the ingredients together in a bowl)
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free cup for cup flour in place of the whole-wheat.
  • Add chocolate chips to this recipe by pressing a few into the top of the rolled out batter just before baking.
  • Use room temperature honey and nut or seed butter to make the batter come together easily, or warm them briefly.
  • Wet your fingers or use a piece of parchment to press the batter down if it’s sticking to your hands.

Nutrition

Calories: 96kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 19mgPotassium: 79mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

Keyword healthy granola bars, homemade granola bars, peanut butter granola bars

 

 



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