With only a handful of wholesome ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, you can easily make soft and chewy homemade granola bars that taste better than any store-bought granola bar on the market.
These homemade granola bars are one of my family's favorite healthy snacks! After one bite, it is easy to see why both big and small kids enjoy this wholesome treat.
If your kids are like my kids, they love granola bars. However, most store-bought brands are loaded with refined sugar and added preservatives. Or if you find granola bars made with quality ingredients, they are often really overpriced.
why this is the best granola bar recipe
- Incredible Taste & Texture. This recipe for homemade granola bars is the BEST granola bar recipe ever. These granola bars are perfectly sweet, soft, chewy, and downright divine.
- Super Simple Recipe. Homemade granola bars come together with just a few minutes of hands-on work and because this is a no-bake recipe, these snack bars are ready to enjoy within minutes of preparation.
- Quality, Wholesome Ingredients. Instead of being loaded with refined sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients, this granola bar recipe uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients that are packed full of nutrients.
- Allergy-Friendly & Adaptable. This granola bar recipe is naturally sweetened, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly. The recipe also includes modifications to make this granola bar nut-free as well.
Ingredients for Granola Bars
- Dates: Dates give the granola bars their chewy texture and natural sweetness. Be sure to use whole pitted dates. Not the chopped dates, as they are typically coated in sugar.
- Oats: Use rolled oats, not steel-cut oats when making these granola bars. Either quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats will work.
- Coconut Oil: The coconut oil will give these bars a similar taste to store-bought and help the granola bars stay together.
- Maple Syrup: While honey will work in place of maple syrup, I prefer the flavor of maple syrup in these bars, as the maple syrup will give these granola bars a rich, warming, sweet flavor.
- Nut Butter: Use all-natural peanut butter or almond butter for this recipe.
Substitutions & Modifications
- Gluten-Free Granola Bars: Be sure to use gluten-free oats to keep these bars gluten-free.
- Oil-Free Granola Bars: Replace the coconut oil with an equal amount of additional nut butter of your choice.
- Nut-Free Granola Bars: Soy butter or Sunflower Seed Butter both work well in place of the nut butter in this granola bar recipe.
- Optional Add-Ins: If desired, you can add mini chocolate chips, toffee bits, dried fruit, cinnamon, chopped nuts, etc into your granola bars to change up the flavor and/or add texture.
Tips for Making Homemade Granola Bars
Making homemade granola bars is one of the easiest recipes ever. It is as simple as throwing a few ingredients into a food processor, a few zaps, and you are just DONE! Easy-peasy. My steps and photos are provided for extra guidance, but be sure to follow the recipe in the recipe card for exact measurements and instructions.
Tip #1: Soak the dates. If your dates have been sitting in your pantry for a long period of time, they may be a bit dried out and will need to be soaked in hot water for a few minutes and then drained. This will help the dates be nice and soft and make them easier for the food processor to break down.
Tip # 2: Use a food processor. It is best to use a food processor to make quick work of preparing the granola bars. The sharp blades quickly break down the softened dates and easily combine them with the remaining ingredients.
Tip #3: Don't overprocess the oats. It is best to first, process the softened dates until a thick paste forms. Once the dates have broken down, add in the nut butter, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and salt and process until creamy. This will form the base of the granola bars that will help hold them together. Finally, add in the oats and pulse until just combined. You don't want to fully break down the oats, just combine them evenly into the granola bar mixture so that granola bars still have texture.
Tip #4: Stir in optional ingredients. Instead of using the food processor to mix in additional nuts, dried fruits, or chocolate chips, use a spoon or spatula to fold the ingredients into the mixture.
Tip #5: Use parchment paper to form the granola bars. These are soft and chewy granola bars, meaning the mixture is a bit sticky to work with. For best results, line your pan with parchment paper and use moistened fingers or parchment paper to press the granola mixture into the prepared pan. This will prevent sticky fingers and make quick work of the process.
Tip #6: Chill granola bars before cutting. It is best to place your granola bars into the refrigerator or freezer for 10-15 minutes to let them harden up, as this will make them much easier to cut into bars.
Storing Homemade Granola Bars
Because these granola bars are made without preservatives, they are best stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator and enjoyed within 5-7 days of preparation.
More Healthy Snack Recipes
- Breakfast Banana Cookies
- Homemade Gogurts
- No-Bake Oatmeal Balls
- Instant Pot Yogurt
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Easy Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups
These granola bars make a great treat for kids to enjoy at any time! I hope that you give them a try for your own family and be sure to leave a comment below.
Homemade Granola Bars
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter or sunflower butter or almond butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp sea salt omit if you are using salted peanut butter
- 2 cups rolled oats quick-cooking or old fashioned
- ½ cup optional add ins chopped nut, raisins, mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, sesame seeds, chia seeds, etc
- Start by being sure your dates are relatively soft. If they are not, soak them in hot water for 5 to 30 minutes. Drain off liquid, reserving if needed.
- Line an 8x8 or 7x3 pan with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Process dates in a food processor fitted with an s blade until a thick paste forms. Add in honey/maple syrup, coconut oil, nut butter, vanilla, and salt. Pulse until combined and creamy.
- Add in oats and pulse until just combines and all the oats are moistened well, adding up to 2 tablespoons of the reserved soaking liquid from dates if needed.
- Stir in any mix-ins into the batter you desire.
- Place mixture into prepared pan. Using mositened hands or a piece of wax paper, spread out mixture as evenly as possible.
- Place in fridge or freezer for 15 minutes until set up. Then slice into bars.
- Store these bars wrapped individually in wax paper and stored in the fridge.