Granola Bars

These granola bars are perhaps my most requested recipe. I always seem to have a granola bar with me when I go out in case I need a good snack, and I bring them along on trips for an easy breakfast that I know will be safely gluten-free. When friends visit and stay with us, the bars seem to disappear quickly, and if you make a batch of these, you’ll know why.

While they are by no means “low calorie,” one bar will sustain you from breakfast to lunch. The bars are sweet, a little salty, and with a mix of nuts and dried fruit in them – you can’t miss. After you taste these, you’ll wonder why anyone buys granola bars – these are economical to make, and best of all – you know what goes in them, and you can customize the flavors to your own taste!

You can use any kind of fruits and nuts in the bars – Trader Joe’s is a great place to stock up on both – they have a wide variety at good prices. My current favorite is a mix of dried cherries, crystallized ginger, macadamia nuts and pecans. I mince the fruit a bit, so you get a bit of fruit in every bite.

Granola bars
Makes about 30-35 bars (approx 3×3″)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

5 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 c honey
1/4 c brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
4 Tbsp butter
1 T cinnamon
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
approximately 8 oz. Chopped dried fruit (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (optional)

  1. Mix the nuts and oats in a half sheet pan. Toast them in the oven for 10 minutes, then stir, bake for another 10 minutes, then remove from oven.
  2. After you stir the oats halfway through baking, Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until it all melts and is well incorporated. Add the vanilla, and turn off the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the rimmed baking sheet for the bars by lining it with parchment paper. Cut a second sheet of parchment paper and set the second sheet aside.
  4. Mix everything together in a large bowl. The grains, the liquid, cinnamon and the dried fruit.
  5. Mix everything together very well – you want to make sure the sticky-goo gets all over everything. Now, dump your granola mixture into your prepared and lined baking sheet. Spread out the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  6. Now add the second sheet on top, and press hard with your hands all over the granola. You want to press it together well so that your bars won’t fall apart when you cut them. The granola usually covers the whole 9×13 baking sheet.
  7. Remove the top sheet of parchment, and pop the bars back in the oven for 5 minutes. Take out of the oven, and sprinkle granola with the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Let them melt for a minute or two, then use a flat spatula to smooth the chocolate into a thin skim over all the granola.
  8. Place sheet pan in the fridge for an hour to cool completely, or let cool on the counter for a couple hours. Then, carefully turn the granola onto a large cutting board, peeling away the rest of the paper.
  9. Use a large chef’s knife and firmly press down with the knife (not sawing), cut your granola into whatever size bars you’d like. I usually get 3 rows of bars across the pan lengthwise, 7-8 bars per row.

I wrap the bars individually in glad press & seal wrap, so that the bars stay fresh, and they’re easy to grab as we run out of the house in the morning. I store mine in the fridge, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

150 calories per bar, 50cal from fat, 6.8g fat, 15g carbs, 2g fiber, 4.1g protein, 210g sodium