Granola bars are one of the best healthy, grab and go snacks that can actually fill you up. The granola bar aisle at the store is packed with thousands of option. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good LARABAR, but sometimes a good homemade granola bar can hit the spot. Plus, they can be customized exactly to your cravings- what’s better than that?
On a sustainability standpoint, making granola bars is an easy, inexpensive swap to buying granola bars. While assessing what kind of waste I created, health bars were at the top of the list. By making your own, you can know exactly what goes in them and create much less waste. Win-win!
Enough chatting, here are the steps I take to make healthy, homemade, no-bake granola bars. Beware, the measurements are very fluid based on personal preference and how much you are making:
This recipe can be tailored to any dietary restriction.
1: Get your base
Oatmeal is your base- quick oats or steel cut does not matter. Put about 2 cups in a bowl to start. If you want finer bars, put your oats in a blender or food processor for a few seconds to make flour instead of having whole oats.
Add 2 cups of whatever types of oatmeal you would like to a big bowl.
2: Add your seeds
For seeds, it really doesn’t matter what type you would like- my favorite if pumpkin seeds. Other options are chia, hemp, sunflower, flax, etc.
I never measure my additions exact, I just throw some of this and some of that in but I would say around 1/4 to a 1/2 of a cup.
3: Add your nuts
Nuts add a great crunch to chewy granola bars. I try to either chop or slice or halve nuts before I put them in the mix. The most common nuts I use are almonds and cashews. I have also used peanuts, walnuts, pecans, whatever is in the cabinet will do! I do try to only buy raw nuts to avoid the added salt and sugar on roasted ones.
Again, I don’t measure these exactly. It depends on the texture I want of my bars but a similar amount to seeds- probably around a 1/2 cup of nuts.
4: Add your fruit
My favorite fruit in granola bars is grated coconut but the other options are endless- dried bananas (sliced), raisins, craisins, apples, dates, mango, or any kind of dried fruit. I am not a huge dried fruit fan so I normally stick to coconut.
Again, it all depends on the texture you are looking for- I normally do about 1/4 cup of coconut.
5: Add in the fun stuff
Ahh! The yummy stuff! This and your binder (next up) is what gives your bar a little extra pizzaz. This category is for things like chocolate chips (go dark chocolate for extra healthy), cinnamon, nutmeg, cacao powder, salt, protein powder, superfoods, or anything you can think to add to give you added flavor and health benefits.
Add as much or as little as this stuff as you want. The exact measurements are not too important in this recipe- as you can probably tell. Throw all the stuff in a bowl and figure out in the next step….
6: The Binder
Now this is what actually matters how much you put in. For a good rule of thumb: you can always add more. This category is what will actually hold everything together. I normally use peanut butter and honey (yes mixed). I start with a few heaping spoonfulls of peanut butter (but I LOVE peanut butter) and then add about 2 tbsp of honey to add sweetness. Other binders you can use agave syrup, maple syrup, any other nut butter, or anything sticky you can think of.
You add in your binder, mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. If it is still powdery, add more glue. If it is too sticky, add more granola. But ALWAYS start with less and add in.
7: Put in a pan, press, refrigerate, and enjoy
Line a pan (I use an 11in x 7in) with baking paper (I use If You Care Parchment Baking Sheets because it is compostable) and put the mix on top of it. Press firmly with your fingers or roll with a rolling pin or side of a cup. You can add extra topping on it now if you would like- chocolate chips, coconut, cinnamon. This one is more for aesthetics than anything. Put your pan in the fridge for about an hour, cut and enjoy!
Like I said, a no-bake granola bar recipe is all based on your taste, craving, and what you have in the house. It is not scientific. You can really make it whatever you would like! Feel free to get creative, take a few chances, and maybe you’ll find your go-to.
My go-to is uber peanut buttery and delicious. Here is what is in mine- the measurement change by the day. I normally just throw it all in a bowl and figure it out:
My Go-To Homemade Chewy Granola Bar Ingredients:
- Whole quick oats
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds- just a little bit
- Chia seeds- just a little bit
- Chopped, raw almonds
- Shredded coconut
- Maca Powder
- All natural, creamy peanut butter
- Raw Honey
This is a delicious, healthy mix that is incredibly hearty. Bring them on the go or snack on as a side to breakfast- so tasty!
What are your go-to granola bar ingredients? Comment them below to share the love!
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