A Healthy Granola Bar Recipe that’s easy to make and tastes incredible. Crunchy Baked Granola Bars are THE back pocket recipe EVERYONE needs…made with wholesome pantry ingredients and perfect for a grab and go breakfast or afternoon snack.
This post was updated from the original posted on September 14, 2015. This post may contain affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
Yes…you NEED these Crunchy Baked Granola Bars in your life. I know how hard it is to compete with quick and easy (drive-thru anyone?) when you’re looking for healthy and affordable. BUT, the struggle is optional. I’ve got an easy, delicious kid tested and mother approved recipe for you!
These oats and honey granola bars are crunchy and super tasty. They’re easy to make with wholesome ingredients and no added sugar.
Let’s be real, life is EASIER when you have a “grab and go” option at your fingertips for breakfast, post or pre workout, lunch boxes or after school snacks. Something that’s equally satisfying nutritionally and in the taste department. Homemade breakfast bars can be made in advance, travel well and are perfect any time of day!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- ROLLED OATS: A whole grain with soluble fiber. They help with blood sugar control and also with helping you to feel full and satisfied. Plus, they add great texture to this pumpkin loaf. I use sprouted oats for an easy to digest source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I like to use Thrive Market Organic Oats or One Degree Organic Sprouted Oats. Whatever brand you use, be sure they are non-GMO and glyphosate free. This recipe would be better for you If you’d prefer a grain-free energy bar.
- SEEDS: Seeds are extremely nutritious, a good source of fiber, vitamins and healthy fats. I used pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Whatever you like/have is great. Chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds would also be good additions to this recipe.
- NUTS: Yay for some tasty plant based protein, fiber and fats…no need to add any oil to this recipe! I chose walnuts to get the omega 3s as well. Pecans, almonds, filberts, hazelnuts would all work too. For nut allergies, load up on more seeds…use some larger and some smaller varieties.
- HONEY: I like the taste and texture of honey plus the beneficial antioxidants, antibacterial and antifungal properties. For a true vegan granola bar, substitute the honey for date syrup or maple syrup.
- GROUND FLAX: In addition to the fiber and omega 3s, ground flax acts as a binder to hold these snack bars together.
- NUT BUTTER: Make sure it’s creamy and drippy….otherwise use what you like. Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter…or use sunbutter if you have nut allergies.
- CHOCOLATE CHIPS: I used dark chocolate chips from Thrive market. You could also chop a bar of high quality dark chocolate. This pumpkin bread is also good without the chocolate chips.
Why you’ll love these Crunchy Granola Bars
- Make ahead…they store beautifully room temp for a week or stash them in your freezer for 3 months.
- Grab and Go….yes, these won’t fall apart and travel beautifully.
- CRUNCHY…crisp and tasty. The texture is JUST RIGHT. Check this no bake recipe out if you prefer a soft and chewy granola bar.
- No added sugar….homemade granola bars means YOU get to decide and control the ingredients.
- Easy recipe uses pantry staples.
- So much more affordable than store bought bars (tastier too).
How to make Baked Granola Bars
The first step is to toast the oats, nuts and seeds. Spread them on a large rimmed baking tray in a single layer. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Let toasted oats/nuts cool and then pour into a bowl.
- Add the dried fruit, ground flax, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips to the bowl.
- Mix. If the oats/seeds aren’t cool, the chocolate chips will melt when mixed together.
- In a small bowl, stir the honey into the nut butter until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour nut butter mixture onto the oat mixture.
- Mix well. It may feel like there isn’t enough sticky nut butter to go around, but stick with it (see what I did there?), it is the perfect amount. Use a heavy wooden spoon or metal spatula…the batter will be thick and sticky.
The next step is super easy…and also SUPER IMPORTANT. Spread the batter evenly into a 9×13 baking pan. that’s lined with parchment. Use another sheet of parchment to cover the batter and then press down FIRMLY. The more you can compact the bars into the pan, the more they will hold together. I use an empty measuring cup to push down and get a uniform flatness.
Turn the temperature down to 325 and bake for 25 minutes, until golden. Let the bars cool a bit in the pan so the chocolate chips aren’t so melty. Place the parchment back onto the top of the bars and push down again. Let cool in the pan. Remove by holding onto the edges of the parchment paper and placing onto a cutting board.
Start by cutting vertically into long strips and then cut across horizontally to whatever size you prefer.
Crunchy Granola Bars will stay good in an air tight container for a week or in the freezer for 3 months. Wrap some so they’re ready to grab and go straight from the freezer.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Let the toasted oats cool before adding the chocolate chips or they will melt and you will have chocolate granola bars….not a bad thing…but just know that’s what will happen. You can always add more chocolate chips.
- If you don’t press down the batter and compact it before baking, they will fall apart. See the photo above? I couldn’t cut them into bars without them crumbling. The silver lining? Hubby thought it was the BEST GRANOLA ever. Yes….if yours fall apart, scoop the crumbs into a jar and use as granola…no shame, no waste!
- Experiment with different nuts, seeds or dried fruit. I love the dried figs in there…super sweet and added great texture, but I had to cut them into small pieces before using.
- Store in the freezer, wrapped and ready to grab and go.
- These are the PERFECT snack if you pick up from school and head straight to afternoon sports.
- Wrapped in unbleached parchment and tied with a bow, these make awesome holiday gifts.
- Use DRIPPY nut or seed butter. Store unopened nut butter upside down in your pantry. When you open for the first time, take the time to THOROUGHLY mix before using.
Oats and honey granola bars for the healthy snack or breakfast win. Change things up and use different nuts, seeds or dried fruit. For a truly vegan granola bar, substitute maple syrup for the honey. It will be a bit less sticky and still taste delicious.
Split Pea Soup FAQs
Split peas do not need to be soaked before cooking. It will cut down on the cooking time, if you do soak them, but it’s not necessary. Be sure to check the split peas for tenderness before turning off the heat. The split peas will expand and need plenty of liquid to cook, so follow the recipe quantities and be sure to add more if needed.
Both yellow and green split peas are high in protein and soluble fiber and both have anti-inflammatory benefits. They also cook in the same amount of time. The green variety tastes a bit sweeter and the yellow pea more earthy flavor. I prefer the color of yellow split pea soup to the green so I buy them when I can find them.
Yes! Split pea soup is nutrient dense, meaning high in vitamins minerals and antioxidants and low in fat and calories. Vegan split pea soup is particularly healthy as it contains no saturated fat either.
It’s ok if you leave split pea soup cooking longer than called for, as long as there is enough liquid in there so the bottom doesn’t burn. I do like my split pea soup with a bit of texture, so I appreciate the firm pieces of peas, but there is nothing wrong with mushy split pea soup.
More healthy grab and go options:
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup assorted nuts*
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit*
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter*
- ½ cup honey*
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Place oats nuts and seeds on baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.
- Prepare 9×13 glass dish by lining with unbleached parchment paper.
- Mix peanut butter and honey until well incorporated and set aside.
- When toasted nuts and oats have cooled enough to handle, pour into a medium sized mixing bowl. IF OATS AND NUTS HAVEN'T COOLED, THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS WILL MELT WHEN YOU MIX THEM IN. Add in dried fruit, chocolate chips, ground flax, cinnamon and salt in large bowl and mix together.
- Pour nut butter mixture over oats/nuts and stir until well incorporated. Batter will be VERY sticky. You may think there isn't enough of the nut butter paste, but keep mixing and you'll see it is exactly the right amount.
- Spread batter into prepared pan. Use another piece of parchment paper to cover the mixture and then use your hands to press down until it's evenly distributed all the way to the edges. Use the bottom of a bowl or measuring cup to firmly press down. This is super important. You want the mixture to be as compacted as possible before baking so it won't fall apart when you try to cut it.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until golden.
- Allow to cool COMPLETELY in the pan. Lift parchment edges to transfer to a cutting board.
- Cut into bars and store in covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
HONEY: Use date syrup or maple syrup for a truly vegan bar.
NUTS: Use 1 cup total, any variety or combination. I used 1/2 chopped walnuts and 1/2 sliced almonds. If nuts are larger, chop into small pieces. Pecans, hazelnuts, or cashews will also work well. What type of nuts and how finely you chop them will depend on your audience. Do you have nut and crunch lovers? Or are you trying to hide the nuts to gain nutritional value and still please your picky eater?
DRIED FRUIT: I used a combination of chopped dried cherries and dried figs,cut into small pieces. Golden raising, apricots, cranberries would all work. Look for unsulfured and unsweetened dried fruit, and cut large pieces into small bits.
PEANUT BUTTER: Any drippy nut butter will work in this recipe. I often use almond or cashew butter and have used walnut butter with great results.
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TeamFar Baking Sheet, 20’’×14’’×1’’, Cookie Sheet Half Sheet Baking Pans Stainless Steel, Non Toxic & Healthy, Heavy Duty & Thick Gauge, Mirror Finish & Dishwasher Safe - 2 Piece
IF YOU CARE FSC Certified Parchment Baking Paper, 70 sq ft
Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid -13.2 INCH x 8.9inch x 2 inch
Amount Per Serving Calories 196Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 0mgSodium 202mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 3gSugar 12gProtein 5g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.