Do you like nutritious, easy to make snacks? Are you a fan of nourishing foods that can keep you satisfied and fueled until your next meal? Then you’re going to love today’s recipe: easy homemade chewy granola bars. And bonus – this gluten free granola bar recipe is no bake. Score!
A healthy chewy granola bar recipe
I’m not going to lie – growing up, I loved Nature Valley Crunchy Bars. I longed for my mom to buy those Quaker Chewy ones, and when my kids have tried them they’ve loved them, too. The problem? Well first of all, the ingredient list is a mile long. Quaker Chewy Bars contain substances like corn syrup solids, partially defatted peanut flour and soybean oil. I will say that I was impressed with the sugar content – just 7 grams in one bar. Nonetheless, I am a fan of homemade foods when they are easy to make. I also wanted a granola bar recipe that was easy enough for my kids to make. And my friends, we have a winner!
Simple no bake granola bar recipe
These chewy granola bars are:
- easy enough for kids to make
- packed with plant-based protein (nuts and seeds – no powders here)
- free of refined sugar
- versatile – change up the nuts or seeds as you please
- idea for pre- or post-workout
- super for sending to school or as an after-school snack
- a breakfast on-the-go if needed
Tips on making Easy Homemade Chewy Granola Bars
- Feel free to vary up your nuts and seeds. I love the combination of 1 cup pecan pieces combined with 1/2 cup sliced almonds and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, but you do you!
- On that note, you can also change up your dried fruit. I also liked the dried cherry/chocolate combination, but this can be altered.
- If you are using chocolate chips, put them in last. The first time I made these, I put them in with the dry mixture and they melted when I added the warm mixture. Sidenote, they still tasted good;).
- Make sure to line your 8 x 8 baker with parchment paper for easy removal.
- The mixture is going to be wet. Push down on it when putting it into the baker with the back of a spoon. If you run into problems, place the dish in the freezer for 10 minutes, pull it out, and begin pushing down on it again. The tighter you pack it down, the more they will hold together.
- These chewy granola bars will require 2+ hours to firm up before enjoying. I did have success with putting them in the freezer for 30 minutes first and then transferring to the fridge. This will speed up the process tremendously and they will be ready much sooner.
How to make granola bars stick together
The first key in getting your granola bars to stick together is having a binder. In this recipe, we use honey. Next, you want to really press the bars down into the pan. The harder you press, the more it will pack them together. And the third tip to get your homemade granola bar to stick together is to chill them for a minimum of two hours. This hardens everything, making it stick. Pull them out of the fridge and cut them with ease. Let them sit for about 15-30 minutes if you’d like them to be chewier before enjoying.
What is the benefit of sprouted oats?
Sprouted oats are soaked to break down the starch in grains and help make them easier to digest. I typically have a difficult time digesting oats, but sprouted oats don’t pose a problem to me. I enjoy One Degree Sprouted Oats as they are organic oats; while many are sprayed with pesticides, that is not the case with One Degree. In addition, all of their ingredients are 100% traceable. Sprouted oats aren’t necessary in this recipe, though – regular quick oats will do just fine, too.
A recipe for a no-bake homemade nutritious granola bar that's chewy and delicious.
- 1 cup gluten free old fashioned oats (I use sprouted oats, but they are not necessary)
- 1 cup nuts of choice
- 1 cup seeds of choice
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life since they are dairy free)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp nut butter
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (aside from chocolate chips) and mix to combine. Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt coconut oil. Add in honey and nut butter and mix to combine. Microwave for 30 more seconds and mix.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Add in chocolate chips and again mix.
Spoon granola mixture into prepared pan and push down as firmly as you can. Use a piece of wax paper to push down if necessary.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set and then pull out and slice. Store in fridge for up to a week.
My favorite combination for this recipe is 1 cup pecan pieces, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds with dried cherries and chocolate chips. But feel free to vary your nuts and seeds, and even your dried fruit!
How to store these homemade chewy granola bars
Keep these in an airtight container for up to a week. I like to keep them in the refrigerator, but it’s not necessary. You can also wrap them in wax paper and tie them as shown in the image to make them portable. When I send them in my kids lunches, I like to make sure there’s an ice pack in there to keep them cold so that they won’t fall apart as easily.
If you are looking for other healthy snacks, you may enjoy these easy energy balls, raw seed energy bars or even these no bake chocolate granola bars. I’d love to hear of your creation if you vary up the nuts and seeds below. Here’s to healthy snacking!