Healthy granola bars are a quick and delicious snack made with old fashioned oats, almond butter, and maple syrup! Made with no refined sugar and packed with protein, they are the perfect no bake snack for both kids and adults!
It’s no secret that I love snacking. If you’ve ever been in my kitchen, my car, and even my bedroom, you’ll likely have noticed a stash of snacks hidden somewhere.
I’m the kind of person who cannot concentrate if I am even remotely hungry. Seriously, it’s gotten to the point where if I haven’t eaten, I’d likely have gone mute. Since I’ve been mostly working from home lately, I’ve tried to ensure my snacking has been on the healthier side. It’s not that I don’t enjoy healthy snacks, but when I see the potato chips or candy bars starring at me, I kind of give in.
Luckily, I have no excuses anymore, since I’ve been polishing off these homemade healthy granola bars like they are going out of style!
Now, granola bars can often get a bad wrap. While they do have a ‘healthy’ connotation to them, if you scan your grocery stores, you’ll likely notice many granola bars are essentially candy bars. They are packed with sugar (often several kinds) and hydrogenated oils. I mean, I get why kids love them!
My healthy granola bars are quite the opposite. You can count the number of ingredients on one hand, AND you probably have everything in your pantry right now! They are satisfying and filling, two important factors when it comes to smart snacking. They also taste great, without tasting too healthy!
What I love about this recipe is just how versatile it is! The bars are a blank slate for simple granola bars. However, you can add your favorite mix-ins into them, or keep them plain and simple. You can add extra protein, or be a little bit cheeky and drizzle some chocolate on top!
Dietary wise, they are completely vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free AND dairy free!
How do you make granola bars?
- Rolled Oats– Also known as old fashioned oats. It’s best to use rolled oats instead of quick cooking oats, as they give the granola bars the thicker and chewiest texture. They also keep you satisfied for longer. Be sure to use certified gluten free oats, if needed.
- Almond Butter– Smooth and drippy almond butter, not a thick one. Almond butter adds protein and healthy fats while giving the granola bars extra staying power. You can substitute it with any nut or seed butter (peanut butter, tahini, sunflower seed butter, etc).
- Maple Syrup– Gives some natural sweetness, and also holds the bars together. You can also use agave nectar or honey if you aren’t strictly vegan.
- Chocolate Chips– Optional, but nothing beats a good chocolate chip granola bar!
Start by adding your oats into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together your almond butter and maple syrup, until a thick and smooth mixture remains. Pour the mixture into the oats and mix well, until it becomes a thick dough. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper. Transfer the granola bar mixture into it and using a rubber spatula, press it down into the pan. Top with chocolate chips and refrigerate them for 30 minutes to an hour, to firm up. Once firm, slice them up into bars.
Tips to make the best recipe
- You must use a drippy nut or seed butter, in order for the ingredients to mix properly. Drippy refers to the smoothest of textures, as in, if you tip it upside down it will pour out very easily. If you tip your jar upside down and the nut butter remains intact, it will be too firm to use.
- If you use honey instead of agave/maple syrup, you may need to add a little extra oats to compensate. Honey is almost twice as thick as maple syrup.
- If you’d like to make protein granola bars, add 1-2 scoops of your favorite protein powder into the oats and mix well. You can also try protein granola bars.
Storing and Freezing Bars
- To store: If you prefer softer granola bars, you can store them in a sealable container, at room temperature. They will keep well for up to one week. If you prefer thicker and chewier granola bars, store them in the refrigerator and enjoy them directly from there.
- To freeze: You can freeze leftover granola bars by placing them in a ziplock bag. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More healthy snack recipes to try
- Banana Bread Energy Bites
- Cookie Dough Bites
- Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
- Tortilla Chips
Healthy Granola Bars
- Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your maple syrup and almond butter. Whisk together, until combined. Add your oats and stir through, until a thick batter remains. Fold through your mix-ins of choice.
- Transfer your granola bar batter into the lined pan and press down firmly into it. Refrigerate for at least an hour, to firm up. Slice into bars.
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