Granola bars are my favorite go to snack mid-morning or late afternoon. They are great for pre/post workout fuel, or when you do not have time to make breakfast. I know the grocery has an entire wall of granola bars, but I prefer to make my own when time allows. When I prepare items in my own kitchen I can control the amount of fat and sugar, as well as assure there are no added chemicals and/or preservatives. It also allows me to change up the flavor based on the season, or whatever sounds good that week!
This recipe is very versatile, so have fun playing around with your favorite flavors. You can change around the nuts, dried fruit, sweetener and nut/coconut butter if you’d like. For example, you may easily use walnuts, cranberries, coconut oil and almond butter. The options are endless! If you change around your ingredients just make sure to use a liquid sweetener and not brown or white sugar. These would also be great drizzled with chocolate… :).
I know the holidays are coming up, and granola bars make great food gifts! Bonus your family member or friend will appreciate a good-for-you gift, versus one full of added sugar and unhealthy fats. Kids will love these too :)!
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Chill Time 2-3 Hours
Total Time 2.5-3.5 Hours
Servings 14 bars
• 2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats, **toasted
• 1 cup rice krispie cereal
• 3/4 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
• 1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios
• 1 tablespoon chia seeds
• 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
• 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
• 1/3 cup dried blueberries
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup coconut butter** or tahini
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
• 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1. First toast your oats. In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add 2 cups of oats and toast for 5-7 minutes until they appear golden brown with a nutty aroma. Watch them because they can burn quickly!
2. Take off heat and set aside to cool.
3. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment. I make my strip almost as wide as the pan (~7 inches), and long enough allow a couple inches for overhang on each side. This makes for a nice handle to lift the bars out of pan after chilling.
4. Combine rice krispies, coconut flakes, pistachios, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, blueberries and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
5. Place melted coconut butter (see notes below on how to melt) or tahini, maple syrup and oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Let mixture warm through for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is cohesive and runny. Take off heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.
6. Mix the toasted oats you set aside into bowl of dry ingredients.
7. Next, add wet ingredients to dry by continuously folding mixture together with spatula. Mix until well combined.
8. Transfer granola bar mixture to your prepared 9×13 baking pan. Spread granola evenly over pan and begin to press mixture down into pan with oiled hands. To finish, I like to take a piece of parchment and lay it over the bars, then press down firmly across the entire surface to make sure bars are nicely compact. This step is important considering you do not bake these.
9. Place pan into fridge and chill for 2-3 hours.
10. Remove pan from fridge. Lift bar mixture out of pan via parchment handles and lay on flat surface. Spray a large knife with cooking spray and make one long cut horizontally, diving your mixture into two long rectangles. I then cut each long rectangle vertically 6 times to create 7 bars. If measuring, this is close to 2 inches per bar, 1.8 to be exact :).
11. I wrap each bar in wax paper and store in refrigerator in air-tight container. These bars will soften some if kept out at room temperature for extended periods.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! P.S…..my boyfriend just told me these are his favorite thing I ever made! I’m quietly beaming 🙂
• Feel free to use old-fashioned oats if you do not need to eat gluten-free. Also, you do not have to toast your oats. I simply love the flavor and smell of toasted oats.
• You can sub maple syrup for honey, agave, brown rice syrup, etc. Just make sure it is a liquid sweetener.
• Any nut butter will work in place of tahini or coconut butter. I did not use these because they tend to have a strong flavor and I wanted the blueberry, pistachio and coconut flavors to pull through.
• Coconut butter will be very firm in the jar. To melt, I find it easiest to place a saucepan filled with a few cups of water on low over your stove top. You do not want to boil the water, rather warm it. Remove any plastic labels from the coconut butter jar and place it in the pan with water. I usually put in enough water to reach half way up the jar. Allow the jar to rest in warm water for a few minutes. You will be able to stir the mixture shortly after it heats through. It will have a consistency similar to tahini. Now you can measure and carry on baking!