I’d been on the hunt for a way to make my own granola bars for a couple of years now. I kept finding recipes that required lots of ingredients, and too many steps. Like “Make a double batch of granola, and then use it to make bars with this recipe.”
I wanted a recipe that was simple.
Fast and easy would also be good.
And versatile, because I get bored easily.
Plus, they had to be delicious, and use stuff that I already have in my kitchen.
No, I’m not high maintenance. Why do you ask?
For two years, I searched in vain; all the while paying $2 a box for 8 granola bars, which last less than 6 hours in my house.
Help me Rhonda.
Turns out, Rhonda DID help me!
My friend, Rhonda, brought a pan of what appeared to be ‘healthy rice crispies’ to a get together. They were her sister Suzy’s homemade granola bars recipe.
This recipe has brought new meaning to my life.
It is all the things I wanted and needed in a granola bar recipe. They are simple to make, and absolutely delicious! I’ve been living off of them pretty much exclusively for the past 2 weeks.
The base recipe is super simple, and you can add any mix ins that you want. The other really cool thing is that you cam either make chewy -or- crispy granola bars. Rhonda and Suzy are my granola bar recipe heroes.
Let’s whip up a batch, shall we?
Granola Bar Recipe
Can it get any easier than that? (Note: you can sub any nut butter here.)
Now for the Nummy Stuff…
Pick your faves.
Other mix in or topping options would be:
mini M&M’s *
chopped dried fruit
rice crispy cereal
seeds…chia seeds are especially good!
toffee peanuts (!!!)
candy corn…just whatever floats your boat.
*Is it just me, or does chocolate taste better in miniature?
Trim Healthy Mama note: This is my kid friendly recipe that I’ve been using long before going low glycemic. Stay tuned for an updated THM’ed recipe soon!!!
You can also stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract & or other spices/flavoring of your choice at this point. I’m partial to almond extract with chocolate and dried cherries.
Stir into 3 1/2 cups of oats. If you like crispy rice bits, then you can sub 3/4 cup of those and back down to 2 3/4 c. oats.
Now that, my friends is an easy granola bar recipe! Plus, you can use good quality, healthy ingredients. Oats are one of the most nutritious grains; the peanut butter provides great protein; and I used raw honey, which has lots of health benefits. You can also boost the protein content by adding 1/4 c. protein powder or energy boosting chia seeds to the mix.
Now let’s liven it up some with mix-ins…
You can add any yummy stuff that you like in granola bars. Add
up to 1 cup of mix ins. If you’re using a lot of mix ins, You can use between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of each mix in, depending on how much stuff you like in your granola
bar…If you just want chocolate chips, then you can use a whole cup! 1/2 cup of an ingredient will be sparse, and 1 cup will be *LOTS*. I like about a 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts and 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips.
I picked chopped peanuts, dried cranberries, and I wanted to top them with mini chocolate chips.
Because Rhonda topped hers with mini chocolate chips, and she’s my granola bar hero.
Mix into the base recipe…you want it to be pretty sticky/goey. If it gets too dry, then add some additional pb/honey to the mix.
Blend all ingredients in well, and dump it all into a 9×13 pan.
Smish flat…wax paper will keep it from sticking to your paws.
Top with any desired toppings, and smish those down a bit too.
Cut into bars or squares. I got 32 small granola bars (1×3 inches) by cutting the pan into 8 long skinny rows, and then dividing those into 4 sections. For regular sized granola bars (about 1.5×4) , cut six long skinny rows, and then cut in thirds.
My mini chips just wanted to roll around and fly all over the floor, but
I discovered that if I got the pan warm (I accidentally set it near the
oven vent), the chips melt a bit and stick really well, but still look
nice. So, if your chips are jumping ship, just warm the pan in the oven
on low for a few minutes, until they look glossy, then let them cool. They stick really well after this. See, this pic is before I warmed up the
and this one is after. Even prettier!
They will be very chewy, but will set up more overnight. I keep them in the pan, covered, at room temperature.
If you love crispy bars, you can omit the chocolate chip topping, and bake them at 325 for about 25 minutes, until lightly brown on the bottom.
Wrap them in wax paper to send in lunch boxes.
right click and ‘view image’ for full sized 4×6 printable recipe card
or there’s this printable page with lots more variations on this easy granola bar recipe
- 1 cup peanut butter or nut butter of any variety (you may warm it if it's too thick)
- 1 cup honey
- 1-2 t. vanilla or almond flavoring (or flavoring of your choice)
- 1 cup total of mix ins: I like ¼ cup of diced up nuts, and ¾ cups of mini chips)
- 3½ cups of regular oats *or* ¾ c. of crisp rice cereal and 2¾ cups of oats
- mini M&M's
- chopped nuts
- chopped dried fruit
- rice crispy cereal
- protein powder
- dried berries
- cocoa powder
- toffee peanuts (!!!)
- toasted coconut
- gummy bears
- candy corn...just whatever floats your boat.
- Combine peanut butter, honey, and flavorings in a large bowl.
- You may even add a drop or two of food-grade flavoring oils if you wish. Orange oil with cranberries is really delicious.
- Stir well to combine.
- Add your mix-ins, and stir.
- Finally, stir in your 3½ cups of oats (or oat/crispy rice blend).
- Mix well until evenly moist.
- Mixture should not be dry. If it is, add a bit more honey and peanut butter, a couple of Tablespoons at a time until it reaches a very thick cookie dough consistency. (The consistency of peanut butter varies a good bit, so you may have to play with it a little to find just the right ratios).
- Dump into a 9x13 pan, and press down with a square of wax paper.
- Cut into squares or bars.
I made a yummy cinnamon and spice granola bar by subbing 2 T. of molasses for 2 T of the honey, and then I stirred in 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon and ½ t. of ginger (or use pumpkin pie spice). I topped it with cinnamon chips. Dried apple would have been yummy in that one too. Or raisins, if you love oatmeal raisin cookies.
My favorite granola bar variation so far has been when I added almond extract, diced raw almonds, dried cherries, white chocolate chips, and dark chocolate chunks.
One mix in that truly goes with any flavor of granola bar is chia seeds. They really don't add a taste, and have a similar texture to poppy seeds. Chia seeds are a "super food" and I love it that they add protein, lots of energy, and staying power to my already healthy snack. !Other flavor variations ideas- Sweet and Salty Peanut
Cherry Chocolate Chunk
Toasted Sesame, Chocolate Chunk & Sea Salt
Cranberry, White Chocolate
Maple, Cinnamon, Walnut, Cranberry, Chocolate Chunk.
Dried Blueberry & Nutmeg
Hot Chocolate...or Mexican Hot Chocolate (with a touch of cinnamon!) and Mini Dehydrated Marshmallows
Gummy Bear & Candy Corn. (pretend you didn't see those last two, OK?)
What do you think…are you gonna give these a try? What kind of good stuff do you like in a granola bar?
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Hi! I have been using your recipes for a while now–thanks! Did u ever do a THM granola bar recipe?.
Gwen Brown says
It’s on my ‘to develop’ list. 🙂
PLEASE THM-ify this for us!!! I have only managed a crossover version which is about as addicting as crack so even though I have been (was) at goal weight for good long while, my very yummy but crossover granola bars are threatening that!! TIA!!
Wondering if the THM granola recipe has been developed yet? 😀
Angela Reiter says
Just checking in to see if you’ve had time to THM your granola bars yet? I so appreciate all you do!
Gwen Brown says
I’m planning my next quarter and will bump that project just for you. 🙂 I’ve had a super busy summer! Thanks for the reminder!
Deborah Poole says
These look amazing, Gwen! I’m also interested in your THM version!
My brother uses a similar recipe to make his own protein bars…honey, oats, peanut butter and protein powder. Saves him a lot of money and tastes better than any bar on the market.