This recipe for crunchy baked granola bars is loaded with healthy ingredients like honey, oats, nuts, dried fruit and coconut. Homemade granola bars make the perfect on the go snack for packing in lunches.
My family eats an insane amount of granola bars. I mean a ton! We used to buy about 10 boxes every time I went shopping and they would be gone in a week. There’s just something about granola bars that everyone loves.
They’re healthy (for the most part), sweet, a little salty, crunchy or chewy, with chocolate, fruit and nuts. Granola bars are basically healthy cookies!
Have you tried my granola balls recipe yet?
Since we love them so much, I’ve been experimenting with ingredients and techniques to make “the perfect granola bar”. And well, this might just be it! This recipe for baked granola bars is crunchy, but not hard on your teeth. Its sweet with just the right amount of saltiness and sweetened with honey instead of sugar.
I pack theses bars in my kids’ and husband’s lunches, but my favorite way to enjoy mine, is crumbled up in my homemade yogurt drizzled with maple syrup. Yummmmmm!
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Crunchy Granola Bars Recipe:
- Honey – honey holds these crunchy granola bars together and sweetens them without needing to use sugar.
- Peanut Butter – peanut butter binds the ingredients into a thick mixture you can press into a cookie sheet for firm bars. Creamy peanut butter is the way to go, but almond butter would work fine too.
- Oats – rolled old fashioned oats are what I use. If you need this recipe to be gluten free, just make sure your oats are certified GF.
- Cinnamon – really makes these granola balls taste like cookies!
- Vanilla Extract – I love to use my homemade vanilla extract in this recipe. But of course you can use store-bought too.
- Coconut Oil – virgin coconut oil is what I use. You can substitute butter, but use a little less salt to compensate for the saltiness of the butter.
- Dried Fruit – cranberries, dates, raisins, chopped apricots…
- Nuts – chopped pecans or walnuts work best in this recipe.
- Chocolate Chips – mini, regular, dark, milk or white chocolate. Basically any kind you prefer!
- Shredded Coconut – I like to use this organic unsweetened shredded coconut. If you aren’t a coconut fan, leave it out and add extra oats in its place.
- Sea Salt – Because sea salt makes everything better, am I right?
- Large Bowl – for mixing the ingredients together.
- Baking Pan – this recipe makes a 9×13 pan of bars.
- Parchment Paper – using parchment paper to line the baking sheet keeps the granola bars from sticking and makes clean up a breeze.
- Medium Saucepan – for melting the wet ingredients.
How To Make This Crunchy Granola Bars Recipe:
Preheat the Oven Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Toast the Dry Ingredients: Spread the oats, chopped nuts and coconut on the prepped cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. When the coconut is just lightly golden, remove the pan and let it cool.
Melt the Wet Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil, peanut butter, honey, sea salt and cinnamon over medium-low heat until the peanut butter is runny. Stir to mix.
Stir: Remove the saucepan from the stove and stir in the vanilla.
Combine: Combine all of the ingredients besides the chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix well to combine.
Add the Chocolate Chips: Add the chocolate chips when the mixture has cooled down, that way the chocolate doesn’t melt in the granola bars.
Press into the Pan: Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper and press the granola bar mixture into it. Be sure to press it in as firmly as possible so that the bars don’t crumble when you cut them.
Bake: Bake for 20 minutes until the top is light golden.
Cool: Cool for 45 minutes in the pan before you cut the bars. Carefully, cut the bars with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container.
Store: Baked granola bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.
Variations: Any kind of chocolate chips can be used.
Any kind of unsalted, raw nuts can be used.
Any kind of dried fruit, chopped to the size of a raisin will work.
Substitutions: The peanut butter can be substituted with other nut butters as long as they aren’t runny.
Butter can be used in place of the coconut oil, but you might need to use a bit less salt if you do.
FAQ About This Crunchy Granola Bars Recipe:
Why Are My Granola Bars Not Crunchy?
If you’re wanting crunchy bars instead of chewy, baked granola bars are the way to go.
Toasting the dry ingredients like nuts, oats and coconut for a few minutes before mixing in the wet ingredients helps to make your granola bars crunchy. If the dry ingredients are toasted, you don’t have to bake them as long, and they are less likely to be over-baked.
How Do You Keep Granola Bars From Falling Apart?
Make sure to press the granola bar mixture into the pan as firmly as possible. Using the flat side of a measuring cup, go over the top of the granola bars, pushing down, until the mixture is evenly spread and packed.
Cutting baked granola bars when they’re still warm, helps the bars to stay together without crumbling.
If your bars do crumble some, just use the clusters as granola on top of yogurt for a yummy treat!
How Long Do Baked Granola Bars Last?
Baked granola bars will last up to a week, stored in an air-tight container at room temperature or frozen for up to 3 months.
What Ingredient Holds Baked Granola Bars Together?
The best way to make your granola bars stick together and not fall apart, is to use honey in them. Honey binds and holds the rest of the ingredients together like a glue. Making sure the ratio of sticky to dry ingredients is just right is also important.
More Healthy Snacks You Might Enjoy:
If you liked this recipe, I think you’ll really enjoy these other healthy snacks on the blog:
- Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
- Healthy Berry Jello
- Homemade Strawberry Marshmallows
- Rice Crispy Treats Sweetened With Dates
- Honey Lollipops
I hope you love this recipe for healthy crunchy granola bars! If you make them, I’d love for you to come back and leave a comment and rating so that I know how you like them!
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