Chewy Granola Bars
These homemade granola bars are made from wholesome ingredients, but taste just like the childhood favorite! Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free.
I can’t really remember a school lunch day where I didn’t have a granola bar tucked away inside my lunchbox. Those chewy, golden, and sweet bars sustained many a playground adventure in my childhood, and I look back on them fondly. Unfortunately, those popular store-bought bars are full of dairy, wheat, and refined sugars – all of which I try to avoid or limit in my daily diet.
Today I’m going to show you how you can make your own granola bars, all from the comfort of your own home! This recipe requires only 5 basic ingredients, but tastes just like those childhood bars I adored.
Like I said, all you’ll need to make this recipe is:
- One Degree Organics Sprouted Quick Oats
- One Degree Organics Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps
- Liquid Sweetener (Agave, Maple Syrup, or Date Syrup)
- Granulated Sweetener (I prefer Coconut Sugar)
- and a Nut or Seed Butter, to help bind things together.
I opted to use my favorite Sprouted Quick Oats and Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps from One Degree Organics for this recipe; not only do these products digest better in my body, but they are also certified organic, gluten-free, and help support farmers committed to completely vegan practices.
Step One: mix the wet and dry ingredients separately, then together
Pro-tip: it helps to microwave the wet ingredients for a few seconds to make the mixture more pourable/drizzly. I reduced the amount of sugar in the classic granola bar and replaced it (+ the classic oil) with nut butter to help mimic that chewy consistency that we all know and love.
You can use any nut or seed butter you’d like here, just keep in mind that it will affect the final flavor. My personal favorites are cashew butter (for a neutral taste), almond butter, and peanut butter.
Step Two: flavor, as desired
Store-bought granola bars are studded with crunchy toppings and fun flavors. Why should we miss out on the fun? I’ve come up with three different combinations of simple ingredients to mimic those classic combinations we all know and love:
- Chocolate Chip: add 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips to the batter
- S’mores: add 1 1/2 tablespoons of chocolate chips + 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped vegan marshmallows
- Peanut: most granola bars use peanut butter chips, but I found that using peanut butter in the base + adding 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts works just as well. You could also add in some chocolate chips for some extra fun!
You could also dunk or drizzle the bars in even more melted chocolate after they set, if you want. I’m definitely not going to stop you 😉
Step Three: firmly press into a baking tin, bake, and then let cool completely
Just make sure to line your tin with parchment paper, otherwise you’ll be in a very sticky (and messy) situation. You only need to bake the bars for 5 to 8 minutes, but don’t skip this step. If you do, they will fall apart and be sticky – notice a theme here?
Also, please note that the recipe makes one 9×9″ baking tin of granola bars. If you want to make more than one flavor, you can divide the base mixture in half, then use two separate 9×4.5″ bread loaf pans instead – it works just as well!
Step Four: slice and enjoy!
After your bars have cooled completely, remove them from the tin, slice, and enjoy! Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to 10 days, but could also be stored in the fridge for a longer shelf life.
A Few Final Thoughts:
- Nut Allergies: these bars will work just as well with Tahini, Sunflower Butter, or even Coconut Butter.
- Portability: while these bars will hold their shape, they can be fragile if not properly wrapped. If you’re planning on traveling with them, I actually recommend either doubling the recipe or making these chewy granola bars in a loaf pan instead – that way they are twice the thickness, and much more sturdy.
- Looking for more snacks? You’ll also love these No-Bake Vegan Cosmic Brownies, these Lemon Poppyseed Energy Bites and these Healthy Rice Crispy Treats!
For the Base Recipe:
2 ½ cups One Degree Organics Sprouted Quick Oats
2 cups One Degree Organics Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps
¾ cup nut or seed butter*
½ cup liquid sweetener*
¼ cup coconut sugar
Chocolate Chip: ¼ cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
Peanut Butter: ¼ cup chopped peanuts + use peanut butter in base recipe
S’mores: 3 Tbsps dairy-free mini chocolate chips + 3 Tbsps of chopped vegan marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9×9″ baking tin with parchment paper. Add the oats and rice cereal to a large bowl and mix until evenly combined.
Add the nut butter, liquid sweetener, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract to a separate, smaller bowl. Microwave for 20 – 30 seconds to loosen the mixture, then stir until well-combined. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix everything together. You may eventually need to use your hands to really get in there.
Fold in any additional toppings or bar flavors, if you are using them. Firmly press the granola bar mixture into the lined baking tin, then bake in the middle rack of the oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven and let cool completely before removing and slicing into bars.
Serve as desired; leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Nut or Seed Butter: you can use any nut or seed butter for this recipe, though keep in mind that it will affect the final flavor. I prefer to use Cashew Butter for a neutral flavor, and Peanut Butter for the peanut granola bars
Liquid Sweetener: you can use maple syrup, agave, or date syrup for this recipe. The thicker the sweetener, the better the bars will hold up. Coconut sugar can also be replaced with brown sugar.
Bar Thickness: while these bars will hold their shape, they can be fragile if not properly wrapped. If you’re planning on traveling with them, I actually recommend either doubling the recipe or making these chewy granola bars in a loaf pan instead – that way they are twice the thickness, and much more sturdy.