How to Make Your Own, Better Than Store Bought, Chewy Granola Bars

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Ever since I posted my recipes for chewy oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate, cherry, almond granola bars, I’ve had many people ask me for my chewy peanut butter chocolate chip version.

I was going to write this post sharing my chewy peanut butter chocolate chip granola bar recipe, however, I decided to share with you my base recipe to give you the freedom to make any kind of flavored granola bar you’d like.

Don’t worry, I’ll also share my chewy peanut butter chocolate chip recipe at the end of this post ;)

As I’ve written before, making homemade granola bars literally takes five minutes of prep work and 20-25 minutes of baking.

I love that…

  • they’re organic
  • save you money
  • they are quick and easy to make
  • they are free of any hidden ingredients
  • you can make sure they are GMO free

Each batch of granola bars makes 12-14 bars.  That’s a lot more than a standard box of store bought granola bars.

Once you buy the ingredients, you’ll easily get 3 batches of granola bars. It’s really great savings for just a smidge of your time.

Chewy Granola Bars Must Have Equipment

1. A Good Quality Bar Pan

As often as I make chewy granola bars, I ended up getting a good quality stonewear pan.

I use a medium bar pan from the stonewear line of Pampered Chef.

I love it.  My batch fits perfectly in it and makes me 14 bars.  If you don’t have this particular pan or size, don’t worry.  Any old pan will work!

2. Parchment Paper

When I posted my other recipes, I’ve had people tell me that their bars crumbled.  They couldn’t get them out of the pan.

In order to prevent this, I’m now recommending to butter your pan and to line it with parchment paper.

If you don’t have parchment paper, make sure to really butter your pan.

Chewy Granola Bars Base Recipe

The Base Recipe is really easy.

Every granola bar will have these specific ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups rolled oats (I buy Country Choice organic oats from Trader Joes. $3.29)
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar (sub rapadura or sucanat)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I grind my own wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fat of choice
  • 1 1/2 cup nuts/dried fruit/chips of choice

To create your own flavors, you can alter the fat and nuts/dried fruits/chips.

Fat

Depending on the flavor combination you are creating, each batch of granola bar needs 1/4 cup of fat.

You can use

  • butter
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil

The butter and olive oil will lend itself to a chewier texture.  The coconut oil will make your bar a bit harder.

Nuts/Dried Fruit/Chips

Once you decide on a fat, it’s up to you what you’d like to add to your bar.

You can add

  • any kind of nut (almonds, sunflower, walnuts, etc.. )
  • any kind of dried fruit (raisins, cherries, cranberries, apricots, coconut, etc…)
  • any kind of chip (chocolate chip, dark chocolate, peanut butter chips, etc..)

Play around with your fat and additions.  Come up with your own.  As long as you use the base recipe, you can’t go wrong!

Making the Perfect Chewy Granola Bar

Once you decide on your own flavor combinations, all you need to do is toss all the ingredients in a large bowl.

ingredients_mix

Press your mixture down firmly in a buttered and parchment lined pan, then bake for 20 -25 minutes at 350F.

How easy, right?!

The best part is being able to give them to your kids and feeling great about it.

zekie

No secret ingredients! No GMO’s!  Quick, Easy, Real Food!

Chewy, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Chewy, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Easy to make peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars. No hidden ingredients, real food!

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar (sub rapadura or sucanat)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Method:

  1. Butter a small sized baking pan really well. (I use a medium bar pan from the stonewear line of Pampered Chef.)
  2. Line the pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Place the mixture into the prepared baking pan and pat down firmly.
  5. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool before cutting.
http://www.myhumblekitchen.com/2012/11/how-to-make-your-own-better-than-store-bought-chewy-granola-bars-in-any-flavor/

Do you make your own granola bars?  Tell me, what’s your favorite flavor combination?

85 Responses to "How to Make Your Own, Better Than Store Bought, Chewy Granola Bars"
  1. Mare says:

    Looks yummy! I’ve been thinking about making some, especially for our flight back to Honduras. One thought… have you thought about soaking the oats at all? Just curious. xoxo!

  2. Diana Bauman says:

    No, I really haven’t, Mare. These are mostly for Gabe. He likes to take them to work. What would you suggest, soaking the oats then dehydrating them? One thing I have read from is that soaking oats really doesn’t lower the phytic acid. Hmmm… Let me try to see where I had read that!!

    • Mare says:

      I don’t soak & dehydrate my oats anymore. I started noticing that they don’t settle well anymore. I believe it is the gal over at Healthy Home Ec. that wrote a post about it and confirmed my thoughts that simply soaking then dehydrating doesn’t do the job well. It has to be cooked for the phytic acid to break down.

      I’m thinking a nut version of these granola bars would work. What you think?

  3. M Lillian says:

    What do you recommend for chips? Especially peanut butter chips? I have used Enjoy Life brand of chocolate chips because they are soy-free, but I don’t know of any healthy peanut butter chips. (I have also made my own chocolate chips but don’t know how to make peanut butter chips).

  4. Thanks, Diana! I’ll have to make some of these. I’ve never made homemade granola bars. Thanks!

  5. Paloma says:

    Those look sooo good! Love the presentation as well! Yum!

  6. Been looking for the perfect homemade granola bars… I want to try these next! Totally pinning them.

  7. Annie Ferrer says:

    I made these a couple of weeks ago and I have another batch in the oven right now. I substituted the dried cherries for shredded coconut and the brown sugar for coconut sugar. So good! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Hi, I’m new to your website and natural foods, but I am just beginning to try to make some changes! I have a question about this recipe–I have that same pampered chef stoneware dish, do I butter it and then put parchment in it, and then bake the granola bars? What’s the butter for if there’s parchment paper? Does the parchment stick to the pan? Thanks in advance!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Hi Stephanie, yes. Butter the pan then line it with parchment. It’s just extra insurance that the bars don’t stick to the pan. Since the parchment is usually just on the bottom maybe over two sides as well, having that extra butter keeps them from sticking anywhere. I also like to do this so that it starts to season the stonewear. Soon enough, it’ll be smooth as butter! Hope that helps :D

  9. Aaron Brown says:

    Hi!

    I am loving reading through your blog and all of the delicious sounding recipes. I have two quick questions:

    1. Is the pastry flour necessary? If so, why? I only ask because I am currently living in Thailand (working for an NGO) and there is very little availability to pastry flour, or all-purpose flours for that matter.

    2. Is it possible to leave out the butter and use peanut butter as a substitute binding agent?

    Thank you for the granola recipes and all of the others!

    Aaron

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Aaron, thanks for stopping by! Yes, the flour is more of a binding agent, the butter is giving it flavor and keeping it chewy. I definitely think peanut butter could be substituted for the butter. Any fat, really. Give it a go and let us know how it turns out ;D

  10. Eliana says:

    These were amazing! People always write ” my kids loved them” but my kids really did. I think I will use less honey or brown sugar next go round but great whole grain portable snack. Why did I ever buy granola bars?

  11. Amy D. says:

    I will be trying these this weekend with homemade peanut butter chips. Hopefully these will win over my husband…I made the dark chocolate cherry ones last night and he thought they were bland. I swear there is something wrong with that man’s taste buds – I thought they were GREAT! But he does like peanut butter much more than he likes cherries, so we’ll give this one a shot! (^_^)

    • Amy D. says:

      Just wanted to let you know that the peanut butter chocolate ones were a hit with my hubby! The homemade pb chips didn’t work (and I don’t like the ingredient list on pre-packaged ones) so I just used 1 cup of straight peanut butter. :)

  12. Erin says:

    Does using coconut oil (instead of butter or olive oil) make the bars crunchy or just more firm?? I’m going to give some to my mom, but don’t want them to be a crunchy granola bar. Also don’t want them to turn out all floppy either… thanks!!

  13. Terri says:

    Diana:
    My mom wants chewy granola bars with mint chocolate chip. Beyond the basic ingredients and the mint chocolate chips what would you or your other guests suggest for for other add-ins? Most fruits seem to overpowering for the mint. What about dried pear? Also, is it the honey or the butter that makes the bars chewy?

    Thanks!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Yes, it’s a combination of the honey and the butter. If I were making mint chocolate chips, I would treat them like peanut butter chewy bars, and just sub the peanut butter/chocolate chips for mint chips. Probably, cut down on the amount though. Maybe 3/4 cup? You could even experiment, and use chocolate chips with fresh mint, the herb. That might just be phenomenal! Or, you can even use a mint extract with a dark chocolate bar. Just some suggestions, lol!!

  14. Vanessa says:

    Mine won’t stick together! What am I doing wrong? :(

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Vanessa, I’m not sure? Can you let me know what you did? Maybe we can figure something out :)

      • Vanessa says:

        I think I got it now. :) I wasn’t using butter with enough fat – silly me. I’m still having issues with them sticking around the dried cranberries – but that I can live with.

        I also did not use the raw honey – do you think it makes a huge difference? The cost was very high, about three times that as normal honey, and I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

  15. THANK YOU for this!!

  16. Shawna Baruh says:

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    I co-write a monthly newsletter with my husband and I used your recipe in the food section and took everyone down my road of trying it out. Some tweaks here and there but isn’t that the nature of granola bars anyway?
    I’m trying to make snacks instead of buying them along with all their preservatives as well as feeding my family with more intention in general.
    Thank you!
    Here is the link to my go at it :)
    http://adamandshawna.com/2013/04/april-2013-newsletter/

  17. lisa says:

    I love love love these bars. I made a batch with 3/4c dried blueberries, 3/4c sliced almonds, and 1/4t cinnamon and I literally can’t stop eating them. We almost devoured the pan in one night! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I’ve been on the search for an easy, adjustable, and completely delish granola bar recipe for a long time and now I’ve finally found it!

  18. jenny says:

    I am going to try this with gluten/ caesin free substitutions. UDI’s just came out with a granola bar that is GFCF and it is the first one Ethan will eat but they are $6 a box for 5 bars a little steep since he can eat 2-3 a day so will see if I can duplicate it :)

  19. Linda says:

    Hey I was wondering would this work as well if I substituted Raw Agave in place of the honey?

  20. Denise says:

    Can these be frozen? How can they be stored? I would like to make a big batch and store.

  21. I am looking forward to making my own granola bars for my children. I just read this morning all the ingredients in the store bought ones and was flabbergasted.
    Because we are a wheat free family.. Do you have any other recipes for chewy granola bars that do not contain wheat?

  22. Janet says:

    My daughter has a soy allergy and we have been making a lot of our snacks, breads, and well almost everything from scratch. The one thing that I haven’t been able to make was chocolate chip granola bars. Now due to your website and comments I able to make them. We have a trip to Chicago this weekend. I will be making these for a snack. Basically what I am saying is THANK YOU!!!! Keep up the great work!

  23. Denise says:

    How do I store these to keep them at the right texture, in an open container or in a zip lock bag? How long do they keep? Are they shelf stable since there are no preservatives or do they need to be refrigerated. Have you tried making large batches and freezing them? If so, how is the texture once they are thawed?

    Thank you.

  24. Sara says:

    Hi Diana – I just tried making your bars for the first time and they taste fantastic! My kids couldn’t get enough of them. The only issue is that mine turned out pretty crumbly – almost more like moist chunky granola than solid bar. I used coconut oil and raw honey – both of which are fairly thick/viscous so I had a hard time getting the dry ingredients to totally mix. Maybe that’s the issue? I also added shredded coconut, chocolate chips, raisins and almonds. It didn’t seem like too much of any one but maybe together I overwhelmed it with other ingredients? Any suggestions to make the bars firmer welcome! Thanks!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Sara, I might try cutting down on the extra ingredients. Also, make sure to press them down firmly before baking. I’m anxious to hear of your results the next go around :)

  25. Kathleen says:

    I tried your basic recipe, and I liked them all, but found them to be too salty for me. Next time I’ll half the salt. Maybe it’s because I left out the brown sugar and it lacked balance?

  26. Francisco says:

    Muchas gracias Diana, quedaron espectaculares, las hice y me alimente de ellas para última semana de preparación antes de correr mi primera maratón y ahora las seguiré haciendo para disfrutarlas en familia.
    Blessings

  27. deepali says:

    these look yum. i am going to try them today! i live in europe, where things get weighed (instead of measuring by volume), so i think i’m going to have to wing it a little bit. i have an idea in my head of what the consistency should be like before they get baked, so we’ll see if i can get there. :)
    i’m also thinking about cooking and blending dates and bananas too instead of the sugar. will probably have to adjust the dry ingredients. will report back. :)

  28. carrie rothwell says:

    Hi there….If using olive oil for the fat, would it not make the bars odd-tasting?
    Also, would the coconut oil be strong in flavor?

    Thanks

  29. Cassandra says:

    A friend shared your link with me, these are heavenly! I just finished off half an 8×8 pan lol (halved it cause I didn’t have enough oats) For my add ins, I did equal parts chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and chopped walnuts. They were fantastic! I would advise others to let these cool well before handling though, I almost destroyed the batch by trying to remove them too quickly! Once cool they were the perfect firm chewy consistency :D I’m going to have fun with these

  30. Rachel says:

    Do you wait till they are completely cool till you cut them or is there a certain time range? mine are falling apart! :(

  31. Vicki says:

    Have you tried this recipe using pumpkin? If so, what ingredient does it substitute? Thanks!

  32. marie says:

    Are the oats quick minute oats? Can I use quick minute oats?

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Marie – The oats are old fashioned rolled oats. They quick oats should work as well.

      • Melissa says:

        Just made these for the first time last night. I only had quick oats and it worked great!
        These are yummy. I used chopped crystalline ginger, almonds, golden raisins, and some sunflower seeds.

  33. stacy says:

    Love your recipe! I definitely like almond, coconut, and chocolate in mine. They taste like a almond joy without as much guilt :-) A recipe worth saving for me, and my son cant get enough.

  34. Megan says:

    2 quick questions: 1) If I leave out the honey will the bars still stick together? I used peanut butter and butter but no honey. 2) Will the bars stick together (as in not crumble and fall apart) once they are cool?? I just made my first batch tonight and so far they are crumbly (but then they are still warm). They are however delicious as everyone in my family has had a spoon and deemed them delicious!

    • Megan says:

      Ok, so I played around a bit and figured out that I will definitely keep the honey in and I also added an egg which helped to bind them and keep them soft. I also omitted the butter and used peanut butter instead. They definitely have to cool before cutting but the last batch I made turned out perfect. Can’t wait to experiment with other things in it (already used less oats and more sunflower seeds as well as sesame, hemp, and chia seeds).

  35. Bryanna says:

    If you are not using the pampered chef stoneware, do you skip the buttering the pan step and just line the pan with parchment paper?

  36. Ayanna Bergstrom says:

    Im looking for a homemade snack for after training.
    Can I replace the wheat flour with protein powder? If not, can I use almond flour insted?

  37. Ayanna Bergstrom says:

    I used the recipe as my base. I used almond flour insted of the wheat and I added 3 scoops of Natural protein powder and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. They came out really good. My kids loved them and I think I may like them a little to much, trying to keep from eatting them all in one day. I froze half and I hope they can keep in the freezer.

  38. Jennifer says:

    I was wondering if I could sub coconut flour for the whole wheat flour?

  39. CJ says:

    I made your granola bars for the first time yesterday and they turned out DELICIOUS! I used coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar and spelt flour instead of whole wheat. I chose coconut oil for the fat and used coconut, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and mini chocolate chips for the nuts/fruit/chips combo. Thanks for the awesome recipe! I will definitely be making these again!

  40. Colleen says:

    Hi Diana,
    I am really looking forward to making these granola bars, but I was wondering if I could use all purpose flour instead of pastry flour. If not, what is the advantage of using pastry flour? Thank you.

  41. Jelli says:

    Diana, I LOVE this! I bought some mix-ins to make granola bars this week and have been all over the net looking for a recipe to use. My husband’s been begging me to make him a good snack to take to work and I cannot wait to make these. So happy that I can find all the (wholesome) ingredients here in Costa Rica too. So many time the healthy recipes call for oddball ingredients that they just don’t sell here. Thanks so much! Loving your site and getting ready to really dig in and check out more!

  42. Jelli says:

    I made these this morning and they were delicious! I baked them in a 9×13″ pan which made a thinner and more brittle bar. Next time I’ll opt for a 9″ square pan. Nevertheless, the whole family gave the recipe a 2 thumbs up. Thanks!

  43. Traci says:

    Regarding freezing… I make my own cereal and protein bars all the time, in big batches. I wrap them individually and then double wrap them by keeping them in a large Ziplock bag. It takes maybe 30 seconds in the microwave or u can just let them thaw. They come out as good as the day they were made! Your recipe looks great, I’m going to have to try it!

  44. marcia says:

    I make similiar granola bars but I use a nonstick pan and it works great without butter or parchment paper! I always let them cool all the way before attempting to cut them up.

  45. Heather Underwood says:

    I mixed in some flax seed and Brewers yeast and made a lactati on version. Next time I might just skip the flour and use them instead.

  46. rebekah says:

    these are very tasty but are too crumbly to cut into bars. Did anyone else have this problem. I didn’t substitute anything – just followed the recipe. thanks

  47. Jenny says:

    I have made these several times, i use a raisin medley, cherries, coconut shreds, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and carob chips i don’t use nuts or chocolate due to family alergies and they are amazing!

  48. Corina says:

    I just put these in the oven. I subbed 2 Tblsps of maple syrup for the brown sugar, 1 cup of almond butter instead of chips, coconut flour and coconut oil. The raw mix taste yummy. I also added pecans and almonds! Smelling delish!

  49. Karin says:

    These granola bar recipes are great. I tried them twice already. The first time I used butter and sugar, the bars were slightly more crunchy then chewy. The second batch I made with 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, chocolate chips, unsweetened organic coconut, and butter with a tablespoon of coconut oil. They are so tasty and chewy/soft. Thumbs up from the whole family.

  50. Pam says:

    Sounds great am going to try them tomorrow. Will have to sub maple syrup ?for honey as I allergic to honey.

  51. Jane Kirk says:

    Thank you – I have been making this recipe for a couple months now.

    Just posted a link back to this recipe here
    Celebrate Motherhood Blog

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