This chewy homemade granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes!
A good granola bar recipe is flexible. This is a good homemade granola bar recipe. There are a few variable elements to a proper granola bar, and they’re all here. As long as each element is present in its required relative amounts, you can easily make it your own, to suit your family’s tastes.
The elements of a proper homemade granola bar
- Oats (certified gluten free oats, assuming you’re gluten free): the base.
- Nuts/seeds/dried fruit/dried coconut/chocolate chips: for texture, taste and appearance purposes (really). You really can use any combination. I’ve listed my favorite combo below.
- Sugars: 100% necessary, as they not only provide sweetness, but they hold the bars together.
- Fat: A fat that is soft-solid at room temperature, like butter or virgin coconut oil works best.
- Egg: for baked, chewy bars like these, the egg is a binder and a texture-enhancer. I bet a “chia egg” would work well here in its place, if necessary.
The result is my favorite homemade granola bar recipe, one of my favorite gluten free breakfasts and quick snacks. The combination of partially processed rolled oats and oat flour creates just the right texture and helps the bars hold together while maintaining their chewiness.
The delicate balance of mini chocolate chips (not too many!) and dried fruit keeps things interesting. And a mix of honey, maple syrup and molasses, plus brown sugar, provides just the right sweetness without becoming cloying. And all of that moisture keeps them chewy even once you’ve browned them nicely in a moderate 325°F oven.
I almost always double the recipe, and bake them in two separate square pans to ensure proper browning. You can also make a double recipe in a 9-inch x 12-inch baking pan. Try baking the bars for about 35 minutes, and then turning down the oven to 300°F and continuing to bake until the center is lightly browned and set. Before removing the bars from the pan, cool on the counter for 20 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator.
P.S. In a hurry? Try my no-bake granola bar recipe!
Chewy Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
1 3/4 cups (175g) certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats, processed by about half in a food processor
1 cup (120g) certified gluten free oat flour
3/4 cup (164g) packed light brown sugar (or granulated coconut palm sugar)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cups (160g) raw pecans, almonds and/or pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped
1 cup (about 80g) coconut chips
8 ounces mini chocolate chips, dried raisins and/or dried cranberries or other small dried fruit
8 tablespoons (112g) unsalted butter or virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons (126 g) combination of honey, pure maple syrup and/or molasses (I like to use 2 tablespoons of each)
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan, and then line it with unbleached parchment paper that overhangs 2 opposite sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.
In a large bowl, place the oats, oat flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the chopped nuts, coconut chips, chocolate chips and dried fruit, and mix to combine. In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the melted butter or coconut oil, honey/maple syrup/molasses, egg and vanilla, and mix to combine well. Create a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer.
Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer the pan to the freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the freezer and lift the bars out of the pan by the overhung parchment paper. Peel back the paper, and slice into 12 rectangular bars with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or the freezer for longer.
Originally published on the blog in 2012. Ingredients simplified, all photographs new, method unchanged.