Homemade No-Bake Granola Bars

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The Best NO-BAKE Granola bars! So easy, real food ingredients, and kid-friendly!

I do not know about your family, but in our house these few words resound a lot, “Mama, I’m hungry can I have a snack?”

In my quest to find real food that nourishes my family, I came to a dilemma: Finding satisfying snacks I felt good about feeding my family besides just fruit and vegetables.

Now, don’t get me wrong, fruits and veggies are great snacks and wonderful sources of nutrition, but sometimes you just need something sweet and chewy that makes you say “Mmmmm“. Problem is I’ve found most snacks from my local grocery store that are sweet and chewy and make you say “Mmmmm” are not nutrient-dense foods that fill you up and tide you over for meal time.

I was doing my best by choosing what I thought were safe and healthy options. I mean really, how bad can store- bought “natural” granola bars be, right?

Wrong!

When I took a look at my so called “healthy options,” I found ingredients like: corn syrup, sugar, caramel coloring, preservatives, and synthetic oils.ย  Those are the ones I could read.

My kids and husband love those little oat bars with chocolate and sometimes peanut butter. If I was going to rid our pantry of those chewy, sweet bars, I needed a darn good replacement. One that would be equally if not more satisfying and unlike the store-bought bars, nourishing. Guess what?

I did it!

The Best NO-BAKE Granola bars! So easy, real food ingredients, and kid-friendly!

Not only are these bars delicious and nutritious, they are so easy to make even a caveman could do it. These chewy, store-bought knock-offs are a healthy snack and one I can feel good about feeding my family.

homemade No-Bake Granola Bars
5 from 6 votes
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Homemade No-Bake Granola Bars

Calories 2238 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat your stove top to medium heat.
  2. To a saucepan over medium heat, add your coconut oil and honey. Stir to melt and combine.
  3. The oil and honey will start to bubble. When you see this, keep watch as it will soon take on a nice amber color, but do not let it get to dark or you will have made candy.
  4. Once you get a nice rolling bubble, let it go for about 30 seconds to a minute and then turn off your heat and add your vanilla.
  5. Add in the oats, flax seed, and optional peanut butter. Stir together until combined
  6. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper (be sure to have some extra hanging off both sides).
  7. Pour in the oat mixture. Using the back of a spatula press down about 1/2 inch until mixture is smooth.
  8. Sprinkle chocolate chips, nuts, and/or dried fruit over oat mixture. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool.
  9. The cutting process: Remove the pan from the fridge. Use the extra parchment hanging off sides as handles to pull your entire granola out of the pan and place on counter. It will be a solid piece. Cut width-wise into one-inch sections. Then one long cut down the center of the pan. This will allow for 12 individual servings all equal size.
  10. Note: This recipe can easily be doubled for 24 using a 9x13 pan.
  11. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

*Rolled oats can vary in texture and thickness between brands. If the bars are not “sticking” well reduce the oats amount by 1/4 -1/2 cup.

Note: Press the granola mixture firmly into the pan before cooling. This will help the granola bars “stick” once cooled.

The Best NO-BAKE Granola bars! So easy, real food ingredients, and kid-friendly!

More Snack Ideas You May Like:

90 Healthy On-the-Go Summer Snacks

ย 90 Healthy On-the-Go Summer Snacks

Homemade Peanut Butter Granola

ย Homemade Peanut Butter Granola

Cherry-Nut Lara-Like Bars

Cherry-Nut Lara-like Balls

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85 Comments

  • I love this! How do you store them? I’d be afraid of the chocolate chips melting everywhere? Especially since its summer time and warmer in the house? Great recipe though!

    • Whitney I individually wrap in parchment paper. In fact this is what I do when I bring them for my sons soccer team snack! Otherwise i store in a sealed container. You could always omit the chocolate chips and experiment with other toppings!

    • Thanks for the recipe! Mine were delicious, but fell apart really easily. Do you know if it would work better to roll them into tight balls to store in the refrigerator?

      • Hey Megan, One trick to achieving “sticky” bars (in a good way ;)), is bringing the honey (and butter) to a boil and allowing it to boil (stirring) for a minute or two, without burning. This is similar to making candy and will help the bars stick together.

        I’ve never tried making these into balls, but I think that method would work. The oats will be sticky, so I’d coat my hands in water first before rolling to prevent a sticky mess.

        Let me know how it goes!!

  • Love this! I can’t wait to try this today! I agree it is so hard to find good snacks other then fruit and veggies. I have a very picky eater, praying she will love these. Thank you for all your hard work and sharing, so Mom’s like me can provide healthy snacks for our kids ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Also how long do they last? I’m sure not long but wanting to know if they would be good for a couple days after making them. Thanks

    • They don’t last long in our house because our family ..especially my picky eaters devour them. But if they did last …it would be a week to a week and a half in a sealed container.happy cooking!

  • Can you substitute the honey for something else possibly to keep them together? I am doing the Daniel Fast & honey is not allowed nor is any syrup.

  • These look so delicious! I could totally eat a whole batch myself right now, lol! Thanks for linking up at last week’s The Weekend re-Treat on The Best Blog Recipes! Your link was chosen as a featured link at this weeks party that will start later tonight! I’ve also pinned your link to my Link Party Recipes board ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope to see you back at this weekends link party!

    Shauna

  • I just made these & cannot wait for them to set up!! =) They were super easy to make, I just need to find a cheaper way to buy the organic raw honey & coconut oil!!

  • i have made 2 batches and the don’t get hard. (no flax, no pb) i tried the first with coconut oil the second with butter any idea’s

    • Hi laura ,
      This has been a popular issue …I think you might not be cooking the coconut oil and honey mixture long enough OR need to add more honey less coconut oil/butter. It should bubble and the bubbles should stick together when you drag a spoon through the center of the pan. Thats actually how I knew the mixture was “candied enough without making candy. You want a nice caramel or amber color .. Lastly make sure to let these bars set about 1 to 2 hrs before trying to cut them. Hope those tips help!!

    • Laura, I am in Florida and right now the humidity is a killer for things like this in my house. I have been refrigerating mine for about 30 minutes to help set due to this issue ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Candice, just a few quick questions. On the toppings, could you mix them in, like chopped nuts and almonds, or is it best to lay them on top of the mixture after laying? I think I understand the non-hardening of the bard could be cause by not cooking the oils long enough. Do you think, if massed produced, that these could be frozen in anticipation of camping and hiking trips? Thanks in advance, these look like what I am trying to accomplish!

    • Heith,
      I’ve found it works best as a topping but nuts could be incorporated in mixture as long as their finely chopped. Some readers have found it made it more difficult to solidify resulting in more of a granola topping. If you find this happens pop them in the fridge for an hour and that should do the trick.
      As for freezing, I have not tried this yet but don’t see why it wouldn’t work as long as there’s adequate thawing time as the honey will be hard as a brick and you don’t want to break a tooth. Happy snacking on the trail!

  • I’m curious why you didn’t soak the oats for proper nutrient digestion? I am going to give it a try with soaked oats and a little tweaking.

    • We try to soak the majority of grains and legumes we consume, however, there are times it just doesn’t work out. This recipe is one of those recipes. It’s a nice occasional treat. A dehydrator may work well for using soaked oats in this recipe, however, may dry the bars out too much. Would love to hear what you come up with.

    • Hi Shawna, Glad you liked them. I’ve found oats can differ greatly from one brand to another in texture and thickness, so if the mixture seems just a bit too sticky, add just a few tablespoons more of oats, before cooling. This should help the stickiness on the bottom.

    • Hi Debbie, If you would like to soak them, I’d recommend soaking and dehydrating the oats and then making these bars. I personally have tried soaking these many times and the result is never pleasant.

  • I am so excited to make this recipe! I’m 7 months prego and I’m always thinking about snacks I should bring when I’m going to be out and about cause I always get hungry. I totally agree with you when we’re at the grocery store and you’re trying to find tha “all natural” granola bars that are far from healthy. My husband tried to make some granola bars but (don’t tell him) they weren’t the best tasting lol! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • These are AMAZING!!! I made a batch on Sunday and had to make another one today. (both were double batches) All 3 of my kiddos and my husband love them. So thankful for pinterest and stumbling onto your site! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you!

    • Hi Jacqueline, Honey is what causes these bars to “stick”. I don’t think maple syrup would provide that. Quick oats have a much different texture and size then regular whole oats, so you’d need a different measurement than what is provided.

  • I’m wondering if heating the honey until it bubbles, will denature the honey. I know you don’t want to heat honey too much to keep the beneficial properties of raw honey.

    • Hi Melody, The honey isn’t cooked long enough to be too much of a concern. I choose to use raw honey as I trust it more than the highly processed honeys generally found in the store. Even with the heating, the honey still retains many benefits.

  • Do you know of a way to make them crunchy? I would like them to be more like dry granola. I would think cooking them longer but how long?

  • I love this recipe and the taste of these bars. I have made them twice and we really like them but they have turned out a little crumbly. Any suggestions? What about baking them? Thanks!

    • Hey Robyn, I’m so glad you like the granola bars. You can definitely bake them with success. I’d bake at 325 for around 30 minutes. That may help with the crumbly texture. Also, allowing the honey to bubble (similar to candy-making) should help the honey have a bit more stick (again, like candy) for holding the ingredients together.

    • Hey Maria, For this recipe soaking grains doesn’t work due to texture. If you wanted to soak and dehydrate the oats first and then use them in the recipe, that would be the best soaking option.

  • Kristin –

    I am new to “clean eating” and made these bars last night. Unfortunately they did not turn out well. The coconut oil gave them such a strong unpleasant taste and the bars were just too gooey. We could never have been able to grab on the go. Did I use the wrong coconut oil? Is there a best type to use for cooking? Was there a secret to making them more firm?

    Thanks for your help and I absolutely love your website!

    • Hey Tamra, I’m sorry they didn’t turn out well. You probably have a good cooking coconut oil…I use virgin coconut oil. I would recommend boiling the honey and coconut oil mixture a bit longer…similar to making candy. This will make the honey stickier. Also depending on your rolled oats, you may need to reduce the amount by 1/4 cup as rolled oats can very in thickness and texture with brands. Another tip is keep them in the fridge for a bit longer until they “harden” before cutting. Hope that helps :).

  • These are SO delish! I did find that storing them in the fridge helps them maintain their shape, otherwise they can get a tad gooey. Finally something to quench my sweet tooth without being too naughty ๐Ÿ™‚

  • These were easy to mix together, but they seem really sweet to me. Also, the bottom is really sticky – like all the honey mixture worked its way to the bottom.

    Based on other feedback, I’m guessing I didn’t boil honey long enough. I think too that I would reduce honey to reduce the sweetness.

    • Hey Angela,

      I’m sorry your bars were a bit too sweet and sticky.

      Honey can really vary in sweetness (and even color) depending on the type and season. So that may be the issue for the bars being too sweet.
      For the stickiness, I believe you’re right–boiling the honey a bit longer (similar to making candy or caramel) will help.

  • Hi, I’m just wondering, for a nut free school, instead of chocolate chips and peanut butter, what other combo’s could I do as a nut alternative? My brain isn’t working and I can’t think. Maybe apricot and coconut? Thanks

  • I can’t find the nutritional information (I know – I can compute – but thought maybe you had already done so)

  • These are my new go-to granola bars. I made them last night for breakfast this morning. They were a hit for my kids ages 15-3. My 11 year old even asked after school if there were any left. These are definitely going into the rotation. I accidentally mixed the chips in which completely melted them and made the bars extra sticky. Thanks, Kristin! I used butter, pb, and vanilla chips. Yum!

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