Homemade Granola Bars are quick & easy to prepare, calling for just 4 simple ingredients. They are more affordable than the store-bought variety, and I think they taste better, too!
What Makes Them Stick Together?
The key to making these granola bars stick together is boiling the honey for exactly 1 minute. This makes the honey harden slightly as it cools, giving these bars the classic “chewy” texture that I love in a store-bought granola bar.
If you’re vegan and would rather not use honey, you can do the exact same method using maple syrup instead. In my experience, maple syrup hardens a bit more than honey, so the resulting bars have a slightly more dry, hard texture, but they are still delicious.
This recipe is easily adaptable to use any other nut or seed butters you have on hand. If you don’t like peanut butter, feel free to use almond butter, instead.
How to Make Them Nut-Free
In that case, you might want to use a little extra sweetener, or press some raisins or cranberries on top, to help distract from the slightly more bitter flavor of the ground seeds.
How to Make Them
This recipe moves quickly, so I recommend you have all of the ingredients you need measured and ready to go before you get started. Place the oats in a large bowl, so they are ready when you are.
First, you’ll boil the honey in a small saucepan. As soon as you start to see bubbles, set a timer for exactly 1 minute.
There’s no need to stir the honey as it boils, but you can lower the heat slightly so the bubbles don’t get too high in the pot.
When the timer goes off, remove the pan from the stove and stir in the peanut butter and salt. Stir until smooth, then pour it over the oats.
Stir well, until the oats are evenly coated. The mixture will start to harden as it cools, so that’s why you’ll want to move fast.
Spray an 8-inch square dish with oil, then press a piece of parchment paper into the bottom. (This will help you remove the bars easily later.)
Press the granola bar mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan. If you want to add any extras on top, now is the time to do it!
I like to add almonds, a drizzle of dark chocolate, and flaky sea salt.
Let the bars chill in the fridge for about an hour to cool down and firm up. Slice them into 12 bars.
For a smaller snack-size bar, you can cut them in half again, too! The serving size is up to you.
How To Store Them
Homemade granola bars will keep well for up to a week at room temperature, but for a longer shelf life, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
You can also freeze them for up to 6 months!
Best Homemade Granola Bars
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup almonds
- This recipe moves fast, so measure everything out before you get started. Pour the oats into a large bowl and set it aside. Lightly spray an 8-inch square pan with oil and press a square of parchment paper into the bottom. (The oil will hold the parchment paper in place, so it doesn't move around later.)
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the honey to a boil. Set a timer and allow the honey to boil for 1 minute, without stirring.
- Remove from the pan of honey from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and salt. As soon as the mixture is smooth, pour it over the oats.
- Use a spatula to stir quickly, coating the oats evenly with the peanut butter mixture. It will harden as it cools, so it may become difficult to stir as it cools down.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, and press it very firmly into the bottom. Sprinkle any optional toppings over the top, if desired, then press the toppings into the bars. (The chocolate chips will melt if you press them into the warm bars, so I usually prefer to drizzle melted dark chocolate over the top after they have cooled, instead.)
- As soon as the mixture is cool and firm to the touch, use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and slice them into 12 pieces. These granola bars can be kept at room temperature for 3-5 days, or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months if you'd like to make a larger batch. They can thaw overnight in the fridge.
More Healthy Snack Ideas
These recipes are perfect for snacking on-the-go, too!
- No-Bake Energy Balls (like a date-sweetened granola bar)
If you try this homemade granola bar recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how it works for you. And if you make a substitution, I’d love to hear how it goes, too! We can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite granola bar flavor?