These no bake homemade granola bars are soft and chewy and so easy to make! They can be jazzed up any way you like them. Add in some old favorites like nuts and chocolate, or get creative and mix in something new. I'm thinking dried blueberries and lime zest.
Bulk items used: Oatmeal, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut....
Granola bars are a great snack to have on hand. They are healthy-ish (depending on what you put in them), they're portable and delicious.
At the grocery store, there are a couple of flavors to choose from. You know the flavors--chocolate chip, peanut butter, 'smores. But homemade granola bars are great because you have so much control over what you put in them and can make so many interesting flavors.
Mix-In Flavor Ideas
The bulk section of the grocery store is perfect for mix-in ingredient inspiration. You can find a large assortment of nuts, and dried fruit. There is also seeds, like flax and chia, that would add a lot of nutritional value. Oh, and then there is the large section of tasty things covered in chocolate. Any of those would be good. Here's some flavor ideas to get you started:
- Almond Joy: shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and sliced almonds
- Chocolate Covered Pretzel: chocolate chips and broken up pretzel sticks
- Blueberry Lime: dried blueberries and lime zest
- Cherry Pistachio: dried cranberries and chopped pistachios
This is a really fun recipe to make with your kids, not only because it is easy, but because they can get involved in picking the ingredients. I like to give each of my kids a bowlful of the oat mixture and let them add in whatever they like. They have a blast!
Tips for Making No Bake Homemade Granola Bars
- If you are adding chocolate, let the bars cool for several minutes before stirring it into the oat mixture. Otherwise, the chocolate will melt throughout the bars. This can be tasty too, however, so decide which way you prefer it.
- When I say press the bars into the pan, I really mean PRESS THE BARS INTO THE PAN. The harder you can press, and the more you do it, the more solid the bars will turn out. If you don't press enough, this recipe will not stay in bar form when you cut into it. It will be kinda like a sticky granola. Still delicious, just maybe not what you are going for.
- Speaking of pressing, I highly recommend using parchment paper to help you press the oatmeal into the pan. The oatmeal doesn't stick to the paper like it does to your fingers, which will allow you to press it into the pans a lot more effectively.
Homemade Granola Bars
- 2½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup various mix-ins of your choice (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, seeds, etc)
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey, butter, brown sugar, vanilla extra and salt. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
- Add in the old fashioned oats and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and burning. Remove from heat and stir in mix-ins. If you are using chocolate, allow mixture to cool before adding so it doesn't melt throughout. (Unless you want it to melt throughout).
- Spray a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Transfer the oat mixture to the pan and use a square of parchment paper, or damp fingers, to press it really hard into the pan. The harder you press the better!
- Cover and place the pan in the fridge to cool and harden for about 2 hours. Then cut into bars. Uneaten bars do not need to be stored in the refrigerator.
These soft, chewy homemade granola bars were adapted from Inspired Taste's "Simple, Soft and Chewy Granola Bars."