Easy healthy no bake granola bar recipe made with nuts, coconut, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit. See the how to video on how to make this easy adaptable snack!
The first time I had these healthy granola bars, I knew I had to have the recipe!
Nearly 7 years ago, one of my favorite high school teachers was doing a bike race in NW Ohio and stayed overnight with my husband and I. Along with her bike gear and luggage, she brought along some healthy homemade granola bars and asked us if we wanted to try one. Um…yes, please! After that first DELICIOUS chewy bite, I immediately asked her for the recipe. Thank you Ms. Davis!
Here’s why I know These are the Best Healthy Granola Bars
- They can be made in a college dorm room (no oven needed!) or packed in the van by a busy mom on the go.
- We have gifted them to families in our church and made them for friends on the eve of “the big game.”
- I have brought them to parties, pool sides, county fairs, playdates and to my old office job for a healthy snack.
- They have transformed the idea of something sweet after dinner and they have become part of our favorite breakfast.
Heck, I even ate one right after the birth of our second child. In fact, these bars have tagged along through so many life events that I’m actually quite emotional about them.
The original recipe below is all you need to make them your own. In my mind, there can be no better food for anyone. They are naturally gluten free, dairy free and soy free. They can easily be made vegan, organic, and nut free (will explain how!). Even my anti-microwave friends can make them using the stovetop. Yep. Adaptations with these bars are limitless as long as you stick to two simple rules…
Tips For Making Granola Bars
Granola Bar Rule #1: Ratio is key
You will need 6 cups dry to 1 ¾ cup wet ingredients to make these the perfect chewy consistency.
Granola Bar Rule #2: Use a thick, sticky syrup:
Brown rice syrup is my choice. However, corn syrup or tapioca syrup will work just as well.
My friends, may I present to you this amazing no-bake granola bar? No recipe in my box has ever been more requested than this one. Go ahead. Try it. Adapt it. Love it. I guarantee you. Your life will never be the same.
How To Make No Bake Granola Bars From Scratch
Start by chopping up 1 cup of your choice of nuts and ½ cup of your choice of dried fruit. Here, I have pictured our favorite combo: almonds and cherries. I have also tried pecans with apricots, mixed nuts with blueberries, and walnuts with cranberries. All were good!
Pour 2 cups oats, 2 cups crisp rice cereal, ½ cup coconut and the nuts and fruits into a very large bowl.
Introducing Rule #1. Ratio is key. You can use any dry ingredients here as long as you have an equal amount of 6 cups.
Granola Bar Recipe Ingredient Ideas And Substitutions
- ¼ – ½ cup: Wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips
- ¼ cup: cocoa or carob powder
- 2 -3 Tbs: flax seeds or hemp seeds (can be ground) or chia seeds
- Nut Free Version: Replace nuts with ½ cup of toasted wheat germ.
- Seed Version: Add ¼ cup sunflower and ¼ pumpkin seeds while lessening the oats to 1 ½ cups.
- Instead of honey use molasses.
- Instead of brown sugar, up the amount of syrup.
Stir the dry ingredients together!
Now comes the fun…I mean, wet part! In a smaller microwaveable bowl, add creamy peanut butter (or sunflower butter for nut-free!), dark brown sugar and brown rice, corn or tapioca syrup. Hence, Rule #2.
Can you use Maple Syrup in Your Granola Bar?
Because these are not baked, you can’t use any other syrup besides brown rice syrup, tapioca syrup and corn syrup. Over the years, I have tried to fill all or part of the ¾ cup with maple syrup, honey, agave nectar and even molasses, but the end result did not hold together well.
Make sure that you have 1 ¾ cup total in your bowl here. So, if you don’t want to use sugar, pump up the syrup to 1 cup. Stir it all together and microwave on High for 1 minute.
Pop it back in the microwave for another minute on High and stir the hot mixture once again. Now, add the honey (vegan friends, replace with molasses!) and vanilla.
Stir again until nice and smooth…and try not to lick that spatula! Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir, baby stir.
Pour it all into your favorite 13×9 like this. It should come out of the bowl very easily…
Leave them out on the counter until cooled. Then feel free to put them in the fridge if you like them chilled, but they do not have to be kept in the refrigerator. Depending on size, cut 12 – 16 bars out of the pan.
How Long Do Granola Bars Last?
You should eat them within 2 weeks or wrap them up and pop them in the freezer for long term storage.
These no bake healthy granola bars are simply the best! What I love it that they are totally adaptable so you granola bar can be a bit different every single time. Try different ingredients to find your favorite combination to enjoy these healthy granola bars!
How To Make Granola Bars Video
More Simple Healthy Recipes
- Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe
- Healthy Cookie Recipe
- Healthy Hummus Dip Recipe : Easy Cold Apppetizer
The Best Healthy Granola Bar Recipe
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 T. honey
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- Chop ½ cup of your choice of nuts and ½ cup of your choice of dried fruit.
- Pour 2 cups oats, 2 cups crisp rice cereal, ½ cup coconut and the nuts and fruits into a very large bowl. Stir the dry ingredients together.
- In a smaller microwaveable bowl, stir together ¾ cup creamy peanut butter ¼ cup dark brown sugar and ¾ cup syrup. Microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir, and then microwave another 1 minute. Stir in your 2 T honey and 1 tsp. of vanilla.
- Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour it all into your favorite 13x9 pan. Press it down hard with a flat spatula.
- Let them cool and then cut 12-16 bars out of the pan. Can be refrigerated, frozen or left on the counter.
Originally shared 2014. Updated 2019.