Have you ever made your own homemade granola bars? These are so much better than anything you can buy at the store, and I think you’ll be surprised at just how easy they are to make!
Today’s recipe includes a video at the bottom of the post showing you just how I make these in my own kitchen!
I’m just about tired of seeing these granola bars, to be honest.
Zach has been eating homemade granola bars every. day. for breakfast ever since I first made them a few weeks ago. I’ve been waiting for him to get tired of them, but he hasn’t (it probably helps that each time I make them differently with different add-ins to keep things from getting boring).
I’ve been making these pretty much non-stop for the past few weeks and even decided to make a video of the process, as you’ll see they’re super simple to make.
You’ll start with oats and nuts, which we’re going to combine and toast before we make our granola bars. You’ll want to use old fashioned oats/whole grain rolled oats, but you can use your favorite nuts.
I used walnuts for today’s recipe and coarsely chopped them (almonds are another great option). The oats and nuts will go into the oven for about 15 minutes to toast.
Once they’ve toasted, we’ll make our homemade syrup, which will serve to bind our granola bars together.
You’ll need unsalted butter, dark brown sugar (you can substitute light if it’s all you have on hand, but I prefer the flavor of the dark brown sugar), honey, and salt.
Melt these together until your sugar is dissolved and then stir in a splash of vanilla extract for flavor.
Next, combine your toasted oats and nuts and this syrup in a large bowl and stir everything together until all of the ingredients are well-coated by the syrup.
At this point, if you have any non-melting add-ins you’d like to add, such as dried fruits, you can stir them in as well. However, you’ll want to wait about 10 minutes before adding any chocolate chips. They’ll still melt a bit once you add them (which we want!), but if you add them too soon you’ll just have a runny melty mess.
Tips for Making Homemade Granola Bars
- You can substitute your favorite nuts for this recipe. I use walnuts but almonds, cashews, or pecans are all great choices!
- When preparing your 9×9 pan for these granola bars, make sure to leave parchment paper (or wax paper) hanging over each side of the pan so that, once they cool, you can easily lift the bars out of the pan and then slice them on a cutting board — this is much easier than slicing them directly in the pan.
- Use a large chef’s knife (if you have one) to cut your granola bars. I’ve found that using a smaller blade tends to cause my granola bars to crack while I’m slicing; it’s better to make fewer long cuts rather than a series of small ones.
- Even though you should refrigerate your granola bars to help them firm up quickly, you do not need to store them in the refrigerator. After cutting them, I wrap mine in a strip of parchment or wax paper (to keep them from sticking to each other) and then store them in a resealable Ziploc bag in my cabinet.
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How Long Can You Keep Homemade Granola Bars?
We’ve found that homemade granola bars stay fresh for about 1 week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Any longer than that and they tend to become a little stale.
How to Make Homemade Granola Bars
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Homemade Granola Bars
- 3 cups old fashioned oats (285g)
- 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped nuts (I used walnuts, almonds would also work great!) (170g)
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces (85g)
- ½ cup dark brown sugar tightly packed (100g)
- ⅓ cup honey (80ml)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips divided (170g)
- Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Evenly spread oats and chopped nuts over the baking sheet and bake on 350F (175C) for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the oats/nuts and return to the oven and bake another 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Pour your oats and nuts into a large heatproof bowl and set aside while you prepare your syrup.
- To prepare the syrup, combine your butter, sugar, honey, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour syrup over your oats/nuts and stir until all ingredients are well coated. If you plan to add any dried fruits, stir them in now as well.
- Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes. While it is cooling, prepare a 9x9 square pan by lining with parchment or wax paper, using enough that some of the paper hangs over the sides of the pan (so that you will be able to lift the bars out of the pan to easily slice them later).
- Once mixture has cooled for 10 minutes, stir in ⅔ cup (113g) of mini chocolate chips. Stir until just combined (the chocolate will begin to melt, this is OK).
- Pour the mixture into your prepared 9x9 pan and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to evenly, firmly, press the mixture into the pan.
- Pour remaining ⅓ cup (57g) of chocolate chips over the mixture and use your hands to gently press them into the bars.
- Transfer pan to the refrigerator and allow to chill for 1-2 hours.
- Lift the bars out of the pan (using your over-hanging parchment paper) and use a large knife to cut into 5 evenly sized slices (about 1 ½" width) and then cut each slice in half so that you have 10 evenly sized granola bars.
- Wrap with a strip of wax or parchment paper (to keep bars from sticking to each other) and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.