Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Make These: Healthier Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars!

I've been loving on these granola bars for months now!  They are just so tasty and so much better than anything you buy in the store.  And to make it better: They are much less expensive and go further than store bought granola bars and have no high fructose corn syrup.

This recipe is an adaptation from Joyful Abode (another great blog you should check out).

Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (salted)
  • 1 cup crushed peanuts
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (could substitute other dried fruit)
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a baking sheet mix and spread out the oats, wheat bran, sunflower seeds and crushed peanuts.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until brown.  Be sure to stir every couple minutes to avoid burning. Once browned, take them out and let cool several minutes. Transfer to large bowl.


While baking the dry ingredients, mix brown sugar, butter, honey and vanilla extract in small pan.  Cook on medium heat and bring to a simmer.  You will also need to stir this often in order to prevent burning of the sugars.  Cook until mixed well and the sugars are no longer granulated. the last few minutes add the cocoa and stir well.  Turn heat off and let cool. This will be your “glue” mixture that holds the granola bars together.


In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (add the cranberries at this point) with the “glue” mixture.  Mix extremely well and make sure that everything gets mixed in well and covered with the “glue”.


Once mixed, transfer to a baking sheet (I use a 9 x 13) that is covered with wax paper (spray wax paper with non-stick cooking spray). Spread mixture across pan with spoon or spatula.  At this point I cover the bars with another piece of wax paper and press down hard in order to spread and compact the granola (put a little muscle into it). 


Wait several hours for it to cool and then cut (use a pushing down motion, instead of sawing).


Each batch makes about 14 full-sized, delicious bars. Store in sealed container or individual wrapped.

I’m thinking that one of these times I’d love to make a batch with toasted coconut in it…or maybe dried bananas and peanut butter. The options are endless!

What are your favorite granola bar flavors? Any mix-ins that you’d enjoy?


  1. These look so yummy, I love the cocoa and peanuts. I love granola bars with peanut butter and banana for sure. Pecans are a great addition as well :)

  2. These look awesome, I'll have to try these next. In the past I've used almond butter and brown rice syrup for the 'glue'. I've never baked the oats before though and think that just might be the trick. I will through what ever else I have in the pantry in as well, flax seeds, chia, dried blueberries, dates, coconut, cocoa nibs. or cocoa.

  3. @Jenny
    Ooo, pecans would be great! Especially salted and toasted ones! Might have to add those to the mix next time.

  4. @BoulderRunner
    Baking the oats and seeds/nuts makes a huge difference. Just gives more flavor. I thought about using almond butter before, but we only one store around here that sells it and it is so expensive (sure wish we had Whole Foods or Trader Joes around). Let me know if you try them and what you think!

  5. Great recipe. I like to sprinkle a healthy flax seed and chia seeds blend called FitFlax on top for extra taste and added omega -3's. The benefit of flax seed and the benefit of chia seeds and lignans include lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and with all that quality fiber...it's a great help for weight loss and maintenance.