Homemade Chewy Granola Bars (without corn syrup!)

Chewy Granola Bars - No Corn Syrup

Every homemade chewy granola bar recipe I’ve ever seen includes corn syrup and/or marshmallow cream (not ingredients we feel okay about eating).  And every pre-made granola bar I have seen at the store (even the organic ones) have ingredients I don’t like feeding my family.

I finally figured out a chewy granola bar recipe that we like!  It’s easy and includes all natural sweeteners and ingredients!   These bars are way cheaper than store bought granola bars!  Plus you can customize it according to your family’s taste and allergies!  They can be easily wrapped individually to take in the car or packed in a lunch!

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

1/2 cup peanut butter or sunbutter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (or another oil of your choice)
1 cup oats
1 cup total of any combination of:  sesame seeds, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips

In a medium sized saucepan, melt together peanut butter, honey and coconut oil.

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Remove from heat and add one cup of oats.  Choose your favorite combination of coconut flakes, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit and mini chocolate chips, to equal a total of ONE CUP.  (I just got out my one cup measuring cup and poured in the ingredients until the cup was full.)  Pour in and stir well.

Stir well, then spread mixture into a 8×8 or 9×4 pan.

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Chill for two hours, then cut into bars.

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Wrap in plastic wrap for a quick grab and go snack!

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Comments

  1. Joe says

    These look so good! Do you reckon I could add whey protein in with the oats to up the protein?

    Many thanks

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Sure, good idea!

    [Reply]

    sarah Reply:

    How much whey?

    [Reply]

    matt Reply:

    i use 1/2 wheat germ for every cup of oats i use, and use dark brown sugar instead of the honey for a richer taste. a pinch of salt helps balance out that sweetness, too.

  2. Charles Arik says

    Please specify what ” unsoaked oats can do a number on your digestive system” means. I have never heard of there being a problem with eating them.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Ummm…they bloated me something terrible. (I’m better with them now though, thankfully.)

    [Reply]

    Lauren Reply:

    Hey there! there is a lot of information on the benefits of soaking grains, oats included, in a book called Nourishing traditions by Sally Falon. If soaked overnight it helps break down hard to digest and even bad for us parts of our foods. It’s almost like a mini ferment, increasing available nutrients and creating beneficial bits for us! Sorry it’s so vague, try to find the book. Or google Weston Price Foundation and there should be lots on there too, just harder to sift through.
    Soak away!

    [Reply]

    Katrina Reply:

    Hey! I just bought that book!! Haven’t read that tip yet so thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Tara Reply:

    Are you using soaked oats for this recipe or is there no need to soak?

    Laura Reply:

    I don’t soak them. (http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/my-current-thoughts-about-soaking-or-not-soaking-grains)

    Chris Reply:

    Here’s what I found to be the key to the whole soaking issue for me, with regards to the question of needing to eliminate phytic acid. The following quote is from the Becker article Laura references in her post on soaking grains:

    *****
    Studies show that phytic acid, particularly from wheat bran, actually stimulates the productions of phytase in the small intestine. The fact that phytase can be produced in the small intestine eliminates the necessity of fermenting all grains before consuming them, as in the case of unleavened breads, quick breads (that do not use yeast as a leavening), and parched or boiled grains. Phytase activity in the small intestine actually increased, not decreased, the absorption of minerals, especially, calcium. (Journal of Nutrition 2000:130: 2020-2025). Other studies have also shown that this increase of phytase activity, stimulated by phytic acid, offered significant reduction in the formation of cancer cells in the colon. This anti-carcinogenic protection was also attributed to phytic acid’s mineral chelating properties. If phytic acid strengthen and protects the colon, how could it cause colitis and irritable bowel syndrome? Again we have heard numerous testimonies of healing of both colitis and IBS from eating “real bread”.

    Phytic acid can be digested by humans and actually releases inositol during the process. Inositol is a key B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol. Whole grains are a valuable source of inositol, as well as choline and lecithin, which are also important in the break down of cholesterol. This may explain why so many people have reported a significant reduction in cholesterol levels once they began making their own bread from freshly milled grains. Inositol is also an essential nutrient in reducing depression. Again I ask – why would we want to denature this valuable nutrient?

    One should really wonder why whole grains and phytic acid were “picked on” at all. Why not oxalic acid? It is a mineral chelator found in spinach, chard, cranberries, almonds, rhubarb and other vegetables. Should we quit eating these healthy foods as well? Sally Fallon encourages the use of flaxseed for its rich source of fatty acids, stating that it is low in phytic acid. Yet sources that herald phytic acid as a nutrient, give wheat bran and flaxseed as the richest sources. Does soaking the grain over night actually denature the phytic acid? Not from what I have read. Only about 10% of the phytic acid is broken down in an overnight soak and that is not enough to make a significant difference.
    *****

    Becker goes on to say that there are still benefits to soaking grains in certain cases.. “When grains and beans are sprouted, there is some loss in protein, but vitamin A content increases by 300% and vitamin C by 500%. In fact sprouted grains were used on long ocean voyages to prevent scurvy. Limes, and lemons would eventually rot, but the storable grains would last the duration of the voyage and could be sprouted at any time. Sprouted grains can also be more easily tolerated by those who can not digest gluten.”

    But no need for all this fear! :)

    [Reply]

    Lea Sadler Reply:

    I actually never soak oats before eating them. I prefer them this way. Never had a problem.

    [Reply]

  3. Amy says

    These are so good! I have made them before. Today on a whim, I threw in a few of Tbsp of raw cacao powder. It is so yummy. Thank you Laura for all of your wonderful recipes and the million other ways you bless me and my family.

    [Reply]

  4. Kay-M says

    Have you ever used unsweetened applesauce instead of the oil? If not, do you think it would work as well?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I don’t think that would work very well in this recipe. The coconut oil helps keep these from falling apart. :)

    [Reply]

  5. Nicole says

    I tried making these and they turned out delicious, but one problem! They melt very quickly so it’s pretty much impossible to “grab and go”. I think this has to do with coconut oil. How did you fix this? Also what type of oats did you use? My granola mixture looks to be light on the granola and heavy on the butter/honey/oil, compared to your pictures, even though I followed the recipe exactly.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Hmm, I use coconut oil and usually don’t have a problem with this happening. I use whole, rolled oats in mine. I wonder if you need just a few more oats or other dry ingredients?

    [Reply]

    LuWanda Reply:

    I had the same problem the first time I tried this recipe. I measured my coconut oil without melting it. For my second try, I melted it first and then measured it and they turned out much better!!

    [Reply]

    Nicole Reply:

    I’ll have to try that, thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kayla Reply:

    I had this problem also. They never really set up exactly and definitely look a lot more moist than yours do! Going to try to go much heavier on the oats next time and lighter on the oil

    [Reply]

  6. sarah says

    Greased or ungreased pan?

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    I thought I’d try making a raw version of these by just mixing the PB, honey and oil in the food processor. And then I realized that they won’t really set because the honey didn’t needed to be heated in order to caramelize. So I made them into balls and froze them. Still plenty tasty!

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Ungreased is fine!

    [Reply]

  7. Traci says

    I have used almond butter, just fine. After I cut them, I wrap and freeze. They quickly come to room temp for eating.

    [Reply]

  8. Stef says

    How many calories do you think there are per bar approximately?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I really have no idea. :)

    [Reply]

    Janet Reply:

    I made these today, they’re really good!! My husband is diabetic so I needed the nutritional information. I found a site that lets you put in the ingredients and it calculates everything for you. Here’s what I got. Hope it helps!

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size 109 g or 1 square
    Total Servings per batch 12

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 232 Calories from Fat 136
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 15.1g 23%
    Saturated Fat 8.2g 41%
    Trans Fat 0.0g
    Cholesterol 3mg 1%
    Sodium 60mg 3%
    Total Carbohydrates 19.8g 7%
    Dietary Fiber 2.4g 10%
    Sugars 9.0g
    Protein 5.4g

    Vitamin A 1% • Vitamin C 0%
    Calcium 4% • Iron 6%

    Nutrition Grade B-
    * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

    Nutritional Analysis
    Good points
    •Very low in cholesterol
    •Low in sodium
    •Very high in vitamin B6
    Bad points
    •High in saturated fat

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Janet, thanks, that’s super helpful! Mind if I ask what site you used? I would like to use that for other recipes! Thanks!

    Sherry Reply:

    Hi Janet, thanks for posting the nutrition info…would love to know that site if you’re sharing!
    Thanks!

    Peggy Reply:

    Here’s a site with a nutritional calculator http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  9. says

    Hi, Do you think I could substitute Coconut oil with Olive oil? Would I still get the same results? And what do you feel about baking it to set it properly so it doesn’t need refrigeration?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I think it would work fine, but would still need refrigeration. :)

    [Reply]

    Angela Reply:

    I make granola bars all the time and I never refrigerate mine, unless I am keeping them for several weeks…But my family usually eats them all before that happens. All the ingredients used in the recipe are shelf stable anyways, there’s no real reason to refrigerate unless storing long term (in my experience)

    [Reply]

    Patti Reply:

    Perhaps, but the coconut oil liquifies at 76 degrees, and it softens at lower temps, so if you don’t keep them in the fridge, they can be a gooey mess. :)

  10. Donna D. says

    Hello. These look amazing. I was just wondering what kind of oats you use. Are they quick oats or steel cut oats? I’m a little worried about digesting uncooked steel cut oats. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I use whole rolled oats. :)

    [Reply]

  11. Karicia says

    Love your blog, and echo your views on life and food. Thanks for the recipe! I just made it and added in some wheat germ, wheat bran, just as much as it would take. I was thinking if I wanted to take these baked to my son’s class, I could probably add an egg and then bake and cut while still warm. Just an idea.

    [Reply]

  12. Jamison says

    Hi! Just made these using Craisins and Rice Krispies—YUM, and I loved how easy they were to make–thank you for sharing!!!

    [Reply]

  13. says

    Hi! I’m new to your blog, but already I’m looking forward to try your recipes!:-) My kid’s snacktime is a challenge for me too — i want to pack as much vitamins as there can be in a tasteful snack, coz oh do they love snacks! Can you pls elaborate on what are other possible options aside from coconut oil? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I believe olive oil would work, or palm oil. :)

    [Reply]

  14. Christina nicolle says

    can you use almond butter instead of peanut butter?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, that would work fine!

    [Reply]

  15. Scott says

    I just made this with 1/3c of each reese chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds… and clover honey / almond butter (for what it’s worth)…

    All I can say is WOW. I did the math and cut into 12 squares (4×3) it comes out to be approximately (per square, but this will depend on what you put in the mixed cup):

    260 kcal, 16g fat, 21g carbs, 8g protein

    for my next batch I’m going to add protein 6 scoops of protein powder (35g per scoop) which will add 17.5g of protein per square to see how the consistency works out.

    Anyone else have mixed cup suggestions? I was thinking sunflower/cashews/cranberries would be pretty good (but higher in fat).

    [Reply]

    MelissaN Reply:

    I made mine with pepitas, cranberries, and chia. They are great! I would up the amount of oats, though, as mine were a little on heavy on the peanut butter mixture. They taste great, don’t get me wrong — I just want to pack a little more grain to make the sweet yumminess stretch further!

    [Reply]

  16. shay says

    Delicious! I just made them, thank you for the recipe! I’m wondering if I could omit the oil, though and if they should be stored in the fridge or pantry??

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I think leaving out the oil may make these too dry. I store mine in the fridge. :)

    [Reply]

  17. Cindi Edwards says

    I baked mine. Toasted the oats and nuts first cause I like the flavor. Put choc chips into the mix early, it made them chocolate. Put in roasted peanuts and pecans. They were amazing and probably not quite as healthy… But now I need to make more because my vegetarian son is hooked! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  18. Mrs Kelly says

    I just made these! Wow! The best granola bar I’ve ever had. Much better than anything I’ve ever bought in a store. I added 1Tbs cocoa powder and in my one cup of added ingredients I used toasted, chopped almonds, walnuts, toasted, unsweetened coconut, sunflower seeds, granola as well as a Tbs each of hemp, chia and flax seeds and a little cinnamon for good measure. Then I used a cupcake pan to divide the mixture up & chill them in. Took them out and wrapped them individually in foil. Yum! And easy too.

    [Reply]

  19. says

    Thank you! I love your recipes! I am wondering if anyone has ideas to up the fiber? My son needs a high fiber diet and is not a fan of fruit. He loves the “high fiber” bars from the store. they pack a whole 9g fiber into one bar, but contain an ingredient called “shellac” (hopefully not what I’m thinking of) and of course tons of other garbage.

    [Reply]

  20. Ben says

    Awesome recipe, just made them then. Quick question, are quick oats ok to use instead of rolled? Are they basically the same?

    For everyone wondering calories I took a small inventory of my process

    4 and a half tablespoon peanut butter – 376
    3 tablespoons of honey – 192
    Quarter cup coconut oil – 470
    1 cup oats – 300
    Quarter cup flaxseed – 194

    Total 6128 kjs or 1532 calories

    So just divide your mixture in to equal squares afterwards and divide 1532 by however many squares you have and you’ve got a rough estimate per square

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    They are basically the same – quick oats are rolled oats blended to make them smaller. :)

    [Reply]

    Kris Mays Reply:

    In this case, I would up the amount of oats if you are using quick oats. I’m finding mine need it and that’s what I used.

    [Reply]

  21. says

    Mine turned into candy bars. :-(

    They were quite a bit heavy on the peanut butter mixture despite adding an extra 1/4 cup of rice crispies. When I pulled them out of the fridge after two hours, they were melting before I could even get them all cut and wrapped. They now live in my freezer. Luckily, they do work well as a yummy and relatively guiltless candy bar.

    I’m going to try these again, but I’m definitely going to change around the proportions a bit.

    [Reply]

  22. Carolyn says

    Should I use refined or unrefined coconut oil? I saw both at the grocery store.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Either one will work in this recipe. Unrefined has a slight coconut flavor, whereas refined is flavorless. :)

    [Reply]

  23. Erin says

    I made these yesterday with sunbutter, dried cranberries, and dairy free choc chips. I have to agree with some other readers…delicious….but even after refrigeration all night, they are very melty. I was hoping to pack these in my daughter’s lunch for school, but I will need to play with the proportions a bit to do that.

    [Reply]

  24. Patti says

    I made these to take on a trip, and they turned out really yummy, but I had to double the oats to get them to a granola-bar-like texture. We kept them in a cooler and really enjoyed the healthy treat. Thanks for the recipe!

    [Reply]

  25. Staci says

    I am sooo excited to try these! I have looked for what seems like forever for a healthy granola bar recipe! Yea, Thank You!!!!!

    [Reply]

  26. Amy says

    These granola bars sound delicious! My son and I made them yesterday, but I think we did something wrong! We left them to “gel” on the counter overnight and this morning when we went to cut them, they are a gooey mess! Do they need to be refrigerated?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I do find that they work best in the fridge.

    [Reply]

  27. Debora says

    What would happen if I used steel cut oats? this is what I have on hand is why I am wondering? I could make these now if steel cut would work.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never used steel cut oats – do they generally work the same in recipes as rolled oats?

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I would only use the steel cut oats if you cook them first. Otherwise they will be basically raw and pretty crunchy. I don’t think it would be a good crunch either. ;)

    [Reply]

  28. Mary Stapp says

    I make a gronola bar that uses butter as the fat. So far I haven’t needed to refridgerate them and they come out nice and firm. We even took them hiking with us in the dessert and they only melted a tiny bit. Might be worth a try, although I LOVE the health benefits of Coconut oil.

    [Reply]

  29. Jess O says

    I love this recipe! I have tried it many many times! My husband eats a lot, so I was looking for a homemade granola bar recipe that could fill him up. By adding crushed diced almonds pieces(I crushed them with a hammer, haha), flax seed, raisins, coco powder with the oats, peanut butter and coconut oil already in the recipe this was a perfect chocolaty granola bar.
    Yes they get a little soft when at room temperature which is a slight bummer but they taste so good, it is worth it!
    I always triple this recipe now and put it in a 13×9 inch pan, it makes about 18-24 depending on how big or small I slice them.

    My husband loves these and he doesn’t like peanut butter, using coco powder really hides all the peanut butter taste it’s amazing!
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

    [Reply]

  30. DaShonna says

    I have a sister with nut allergies. Do you have any suggestions for replacing the peanut butter? Thanks

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve not figured out a good alternative other than Sunbutter. That works well if she can have that.

    [Reply]

    patricia Reply:

    Nut allergy home here too!!
    I use WowButter its toasted soy you can get in crunchy or smooth, works well as substitute for peanut butter, use it on toast, baking etc. also I have used NoNuts is made from Golden peas…

    [Reply]

  31. Mama654 says

    I am not sure if I sent in a review for these yet or not- but they are worthy of 2 reviews for sure! We love, love, love these! They are super quick to prepare and have been a really big hit every time. My main combo is 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (occasionally I’ll lower those amounts slightly to add craisins.). I made them for a friend for her birthday and she was so happy (and she and her 7 year old had a hard time practicing self- control.) oh yeah- and we run our oats through the food processor before adding to make them smoother as well. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    [Reply]

  32. Lesley says

    Can these be frozen?
    i want to make a double batch.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    These don’t freeze well. But you can make a double batch and store them in the fridge. They store quite well for several weeks that way, as long as you individually wrap them.

    [Reply]

  33. Courtney says

    I rarely take the time to comment on recipes, however I just had to! These are SO amazing! I used Sunbutter, agave nectar instead of honey, my 1 cup add in was rice crispies and then I also added a few chocolate chips. I think next time I’ll make them into balls and call them dessert, so yummy! Thanks for the recipe!!

    [Reply]

  34. Christine says

    These are delicious! I made mine with raw cacao/coconut butter and it made for an amazing chocolate coconut flavor combination! I also added puffed brown rice and chia seeds – my daughter can’t get enough! Perfect for lunch boxes. Thank you for sharing!

    [Reply]

  35. Elizabeth Anne says

    Going to make this recipe soon – I’ve been wanting to make a big batch of granola bars before our second baby is born next week for a quick, healthy snack. This looks like the perfect recipe! When you say “chill for two hours”, is that in the fridge or freezer? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    You can chill them in the refrigerator.

    [Reply]

  36. Henry and the Duck says

    I just made these today and they are delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
    I’m pretty sure with the right combination of mix-ins I could have a dairy free, no added sugar (other than the honey) granola bar that tastes just like No-Bakes, which would be pretty much amazing. (especially when you compare 1/3 cup honey to the 2 cups of white sugar in my mom’s No-Bake recipe!)

    [Reply]

  37. Mama654 says

    Tonight I spent a bunch of time making waffles from another site to bring to a brunch tomorrow and they didn’t turn out well. I was bummed thinking I would just grab some processed store bought item to bring and then remembered how easy (and yummy) these are. Whipped them up in 5 minutes and they will be ready in the morning to bring with : ). I have had a change of diet since the first time I made these and can no longer have the oats so I have had to modify these a bit. I have successfully used ground flax in place of the oats and they are still yummy. I have also used 2 TBSP of unsweetened cocoa powder rather than chocolate chips and still great. I love this recipe!

    [Reply]

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