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These soft and chewy Healthy Homemade Granola Bars are made with all-natural ingredients and easy to customize with your favorite nuts and dried fruit and can be made ahead. The perfect snack for on the go or anytime!
Why We Love This Recipe
These Healthy Homemade Granola Bars are so easy to make yourself, you’ll wonder why you’ve never made them before. This recipe allows you to customize the ingredients to suit your family’s taste.
Several years ago I went looking for a chewy granola bar recipe that included ingredients that I could not only pronounce but also that I had on hand regularly. I came across one originally by Alton Brown of The Food Network and changed up some of the ingredients to develop this recipe.
These granola bars have just the right amount of chewiness that they remind us of the store-bought version and sweet and salty ratio. They can be made in just 30 minutes and are easy to make ahead, too.
They have been a hit with my family ever since that first time I made them. We especially like how easy they are to customize by switching out the dried fruit or nuts—or both!
Ingredient Tips to Customize These Granola Bars
All of the ingredients for this healthy granola bar recipe are generally pretty easy to find in your local grocery store.
I use both wheat germ and ground flax seed to boost the nutritional content and no one is the wiser. Ground flax seed is something I have on hand regularly as I also like to add it to baked goods, oatmeal or cereal and smoothies like this Green Monster Banana Spinach Avocado Smoothie or PB&J Smoothie. I like to buy it in a big bag from Costco as it is stays fresh in the pantry for a long time.
Wheat germ can be found on the cereal aisle of your grocery store. It is usually on a top shelf near the oatmeal and steel cut oats section.
While the recipe calls for raisins and almonds, we like to mix things up every so often and substitute other dried fruit like dried cherries, cranberries, or blueberries for the raisins and chopped pecans or walnuts for the nuts. Sometimes I’ll throw in some mini-chocolate chips too.
I also prefer to use unsweetened flaked coconut when I can find it. Most stores carry the sweetened variety but I can most often find it at Kroger so when I do I’ll stock up and keep a bag in the freezer to use in other recipes like this Slow Cooker Homemade Granola Recipe.
You can also adjust the amount of honey or brown sugar you use if you’re looking to cut the sugar a bit. Just make sure you use enough so that it will still spread easily in the baking pan.
Easy Steps To Make Granola Bars
Start by toasting the nuts (1). This is an optional step, but I find that by toasting, it adds and extra depth of flavor but if you’re in a hurry, you can skip this step. I use a large baking sheet (affiliate link) lined with a silicone baking mat (affiliate link) but you can use one lined with foil.
While the nuts are toasting, melt the butter and sugars over low heat (2) until melted and blended. I use a heat resistant rubber spatula (affiliate link) to stir it because it’s easier to get into all the edges of the pan and stir it well. The rubber spatulas I use are made to withstand temperatures up to 600°F. Allow the mixture to cool slightly so it is easier to handle.
Next in a large mixing bowl (affiliate link), add in all of the remaining ingredients, including toasted nuts, and stir gently. Slowly pour the melted sugar mixture over it all and stir to combine (3).
Then you’ll spread the mixture into a baking pan. You may need to use your hands to spread it all to the edges. Make sure the mixture is cool enough to handle if you’re doing this. I sometimes will use a little bit of cooking oil or non-stick spray rubbed on my fingers so that the mixture doesn’t stick to them.
Next is baking!
Make Ahead Recipe Tips
These Healthy Homemade Granola Bars are easy to make ahead. You can store them in an airtight container for up to one week—if they last that long!
Can you Freeze Homemade Granola Bars?
Yes! I like to cut them into bars and layer in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Be sure to date and label (affiliate link) the container then you can store in the freezer for up to three months.
To eat, pull out the number of bars you want and allow them to come to room temperature before enjoying.
More Easy Snack Ideas
I love an easy snack! Be sure to check out some of these other favorites of ours:
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Homemade Granola Bars
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds or chopped nuts of your choice, toasted if desired
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup wheat germ
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter plus extra for pan
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup raisins other dried fruits of your choice
- Butter or spray with non-stick spray a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the oats, coconut, almonds, and wheat germ or ground flax seed onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
- Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.
- Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 15 minutes.
- Cut into squares and cool completely (this is so they’re easier to cut and remove from the pan before getting too hard).
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
This post was originally published in March 2012 and republished in September 2020 with new photos, video and content.
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