Homemade Healthy Granola Bars

During the school year, I am a big-time snacker and constantly find myself searching for something to nibble on during lectures. Normally I pack a banana or store-brought granola bar, but this past week I’ve been enjoying these granola bars that I made at home with some very healthy ingredients. Knowing exactly what goes into them, and how to pronounce each ingredient, is a huge health advantage that fills me up between classes with minimal guilt. I may have a baking blog, but I can’t survive on cupcakes and ice cream (although I wouldn’t be opposed), and believe it or not I’m usually a healthy eater. When you have snacks like these who wouldn’t be?

They’ve got oats, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, flax seeds, whole almonds, banana, peanut butter, and a little honey, a handful of mini chocolate chips, and some brown sugar to sweeten them up. That’s probably the most extensive list of healthy ingredients you’ll find on this blog, but I must admit they bake up together quite deliciously. Granted I lower my tastiness standard a bit with snacks meant to be healthy, but I enjoyed these a lot. Like muffins and cupcakes, anything baked with a banana generally ends up with a pretty strong banana flavor, and these bars are no exception. Fine by me, but try applesauce instead if you’re not a big banana fan.

Just wrap the bars individually and keep on hand in the fridge for a week of delicious snacks! This recipe comes from one of my bestest friends Marissa. Hop on over to her site full of healthy recipes, Get Off Your Tush and Cook, if you ever need a detox from all the sweetness over here.

I chose a healthier recipe this week not only for the obvious nutritional benefits, but also so I could advertise a fundraiser I’m involved in, Sponsor a Smile, that biannually provides new toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste to elementary-school children in Hartford. It wouldn’t exactly be appropriate to link the cause with a super sugary, cavity-causing snack! The underprivileged children of Hartford might not make it to the dentist twice a year, but with the right tools at home provided through this charity, they can dramatically improve their oral health. I’m running in the Hartford Marathon this Saturday (only 5 miles in a relay, not the whole 26.2) as a means to garner support and funds for this cause. If you’re interested in learning more, or making a donation, please visit our website.

Homemade Healthy Granola Bars

Adapted from Get Off Your Tush and Cook

1-2/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp canola oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup peanut butter (or almond butter if you’re super healthy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 cups of mix-ins, I used: 1/3 cup wheat germ, 1/3 cup flax seeds, 1/3 cup almond meal, 2/3 cup whole almonds, and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (feel free to also use dried fruits or other nuts too!)

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan
- Combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, wheat germ, flax seeds, almond meal, almonds, and chocolate chips in a large bowl
- In a separate bowl, mix sugar, honey, mashed bananas, oil, peanut butter, and vanilla extracts until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well
- Press into prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth out the top
- Bake for about 35 minutes (or longer if you want a crunchier granola bar). Allow bars to cool COMPLETELY before cutting. Eat them right away, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

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16 Responses to “Homemade Healthy Granola Bars”

  1. #
    1
    Alissa — October 6, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    Oooh, I am definitely going to be making this! I tried my hand at granola bars last year and, well, they turned out so rock-hard that I couldn’t even get them out of the pan! :)

  2. #
    2
    Kall — October 7, 2010 @ 2:10 am

    Erica, I just read about the marathon relay on the ASDA blog — small world :) I didn’t realize that you were running!

  3. #
    3
    Abbey — October 7, 2010 @ 2:21 am

    yummy! ive always like granola bars :)

  4. #
    4
    jd — October 7, 2010 @ 6:48 am

    Thanks so much for this – I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect granola bar recipe, and this just might be it! Yay!

  5. #
    5
    Natalie — October 9, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

    who could even buy a granola bar after the looks of these? incredible!

  6. #
    6
    . — July 20, 2011 @ 3:43 am

    Yum, I made these last night. I substituted the banana for apple puree as bananas in Australia are ridiculously expensive. Worked wonderfully.

  7. #
    7
    sabina — August 23, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    Wanted to ask before I make them…are these soft or hard bars?

  8. #
    8
    Erica — August 23, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    Sabina – I would say they are firm, not tooth-breaking hard, but not super chewy either. Hope this helps!

  9. #
    9
    HealthnutFoodie — October 1, 2011 @ 3:22 am

    We love homemade granola bars! These look fantabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  10. #
    10
    Anonymous — May 20, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    This was a great granola bar recipe! Thanks for sharing. Just the right consistency, and the flavor of all the ingredients really came through.

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    11
    Rach — May 1, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    Just made these, and theyre delicious! (: I used applesauce instead of canola oil and it worked great.

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    12
    Jen — May 30, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

    Just made these today. I substituted apple sauce for the oil as well. Mine are definitely not hard/crunchy. they are almost a little too crumbly. But WOW they are YUMMY!!!! thank you!

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    13
    Samantha H — June 7, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

    Could I use all honey in these and avoid the brown sugar? Would that work?

    • Erica — June 23rd, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

      I’m not exactly sure about replacing the sugar with honey, but I think it’s worth giving it a try!

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    Emma L — March 21, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    Made these last night. SO good, thanks for the great recipe. I didn’t have almond meal and was didn’t feel like making so much noise trying to make some, so I added a little more wheat germ and some chia seed. YUM! thanks again. I am going to try and experiment some with different mix-ins.

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