The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Granola Bars

These are our favourite granola bars because we LOVE peanut butter and chocolate together. You can’t go wrong with this combo! These are no-bake granola bars, so they don’t take long to prepare and even the children can help you! YEAH!

Bars are a great snack for hikes, car trips, lunch boxes, picnics or daily snacks at home.
Healthy Snack

I love making granola bars at home because I know exactly what ingredients I’m including! No secret or difficult to pronounce things in these bars. These peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars have an indulgent and sweet flavor, but they are packed with nutrients thanks to peanut butter, flaxseed, oats and chia seeds! And don’t worry, the kids won’t even know it because they taste so good! A win-win!

Ingredients

The ingredients of the granola bar are simple! I keep these ingredients in my pantry, so I’m ready to make homemade granola bars anytime!

  • Coconut oil
  • Peanut butter (I use organic creamy peanut butter, just peanuts and salt)
  • Darling
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Quick oats
  • Crispy rice cereals
  • Coconut flakes
  • Flaxseed flour
  • Chia seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Mini chocolate chips (you can use dark, semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

How to Make Granola Bars

This is such a quick snack to make! I love having these bars on hand for lunches, snacks or even an after dinner treat. You don’t have to bake them, but you do need to cool them before cutting, so keep that in mind before you start.

We prepare the bars in an 8×8 mold. I like to line mine with parchment paper so that they rise right away. Put that aside for now!
Melt the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. This should take 30 to 50 seconds, then stir in the peanut butter, honey and vanilla. Keep stirring until everything is very smooth!
Add the dry ingredients: oats, crispy rice cereals, coconut, flax seeds, chia seeds and salt. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Now we insert it into the 8×8! Use your hands to press it into the pan, making sure to place it evenly in the corners. You can use the bottom of a glass jar to continue wrapping the bars. This helps the bars to retain their shape.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour (or even overnight!) before cutting them. This is another step that helps the bars stick together!
When you are ready to taste, take the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper and cut them into bars.

Stay Together

That’s the number one problem with homemade granola bars–they can be too crumbly! I have some tips for granola bars that hold their shape.

First of all, I like to use quick oats instead of old-fashioned oats. They hold the bars together better than old-fashioned oats. If you only have old-fashioned oats, mix them several times in the food processor and they will be ready to go!

Then make sure you really press the bars into the pan so that they are solid close together.

Finally, be sure to refrigerate the granola bars for at least an hour, but up to overnight, to really let them harden before cutting. Use a sharp knife to cut them into bars or squares.

Variations

There are so many ways to customize these bars to your family’s preferences!

You can use any nut butter you like! Almond butter or cashew butter are great options. For a nut-free option, use sunflower butter. Just make sure the nut butter is creamy and stirred well before using it.
You can add chopped nuts if you want a little crunch! Just make sure that the nuts are chopped into small pieces.
Use mini M&Ms instead of mini chocolate chips! A children’s favorite and the pop of color is fun!
If you prefer not to use chocolate chips, you can substitute raisins, dried cranberries or dried blueberries.

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