The Best Homemade Healthy Granola Bars! These healthy granola bars are refined sugar free, easy to make & delicious- a perfect healthy snack!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my policy and about affiliate links.
If you’re searching for a more nutritious option compared to the typical store-bought granola bars, you’re in for a treat with these Chocolate Chip Healthy Granola Bars.
The best part… they’re incredibly straightforward to prepare and come together in under an hour and a half, requiring only 20 minutes of hands on time.
Whether you’re a parent seeking a health conscious snack for your kids or a busy professional in need of a quick on the go bite, these homemade granola bars are sure to become a favorite.
For a similar flavor, but more of a treat, try this Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.
Why we love this Healthy Granola Bar Recipe
There’s so much to love about these healthy granola bars!
- No Corn Syrup – These bars are sweetened with unrefined sweeteners (honey and a touch of coconut sugar) instead of corn syrup which is used in most store bought granola bars.
- High in Omega 3’s – These chewy granola bars contain ground flax seed to add omega-3 fats and healthy fiber to this recipe.
- Easy, On The Go Snack – Offer these bars as an after school treat that you can feel good about, pack them in lunches or grab one on the way to the gym for some pre-workout carbs.
Homemade Granola Bars Healthy Ingredients
To make these granola bars you’ll need:
- old fashioned oats
- quick cook oats
- coconut oil
- coconut sugar
- vanilla extract
- crispy rice cereal
- ground flaxseed
- sea salt
- mini chocolate chips
You can find substitutions for all of these ingredients below in the green shaded box.
How to make Homemade Granola Bars Healthy
- Spread out the old-fashioned oats and quick oats onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and toast them in a 350° oven for 3 minutes, stir, and then toast for another 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut oil, coconut sugar, and honey and stir until the coconut oil is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a low simmer, stirring continuously. Once the mixture starts to bubble remove it from the heat, stir in vanilla extract, and allow it to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine the toasted oats with the puffed rice cereal and salt and stir together. Stir in honey/coconut oil mixture using a rubber spatula to coat evenly.
- Wait for the granola mixture to fully cool. Stir in the chocolate chips until they are fully incorporated into the granola and evenly dispersed.
- Spread into a parchment lined 9×9 baking pan. Use an extra piece of parchment paper to press the granola mixture into the pan, packing tightly and evenly. Place the pan in the fridge and chill for about 1 hour before cutting.
- To cut, carefully remove the granola from the pan. Place it on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it in half and then cut each half into 7 pieces a little larger than 1-inch wide.
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS
Old Fashioned Oats / Quick Cook Oats: This recipe uses a combination of old-fashioned and quick oats to achieve the perfect chewy texture. You can opt to use 100% of one type of oats, but the texture and appearance will be a little different. Steel cut oats will not work in this recipe.
Gluten Free: Make sure to use gluten free certified oats and cereal to make these bars gluten free.
Honey: Raw, unfiltered honey is my favorite to use in this type of recipe. I did not test other sweeteners in this recipe. The honey plays an important role in binding the ingredients together so we don’t recommend substituting. Brown rice syrup, maple syrup or agave may work for substitutions but without trying we can’t recommend it!
Coconut Oil: Don’t substitute the coconut oil– when chilled it works as a binding agent in these bars. If you don’t like the taste of coconut oil, you can use refined coconut oil which is neutral flavored. Do not use the type of coconut oil that is liquid at room temperature.
Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar can easily taste burnt because it has a naturally toasty flavor, so be careful when heating it on the stove with the coconut oil and honey – stir frequently! Brown sugar will work as a substitution for coconut sugar in this recipe.
Crispy Rice Cereal: Any type of unflavored puffed rice or crispy rice cereal can be used. This ingredient adds the perfect light and crunchy texture to the bars.
Ground Flax Seed: Ground flax seed is added to this recipe to add a little nutrition and healthy omega-3 fats. If this is not something you buy or use regularly, you can omit this ingredient.
Mini Chocolate Chips: You can use regular chocolate chips if this is what you have on hand. Mini chocolate chips disperse more evenly and are easier to bind into the bars. Use dairy-free mini chocolate chips if needed. Omit the chocolate chips and substitute raisins and a teaspoon of cinnamon for a different flavored bar. You could also try our Oatmeal Raisin Bars.
Healthy Granola Bar FAQ
Healthy is a relative term. Granola bars can be a healthy snack, but they aren’t necessarily something that you should eat every day.
The best option when you’re hungry is a meal that’s filled with lean protein, fruits and/or veggies, healthy carbs, and healthy fats. In a pinch or when on the go, a homemade granola bar is usually a better choice than other ‘snack’ foods.
There are a few options for a binder for homemade granola bars. This recipe uses honey and coconut oil.
If your granola bars are not holding together as expected, it’s a good idea to review the quantities of honey and coconut oil you’ve added. Additionally, make sure to firmly press the mixture into your pan, then refrigerate it for approximately an hour before cutting. After cutting, refrigeration is again necessary to guarantee a firm and cohesive bar.
Tips for the Best Granola Bars
Be patient when waiting to mix in the chocolate chips. If the granola mixture is slightly warm the chocolate chips will melt into the mixture. This will taste about the same, but you will no longer have visible chocolate chips and the texture will be slightly different.
Pack the bars tightly and evenly into the square pan to ensure they stay together.
Allow the bars to chill in the fridge for about an hour before cutting and then return them to the fridge after cutting. Once the coconut oil hardens in the fridge overnight the bars will be more resilient at room temperature, but if not chilled properly they may fall apart if they get too warm.
How to store Healthy Granola Bars
These bars can be wrapped individually or stored together. Because they can be kind of sticky, it can be helpful to separate layers of bars which parchment paper if storing them together in an airtight container or resealable bag.
Storing: Store these chewy granola bars in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks. After the bars have been chilled overnight in the refrigerator, you can pack them in lunches or throw one in sandwich bag and toss it in your purse to enjoy on the go.
The bars will be fine at room temperature but will begin to soften and may fall apart if stored in the heat for an extended period of time.
Freezing: We haven’t tried freezing these bars, but I think they would get a little soggy in the freezer because the oats/cereal would absorb the moisture.
Granola Bar Recipe (Healthy!)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a square 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Spread out the old-fashioned oats and quick oats onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and toast them in the preheated oven for 3 minutes, stir and then toast for another 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden (do not wait for them to turn brown, you just want them lightly toasted). Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut oil, coconut sugar, and honey to the pan and stir together until the coconut oil is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
- Bring the mixture to a low simmer, stirring continuously. Once the mixture starts to bubble remove from the heat, stir in vanilla extract and allow it to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the toasted oats with the puffed rice cereal flaxseed, and salt and stir together. Pour the honey/coconut oil mixture over the other ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir and coat evenly.
- Wait for the granola mixture to fully cool before mixing in the mini chocolate chips (if the mixture is even slightly warm it will melt the chocolate). Stir in the chocolate chips until they are fully incorporated into the granola and evenly dispersed.
- Spread the granola mixture into the lined square baking pan. Use an extra piece of parchment paper to press the granola mixture into the pan, packing tightly and evenly.
- Place the pan in the fridge and chill for about 1 hour before cutting.
- To cut, carefully remove the granola from the pan using the parchment paper to lift. Place it on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it in half and then cut each half into 7 pieces a little larger than 1-inch wide. Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to enjoy.