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Crunchy Homemade Granola Bars

These crunchy homemade granola bars are a tasty and healthy snack… Customize the dried fruits and nuts to make them your own!

Homemade Granola Bars -- these crunchy homemade granola bars are a tasty and healthy snack... Customize the dried fruits and nuts to make them your own! Plus 4 more fab after school healthy snacks. | healthy granola bars | granola bars recipe |  crunchy granola bars | easy granola bars | find the recipe on unsophisticook.com

After school snacks are a big deal in our house. With little downtime before rushing off to soccer or baseball practice, it’s essential that my kids have something that’s healthy and nutritious to eat, fueling them with plenty of energy for practice and filling enough to tide them over until dinner. Yes, it’s not ideal, but we often don’t get to eat dinner until between 7:30-8:00pm in the evening. Whatever works, works!

So today I’m sharing some of our favorite after school snacks, including a new recipe for homemade granola bars.

Homemade Granola Bars -- these crunchy homemade granola bars are a tasty and healthy snack... Customize the dried fruits and nuts to make them your own! Plus 4 more fab after school healthy snacks. | healthy granola bars | granola bars recipe |  crunchy granola bars | easy granola bars | find the recipe on unsophisticook.com

How To Make Homemade Granola Bars

I love developing easy recipes to make store-bought staples from scratch, and these healthy homemade granola bars totally fit the bill. Whole grains provide plenty of fiber, while dried fruits offer lots of flavor, as well as energy.

And the best part is that, like our favorite No Bake Peanut Butter Bars, you can totally customize this recipe to your tastes by choosing your favorite dried fruit and nuts. I made this batch with dried mango and pecans, but these are some of our other favorites:

dried fruits — cherries, raisins, cranberries, apricots, blueberries, etc., coarsely chopped for larger pieces.

nuts/seeds — peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, my favorite source for budget-friendly dried fruits and nuts is the Great Value brand at Walmart. The price and quality just can’t be beat!

Homemade Granola Bars -- these crunchy homemade granola bars are a tasty and healthy snack... Customize the dried fruits and nuts to make them your own! Plus 4 more fab after school healthy snacks. | healthy granola bars | granola bars recipe |  crunchy granola bars | easy granola bars | find the recipe on unsophisticook.com

I also love that the cleanup is SO easy… Lining the baking pan with parchment paper means there’s virtually no mess. You can lift the entire sheet out of the pan with the paper, and transfer it to your cutting board.

Cut it right on the paper. Then just fold up the crumbs inside when you’re done cutting and toss. Easy-peasy!

Homemade Granola Bars -- these crunchy homemade granola bars are a tasty and healthy snack... Customize the dried fruits and nuts to make them your own! Plus 4 more fab after school healthy snacks. | healthy granola bars | granola bars recipe |  crunchy granola bars | easy granola bars | find the recipe on unsophisticook.com

Paired with a glass of milk, these homemade granola bars are my youngest’s favorite snack. And how much are those two missing front teeth killing me right now? Stop growing right now!

Oh, and I noticed that my ultra-picky 8-year-old daughter packed one in her lunch this morning, so apparently she loves them too… Yay for small victories!

Homemade Granola Bars -- these crunchy homemade granola bars are a tasty and healthy snack... Customize the dried fruits and nuts to make them your own! Plus 4 more fab after school healthy snacks. | healthy granola bars | granola bars recipe | crunchy granola bars | easy granola bars | find the recipe on unsophisticook.com

Crunchy Homemade Granola Bars

Yield: 15 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (see suggestions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (see suggestions)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 13x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the oats, coconut, dried fruit, nuts, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Gently warm the butter and coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low heat to melt. Stir in honey and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture, and stir to combine thoroughly.
  5. Press the mixture firmly into the lined baking pan using a small piece of parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Cool completely, then cut into bars. Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

Healthy After School Snacks

Along with these delicious crunchy homemade granola bars, here are four more after school snacks that we rotate through — all mom-tested and kid-approved!

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

These yummy no bake peanut butter bars can be endlessly customized, so you can have a different variety every time you no bake them!

Banana Bread

This delicious banana bread gets an additional boost of fiber from oatmeal and pecans!

What type of after school snacks do your kids gravitate toward?

Julie

Monday 3rd of October 2022

oh these taste great but they're not bars, they're just loose granola. What did I do wrong? Followed the recipe to a "T"!

Julie

Friday 7th of October 2022

@Tara Kuczykowski, thanks for your response! I did use the right kind of oats. Will try your other solutions, and I appreciate the response.

Tara Kuczykowski

Thursday 6th of October 2022

Hi Julie! Just to confirm, you used old-fashioned oats (not quick or steel cut oats), right? Other culprits could be not compressing the mixture into the pan enough, overbaking them slightly, or trying to cut them before they are cooled completely. Try using a flat-bottomed measuring cup or similar to press the mixture into the pan next time and also decrease the baking time slightly to see if that helps.

Neethu

Tuesday 16th of August 2022

Can I use instant oats in this recipe?

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 17th of August 2022

Hi Neethu! Yes, you could substitute quick cooking oats for the rolled oats in this recipe. I'd recommend cutting the cooking time back to about 20 minutes, because they will cook more quickly. You might even want to start checking them around the 15-minute mark. Also note that the texture will be slightly different.

Wondering

Saturday 25th of June 2022

Hi, don't mean to be grumpy, but what's the point of using honey if it going to be baked anyway? After processing in a high temperature, honey loses its nutrient value, so it's becoming just fructose and glucose, nothing more.

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Honey is simply the best binding agent for granola bars -- and we like the honey flavor! But you can replace it with maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, etc.

Angie

Sunday 6th of March 2022

Hi there! Do you think using gf flour would work ok? Thanks!

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 7th of March 2022

Hi Angie! I don't have a lot of experience using gluten-free flour, but give the small amount used in this recipe, I would think using a variety that substitutes 1:1 should work. If you try it, I'd love it if you'd come back and report your results!

Dunja

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

Can I also use maple syrup instead of honey if yes how much?

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

Yes, you could use maple syrup, as well! Just use an equal amount to the honey.

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