Homemade granola bars are better than store bought granola bars. Fact.
And realistically, I don’t make them enough.
When I buy granola bars I buy three brands: Nature Valley Sweet and Salty, Cliff Bars, and Larabars. I’ve managed to master Larabars, am working on a Sweet and Salty copycat, and would do some unholy things for the Cliff Bar recipe. But these bars, these, are the bar of my childhood.
My Mom used to buy the Quaker chocolate chip granola bars for my lunches when I was still living at home. They tasted delicious, but as an adult I haven’t been able to justify buying them with so many healthier alternatives available.
So, I found a way to bring one of my childhood favorites back into my own kitchen. And I never have to look back.
Here, I present to you my ultimate favorite granola bar. Guys, these are perfect.
They’re easy to make with a vegan and gluten free option, are sweetened with dates and a bit of honey, and they are so, so delicious.
I’m so excited I could scream!!
I hope you like these as much as I do!
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats**
- 1 cup packed pitted dates
- 1/4 cup raw pecan halves
- 1/2 cup whole raw almonds
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips*, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 1/4 cup honey*
- 1/4 cup smooth almond butter
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- Spread rolled oats evenly on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven to toast for about 10-15 minutes, or until the oats become fragrant, shaking the sheet once in the middle of baking. When the oats are done, add them to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place dates in a food processor and pulse until a ball is formed. Transfer dates the mixing bowl with the toasted oats, and add the nuts, salt and chocolate chips. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands, making sure to evenly disperse the dates as much as possible throughout the rest of the ingredients.
- Bring honey and almond butter to a boil over medium heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir everything together quickly so that your chocolate chips melt. Make sure everything is well mixed.
- Transfer mixture to your prepared pan and press everything into the pan using a spatula so that you have a smooth and uniformly flat top.
- Sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top and press them into the bars with the back of a spatula. Top with a piece of plastic wrap, and pop them into the freezer to set for 15 minutes.
- Remove and cut into 10 bars.
- Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for longer term storage.
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker
*For a vegan option, sub maple syrup for the honey and use vegan chocolate chips
**For a gluten free option, use gluten free rolled oats