Make your own classic granola bars at home! These chocolate chip almond granola bars are chewy, crispy and hold together perfectly.
I wasn’t lying when I said I was on a granola bar kick! This is my go-to classic granola bar recipe. When looking in the granola bar aisle I more often than not grab a nut + chocolate flavor. I decided to take a stab at a homemade version and it’s absolutely delicious. Isaac and I love having these in the house to snack on throughout the day and something tells me Olivia will be a fan when she’s a little bit older.
They’re the perfect meal prep recipe that can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Great for grab-n-go or work from home snacks!
Healthier Granola Bars
When’s the last time you looked at the nutrition label on your granola bar?! The ingredient list is so long and half of the ingredients are either synonyms for sugar or are unrecognizable! I’ve been on a mission to create healthier granola bars that use whole food ingredients, natural sweeteners and have simple ingredient lists. Mission accomplished! These chocolate chip almond granola bars fit the bill and they’re guaranteed to be a hit!
What you need for these Granola Bars
brown rice cereal – this cereal is similar to Rice Krispies, but made with brown rice so it’s a tad healthier. There are several brands that make brown rice crisps which you should be able to find in the organic/natural section of most grocery stores. Some brands to look for: Barbara’s, One Degree and Nature’s Path.
chocolate chips – I like Lily’s for low sugar or Enjoy Life chocolate chips for a dairy-free option.
How to Make Homemade Granola Bars
Prep pan – Start by lining a square baking pan with parchment paper. I like to use large binder clips to clamp the parchment down so it stays in place.
Combine dry ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cereal, 1/8 cup almonds and 1/8 cup chocolate chips.
Create healthy syrup – In a pot on medium heat, combine the honey and coconut oil. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Once bubbling for 30 seconds, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Make sure you cook the mixture until it’s bubbling! This reduces the mixture and is what helps hold the bars together. Let the mixture cool for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Combine wet and dry ingredients – Pour the honey mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well coated. The chocolate chips might melt a bit but that’s okay! The melted chocolate actually helps hold the bars together too.
Press mixture – Pour the mixture into the pan lined with parchment paper and lightly press so the mixture is even. Top with remaining chopped almonds and chocolate chips and and press firmly with your hands. You’ll really want to press the mixture down well so the bars hold together well. I like to put a piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture so my hands don’t get super sticky.
Refrigerate – Once the bars are fully pressed, place the pan in the fridge for two hours to allow the bars to set. Once the bars are solid or hard to the touch, remove them from the pan, place on a cutting board and slice into 10 bars.
How to Store Granola Bars
These bars will stay together best if you store them in the refrigerator! They will keep for 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge. If you want to store them longer, wrap individually and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Substitutions & Notes
Wondering about different ingredient substitutions? Here are some that come to mind:
Brown rice crisp cereal – this is what gives them a little crunch and makes the bars taste like store-bought granola bars. If you can’t find brown rice crisp cereal you can use regular Rice Krispies or simply sub 1 cup of oats for the cereal.
Different sweeteners – I haven’t tried other sweeteners, but I’m guessing it would work with agave, coconut nectar or brown rice syrup. I think maple syrup would be too runny and wouldn’t hold the bars together as well as the other options. If you try a different sweetener, let me know in the comment section.
Different nuts – Not a fan of almonds or prefer a different nut? You can substitute any other nut in place of the almonds.
Bars Too Dry or Crumbly?
Two things likely happened if your granola bars are too dry or crumbly:
1. You didn’t let the honey and coconut oil mixture come to a low boil. Cooking until the mixture bubbles reduces the mixture and is the “glue” that holds the bars together!
2. You didn’t press hard enough! You really want to press the mixture into the pan lined with parchment paper. Put your back into it and compact that mixture!
If you can’t “save” your granola bars I bet they’re still delicious enjoyed like granola! Just be sure to follow these tips for next time you make the bars.
1/4cupchocolate chips, divided (I like Lily’s or Enjoy Life)
1/4cupchopped almonds, divided
Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment. I like to use binder clips to clamp the parchment down so the parchment stays in place.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cereal, 1/8 cup almonds and 1/8 cup chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a pot on medium heat, combine honey and coconut oil. Let mixture heat until it starts to bubble, stirring continuously. Once bubbling for 30 seconds, remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla. Let cool for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Pour honey mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until well coated. The chocolate chips will likely melt a bit, this is okay and actually helps the bars hold together.
Pour mixture into your parchment lined baking pan and lightly press the mixture so it’s even. Top with remaining chopped almonds and chocolate chips and really press the mixture down as much as possible. Skipping this step will result in crumbly bars. I use a piece of parchment to press so that my hands don’t get super sticky.
Set: Once bars are pressed down firmly, place pan in the fridge for 2 hours to allow the bars to cool and set up.
Cut: Once the bars feel solid/hard to the touch, remove from the pan, place on a cutting board and slice into 10 bars. Serve immediately or save for later.
To store: these bars will stay together best if you store them in the refrigerator. They will keep for 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge. For freezing, wrap them individually and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.