Looking for a recipe for a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast or snack? You’ve come to the right place. Granola is the perfect complement to any yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal bowl, and when formed into bars, it becomes an easy, portable go-to munch. The problem with store-bought granola and granola bars is that they often contain high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and certain ingredients that simply negate the nutritional benefits that the breakfast boasts in the first place, but when you bake the good stuff at home, you can completely avoid the ingredient lists that are impossible to read.
Many don’t realize just how easy it is to whip up one’s own granola or granola bars, but after today, you’ll have seven new recipes in your arsenal. Feed these home-baked goods to your kids, spouse, relatives, and guests. They make a great gift when packaged up in a decorated jar, and they fit perfectly in lunch boxes and back pockets. We’ll first start with the free-roaming granola and then get to the bars.
1. Maple Nut Granola
Our first recipe comes from Eat Live Run where you can find the formula for the perfect Maple Nut Granola. Loaded with oats, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds, this granola contains no dried fruit or funky ingredients. Maple syrup and olive oil are what glues the ingredients together, and with a dash of salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, this granola will have your house smelling like heaven as it bakes up in the oven for just 20 minutes.
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 325. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup and the olive oil. Bring to a boil then from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and cinnamon. Pour the hot syrup blend over the stir well until combined. Spread out on a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let granola cool before transferring to mason jars or tupperware for storing.
2. Maple Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Granola
Another spin on the homemade maple granola comes from Averie at Averie Cooks, a recipe developer who provides the secret for roasting up big clusters of maple cinnamon chocolate chip granola right from your very own oven. This granola might sound complicated, but we assure you that you can easily master and bake it all in 25 minutes. The only hard part about this recipe is letting the granola cool before diving right in, but some things are worth burning your mouth on.
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup honey/agave/brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup liquid-state coconut oil
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole-rolled oats
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 1/2 cups dried fruit
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or line with parchment paper. This granola is messy, sticky, and I recommend either a Silpat or parchment rather than just spraying a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first nine ingredients, through optional salt. Add oats, almonds, and toss to coat evenly. Turn mixture out onto prepared baking sheet, keeping mixture lightly piled. Smoothing lightly with a spatula is okay, but don’t pack down too much. You want air to be able to flow without it being tightly packed.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the sauce that pools slightly at the edge of the baking sheet begins to barely caramelize. Watch your granola closely to make sure it’s not burning since ingredients and ovens vary. Remove baking sheet from oven and don’t stir. Evenly sprinkle with dried fruit. Evenly sprinkle with chocolate chips. Do not stir granola and allow it to cool, for at least 1 hour, overnight if possible. The longer it’s exposed to air, the crispier and crunchier it becomes. Break granola apart and store in airtight containers with lids or in Ziplocks. Granola will keep airtight for at least two weeks.
3. Coconut Oil Granola
Mixing things up a bit we come to this Coconut Oil Granola from Hungry Girl Por Vida. The formula for this baked treat is similar to the aforementioned recipes, but this one enlists coconut oil to do the healthy fat dirty work — i.e. making the granola taste good and sealing the crunchy clumps together. This batch of granola also has coconut, which gives it the perfect spring kick, and you’ll also find a beaten egg white in there, making this granola extra chunky. Genius!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 2/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dried sour cherries
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg white, beaten
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large mixing bowl combine oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, cherries, coconut, salt, lemon zest, and spices, toss to combine well.
In a medium saucepan melt together honey and coconut oil, just to combine. Add vanilla, remove from heat and pour over oat mixture, stirring to combine and coat well. Add the egg white and mix to coat well. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet in an even layer and bake 15 minutes. Stir and continue to bake in 10 minute intervals, stirring between each until granola is uniformly golden. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before breaking up and storing in an airtight container. If you do not allow it to cool completely the granola will not be chunky, but just as delicious still.
To make the yogurt granola cups start by macerating some berries in a bit of sugar to taste, spoon into the bottom of a clean jar, top with greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and a handful of granola. If you use a jar with a lid, you can take this treat on the go.
4. Lightened Up Summer Granola
Lightened Up Summer Granola from Oh She Glows is next. Perfect timing! Just in time for bathing suit season, this batch of granola has no oil and is only slightly sweetened, but don’t worry, with the assortment of nuts, oats, and other grains, you won’t even miss the fat. Angela at Oh She Glows says this granola is best over oatmeal, a smoothie, or a raw buckwheat breakfast porridge. Bon appetit!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup uncooked millet
- 2 tbsp ground flax
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
- 1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- heaping 2 tbsp applesauce
- 1/4 cup Brown Rice Syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
- 3 tbsp Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter w/ hemp, flax, chia
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 vanilla beans, scraped (optional)
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick mat. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients.In a medium sized bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (except for the vanilla beans and extracts). Microwave for about 60 seconds on high. Now stir in the extracts and scraped vanilla beans until combined. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir well until everything is coated. Mixture will be a bit dry at first but keep mixing as it will eventually come together! Adjust salt to taste. Scoop onto baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once half way through baking. Allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes on the baking sheet. Makes about 5 cups. Store in an air-tight container for 1 to 2 months.
5. Blueberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt Granola Bars
Now it’s time to bind some of that granola into bars, yielding the perfect on-the-go breakfast, snack, or simple sweet treat. There are an abundance of granola bars available in the grocery store, but take a peak at their ingredient lists and you might lose your appetite. Make your own, and your mouth will water. Using nut butter and honey as binding agents, the blogger behind Half-Baked Harvest provides us with this appetizing yet wholesome take on the granola bar. Feed these Blueberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt Granola Bars to your spouse and kids, and they’ll have no idea they just got some of their protein and fiber requirements in for the day. You’re right, these aren’t Special K or Kellogg’s — they’re much better.
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
- 1 1/2 cup brown rice krispies
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (I typically use peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (rounded) cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup dried blueberries
Greek Yogurt Coating
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the blueberries on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the berries burst and shrink. Remove from oven and let cool. Skip this step if you are using dried blueberries.
Line an 9×13 square Pyrex pan with wax or parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the oats, Rice Krispies, coconut, almonds, chia seeds and salt. Mix together. In a small microwave safe bowl combine the almond butter and honey. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the mixture is hot and pourable. Add the vanilla and mix again. Add the honey mixture to the dry oat mixture and mix until everything is moist and combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and then using the back of a measuring cup press the mixture into the pan until it is tightly packed. Cover and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Cut into 9 to 12 bars and return to the freezer.
Make the greek yogurt coating. Combine the water and vanilla in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and whisk with a fork until the gelatin is evenly distributed. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until needed. It will set into a thick paste.
In another small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, and salt. Microwave on 15 second bursts, stirring in between each burst, until the yogurt is liquidy and very warm to the touch. Don’t let it start to boil or the yogurt will curdle. I microwaved mine for 30 seconds total. Whisk the gelatin into the warm yogurt mixture. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Scrape the yogurt mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Pour the powdered sugar on top. Use a mixer or whisk until the yogurt and powdered sugar combine into a thick, but pourable, coating.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper or a Silpat. Working with one bar at a time, dip the bottom of the bar into the yogurt and allow any excess to drip off. Flip the bars over so the yogurt coated side faces up and place on the prepared baking sheet. They will be very sticky. Repeat with the remaining bars. Let the bars sit, uncovered, until dry to the touch, about four hours or overnight (I left mine overnight). Cover the remaining yogurt coating with plastic wrap until ready to use again.
Once the bars are completely dry, flip them over so the yogurt coated side is now facing down. Transfer the remaining yogurt coating to a sandwich size ziplock bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Drizzle the remaining coating over the bars and allow the bars to sit at least two hours or overnight. Once the bars are completely dry, store in an airtight container at room temperature.
6. 5 Ingredient Granola Bars
Our next granola bar recipe requires just five ingredients, affording them the name 5 Ingredient Granola Bars. These come from The Minimalist Baker and are packed with dates, honey, nut butter, oats, and honey. That’s it! Oh, and no oven is required, either. Get our your food processor and get going. It’s homemade granola bar time.
- 1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)
- 1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
- 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw. Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.
Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.) Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to harden.
Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.
7. No-Bake Granola Bars
Lastly, one more granola bar recipe that doesn’t require the oven — hence the name No-Bake Granola Bars — and is made with just a handful of ingredients. Unlike the brands marketed in the grocery store, there is no high fructose corn syrup or other funky ingredients found here. Rather, this recipe from The Healthy Maven simply calls for oats, your mix-ins of choice, nut butter, honey, and sea salt. Just five ingredients again, but these are a little different than the aforementioned 5 Ingredient Granola Bars because this recipe uses honey as one its binding agents, keeping the bars from being classified as vegan. Vegan or not, these bars are still a healthy snack for even the most health conscious eaters, and you can have this treat on your hands in no time at all without even turning on your oven.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup mix-ins (I used 1/2 cup each of pistachios, dried mango and pepitas)
- ½ cup nut butter
- ½ cup honey
- sea salt (depending on if nut butter is salted)
Mix all ingredients together until a sticky ball is formed. Line a 9×9 inch baking pan with saran wrap. Using hands spread out mixture into pan until flat. Place in freezer for at least 2 hours. Remove from freezer and cut into 12 bars. Will keep in fridge for up to two weeks or longer in freezer.
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