Here is our no-bake (and simple to prepare) healthy granola bar recipe made with rolled oats, natural peanut butter, honey, dried fruit, and almonds. These high-fiber granola bars are refined sugar-free and make a great snack or breakfast for the whole family and the best part is they are healthier than store-bought granola bars!
Why We Love These Healthy Granola Bars
These homemade chewy granola bars are great because they are easy to make and full of whole, nutritious foods. They can be customized with your favorite mix-ins and are transportable – a perfect snack for school lunches.
We know you’ll love these oat bars because of their simple ingredients and they are better than any you can buy at a store. The healthy snack bars are great to have on hand for an easy breakfast or to grab-and-go for road trips, skiing, even a long day of running errands – they keep you going!
- Prep is easy and quick – they’re no-bake!
- Made with natural and wholesome ingredients
- 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per bar
- These bars provide adequate fuel to keep you going for hours
- Great for afternoon snacks, long road trips and post-workout
- They can be frozen
- Making granola bars from scratch is more cost-effective than buying packaged snacks
Ingredients for this Healthy Granola Bar Recipe
- Rolled Oats: Old fashioned rolled oats are best for a chewy texture, plus protein, fiber, and anti-inflammatory properties
- Honey: Used as one of the binding agents, this natural sweetener is rich in antioxidants.
- Peanut Butter: Natural creamy peanut butter helps hold the bars together and increases the protein and adds essential healthy fats. For best results choose a plain natural peanut butter without palm oils or emulsifiers. You should have to stir it. Teddie Natural Peanut Butter is our favorite. If your household is peanut-free, swap in another nut butter or sun butter.
- Fruit, Nuts, & Seeds: Dried fruit adds another element of sweetness and fiber, nuts provide protein, and seeds add additional antioxidants. Use any combination of your dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.
- Kitchen Staples: Salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
How To Make Granola Bars
Step 1: Prepare Baking Pan
First, preheat oven to 350°F. Then, line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper.
Step 2: Toast Oats, Almonds, and Pepitas
On a large, rimmed baking sheet, spread out the oats, almonds, and pepitas. Bake until the ingredients are toasted and golden.
Step 3: Make Date Mixture
In a food processor, blend dates until they are broken up into small pieces. Then, add peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. Process until just combined with the dates. Transfer to a large bowl.
Step 4: Make Granola Mix
To the date mixture, add the toasted oat mixture, cherries, cinnamon, and salt. With a spatula, mix until combined.
Step 5: Press Granola Mixture into Pan
Transfer the granola mixture to the prepared pan. Then, firmly press the mixture into the pan and place in the freezer until firm.
Step 6: Cut into Bars
Once firm, remove from the freezer. Then, lift the block of granola from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Cut the bars in half. Then cut into 1 ½ inch bars, 5 per side.
Pro Tip: Use the back of a spoon, measuring cup or a flat-bottomed glass to press down. Freezing before cutting helps the bars hold together when you cut them. Alternatively, wrap them tightly and refrigerate overnight before cutting.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes, homemade granola bars tend to be healthier for you than your store-bought favorites. Because homemade granola bar recipes use only a few wholesome ingredients that are high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, and free of unrefined sweeteners – homemade bars are a more nutritious option to fuel you all day long.
Homemade granola bars are full of protein, a good source of fiber, and antioxidants. Protein and fiber help keep you feeling full longer while antioxidants help reduce the amount of free radicals found in the body which can cause inflammation.
Yes, granola bars can be frozen! To freeze, individually wrap each bar in parchment paper, then store it in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag. These bars freeze well for up to one month.
Substitutions and Variations to Try
- If you have a peanut allergy in the house or must send nut-free items to school with your kiddos, try alternatives like sunflower seed butter. Other nut butters would also work, like cashew butter or almond butter.
- Dried tart cherries or cranberries can be swapped out for any other dried fruit in these healthy, easy snack bars. Raisins would also be a good choice. Just chop whichever fruit you choose before adding.
- We like the combo of almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) but feel free to play around with other nuts and seeds instead. You could try walnuts, pecans, cashews, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or sunflower seeds. And if you want a splurge, try macadamia or hazelnuts.
- Cinnamon is delicious and a classic granola bar flavoring. Pumpkin pie spice, or a small amount of cardamom, cloves, or nutmeg would all be welcome additions or alternatives.
- Maple syrup could also be used as a sweetener for these oat bars. Unsweetened coconut flakes would be a great addition!
- If you’d like, you can also add dark chocolate chips or drizzle chocolate on top!
Granola Bar Storage and Freezing
This homemade granola bar recipe is so delicious and simple to make we recommend doubling or even tripling the batch and freezing some for later!
Homemade granola bars can be frozen for up to one month or refrigerated for up to three days in an airtight container.
Additional Recipes To Try
- Homemade Strawberry Granola is bursting with the flavors of summer! This flavorful granola is the perfect prep-ahead breakfast full of nutritious ingredients, fiber, and nutrients.
- For breakfast try these Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies with chocolate chunks! So good with a cup of coffee or tea.
- These Paleo Energy Balls are a perfect healthy snack! Full of protein, and made with almond butter and dates, these little powerhouses will be sure to satisfy that sweet tooth. Plus, they’re free of grains, dairy, and refined sweeteners.
- Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies are a healthier take on a classic. Full of walnuts, apples, white chocolate chips, and a touch of cinnamon these cookies will satisfy all those fall-flavor feelings!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~Katie
When you make your own healthy granola bars you get to know exactly what’s in them. These are packed with wholesome rolled oats, nuts, dates, tart cherries, and just about a teaspoon of honey per serving for sweetness. They’re a great treat to make and keep in the freezer—just pop them out to defrost quickly on the counter when you want them.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup raw pepitas
- 1 cup chopped pitted dates (6 oz.), fresh or dried
- 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped or dried cranberries
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment, letting the edges drape over the sides.
- Spread oats, almonds, and pepitas on a large-rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and toasted, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blend dates in a food processor until broken up into smaller pieces, about 1 minute. Add peanut butter, honey, and vanilla and process, scraping as needed, until just combined with the dates, about 10 seconds. Scrape into a large bowl.
- When the toasted oat mixture has cooled enough to touch comfortably, add it along with cherries, cinnamon, and salt to the date mixture in the large bowl; mix with a spatula until combined. If necessary, use your hands to make sure it is combined.
- Firmly press the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and lift the block of granola bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. ut the bars in half. Then cut into 1 ½ inch bars, 5 per side.
Tips for Success: When you press the bar mixture into the pan make sure to press down firmly. Use the back of a spoon or a flat-bottomed glass to press down. Freezing before cutting helps the bars hold together when you cut them. Alternatively, wrap them tightly and refrigerate overnight before cutting.
Make Ahead: Toast the oat and nut mixture and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days before making the bars.
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to one month.
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 320
- Sugar: 28 g
- Fat: 13 g
- Carbohydrates: 46 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 8 g
Keywords: Healthy Granola Bars, Homemade Granola Bars, Homemade Granola Bar Recipe, Healthy Granola Bar Recipe
About the Author
Katie Webster studied art and photography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first started working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications among others. Her cookbook, Maple Quirk Books was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.