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Learn how to make healthy homemade granola bars that are crunchy and just like a Nature Valley knockoff. They’re super easy to make and they use all organic ingredients you probably have in your pantry. Once you have these, I’m guessing you’ll never go back to the store-bought option.
On our way to a completely real traditional food diet, I’ve been swapping out processed foods and cutting down our sugar intake with homemade versions. We first started with homemade sourdough bread (and this chocolate sourdough bread variation that’s to die for) and then moved on to snacks like these easy 5-minute homemade crackers and this homemade granola bar recipe.
These are a crunchy granola bar (think Nature Valley copycat recipe), perfect for snacks, breakfast on the go, backpacks, or anywhere you need a quick bite. These make a large pan and are so much more frugal than going to the grocery store. Because, I don’t know about you, but I always manage to buy more than what I ran in for.
I got this homemade granola bar recipe from my mother and made a few small tweaks with the ingredients to make it healthier. It’s quick to make and oh so yummy.
Unlike some other homemade granola bars, this recipe will need to be baked to get that classic Nature Valley crunch we all love.
Gather and measure out all your ingredients (oats, maple syrup, coconut oil, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg – see photo above).
Slightly melt the coconut oil and finely chop the pecans.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), add the dry ingredients then drizzle the wet ingredients over the top. Stir gently (or mix on low) until everything is incorporated and oats are no longer dry.
With a large spatula, press granola firmly into a 17×11 inch sheet pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool 1 hour before cutting and removing from pan. (Granola bars will continue to firm up as they cool.)
Don’t be tempted to use another size pan. The ingredients are carefully measured and changing the pan size will alter how these turn out. Be sure to press very firmly on the granola mixture, it should be really thin and flat.
We all have our own preferences when it comes to granola bar flavors. Because these granola bars need to be baked to have a nice crispy texture, the add-ins need to be minimal.
Some of my favorite options are to add a few mini chocolate chips or just a touch of peanut butter to the recipe. You can mix and match to play around with the texture and find your perfect variation.
My very favorite is to melt some dark chocolate and either drizzle it over the top of the granola bars or dunk each room temperature granola bar into the chocolate so the bottom layer is covered in chocolate. Then I lay them flat on parchment paper and stick them in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up.
If you choose to mix in any additional ingredients, they may not transport as well as the original recipe.
These homemade granola bars are a dairy-free version with less refined sugar. If you’d like to substitute any of the ingredients to eliminate a trip to the grocery store, here are a few suggestions.
When making these granola bars, be sure to follow the instructions to a T the first time you make them. If you’ve made chewy homemade granola bars before, this recipe is a bit different because the goal is for them to be crispy crunchy.
Adding in dried fruit like dried cranberries, raisins or even unsweetened coconut may not work well for this recipe because they are so thin. But feel free to experiment. Even if they crumble it’ll make a fantastic granola!
Be sure you’re using an 11×17 inch baking sheet and press the mixture down very firmly.
Your granola bars will seem thin, but this is the goal. They need to be thin to get crispy when baking.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.