I’ve been looking for a simple granola bar recipe for years. It’s one of those snacks that we all love eating in our house and I wanted to be able to make my own. They can be a bit tricky at first go because you want the right mix of ingredients so that they stick together and don’t fall apart the minute you bit into them. That’s the worst!
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I also wanted a recipe that wouldn’t be overly crunchy, since my littles have a hard time chewing them up. My goal was to make a close replica of the classic Quaker Chewy Bar that so many of us grew up on. These simple granola bars are pretty darn close.
Today, I’m going to share with you a classic chocolate chip granola bar recipe, but this is a recipe you can definitely play with in terms of flavors. I’ll share some of our other favorites another time.
What makes these simple granola bars so good?
One of the key ingredients in this recipe is using mini chocolate chips. You don’t want to take a bite of a granola bar and it all falls apart because the big chocolate chip fell out. No way! They are so much better with mini chocolate chips. Not only are they the right size, but they melt a bit faster and can help hold the granola bar together.
The best reason is the secret ingredient, Rice Krispies. This classic cereal adds another great texture to these bars. If you think about the ones you ate as a kid as you try these, you’ll see that it really works! Use either the original Kelloggs version or any generic rice cereal you like (we really like the Trader Joes version).
Are these granola bars really a healthy snack?
I like to think so. One of the main ingredients in these granola bars are oats. Oats are known to be a great source of fiber, a super healthy grain, and naturally gluten free. They have been proven to help reduce cholesterol, help with lowering blood sugar, and aid in digestion.
Oats are also known to be one of the world’s most nutrient dense foods. And, since they are the base of this recipe, I feel really good about feeding it to my kids. A real winner of an ingredient if you ask me!
These also contain nuts with provide a good source of protein and healthy fats. The nuts combined with the oats provide kiddos (and adults too) with really good energy to keep them going. Yes, there is honey and chocolate chips, but compared to the packaged granola bars, I feel really good about calling homemade granola bars a “healthy snack”.
And while these can be a bit sweet for some palates, much of the sweetness comes from the honey, and that's an important ingredient to making sure these stick together.
Can you make these dairy free?
YES! I actually tried these a few ways, with real butter, with non-dairy butter and with coconut oil. I found that the coconut oil worked best as your non-dairy substitution. If you use this, you'll want to store them in the fridge after they are cut.
You can also find non dairy chocolate chips. Here are a few companies that make non-dairy chocolate chips in case you can’t find them in your grocery store:
Tips and Tricks:
- In order to get these simple granola bars to stick together, you are going to have to use some muscle. Make sure to really push them into the pan well, so that all the ingredients can stick together.
- Refrigerating these after making them for a few hours will also help everything meld together. They don’t have to be stored in the fridge, but it really will help holding things together (especially when you cut them).
- You can store these in an airtight container for up to a week. I like to separate them using wax paper or parchment paper so they are easy to grab and go.
Looking for other great recipes that also use oats? Check these out!
simple granola bars with mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- ½ cup finely chopped nuts i use almonds and walnuts
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- Stir butter, brown sugar, vanilla and honey together in large saucepan until melted and combined
- While stirring, bring the mixture just to a boil and then turn off heat
- Add in the nuts, oats, crispy rice cereal and stir until the dry ingredients are completely coated
- Then add in 2 heaping tablespoons of mini chocolate chips (from the ½ cup total) to the mixture and stir until they almost disappear
- Take this mixture and press into a parchment lined 8x8 baking pan
- Using the bottom of a measuring cup, a greased spatula or wet hands, really press the mixture into the corners and edges. You want the granola bar to be as condensed as possible
- Sprinkle the remaining mini chips over the top
- Put in refrigerator for at least two hours before cutting into bar shapes
Want to make these now? Are you missing some ingredients? Amazon Now can get them to you in a few hours, Instacart can get them to you today. Or add them to your Peapod grocery list and don't be stuck without them again!