Up until this week I had never made granola bars. As silly as it was I felt intimidated by them. I assumed making them would be a lengthy process. These bars turned out to be one of the simplest recipes I have ever thrown together. When eating grain free having healthy snacks for the days you are on the go can get tricky. These bars are the solution. Stick one in your kids lunch, or bring one with you in the car for breakfast. Not only do they taste great, but they will fill you up too!
These bars will come together in less than 45 minutes and will last you a solid week. They will become a staple in our home.
- 2 ½ cups of mixed unsalted nuts or seeds of your choice*
- ½ cup of chocolate chunks or chips
- ½ cup dried cherries + 1 Tablespoon
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or other mild flavored oil or melted butter of choice)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut nectar (or honey or agave- see note below)
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a 7 ½ x 7 ½ (or close in size) square pan with parchment paper.
- Pulse the nuts in a food processor until broken up into small granola sized pieces. If using larger nuts like almonds, pulse those first so they break up evenly and then add the rest. (Note: Don't worry about the nuts/seeds all ending up the same size, having some larger chunks will give the bars great texture and make them look gorgeous!)
- Add chocolate, cherries, and salt to the nut mixture and pulse once more to mix them together.
- Transfer the nut and fruit mixture to a large mixing bowl while you prepare the sugar.
- In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, pour the coconut oil, vanilla, and coconut nectar. Bring to a rapid bowl and whisk while boiling for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour sugar into the nut mixture and mix until evenly coated.
- Add mixture to baking pan and press evenly using parchment paper.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
- Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing. You can speed this process up by sticking the pan in the freezer until chilled. Use a large sharp knife to slice.
In this recipe, I used almonds, cashews, and pecans to compliment the chocolate and cherry flavors, but you can use any type of nut or seed you prefer! For those allergic to nuts feel free to use just a mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
If using honey or agave instead of coconut nectar, your granola bars will come out slightly sweeter. Using the nectar they are mildly sweet- if you prefer your bars on the super sweet side feel free to increase the amount of nectar to 1/2 cup.
For the chocolate chunks I used the Enjoy Life brand. However if you are looking to decrease the sugar content of these bars feel free to use a Simply Lite sugar free chocolate bar chopped up. (They can be found at Trader Joes and some Whole Foods)
Instead of Chocolate Chips Cacao Nibs could also be used.
The bars can be stored at room temp, in the fridge or freezer in a sealed bag or container.