Looking for a yummy, real-food homemade granola bar recipe? This is a great one! It’s nourishing and also allergy-friendly … no gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts or peanuts!
By Jessica Smartt, Contributing Writer
I don’t know about you, but it feels like my kids are always hungry! Come to think of it, my husband and I are always hungry, too. Maybe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
It can be a real struggle to find foods that are filling and nourishing (and don’t cost an arm and a leg). And if you deal with food allergies, sensitivities, or special diets, like we do, it is even more difficult.
I love this recipe for granola bars. More often than not, there’s a batch in the fridge, and another stashed in the freezer for later. It’s not difficult to make, packs a good nutritional punch, and everyone who has tried them loves them!
I got the basic idea for the recipe here, and then switched a few things up. You could also use various dried fruits in place of the raisins, different nuts instead of the seeds, and peanut or almond butter in place of the sunflower seed butter I used. This is a very versatile recipe that just works well!
- 4 cups of old-fashioned oats (obviously if you avoid gluten, use gluten-free oats)
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
- dash of salt
- ½ cup of organic raisins
- ½ cup of chocolate chunks or chips (since we have food allergies, I love the safe brand of Enjoy Life)
- ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds (not pictured)
- ¾ cup of sunflower seed butter (you could use the same amount of almond or peanut butter)
- slightly less than ½ cup of honey
- Whisk the oats, cinnamon, chia seeds, and salt in a large bowl.Stir in the raisins, chocolate chunks, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Warm the nut butter, and stir it into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the honey. It's important that the mixture is wet enough to stick together into bars. You don't want any dry ingredients at the bottom of your bowl, so keep mixing until it is fairly sticky, adding additional honey if necessary.
- I lightly grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish with a touch of coconut oil. I'm not sure this is absolutely necessary, but I think it helps a bit to get them out.
- Press the mixture into the pan. I rub a touch of coconut oil on my hands first, and press as hard as I can to get it nice and firm.
- Stick in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then cut into slices.
- I store mine in the refrigerator because sunflower seed butter requires refrigeration. If you use a shelf-stable nut butter, you may be able to store at room temperature for a few days. I always freeze half the batch and pull out one or two as needed. They're great to take to the pool, beach, or on a picnic!
Does your family enjoy homemade granola bars? What are your favorite mix-ins?
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