a peek inside the fishbowl

04 Sep, 2008

Healthy lunchbox granola bar recipe – this is the winning recipe!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

It looks like this is the most popular granola bar recipe on the Internet. :)

After a trip to the grocery store yesterday I renewed my resolution to bake my own healthy granola bars for the girls to bring to school. Gah. I walked past aisle after aisle of over-sugared, over salted, high-fructose corny syrup, over hyped, over packaged crap. I just had to make my own. (I even saw Disney Princess SANDWICH BAGS. Fer chrissakes.)

Anyway, after a lot of searching I found a healthy granola bar recipe to make for my kids, but after reading a few of the comments posted with the recipe I decided to alter it a bit and make it my own.

This one is a keeper. It was wildly successful, despite the fact I totally screwed it up (but more on that later), and it received an enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone. Here’s what they look like:

Granola bars for back-to-school lunches

Here’s my version … (it’s nut-free, and you can make this as organic as you want)

2 cups rolled oats (I’ve upped it to 2 1/2 cups for another batch and they turned out great)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I think it was called “soft” flour)*
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cherry-flavoured cranberries
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup canola oil (I might try substituting some of the oil with apple sauce next time)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

* I picked up a lot of these ingredients at the bulk food store. I’ve also made a batch with sunflower seeds and whole flax seeds. They were just as great! I find that if I add raisins and cranberries the bars become sweeter and chewier. You’ll have to experiment and figure out what you like best.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 baking pan.

2. In large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, flax, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the centre, pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the pan. It will be sticky.

3. Bake for about 30 minutes, but watch the baking time. If you leave them in too long they’ll be dry. I like mine a bit chewier so 30 minutes works for us. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars or squares. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting or they will be too hard to cut.

So. I mixed the ingredients. The original recipe said to use your hands to mix, which I did, and I realized I really didn’t need to. Oh well. After I was done I licked ALL TEN FINGERS because the mixture was so good. I poured the mixture into the pan and popped it into the hot oven. After about five minutes I realized that the mixture was a little too wet. And THEN I realized it was because I forgot to add the flour. I pulled it out, sprinkled the flour on top, mixed it in, and put it back into the oven. PEOPLE, THIS IS THE WAY I COOK THINGS.

BUT they were still pretty good.

I’m not sure if they’ll be sweet enough for everyone’s liking. I reduced the amount of sugar, but I found the raisins made the bars sweeter. The girls like them, and that’s what matters to me.

If you try them let me know how they turn out for you! Any questions? Please let me know.


Update: June 2015
This recipe for granola bars is still a family favourite! My kids love bringing them to school. I bake them on Sunday afternoons for the week ahead.

Healthy homemade granola bar recipe !

You can cut them as large or small as you like. For this batch I cut them into bigger bars before I wrapped them in foil and popped them in the freezer… although I’m not sure why I bother, because they disappear so quickly.

Homemade granola bar recipe

129 Responses to "Healthy lunchbox granola bar recipe – this is the winning recipe!"

1 | Chantal

September 4th, 2008 at 10:57 am


I will give them a try this weekend.

2 | porter

September 4th, 2008 at 12:56 pm


They sound like they would be good. Unfortunately, my girls aren’t fans of dried fruit so I might have to add chocolate chips which sort of defeat the purpose a little…but still healthier than store bought I’m sure. Are sunflower seeds okay, I’m guessing they are…and pumpkin seeds would be so perhaps I could add those instead of the dried fruit?

3 | andrea

September 4th, 2008 at 1:16 pm


Porter: does that include dried cherries or blueberries? I bet you could easily sub sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, i’m guessing they’d be okay since they’re not a peanut or a tree nut.

(Funny, our school is peanut free, but we’ve also been asked not to bring tree nuts i.e. almonds or pecans. How are these related? A peanut isn’t technically even a nut.)

4 | BeachMama

September 4th, 2008 at 7:23 pm


Oooh, looks like a wonderful recipe, I will have to try this one as I too have been looking at the stuff on the shelves wondering what I could make that was better.

5 | LO

September 5th, 2008 at 6:59 am


I thought this might be something you would be interested in personally and to share on your site:)

6 | andrea

September 5th, 2008 at 7:33 am


Thanks LO!
You know, I’ve had lots of people recommend the laptop lunch system but it won’t work for me for one big reason: the sandwich. And these don’t accommodate them all that well. Despite Emma and Sarah’s limited sandwich repretoire the good ol’ fashioned sandwich is still an effective way of feeding someone.

You could still achieve a litterless lunch without buying a laptop lunch system.

– don’t buy any single serving foods for their lunch. Bar, cookies, yogurt, fruit cocktail, crackers, chips etc. Even juice & milk. All of that stuff can easily be taken from one larger container and poured into a smaller reusable containers.
– using real cutlery instead of plastic forks/knives(buying secondhand is a great way to avoid using “the good stuff”)
– using cloth napkins
– ditching the paper bags (tho’ I don’t think anyone uses a paper bag, do they?)

7 | Jenn

September 5th, 2008 at 8:54 am


Continuing on the tangent, I love the laptop lunch box for my oldest. Sandwiches cut in half do fit into one of the sections, but what I like most about it is that it encourages variety in the lunch- fanastic for someone who is starting to make their own choices. It won’t work for my daughter because it is difficult for little hands to open. For her I have been considering the Greentainer, a stainless steel round container with two compartments that looks ideal for school snack breaks.

8 | Best and healthiest fruit smoothie in the history of healthy snacks (with secret veg!) at a peek inside the fishbowl

September 6th, 2008 at 7:08 am


[…] you tell that I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately? There’s the granola bar recipe (which the girls had at school yesterday and LOVED – yay!) but I’ve also been tinkering […]

9 | LO

September 6th, 2008 at 11:33 am


Yeah, you are right-i need sandwich room for those days:)
I do employ a lot of what you said but slide a bit sometimes….It’s great that my daughter’s teacher is very ‘green’ and all garbage comes back home so that alone is incentive!
Loving your site!!!!
btw we should meet up someday as i am in Ottawa too!

10 | Scatteredmom

September 6th, 2008 at 11:51 am


Ooo…I want to try these. I’m sure Jake would love them.

On the nut thing…many kids who are allergic to peanuts are also highly sensitive to tree nuts so they are usually told to avoid both. Lucky me, I’m only sensitive to tree nuts. (so I can eat peanut butter, although I really shouldn’t)

11 | Jennifer

September 8th, 2008 at 2:02 pm


I made the granola bars and they are YUMMY. I can’t stop eating them!!! They really taste like granola bars (very good granola bars in fact)! Also very easy to make.

12 | andrea

September 8th, 2008 at 2:20 pm


I’m so glad you tried them and liked them Jennifer!
p.s. The only way I could stop eating them was by putting them in the freezer… that way they were safely stored for kiddie lunches, not for mummy snacks. :)

13 | Lunchbox Obsessed

September 8th, 2008 at 9:02 pm


Thanks for providing a tested and tweaked recipe. Will definitely give it a try! Great timing for back to school, since I am already running out of new things to pack in my kids lunchboxes. :)

14 | AlisonG

September 9th, 2008 at 11:05 am


I tried the granola bar recipe for our camping trip last weekend, and made almost the same changes you did! They were a big hit. Thanks so much for finding it.

Even with 1/2 c. brown sugar, I still found them too sweet (all those raisins and cranberries) so I’ll try reducing the sugar even more. I think I’ll try more oats and the flax seed next time too.

15 | david

September 9th, 2008 at 11:12 am


Sam and I made these yesterday after school, and they’re a hit !

16 | andrea

September 9th, 2008 at 2:51 pm


Yay! Thanks everyone, for trusting me in your kitchens. :)

17 | Naomi

September 12th, 2008 at 7:30 am


I was so happy to find a recipe for granola bars that someone actually tried :)

I was also wondering if you’ve tried making granola? (great for kids either on it’s own or on top of vanilla yogurt)…. anyways my favorite brand is BearNaked and I’ve been looking for a similar recipe. I’ll keep searching and post if I find anything worth while.

Naomi (Ottawa)

18 | andrea

September 16th, 2008 at 9:19 pm


Hmmm. I’ve never tried making my own, but am game to try. If you come up with a good recipe let me know!

19 | Scott

September 21st, 2008 at 8:21 pm


I made the lunchbox granola bars, but somehow forgot the brown sugar! They turned out fine. Still tasty for me and my ten year old son, but not quite sweet enough for my youngest boy.


20 | Kyra Paterson

October 6th, 2008 at 8:44 am


Thanks for the great recipe, now a staple in my kids’ school lunches! I modified the recipe slightly, using only 1/4 cup sugar, no cranberries, and 1/4 cup canola oil with 1/4 cup applesauce. The second time I made them I replaced the raisins and cranberries with chocolate chips – these are a huge hit!

21 | J.

October 15th, 2008 at 11:34 am


I tired recipe, I think I must have missed something. It went in rather dry.. I’ll hav to try it again.

22 | andreab

November 2nd, 2008 at 2:21 pm


Hi there, this recipe sounds great, I’m just about to give it a try. I’m going to toast the oatmel in the over first (a genius idea I found in an online oatmeal cookie recipe that really adds to the texture/flavour) and perhaps some toasted coconut. Wish me luck.

23 | michelle noseworthy

January 18th, 2009 at 12:26 pm


I have six children, and store bought granola bars do not go very far. I tried this recipe and my kid loved it. I doubled the batch and baked it on a large cookie sheet. I have since added apricots cranberries cornflakes or whatever else I have on hand, and it always turns out great.

24 | andrea

January 19th, 2009 at 1:54 pm


Thanks for your comment Michelle – you make a good point. It’s definitely a great recipe for those trying to make good (and healthy!) food for larger families.

25 | Kathy Kennedy

March 23rd, 2009 at 7:14 pm


I these are the best granola bars on the internet! I’ve tried a few different recipes. I must have made about 20 batches of your bars since Christmas. My 11 year old son has type 1 diabetes and an allergy to nuts, and these are a lunchbox stable. They have a low glycemic load, and make a great snack with nature-a brand soy milk (lower in carbs than most).

26 | Allyson

April 3rd, 2009 at 10:25 am


I just made these bars, I added chocolate chips, cranberries and walnuts. So far they are terrific hit. Thanks

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[…] granola bars I made last night are very good. I was pleasantly surprised. The reviews of the original recipe […]

28 | rainberryblue :: sick day :: April :: 2009

April 23rd, 2009 at 8:06 pm


[…] the store. There is a slight crunch to them around the edges as well. I mixed up another batch of granola bars this evening and added in 1/2 cup of the dried berries. I’ve only sampled the edges of the […]

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May 5th, 2009 at 10:53 pm


[…] blogged before about the recipe I use. I found it over at quietfish. Tonight I used orange pulp (from juiced oranges) which I had […]

30 | Lise Maltais

July 8th, 2009 at 10:20 pm


Hi all and Andrea,
Thank you for the granola bar recipe, I will try them for sure.

This is a winner recipe for granola, I have been making it
for a while now, always turns out good, just make sure you stir your granola while it is in the oven and as soon as it smells good, well that is when it is ready. Enjoy!
Oh and it is so much cheaper to make your own than to buy it, not to mention you control what goes into it!

Lise’s best granola

7 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds (I had none for my last batch so don’t matter)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup chopped almonds (or a combination of your favorites)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used organic sunflower oil)
1/2 cup honey (I tell ya, next batch it is going to be maple syrup)
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup brown sugar (oops…I put in 1/2 cup…)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (it is important here to note that your vanilla extract must be pure)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, wheat germ, coconut, sunflower seeds and almonds. In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, honey (or better still, maple syrup) boiling water, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until evenly coated. Spread in a thin layer on a large baking sheet, on a bed of parchemin paper.
Bake 60 to 90 minutes (trust me on this, 60 minutes is max) in a preheated oven. Stir every 30 minutes (I stir mine every 15 minutes with tongues) until lightly toasted and fragrant. Granola will crisp up more when cooled.
Cool on a rack.
If you wish, you can add dried fruit to your master piece, I like to use dried cherries and dried blueberries, I cut them up in small pieces and add to the cooled batch. Hummm, I wonder about white and/or dark chocolate chunks….

31 | lisa

July 21st, 2009 at 7:01 am


I made these granola bars for my husband and replaced the oil with apple sauce and he loved them!

For a different granola bar I made one batch with 70% chocolate chopped up and coconut…and left out all the fruit and seed…they were awesome!

32 | cathy bailey

July 23rd, 2009 at 12:01 pm


This recipe has endless possibilities. I will add some seeds like flax and poppy, a banana, some cut up dried fruit in addition to what’s suggested. Once I go to bulk barn I’ll choose some dried fruit that will fit in nicely including dried apricots, some apple, etc. I can play with the spices and add or omit depending on who eats them- my kids have opposing taste buds. thanks for this recipe, I might even add some butter a la “Sally Fallon”! I might also add some chia seeds or some hemp hearts.

33 | Julie

August 13th, 2009 at 12:17 pm


Just made this yesterday, and they taste good. I too am tired of too much sugar/salt etc…

I mashed a very very very ripe banana, and then made up the difference to 1/2 cup with oil – the banana was more than 1/4 cup, but it turned out great, and I can’t taste the banana.

34 | Lee

August 16th, 2009 at 12:59 pm


Just tried these and they are YUMMY!

Question though. Once they are cool, do the bars hold their shape on their own when you pick them up to eat them?

Mine are a little lacking in structural integrity. Perhaps I didn’t pat them down enough before baking?

35 | andrea

August 16th, 2009 at 8:57 pm


Julie: I like the idea of the mashed banana!

Lee: I think patting the mixture down before baking is the key. Most of the time they hold together for me, sometimes they crumble (but the kids don’t seem to care)!

36 | Gordon

August 24th, 2009 at 11:22 am


I would line the baking sheet with parchment paper to reduce the fat, but otherwise this looks great. I am about to try it for my variety lacking boys!

37 | Lee

August 28th, 2009 at 7:32 am


Just to update, once the bars were COMPLETELY cooled, they held together much better!

(Who me? Impatient to eat them? Why do you say?)

38 | andrea

August 28th, 2009 at 8:30 am


lol Lee:

Slice them before they cool but don’t eat them before they cool. :)

39 | Melissa

September 23rd, 2009 at 12:28 pm


I just popped a batch in the oven changed it up a bit by adding hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds. I am celiac so I used gluten free flour so we will see how it holds up! Pretty excited. now to wait.

40 | Erika ¦ Sweet Pea

September 28th, 2009 at 9:29 am


Thanks for sharing this great recipe, they sound delicious. Here link to ‘Green Shakes & Giggles’ two mom’s interested in healthy eating for their children & family that I thought you might like :)http://www.greenshakesandgiggles.com/

41 | Lee

October 15th, 2009 at 9:13 am


Quick tip:

If you use the canola oil in the recipe, measure it before you measure the honey. When you measure the honey in your “oily” measuring cup, you get much more of the honey out of the cup afterwards!

42 | Stephanie

October 22nd, 2009 at 2:22 pm


These granola bars are AWESOME and VERY filling! I made a few changes:

– Added sunflower seeds and walnut pieces (my boyfriend wanted nuts so I threw ’em in)

– Added more applesauce than oil.. I think I might add all applesauce next time. I see no use for the oil.

They are very hard not to eat while cooling! I ate a few pieces and am so full.. they were yumm-o!

43 | Andrew

October 26th, 2009 at 8:57 am


Thanks for the recipe! My fiance loves granola bars, so I wanted to make her something a bit more healthy than the store bought ones. She tried them last night, and said they were the best granola bar she’s ever tasted! 3 thumbs up, if I had the extra thumb! And thanks for the recipe!

44 | Aali Ali

November 9th, 2009 at 2:29 pm


This recipe is absolutely fantastic.
I made them 2 weeks ago with sunflower seeds and dark semi-sweet chocolate morsels instead of the dried fruits and they turned out to be amazingly delicious!I have since forwarded this recipes to other co-workers who have also been raving about this great recipe. YUM!!!!!!!!Thank you or sharing!

45 | Karissa

December 10th, 2009 at 11:39 am


Hi, I found your recipe through a google search. I was very skeptical about making homemade granola bars because my kids seem to be picky when it comes to healthy food. Your recipe was a raging success. THANK YOU!! I think this recipe will be come a favorite in our house. (Even my husband liked them and believe me thats miraculous!)

46 | Jodi

January 4th, 2010 at 8:11 am


This looks so good! My son has a nut allergy, so its impossible to buy healthy, inexpensive granola bars for my house. I’m going to try them, but will add crunchy sunbutter ( a great peanut butter subsititute) thanks!

47 | Jodi

January 7th, 2010 at 9:32 am


So I made them but did do some changes:

1) added 1/4 c. of semi sweet choc. chips
2) only did raisons
3) dropped the b.sugar ( by accident, but they were yummy!)
4) 1/4 c. sunbutter ( with seeds)

I really still can’t believe how much both my 2 and 4 years old loved them! This is such an encouragment to cook healthier for my family.

48 | Jodi

January 7th, 2010 at 9:32 am


Oh and I did 1/ 4 c. applesauce, 1/4 c. olive oil

49 | Justine

January 11th, 2010 at 9:52 pm


this recipe gets 2 big thumbs up from me! I added whole flax unstead of ground. I also added sunflower and pumpkin seeds along with raw cashews. I threw in some chocolate covered Gogi berries for sweetness and dried cherries instead of raisins.
AWESOME recipe, It has gone straight into my recipe box! thanks for sharing

50 | PamMMM

February 28th, 2010 at 8:06 pm


Hi, it turned out perfect!!!
I just have one question…are they fattening?
Because I can’t stop eatting them,lol.

51 | Shelly

March 2nd, 2010 at 10:48 am


I also would like to know if they are fattening. My son’s request for litterless lunches brought me to this recipe through a google search. I tried it with no raisins, added chocolate chips and sunflower seeds, whole flax seeds, and couldn’t find the right flour so I just used my all-purpose this time. Turned out great, maybe even too sweet, will vary it a little next time. The whole family loved them, even the kids!

52 | laura

March 3rd, 2010 at 4:04 pm


I just made these today and they are extremely crumbly…any suggestions for keeping them together better. Is this caused by too much dry not enough wet ingredients? or a case of not enough packing into the pan?
Merci LG

53 | Pat

March 7th, 2010 at 9:18 am


Hi. These granola bars are fabulous. I like to “tweek” recipes after I make them once or twice. Try using NO oil, but 3/4 cup of applesauce (homemade, unsweetened, fresh); but unsweetened canned would also work. I also added 1/2 c of dried apricots, snipped into small pieces. I still added the cranberries & raisins & 1/4 c of chopped pecans & 1/4 c dried, unsweetened coconut. So far, this has been my 3 (adult) “kids: who are 19 yrs-21yrs & 23 yrs, as well as their friends favorite. I will likely keep trying things, but might not want to mess with a good thing. Also, I reduced cooking time to 23 minutes and they are very soft & chewy, the way we like them.

54 | Pat

March 7th, 2010 at 9:28 am


One more thing…I sprayed my pan with Pam to reduce fat content! :) Enjoy these….they’re fabulous.

55 | Ellemorgan

March 16th, 2010 at 9:46 pm


My boyfriend Derek and I love a good granola bar after we go surfing in Tofino. But the bars at the local coffee shops were so expensive, so this time out I gave this recipe a try and everybody absolutely loved them. The one note I would make is that on the second batch I took the suggestion and added another 1/2 cup oats, and I found it made them way too crumbly. I also experimented with a recipe using molasses and maple syrup instead of honey (we ran out), and they were pretty tasty too.

56 | liz

April 4th, 2010 at 2:01 am


i just put mine in the oven…..they smell delish…i noticed thier was no nutritional info…..

57 | Ali

April 13th, 2010 at 10:30 am


I made these granola bars lastnight! – however until i googled ‘healthy granola bar recipe’ i didnt know that these were them! I just got the recipe from my sister! these are delicious! I used apple sauce instead of oil and they worked out just great! Awesome recipe! :o)

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[…] no junk week. I’ll pick up lots of fruit and I’m planning on making a batch of my granola bars […]

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60 | Claire

May 2nd, 2010 at 12:17 pm


Wow! These were wonderful! I made some this morning, following the recipe and baking directions almost the whole way (except I didn’t have any raisins so I put in dried pear instead and I also added half a cup of walnuts and 1/4 cup of almonds) and they turned out to be very chewy, tasty and sweet! Loved em’!

61 | joey

May 11th, 2010 at 4:52 pm


i’d love to try this recipe! but i was wondering what can i substitute for the wheat germ? i don’t have any and i really don’t want to have to buy it just for this one recipe. is there anything else i can use? more flour? bran? thanks!

62 | Bob Johnson (Gumpa)

May 13th, 2010 at 6:26 pm


I decided to try this for myself and my grandchildren. They were awsome although not quite as sweet as I like. I added Almonds, had no wheat germ but I will on the next batch otherwise as directed. I used olive oil as it was all I had. I’ll also use sunflower seeds next time. Chocolate chips may be another try option.

63 | Ellie

May 19th, 2010 at 8:06 pm


These are in the oven right now, they look and smell so good! My boyfriend usually does not eat things like this, he hardly even eats veggies and is sometimes hesitant to try “new things”, but he seems very excited :)

These looks excellent, and I just don’t trust the ingredients in store granola bars.
Every morning I have yogurt with my homemade granola, its great! If anyone wants a recipe, feel free to contact me :)


64 | Tanya

May 25th, 2010 at 6:41 pm


Just made these for my 2 girls (4 and 20 months)

I used apple sauce (no oil) and added a table spoon of cocoa powder, sunflower seeds cranberries and apricots, and they are delicious! huge hit with my monkeys!

65 | Annie

June 7th, 2010 at 5:10 pm


Just wanted to say thank you — I just tried these with the kids and they loved making & eating them… I added sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds + almonds and made a few other substitution because I was out of some things — but they turned out great. Next time, I will cut some of the sugar too… (i did cut the oil by half and used apple sauce!)

66 | helene

June 17th, 2010 at 1:37 pm


I used 3/4 cup pure maple syrup instead of the honey and brown sugar, and then substituted 1/2 cup melted coconut oil for the vegetable oil and they turned out great!
Thanks :)

67 | Heather O.

July 3rd, 2010 at 10:00 am


Yummyrecipe! I used apple sauce and oil, used 1/2 cup of spelt flour for the white flour, sesame seeds for the wheat germ, and didn’t have cranberries. These still turned out amazing! Thanks for a great recipe.

68 | Jennifer D

August 28th, 2010 at 9:37 pm


I just made a wheat free version. I substituted the wheat germ with oat bran and the whole wheat flour with 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup ground almonds. They are soooo tasty. MUCH better than store-bought gluten free granola bars.

69 | Midnight

September 1st, 2010 at 10:19 pm


I have been making the original recipe, with some of my own tweaks for a couple years.

For a chocolate granola bar replace the wheat germ with cocoa powder. I also add some chocolate chips and. A big hit here.

70 | Lisa Haverty

September 5th, 2010 at 8:04 pm


Hi! I just made these. My husband and I are trying not to eat sugar or too much fat. I sweetened these with brown rice syrup and some honey. I substituted all of the oil with apple sauce; I did use some oil to grease the pan. They turned out really good! I am so glad I found this recipe!

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72 | Jan

September 14th, 2010 at 4:13 pm


These sound great. Are they crunchy? My little guy is really on a crunch kick –might be teething… I’m tired of giving him the store bought ones that he loves to gobble up (of course, because they are so loaded with salt and sugar!).

73 | Cristina

September 19th, 2010 at 4:47 pm


Delicious. I cut the sugar out completely, added sunflower seeds. My two girls (ages 5 & 7) loved them. A great nut free, healthy snack for school. Thanks!

I like all the sub suggestions above and will try dome of them next time.

74 | Mama__B

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:50 am


I’m going to get the ingredients for these soon. I can’t buy them at the bulk store because I need them to be nut free, and bulk stores cannot guarantee that cross-contamination doesn’t occur. So I’ll have to buy pre-bagged ingredients from the grocery store. I have Salba (chia seeds) and hemp hearts that I can use in place of the flax and maybe the wheat germ. Thanks for sharing.

75 | Angela

September 30th, 2010 at 9:47 pm


I’m a teenager and I made them for myself so that I could have whey protein with me after exercising. My “extras” from the base were sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, chocolate whey powder, blueberries, almonds, and sunflower seeds. I couldn’t find wheat germ but they turned out fine anyways. I don’t like the small portions of store bought granola bars so I made mine thicker and wider. Next time I wont put blueberries in because it’s not my preference.

76 | Jennie

October 17th, 2010 at 2:32 pm


I found this recipe when I searched for “healthy granola bar recipe” on google – boy, was I impressed!! What an amazing recipe! Healthy, but tastes MILES better than any sad old junk you can get over-packaged and over-sweetened at the grocery store. I’ve also added pumpkin puree instead of egg and maple syrup instead of honey for a very Fall-inspired granola bar :-)


77 | Sarah

October 28th, 2010 at 7:54 am


I make this recipe for myself every two weeks. It is healthy, versatile and easy to make.
– change to 2 eggs beaten or 1 egg + egg white
– use liquid honey!
– use 1 cup total of any dried fruit
– substitute quinoa flour for 1/2 of the flour required as it is available organically and has more nutrition
Bake in an 8″x8″ square pan for chewier bars.

78 | Sarah

October 28th, 2010 at 7:59 am


@Joey: I don’t use wheat germ either… I use flax something or other (at the bulk food store) or bran (as in the stuff in the green box you use to make bran muffins). I don’t know if you folks have the Bulk Barn in the States, but it is awesome for this type of recipe.

Thanks for the tips everyone! Next time I’ll be adding some protein powder to the mix.

79 | Emily

November 10th, 2010 at 11:13 am


I am interested in making these bars as well and wondered about the nutrional values so I found a nutrional data calculator on the web from SELF ( http://www.nutritiondata.self.com) and put in the original recipe. Although I have not yet made these I assumed I would cut them into 2in x2 in pieces (getting 24 servings) Here is the nutrional info based on 24 servings and the original recipe

Calories per serving:153 Calories from fat: 53
Fat: 6 g Saturated: 1 g
Cholesterol: 9 mg
Sodium: 78 mg
Carbohydrates: 24 g
dietary fiber: 2g
sugars: 14 g
protein: 3 g

The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a very good source of Manganese.

The bad: A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars and alcohol.

Of course by following some of the substitutions like not putting in the brown sugar and substituting apple sauce of oil, you can lower the fat to 1g per serving and the sugars down to 10 g per serving.

The cranberries and raisins are the biggest sugar contributors with 1/3 cup of cranberries has 26 g of sugar and 1/2 cup of raisins has 49 g of sugar. Nuts are probably a better choice less sugar and more protein, but also more fat…..

80 | Katie

February 8th, 2011 at 8:57 pm


Thank you so much for this recipe! So many granola bar recipes I’ve found elsewhere are all condensed milk and sugar -bleh.

I have made these once or twice before and they were great!

I am about to attempt it again, hoping I remember my substitutions. I will be subbing a kind of equal parts mush of apple sauce, peanut butter, and coconut oil for the oil (maybe it will amount to about 3/4 c. since a lot of it is solid… maybe I will add that banana I just remembered is decomposing on the counter), plus replacing the raisins with a mixture of sunflower seeds and pepitas. I will return and post if they go disasterously wrong ;)

81 | Katie

February 8th, 2011 at 9:00 pm


PS. Oh and I will probably leave out the sugar and use a 50-50 molasses honey mix. I should mention that the baking I do for myself does not meet with universal praise ;)

82 | TreeSa

February 9th, 2011 at 7:24 pm


Hey, I am making your granola bar for my friends, but I want to find out how long can you keep the granola bar before it goes bad? And I want to know if it will become hard like a rock if I leave it out for 2 days? How do I keep the granola bars soft and chewy?

Thank you for your response. Hope to hear from you soon!

83 | andrea

February 10th, 2011 at 9:07 am


TreeSa, I always make a batch, cut up the pieces and freeze them individually for lunches. I think they’d certainly last a few days at the least. (My 9×13 baking pan has a lid on it though…)

84 | Kristin

February 13th, 2011 at 12:54 pm


Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe! I made a batch last weekend and my husband and I both loved them. They stayed fresh throughout the week in a plastic container. I’ll be making another batch today!

85 | Wendy

February 16th, 2011 at 2:14 pm


My daughter has been using your wonderful recipe for awile now and we just love them. They are so delicious and full of so many healthy ingredients. It great to have an alternative to junk food that also tastes so good. We love them, chewy or crunchy. They are great for dunking in coffee or milk when they’re crunchy, so DEFINITELY a winner of a recipe!! Thanks so much.

86 | Courtney

April 8th, 2011 at 7:34 pm


The point of this recipe is that you know where your food is coming from, not how many calories are in your food. children definitely don’t need to be worrying about that. This recipe is a great alternatinve to buying granola bars. And who knows what is in a store bought granola bar.

This granola bar is made with whole foods and homemade. It is a great option.

87 | Healthy almond granola recipe: Go granola today! – I will eat better diary - Nutrition, healthy recipes and healthy eating how-tos

April 15th, 2011 at 12:46 pm


[…] great granola bar recipes Chewy Granola Bars (CanadianLiving.com) Healthy Lunchbox Granola Bar recipe (QuietFish.com) Delicious, Healthy and ABSOLUTE BEST granola bar recipe […]

88 | Caroline

May 18th, 2011 at 1:11 pm


I just made these last night and they are awesome! I added sliced almonds for a bit of crunch. Next time I’m going to cut the sugar back again and try half apple sauce and half molasses. Thanks so much Andrea!

89 | KatsMom

May 29th, 2011 at 2:51 pm


Great recipe! I have also tried sweetening with a combination of molasses, honey and stevia to cut the sugar content. I find that with all the flavours, I don’t taste the bitterness that stevia sometimes has.

90 | amy

August 25th, 2011 at 6:12 pm


I made them with applesauce, sooooo great!

91 | Amanda Ng

August 28th, 2011 at 1:52 am


I’m waiting for the granola bars to finish baking in my oven right now :) and it looks soooo good. but it smelt really sweet before i put it in, should be okay? thanks for this awesome recipe!

92 | Andrea

August 29th, 2011 at 12:34 am


Made these granola bars yesterday with the addition of sunflower seeds, mixed dried fruit, and coconut to the original recipe. Soo good! My 22 month old daughter loved them!

93 | Soft Chewy Granola Bars | Being Allie

September 1st, 2011 at 9:05 am


[…] home-made granola bars with one thing in mind: I wanted them to be soft, chewy and healthy! I used this recipe and they are absolutely […]

94 | Laura

September 4th, 2011 at 8:09 pm


WOW! Loved this recipe, I used fresh cranberries that I cooked and added. I added sunflower seeds & walnuts and used coconut oil, much healtier than canola oil. Omitted the flax cause I was all out. I also added a little bran. Thanks so much for this recipe can’t wait for our 3 year old twin grand children to try these and get their opinion of this new recipe.

95 | harriet Fancott

September 5th, 2011 at 12:08 am


Apparently, granola bars are a hot topic. Look good! Think I’ll add nuts just to be crazy and all.

96 | Tracy

September 16th, 2011 at 7:20 pm


I made some this week (Sept. 13, 2011) and the kids asked for more. So they were a success for sure. Thanks :)

97 | Sharon

September 20th, 2011 at 1:51 pm


the edges looked a bit burnt in the photo…I’m betting these were pretty crumbly…not my idea of a winning granola bar! Try no bake granola bars…easier, taste better and stay together!

98 | andrea

September 20th, 2011 at 2:51 pm


what you’re seeing is a very browned raisin that was on the very edge. :) That being said, it is important to make sure the raw mixture is spread out evenly to ensure even cooking.

Don’t judge it before you try it! It is actually very good.

99 | Testing out a new granola bar recipe: this time they’re soft and chewy >> a peek inside the fishbowl

September 21st, 2011 at 12:38 pm


[…] last time I tried a new recipe for homemade granola bars it became an instant household hit. I’m happy to report that I have found ANOTHER great […]

100 | Sharon

September 21st, 2011 at 2:27 pm


ok…but try this one sometime…

1/4 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c honey
2 c rolled oats
1 c rice puffs
1/2 c golden raisins
1/4 c dried cranberries

Bring butter, sugar and honey to a boil, simmer 2 minutes, remove from heat. Stir in the rest. Pack into a 9×9 pan. DONE!

101 | kimberley

October 13th, 2011 at 5:24 pm


I love that there’s all these options and variations on the original recipe! I just popped into the oven a double batch of “my version” – which, if they work out, I’ll have to dub “kitchen-sink granola bars” due to the crazy stuff I put in there to accommodate NOT having to go again to the grocery store! :)
the “batter” tasted good when I was done, though!
used some ground nuts and nut-butter, as I don’t have the kid/school/allergy thing to consider, and subbed some apple sauce in for oil, added molasses and an extra egg, very little brown sugar but with the raisins and craisins (not flavoured ones) – and some coconut I found, not enough for any other recipe – throw it in! – it definitely didn’t seem to be lacking in sweetness.
thanks, all, for sharing your variations – this one’s a keeper!

102 | Kelsie

October 18th, 2011 at 12:05 am


I’ve been making these granola bars since I found the recipe 2 years ago! They’re great!

A few mods that I make:
-all fruit sauce in replace of oil (apple or any fruit combo works great)
-Decrease the flour to 2 tablespoons
-Add 2 tablespoons of Cocoa
-Add coconut or whatever other nuts I have!
-about half the amount of sugar, often I use Agave

Thanks for the great recipe!

103 | Erika

October 27th, 2011 at 3:24 pm


This recipe is currently baking in my oven. :) The house smells delicious!!! I threw in a little more cinnamon and a few more raisins. Omitted the cranberries, as I do not have any and I threw in some bran for good fibre measures. :) I look forward to eating one soon!!!

104 | Erika

October 27th, 2011 at 6:37 pm


So I baked, cut, cooled, fed them to children and other moms and everyone’s reaction was unanimous “om nom nom nom nom nom nom… huh?… nom nom nom” :) Oh, and “can I have more please?”

105 | Katy

November 2nd, 2011 at 11:42 pm


I have been making these bars for a couple of months now, I totally love them, and so does my 3 year old. He also loves making them with me…so they are just awesome all the way around. I have never made them the same way twice, but one thing I love to do is put half coconut oil and half veg oil, and then about a third of a cup of coconut. MMMM. Thanks for this great recipe!

106 | Leeann

January 22nd, 2012 at 8:34 pm


I made these but did not have the flour called for so I subbed in whole wheat flour and they still turned out great – my family is all over them and they will be a lunch box hit for sure.

I am thankful for your tip to take them out a bit early if you want to slice them and have them stay a bit chewy. I am very happy with the result and posted the photo for my facebook friends, and now some of my friends will be trying them too!

107 | Kel

February 17th, 2012 at 2:23 pm


Does anyone know the nutritional value details of this recipe or how to figure it out?

108 | lil e

February 29th, 2012 at 5:35 pm


^Kel: yup! look on the packaging of every ingredient that you used and just do the math for the amount you used.

But honestly, because you are in control of what you are putting INTO the granola bars, I’m sure the “nutritional value” isn’t really necessary… juss sayin’.


thanks for the awesome recipe! although I haven’t made these yet but I can tell they are going to be great! I will be making them this weekend, they look delicious. =)

109 | Erin

March 19th, 2012 at 12:47 pm


Thank you for this recipe, I have been sharing it with friends and with all good results!

Its easy to make and my kids love it, they choose different things to go in it, and we use different sprinkles (just a little makes it more fun for them) to tell what kind is what!

Also it helps the budget, we buy everything in bulk!

110 | Cookie's Mom

March 19th, 2012 at 7:44 pm


These look great! I need a dairy-free, gluten-free snack for my son – will try these with rice or other GF flour, and perhaps almond meal instead of wheat germ.

Just a note about flax seed. Our bodies can’t digest whole flax seed, from what I understand. This is why they need to be milled.

111 | Cookie's Mom

March 21st, 2012 at 11:01 pm


BTW, I made these today, but substituted OAT FLOUR for the pastry flour and ALMOND MEAL for the wheat germ. Very, very delicious!!

112 | charly

April 1st, 2012 at 7:28 pm


These were great! I didn’t have wheat germ so I added some oat bran n a lil more ground flax,I only used half the flour and half the oil.. n replaced with Applesauce. Added almonds sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds n raisins n cranberries! So good n a healthy filling snack :) thanks so much for sharing!

113 | Laurel

April 21st, 2012 at 8:00 pm


I’ve searched for healthy homemade granola bars twice in the past month or two and found and chosen this recipe both times. They’re yummy and great! Thanks so much for sharing.

114 | Celeste

May 20th, 2012 at 1:48 pm


AMAZING! i didnt use wheat germ because we couldnt find it at our local grocery store and they turned out fine! i used craisins in the place of raisins and they were soooooo good!

115 | rachel

August 6th, 2012 at 3:02 pm


Hi there! Just wanted to say that I was happy to find this recipe..I’m not much of a baker, and I attempted to make this one with my step kids today, and after a long 30 mins abbi (4 year old) got to have the first bite..and immediatley spit it out on the floor!
I tried a bite, and it was so incredibly salty I had to spit it out as well….I looked back at the recipe online and compared it to the one I wrote out by hand ..and came up with a MAJOR error. I added 3/4 CUP of sea salt, as opposed to 3/4 Tsp.
WOW..so now it’s back to the store for more rolled oats, and back to the mixing bowl for round 2!!!!

116 | Allison

September 16th, 2012 at 12:55 pm


Just put these in the oven – can’t wait to try them! I was looking for a nut free granola bar recipe and voila this was one of the top google results! I substituted 1/2 a banana for the egg as a girl in my son’s class has severe egg allergies – so hopefully they still stick together okay! If they do, I’ll definitely change up some of the oil for applesauce next time, just didn’t want to tinker more with the liquids first time around. I will try reducing the sugar as well, as the batter was delicious but I think could do with less sugar and you wouldn’t miss it at all!

117 | Stef

October 12th, 2012 at 2:01 pm


Could they be made without the egg? We have an egg allergy in our house.

118 | andrea

October 12th, 2012 at 4:41 pm


I’ve never tried, but maybe you can substitute a banana, apple sauce, or soaked flax seeds. Or so says @middle_ladle. :)

120 | Natasha

January 13th, 2013 at 3:20 pm


I made these last week and they were all gone within 4 days (my boyfriend and his colleagues absolutely loved them). I did add more honey (1.5x more honey), 1/4cup of chia seeds and substituted the flour for an equivalent amount of almond meal with 1/4tsp of xantham gum. They were very limp but terribly delicious. I think I’ll add less honey next time.

121 | melissa

February 13th, 2013 at 10:18 am


my kid loves these. I subbed some chia, hemp, sesame and sunflower seeds in place of 1/4 cup of the flour and threw in a couple tempting mini choc. chips. awesome. thanks.

122 | Jane

March 22nd, 2013 at 1:40 pm


I’m going to make these, but do you think coconut sugar can be used instead of brown sugar? Did you ever make them with a different type of oil?

123 | Allison

August 31st, 2014 at 9:39 am


Still a staple in our lunchboxes for school! I have now halved the oil and use applesauce for the other half. I also half the honey and brown sugar, and add a really ripe banana. I always make a double batch so there are some for the freezer to take out! Like the idea of adding chai as some suggested above – next time!

124 | andrea tomkins

September 1st, 2014 at 2:49 pm


Allison: great ideas! I’ll definitely try subbing in apple sauce and banana next time. :)

125 | Jennie

July 21st, 2015 at 1:39 pm


This is the recipe I’ve been faithfully using for granola bars since I discovered it years ago! Ha! No my toddler loves them too :D

126 | Natalie

July 29th, 2015 at 7:22 am


Thanks Andrea for the recipe! I made it, subbing honey for maple, and for the dried fruit – 1/2 c both dried cherries and apricots. A huge hit in our house. A mom win!

127 | Lori

August 24th, 2016 at 1:31 pm


I made these today but had to substitute choc chips due to an unreasonable aversion to chewy fruit, she loves them.

128 | andrea tomkins

August 26th, 2016 at 10:32 am


Chocolate chips make a great addition! Glad this recipe worked out for your family! :)

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