Crunchy Homemade Granola Bars
Everyone knows the best part of granola are those big, crunchy clusters. Think of these homemade oats and honey granola bars as those — in bar form. These crave-satisfying snacks are easy to make, and loaded with natural goodies like almonds and cranberries.
If your family empties boxes of granola bars like nobody’s business, save money (and trips to the store) by baking up a big batch of healthy granola bars from scratch. These are way tastier than the store-bought kind anyways — and aren’t hiding anything funky like those sugar-laden packaged snack bars.
A lot of homemade granola bar recipes out there seem to have endless ingredients lists, but you only need 9 ingredients for ours — and we”ll bet that you already have them your pantry. They’re perfectly sweetened with brown sugar and honey, plus they’re gluten-free.
Looking for plenty of crunch? These bars are strong enough to hold up to a trip in a backpack without ending up in a pile of crumbs — but not so hard that you’ll need the dentist on speed-dial. Here’s our tip for making sure you end up with granola bars and not granola: use the back of a measuring cup sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to really compact the oats into the pan so that everything holds together.
Toasting the oats first until they’re golden brown gave us granola bars that were so nutty, toasty, and crunchy we just couldn’t wait for snack time. Bookmark this recipe for when you need a nutritious grab-n-go snack to tuck into kid’s lunches or take on a hikes, a quick breakfast, or even a light dessert.
Crunchy Granola Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 3 cups rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup roasted almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1½ Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 175°C.
- In a small bowl, toss together the rolled oats, salt and vegetable oil until they’re well coated. Spread the mixture evenly on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway, until the oats are golden. Decrease the oven temperature to 300°F / 150°C.
- In a large bowl, combine the toasted oats, dried cranberries, and chopped almonds. Stir to mix.
- In a small saucepan, add the honey and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until the brown sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated.
- Line a 9-inch x 7-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Leave enough parchment so that there’s a little bit of overhang. Pour the oats mixture into the prepared pan. Spray a measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray and use it to press the mixture tightly into an even layer in the pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Place the sheet pan on a cooling rack and cool them slightly for 15 minutes. (Do not let them cool longer than 15 minutes or the bars will harden too much and crumble when you cut them.) Remove the baked granola from the pan by lifting the edges of the parchment paper, and transferring it to a cutting board. Cut the granola into 12 bars, and allow them to cool completely. Store the granola bars in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.