These homemade, all-natural Oats and Honey Granola Bars are baked until slightly crunchy, making them perfect for breakfast on-the-go or as a wholesome, portable snack.
I’m so excited to share this recipe with y’all today! Awhile back, I posted my beloved No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars, which my family adores and which went on to become a reader favorite. After all, they’re easy to make, customizable, and downright delicious. The only downside to that recipe, however, is that they get pretty soft if they’re not kept chilled. This makes them great for eating straight out of the fridge but not-so-great for throwing in your purse or diaper bag as a convenient snack.
The Oats & Honey Granola Bars that I’m sharing today, though, don’t need to be refrigerated. More along the lines of crunchy Nature’s Valley-type granola bars, these baked treats not only travel beautifully, but they’re loaded with oats and pure honey goodness!
These snacks are not soft and chewy, but they’re not rock-hard crunchy either. Rather, I would consider them to be firm and moderately crunchy. Don’t mistake that for crumbly, though…I’ve actually been extremely pleased with how well they hold together, even in the backpacks of my rough-and-tumble kids. They take them to school for snacks and request them for breakfast on busy mornings. I may enjoy one here or there as well… 😉
Granola Bar Ingredients
So what goes into these wholesome, homemade granola bars that actually travel well and hold together at room temperature?
- Rolled oats. The star ingredient.
- Crispy rice cereal. It doesn’t take much, but this ingredient prevents the bars from becoming too packed down…AKA, rock-hard.
- Oat flour. By using oat flour, this recipe can be made GLUTEN-FREE (assuming that the oats you use throughout the recipe are all gluten-free). That being said, you may opt to use whole wheat pastry flour in place of oat flour.
- Brown sugar. But just a tad!
- Baking soda. For the slightest rise.
- Salt. To balance the sweet.
- Honey. This helps hold the bars together and acts as the primary sweetener in the recipe.
- Coconut oil. You may substitute another neutral flavored vegetable oil (such as sunflower oil) if you wish.
- Pure vanilla extract. Because…flavor.
How to Make Granola Bars…a Tip!
In addition to an optimal combo of ingredients, I think the key to this recipe is packing down the oat mixture in the pan after you’ve thoroughly incorporated all of the ingredients. And I mean you really need to pack it down.
Rather than using a Pyrex 9- by 13-inch baking dish (which would work just fine, mind you), I decided to make these granola bars in my metal baking pan with perfectly square corners. Consequently, I searched my cabinets and found a mini bread pan that also boasts perfectly square corners. I then used it to press down the granola bar mixture as firmly as possible.
I did this before baking and again immediately after baking and, as a result, I ended up with firm, crunchy-ish, non-crumbly granola bars. Success!
So if you love granola bars but don’t care for the artificial additives in store-bought ones…or if you splurge on all-natural/organic granola bars but could do without the high price tag…or if you’re looking for a wholesome, homemade, portable breakfast or snack…these Oats & Honey Granola Bars are for you! I’m happy to have a crunchy version to alternate with my aforementioned favorite chewy recipe, and I hope that you have a chance to try them (and love them!) both. 🙂
Oats & Honey Granola Bars Recipe
Oats & Honey Granola Bars
- 3 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cups crispy rice cereal
- 2/3 cups oat flour (see Tips & Tricks below) OR whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together oats, crispy rice cereal, oat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Measure honey, melted coconut oil, and vanilla into a measuring cup, then drizzle over oat mixture and stir until all ingredients are completely combined.
- Transfer oat mixture into prepared pan and press down very firmly into an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown on top. Remove from oven and use the flat bottom of a small pan or dish to press down granola bars again. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then use parchment paper sling to carefully lift granola bars out onto a cutting board (you can leave them sitting on top of the parchment paper). Cool for 5 more minutes and then cut into 12 bars. Remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. Store in an airtight container.
- To make oat flour, use a blender or mini food processor to grind 3/4 to 1 cup oats into a fine powder. Measure out 2/3 cup of oat flour for the granola bar recipe after grinding. If you have leftover oat flour after measuring, you can always save it for a Blueberry Muffin Healthy Oat Smoothie. 🙂
- To save a dirty dish, I melt the coconut oil in a measuring cup in the microwave and then measure the honey and vanilla on top. The coconut oil helps the honey slide out of the measuring cup.
- Baking these slightly longer will make them slightly crunchier, but be careful not to burn them! My granola bars were perfect at 22 minutes.
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
Post originally published on January 22, 2015
More Easy Breakfast Recipes
- Homemade Whole Wheat Pancake Mix
- Wholesome Breakfast Cookies
- Green Chile Cheddar Egg Bake
- Healthy Oat Smoothies ~ Blueberry Muffin & Peach Cobbler Flavors