Chewy Granola Bars with Almond and Cranberry – the perfect healthy no bake snack made all in one pot. Best of all, these healthy granola bars are vegan, gluten free and contain no refined sugar or butter.
Energy bites and granola bars are one of my favorite easy snacks I turn to when I want to fuel up quickly after a workout. I make a different batch every week depending on the ingredients I have in my pantry.
Chewy granola bars are our favorite so I’ve been trying to come up with a healthier no-bake version that still tastes great with that perfect chewy texture.
But if you love the taste and texture of baked granola bars over no bake granola bars, you can easily pop the pan into the oven for about 15 minutes.
These Homemade Chewy Granola Bars are not only ridiculously easy, they come together in just ONE POT without having to use a food processor. Seriously life changing. One of my least favorite things to do is having to wash 5 bowls just to make granola bars.
If you’re looking for a pre or post workout snack, these homemade chewy granola bars give you that energy boost you need and they make a healthy and hearty grab-and-go breakfast/snack that the entire family will love!
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS?
For these Chewy Granola Bars, you’re going to need:
- rolled oats (I used certified gluten free oats)
- oat flour – (I made my own from certified gluten free oats)
- unsweetened shredded coconut (I used unsweetened organic coconut flakes)
- pitted dates – mixed with water to create a paste (I used medjool dates)
- coconut oil (I used organic extra virgin coconut oil)
- peanut butter (feel free to sub in your favorite nut or seed butter) (I used natural organic smooth peanut butter)
- almonds (again feel free to sub in your favorite nuts)
- sunflower seeds (feel free to sub in your favorite seeds or leave out entirely)
- dried cranberries (I used organic dried cranberries,refined sugar free) (optional – you may choose to leave these out or use your favorite dried fruit)
- ground cinnamon
- ground flaxseeds
CAN I MAKE GRANOLA BARS WITHOUT PEANUT BUTTER?
- Yes, absolutely. Feel free to use the ingredients and brands you love and have on hand. I am only sharing what I used to show that granola bars can be made healthier.
- Peanut butter gives these that nutty flavor as well as protein to give you energy to start the day. Sub in almond butter or any other nut or seed butter if you don’t want to use peanut butter.
- The cranberry and almond flavor work extremely well together in here but you can leave out the dried cranberries if you prefer. You can always toss in some dark chopped chocolate or even add cocoa powder and cashews to mix them up if you’d like.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CHEWY GRANOLA BARS:
- Line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper or foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray leaving an overhang over the pan for easy removal of bars.
- Make the date paste. Add peanut butter and coconut oil to the pot. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Stir in the oat flour, shredded coconut, ground cinnamon and salt and mix until combined.
- Fold in the rolled oats and flaxseeds.Add sunflower seeds and half of the almonds and cranberries.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan.
- Spread evenly and press down firmly using a flat spatula. Sprinkle remaining almonds and dried cranberries evenly and press down again until tight and compact.
- Chill in the freezer for 1 hour or refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight to set.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST GRANOLA BARS:
- Granola bars are great for Sunday meal prep and school lunchboxes and can be made ahead of time. Store in the fridge or freezer so you to keep on hand.
- Chill the granola bars before slicing ensures even slices
- For the chewiest granola bars, you want to make sure everything is tight an compact —> press the dough down firmly using a spatula or clean hands over some parchment paper – you want the bars to be tight an compact to hold together
Looking for more healthy snacks?
EASY No Bake 5 Ingredient Granola Bars
No-Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips Granola Bars
No Bake Energy Bites – 12 Ways
Chewy Granola Bars with Almond & Cranberry - No Bake - a healthy, satisfying snack made all in one pot with NO butter, have no REFINED SUGAR added, and are VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE with certified gluten-free oats.
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or any nut butter of your choice; preferably creamy and unsalted
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup oat flour you can also make your own by blending rolled oats in a food processor
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt leave out the salt if your nut butter is salted
- 2 tablespoons raw almonds divided
- 1 tablespoons dried cranberries divided (use organic if needed)
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- dried organic fruit of your choice
- pepitas or pumpkin seeds
- chia Seeds
- dark chocolate chopped finely
- unsweetened all natural cocoa powder
- Line a 9x9 square pan (for thicker bars like in the pictures) or a 9x13 rectangular pan for thinner bars with parchment paper or foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray leaving an overhang over the pan for easy removal of bars.
- Add dates and water to a medium pot on medium-low heat. Mash down with a fork and continue stirring and mashing while the mixture heats up. The dates should soften after about 3-5 minutes. Continue mashing and stirring until paste becomes smoother and uniform. It is okay to see some chunks still - as long as it is a uniform paste then it is ready to use.
- Once the date paste is smooth and softened, add peanut butter and coconut oil to the pot. Stir constantly to combine and remove from heat once the mixture is smooth and the coconut oil has melted (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour in the oat flour, shredded coconut, ground cinnamon and salt (if using) and mix in gently.
- Toss in the rolled oats and flaxseeds and combine gently with a spatula or large spoon. Fold in the sunflower seeds and half of the almonds and cranberries.
- Pour granola mixture into prepared pan.
- Spread evenly and press down firmly using a flat spatula. Sprinkle remaining almonds and dried cranberries evenly. Press down firmly again with a spatula or your hands to flatten and bind together. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour or refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight to set.
- Remove from the freezer or fridge and use the foil overhang to transfer the uncut bars to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into even rectangles.
Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have to stack them, be sure to use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, otherwise they'll stick together. Bars are best enjoyed straight out of the fridge since they tend to soften up at room temperature.
**Use certified gluten-free oats if needed
**Use organic or sugar-free products as needed
- These bars aren't super sweet, so if you prefer something sweeter you can always add a touch of sweetener.
- I used a 9x9 square pan for the bars as pictured since I like them thicker. You can choose to use a 9x13 pan if you like thinner bars. I find the thicker bars hold up better.
- Bars are best enjoyed straight out of the fridge since they tend to soften up at room temperature. If you have to stack them, be sure to use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, otherwise they'll stick together.
- They keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Awesome energy bars 🙂 made them over and over again! became quite a staple in our house 🙂
sorry to be such a pain, but could you identify the fat, protein, carbs and sugar content in these bars? I know no refined sugar is used, but as dates contain quite a substantial amount of sugar (though natural) I was wondering how much they have?
Thanks for sharing the recipe!! 🙂 love them 🙂
Hi Steph, so glad to hear that. These are my favorite energy bars that we make a lot.
Yup, they are 246 per bar if you cut them up into 12 bars. I’ve updated the post to show all that info, thanks so much for letting me know u love them 🙂
Have a great rest of the weekend!
Thanks alot Kelly to increase their protein content, without using whey protein powder as i hate that stuff, do u have any recommendations as I’m eating them as a pre-workout snack and found that they’re helping me alot i ‘ve been thinking i may add like 2 tbsps of hemp heart or quinoa flakes. what do u think? or it won’t make that much difference?
Hi Steph! I like adding in chia or flax seeds but hemp hearts or quinoa flakes would make a great addition. If you add 2 tablespoons, then just be sure to remove some of the shredded coconut or oat flour to make up for the addition. Hope that helps and good luck 🙂
I am finishing off another one of these bars as start to type. Because looking at your photos made me want to taste a bite again! They are delicious! Thanks for a great recipe, Kelly! I’ve not made granola bars for a long time, but these were calling to me!
Thanks so much for letting me know you made these, Julia! I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying them 🙂 I have the opposite problem and can’t stop making them since they can be quite addictive 🙂
Jolena @TheRubyKitchen -
Lovely granola bars. I love the variety of mix-ins you used for texture and flavor. Pinned!
Thanks Jolena, so glad you like them! Thanks so much for pinning too!
Yay I just saved this! I also just happened to eat a Cranberry Almond KIND bar, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy 🙂 guess I’ll be making more of your granola recipes this weekend, Kelly.
These homemade granola bars look so much better than store bought and much healthier!