I’ve made so many batches of non paleo, somewhat paleo, and completely paleo granola bars that I’m surprised anyone dared to eat these at all.
It isn’t that the former batches were bad. They just…weren’t…good. They had all the granola bar flavor, but none of the “stick-together-ness.”
Actually, never mind. I was intending to make breakfast granola every single one of those times. Not granola bars. Crumbly breakfast granola. That’s it. Even though I did perhaps mistakenly call it granola bars while I was making it. But I was meaning to make breakfast granola. Of course.
So I guess you’d call this a failed recipe, because it isn’t crumbly breakfast granola. These bars actually stick together.
And they are chewy, just like a granola bar is supposed to be. Finally. A granola bar that holds together. That we can put in a container in our greasy lunch bag and take all the way up to the ski area and toss around and shake the container for fun and still have a granola bar.
Not to mention OAT FREE and pretty nearly paleo (depends if you eat honey, nuts, and peanut butter). After making all of those stupid oat granola bars it was the paleo granola bars that worked.
I will now present you with my triumphant smile. (this is the part where you’re supposed to have a hungry smile, or maybe a jealous frown.) While you frown with envy, I will now bite into one of these bars and laugh maliciously.
Forget it. We don’t have any left.
- 1 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter (or almond butter for paleo)
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cinnamon
- 2 cups nuts (I used 1 cup pecans and 1 cup almonds, but you can use pretty much any combo)
- 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt the honey in a saucepan on medium low heat.
- While the honey melts, spoon the peanut butter into a bowl. Add the salt and cinnamon.
- Pour 1 cup of the nuts into the blender and blend until it looks like very coarse flour. A few whole nuts are okay (see the step-by-step photos below for a clearer idea of what this should look like).
- Dump the blended nuts into the bowl with the peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon. Don’t stir yet.
- Blend the other cup of nuts until they look about the same as the first bunch, then add these to the bowl.
- Measure out the dried fruit and dump on top of the nuts, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon. You still haven’t stirred anything.
- Add the 2 cups of coconut and drizzle on the melted honey.
- Stir until fully combined.
- Press very firmly into the prepared pan (It’s important to press hard because otherwise your granola bars won’t hold together).
- Cook for 25 minutes on 350 degrees F until golden brown. They will be very soft, but will firm up later.
- Leave the granola bars to cool for 1 hour on the counter, and then refrigerate for another hour before cutting them.
Here’s a cool pinnable image:
Okay then! Here are the cool step by step directions (because obviously granola bars are just so hard to make). Actually, I just felt like taking pictures when I made these. So you get some useful (or not so useful) step-by-step photos. Put a sheet of parchment paper into a 9 by 13 inch pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you use super cool all natural organic honey straight from a giant bucket like we do, then you’ll have to melt it in a little pan. First, measure it out, then stick it in a saucepan and melt on medium-low heat.
Spoon the 3 tbsp peanut butter into a bowl and add the salt and cinnamon.
Since our blender is a weakling, I chopped the nuts one cup at a time. If you have a STRONG blender, just put them all in at once. I blended until part of the mix looked like a really coarse flour but there were still a few whole nuts in there:
Dump the nuts into the bowl with the peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon. But don’t stir yet.
Measure out 1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries, then dump the dried fruit on top of the nuts (which you still haven’t stirred in).
Add the 2 cups of coconut in a flood of beautiful whiteness that looks like snow on a ski hill (sorry, I get kind of carried away with coconut. It’s amazing stuff).
Remember, you still haven’t stirred anything together. Pour on the melted honey
Yes, NOW you can stir. Stir it until it looks about like this:
Then press it firmly into the prepared pan. Cook for about 25 minutes on 350 degrees F, until the surface is golden brown. The bars will be pretty soft and not at all firm. It will scare you like it did me because you’ll think that your granola bars have failed. But be patient.
DO NOT cut it yet. Just don’t. Instead, leave it on the counter to cool for about an hour, then put it in the refrigerator to cool for another hour or so. You don’t want to cut the bars until the bottom of the pan is completely cooled. Once the bottom of the pan is cooled, cut the bars into neat rectangles. If they don’t come right off of the parchment paper, flip the whole thing quickly onto a cutting board, pull the pan off, and then gently peel the parchment paper away. Drizzle the bars with chocolate. Because that is absolutely necessary. Below is a paleo recipe (if you eat honey anyway). Be aware that the drizzle is not at all sweet—the bitterness of the chocolate contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the granola bars.
Paleo Chocolate Drizzle Recipe 4 ounces 100% dark chocolate ¾ teaspoon coconut oil (yes, OIL. Not butter) ½ teaspoon honey Melt all of the ingredients together in a double boiler double boiler until everything is completely melted. Drizzle over the bars, then put the bars in the freezer for about 10 minutes until the chocolate solidifies. Store the bars in an airtight plastic container.
Laura Anna says
Linnaea, your website is wonderful! I just came across it (your website) and this recipe for chewy granola bars. I think you are doing a great thing for so many people.
Thanks so much for your comment, Laura Anna! It always makes my day to get positive comments like this one. 🙂
they look amazing!
Kelly C says
Oh my goodness! These are delicious! Thanks for an awesome recipe! I love all your recipes and these are the perfect pick-me-up snacks that I so desperatley need some afternoons! (and they are gluten/grain free and high in protein!) Thanks so much!
Laurie Fesmire says
I have been told I need to be gluten free and have hesitated because of food choices. I was excited when I found your article in Mary Jane’s and went directly to your blog! What a wonderful sight. Thank you so much for going through all this to help so many out.
Thanks for your comment, Laurie! I’m always really excited when I hear that someone has found my blog useful. 🙂
Hey kid. This is like, uh, your father figure speaking. So…where was I when you made these bars? And why, if I had indeed stepped out, did you not save one for me to enjoy while your mother figure was whipping me up a lovely cup of jamoka? Why?
Hey sir. This is your daughter speaking. I gave you three of those bars (or at least had three reserved for you). Not my fault if little thieves took them.
Ann Butler says
Made these last week and just about everyone loved them. Some of my daughters don’t like coconut and even tried them. I love how your recipes are large. There are 5 of us at home and I like things to last a while so that’s great.
Thank you for all your doing.
So glad you liked them! And it’s also nice to hear that the large recipe size works for you…I know it certainly doesn’t work for everyone, but with a family of nine what can I say?
Hi there, looking forward to giving these a go, how long will the keep in an airtight container? xx
Probably about 1 week in an airtight container. If you’re planning on keeping them longer you could freeze them.
Any idea if they would work with out the coconut? My little one can’t have coconut.
You could probably substitute the coconut with about 1 1/2 cups finely ground nuts or a combination of nuts and seeds. The measurements won’t be exactly the same, so just try to make the mix have kind of the same consistency that it does in the picture.
Jolene Duncan says
Thanx so much for the delicious recipe 🙂 i substituted the peanut butter with almond butter and used organic honey to make it more paleo and it was a succes! Unfortunately i cant find 100% dark chocolate. I thought of trying to put some coco nibits in the recipe next time. Thanks again for the recipe. .nice and easy and can be eaten the same day!
This is exactly the type of recipe I am looking for! It will make an excellent mid-morning or afternoon snack. Can’t wait to try my hand at them!
Delicious! !! My husband loves them and he’s picky! He was diagnosed celiac 4 months ago and gluten free granola bars and extensive and not exactly delicious. This is perfect for his lunch! Thank you so much. I just made another batch tonight 🙂
I’m so glad to hear that they worked for you, Rachel!
Sarah C says
These are delicious! I used almond butter instead of peanut butter and added about 1 T extra since I was adding more than 2 c. nuts. I didn’t add the chocolate because I didn’t have time but I’m sure it’s delicious. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try other variations!
Excited to try these! I can’t have honey; is there a substitute you could recommend?
Unfortunately I don’t think you could substitute for honey in this recipe without completely changing the recipe…the honey really helps hold the granola bars together. You could, however, check out this recipe for no bake peanut butter bars. Those ones are made with dates as the only sweetener.
Hi! I have recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease and was struggling a lot to find foods I enjoyed. This website has been amazing!! I’ve just made these granola bars for going back to school snacks and I really love them! I’m definitely going to start using your other recipes! Thank you so much!
So glad to hear it, Aisling! Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂
I made it and it turned out great, like the store bought bars but better. I did less than a cup of honey and it was still sweet enough. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
Glad it worked for you, Mar! Thanks so much for your comment.