Guilt Free Granola Bars {Two Great Recipes!}

Lately I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen thanks to shorter days and colder weather.  In the past few weeks I have come up with a ton of new recipes and one of my favorites is for Guilt Free Granola Bars.  We all love granola bars, right?  I haven’t had one in forever, but I have always loved them.  I decided to see if Judah liked them too, but when I went to grab a box at the store I was blown away by all the nasty ingredients in most of the bars I could find.  I’m talking sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup with a side of rolled oats.  So naturally I thought “hmm. I can make those.”  So I did.  And you can too!

Guilt free granola bars are super easy to make!

After leaving the store with rolled oats, some dried fruit and an idea I set out to make the perfect homemade granola bar.  I browsed FoodGawker and Pinterest and while I found a few great ones, they weren’t quite the low sugar, healthy toddler snack I was hoping for so I put on my thinking cap, tried them out a few different ways and finally came up with one I love.  (see Martha? We DO test our recipes!)

Guilt Free Granola Bars

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • dried fruit of your choice
  • a large mixing bowl
  • wax paper
  • *secret ingredients for our SECOND recipe.  More about that at the bottom*

First combine your rolled oats, almonds, and dried fruit in a large bowl.  Next heat up the honey, butter, and brown sugar on low until evenly mixed and pour it into your oats.

Homemade guilt free granola bars

Stir everything together, making sure your oats are evenly coated then transfer to a small pan lined with wax paper. Spread the mixture out evenly into a thick layer.

Easy homemade granola bars

After that start pressing.  A lot.  You can do it any way that works for you but I like to take a piece of wax paper, lay it out on top to keep my hands clean, and press firmly with both hands.  It is important to remember that the firmer you press the better your bars will hold up, so make sure you don’t leave any area out.  If you end up making it too thin you can always fold it in half and press a little more.  Once everything is pressed into place you should have one smooth “sheet”.  Pop it in the fridge for about an hour, and when you take it out remove the wax paper and cut into bars.

Healthy granola bar recipe

Now you can eat them!  Wasn’t that super easy?  The kids will love these granola bars and you can feel good about what you are serving at snack time.  They keep really well in the freezer which makes them a great make ahead snack too.  *FYI: These can get a little messy if they aren’t stored in a cool place, so make sure you don’t keep them in the sun or near a warm oven.*

Easy granola bars for kids

Easy no bake granola bar recipe with honey and fruit

Oh yeah, remember when I told you we would be making a second version with a secret ingredient?  Well get ready because here it is.

Nutella granola bar recipe

Are you drooling?  I know I am!  This is a more decadent (and slightly messier) version but it follows the same basic recipe with a few differences.  Here’s how you make these:

Nutella Granola Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • Pinch of brown sugar
  • Large mixing bowl
  • wax paper

Go through the same steps as the recipe above.  Heat your honey and Nutella on very low heat just enough to soften it up and make it easy to pour.  This time you won’t get a really smooth liquid but don’t worry, it will still be delicious.  Mix it all together and transfer it to a pan lined with wax paper.

Easy no bake Nutella granola bars

Press it all out so it’s nice and flat, put it in the fridge or freezer (I LOVE these frozen) for an hour.  Take them out, cut into bars and try not to eat them all in one sitting!

Comments

  1. says

    Yum! These look great! Granola bars are one of my favorite snacks and I’m always on the look-out for new recipes. Bonus that they’re “guilt free!” Thanks for sharing!

    Stopping by from the Pinworthy Projects link party…

  2. says

    These are healthy if you just watch the dried fruit that is added. The sugar content of some dried fruit is through the ceiling. I love the idea of making your own granola bars because they can have much less sugar and they are much cheaper–a happy double sword.

    Thanks for the great ideas.

    Lisa

  3. says

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been looking all over for a baked granola bar recipe that doesn’t use a lot of sugar (easier said than posted, apparently).

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