My kids are always begging me to buy them granola bars, but I resist because we all know by now, they are not healthy at all (and are terribly expensive for empty calories). At least not the store bought ones. I prefer making my kids homemade snacks where I control the ingredients, so I decided to make healthy homemade granola bars myself! And I could not be prouder of my homemade cherry chocolate granola bars.
Homemade Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars
So I played around with ingredients but found cherry chocolate chip to be the winning combination. It has the right balance of tart and sweet. These snack bars are chalk full of ingredients you can pronounce (no unhealthy stuff in here). And you can make gluten-free granola bars if you use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
In fact, my homemade cherry chocolate granola bars beat the store bought ones hands down. How do I know? My kids love them and they are tough critics. And as their mom I prefer to give them a healthy sweet snack…and myself when my sweet tooth kicks in. Once you try this recipe, I promise you will never buy the store bought granola bars again.
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Granola Bars Tips & Tricks
- Store leftover granola bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days (but they won’t last that long).
- Chopped almonds may be substituted with chopped pecans, walnuts or peanuts.
- Dried cherries may be substituted with dried cranberries, blueberries, or your other favorite dried fruit.
- White chocolate may be used in place of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Maple syrup may be used in place of honey. Don’t skip the honey or maple syrup – it helps to act as a glue to bind and hold the bars together.
- Make them gluten-free by using gluten-free rolled oats.
- Once you get confident making them try any combination that moves you. Cooking should be fun!
Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars
Yields: 10-12 servings
Prep: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Inactive Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 ½ cups rolled old-fashioned oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- ⅓ cup honey
- 4 tablespoons butter (¼ cup)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ dried cherries, chopped
- ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Chop the almonds and cherries into small chunks.
- Add oats and chopped almonds to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 4-5 minutes. Gently toss and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes. Transfer oat mixture to a large bowl to cool.
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, add butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Stir while allowing the butter to melt and sugar to dissolve.
- Pour the mixture over the cooled toasted oats and almonds. Stir to incorporate.
- Allow the oat mixture to cool for 5-10 minutes before adding ¼ cup of the mini chocolate chips and dried cherries. Gently stir until incorporated. Some of the chocolate will melt slightly, but that’s ok as it helps the granola to hold better once cooled.
- Line an 8×8” with parchment paper. Transfer the granola to the prepared pan. Use a spatula to press firmly to flatten the granola into an even layer. Be sure to use pressure as this will help the bars stay intact and hold together better.
- Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove the granola bars from the pan and place on a flat surface.
- In a small bowl, add remaining ¼ cup of mini chocolate chips. Microwave for 1 minute to melt. Transfer melted chocolate to a small sandwich bag. Snip off a small corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over cooled granola bars in a back-and-forth zigzag pattern.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the granola bars and enjoy!
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
You may also like to make more of Lauren’s snack like Easy 6-Ingredient Chocolate Keto Crunch Bars Recipe and Make These Yummy Flourless Peanut Butter Blondies In A Snap!
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