Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Granola Bars

Granola Bars

Adapted from a recipe in Faith and Family magazine
The most popular recipe at Kitchen Stewardship!
See the post with all the updates and photos HERE.

Want more healthy, frugal snacks? Check out the Healthy Snacks to Go eBook HERE, with over 20 recipes to get you on your way with real food, fast! Includes many grain-free and gluten-free options, and even lunchbox friendly side dishes.

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, softened*
1 cup honey

Add-ins: 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped walnuts
other options include dried fruits, sunflower seeds, coconut, nuts…

*If you have hard butter, you can roll it under wax paper with a rolling pin.

Lightly butter a 9×13-inch pan.  In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except add-ins.  Beat hard until combined.  Stir in add-ins.  Press mixture into pan — really jam it in there so your bars don’t fall apart.  Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into bars.  Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving.

These end up cutting into at LEAST the equivalent of 2-3 storebought boxes of Quaker bars.  So even though honey and butter are a bit pricey, I’m sure they are much more frugal and for SURE healthier than pre-made.  They last great in the refrigerator or on the counter, and for sure in the freezer for a long time.  Your family will eat them before they get stale, believe me! (Yes, real butter is good for you!)

Want to try peanut butter variation? Crispy? Check out important updates to the recipe, plus homemade granola! Also a featured soaked granola bar recipe in a printable PDF.

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32 Comments

32 Comments so far ↓

  • Heatherc

    I made these yesterday…. DELICIOUS! (and so much easier than I expected- no harder than a batch of cookies! Thanks :)

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  • Sue E.

    Katie, do these come out chewy? Also, butter at Costco is 4# for $5.66…..that’s $1.42 per pound!! It took me a long time to break down and get a membership there (I had been shopping with friends because Costco said we could, and then I found out I wasn’t supposed to!), and I found that with butter alone, I could save the $50 a year membership. Besides that, they have cheap nuts, awesome laundry detergent, cheap mozzarella blocks (2# for $3.75!!!), organic peanut butter, organic jam, organic tortilla chips, etc. We use less packaging, too, by buying bigger quantities….just a food for thought….:)

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    Katie Reply:

    Yay! They are easy — I’m glad you made that clear for others too. Considering I keep making weird-looking cookies at my house (I canNOT figure my oven out, I guess), these are easier than cookies for me! ;)

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    Tess =-) Reply:

    In addition, Costco has organic, no hydrogenated peanut butter for roughly .15 cents an ounce! I can’t find a better price on that in my area.

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  • Katie

    Sue,
    The granola bars are definitely not “crispy”, but they’re not exactly the texture of a storebought “chewy”. They’re very soft, if that’s what you’re looking for. They’re just crumbly, not the greatest thing for a carseat snack if you worry about crumbs in the backseat. But oh, so delicious! $1.42 is a great deal for butter. I think it’s $1.50/lb at Meijer this week, and that’s usually the best deal I see. Good “food for thought!”
    Katie

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  • Lynita Aldrich

    I made this for my family and it was a hit. I think I may substitute 1/2 c peanut butter for 1/2 c butter and see how that turns out next time. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

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  • Katie

    Ooooh, you’ll have to let us know how it turns out! A friend used cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips and said it turned out marvelous. I’m hoping she’ll post the quantity here!

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  • Janel Bunten

    I made them tonight and they were so good! We could hardly wait until they cooled. Thank you!

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  • Ami Slater

    Tried reducing honey with addition of peanut butter, and the didn’t set. trying again tonight with full honey and full butter. I swear – quaker uses marshmallows to keep it stuck together. (translation: corn syrup)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Ami,
    I’ve tried reducing the honey and adding applesauce in its place – not all the honey, but some – and they set okay, but a bit crumbly. I missed the sweetness, though, I’m a wimp! ;) Katie

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    keonepa Reply:

    as a side note, because you will be baking them, you can also add in 1 egg to help it “set”. The recipe that I have been using for years, is very similar to this and it calls for 1 egg. . .

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Keonepa,
    I’ve tried adding an egg, and it didn’t really help much… ??? Thanks for the suggestion though! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Anasthasia

    I made these and they were a hit. They were gone in two days! It is a lot of butter. What would happen if I reduced the butter? Would they set properly? Thanks for this great recipe.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Anasthasia,
    I have tried reducing the honey quite often, and it still sets. Check out the comments here and the soaked granola bars for some more variations. I would guess you’d be okay with a little bit of reduction, but I can’t be sure.
    Thanks!
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jen Reply:

    My recipe is very similar but has less butter and honey so I thought I’d share.
    Everything is the same except 3 1/2 c. oats, 1 c rice krispies, 1/2 c butter, 2/3 c honey, 1/3 c brown sugar.
    I make them in a 13×9 and sometimes even a larger pan for a little bit thinner bars. They’re great and set-juts pack it in like it says. Enjoy. :)

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  • Mary

    Yummy! I made a version that was 1/2 the original recipe baked in an 8 x 8 pan and used brown rice flour instead of the whole wheat for my gluten-free boy. They turned out just as nice as the original version I also made. Mmmm!

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    AbbyJ Reply:

    Oh thank you for posting the gluten free substitution of rice flour instead of whole wheat! I was just about to ask if there was a good gluten-free option. I am just starting to learn gluten-free baking and it is very helpful to find a tried and true gluten-free modification. :D

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  • Kiersten

    I found this recipe in your e-book first and I have to tell you that it is our favorite granola bar ever. I make them the “soft way”, as my kids & husband say. We make them every week! Thank you.

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  • Rebekah

    I am excited to try these granola bars. I was wondering if using oil instead of butter would work or if it would change it? My daughter is allergic to dairy and eggs, but I know she would love these granola bars if they would still work without butter.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Rebekah,
    Do you have coconut oil? That has worked great in place of butter! Other liquid oils aren’t healthy fats anyway, so especially if you can’t have butter, you’ll want coconut oil. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Meal Plan Monday

    [...] Granola/Granola Bars [...]

  • Lisa B

    I love your Granola Bars! They are amazing. I blogged about it today too.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Thanks, Lisa! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Cory

    Anyone tried this with rolled barley? (Anyone out there tried rolling barley? or spelt or…?) My son can’t have oats, poor boy:(

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Cory,
    I haven’t, but I can’t imagine it wouldn’t work with rolled spelt. Sometimes I add that to my oatmeal…let me know if you try it; I’d be interested to add an update for other non-oat eaters! Good luck! ;) Katie

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  • cory

    Ok, so grains update – I tried the recipe with barley and triticale, just on a whim (gluten isn’t a problem for us, just oats). I soaked the grain first, and reduced the butter a little. And they turned out…well, it’s really a tasty recipe. Not much you can do to screw up something with 1c. butter and 1c. honey. And chocolate chips…mmmm… Anyways, the grains themselves are a little more crunchy than with oats. And the bars are more fall-aparty. However, they would be great mixed with yogurt, and my daughter and I are enjoying them, just always over a dish. I think the grains are a little tough yet for my little guy. He does only have one set of molars. So overall a qualified success. Maybe next time I should try the all-spelt option.

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    Katie Reply:

    Cory,
    Great, thanks for updating! Have you seen the soaked version? http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/04/08/recipe-connection-soaked-granola-bars/ If you cook the honey/butter until soft ball stage, they’ll hold together better. Good luck! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Maura

    Mine were pretty dry. I did the re toast which helped them stick but still dry and not real sweet, even with dark chocolate. Any recommendations as to why that could be? When your recipes call for honey are you using raw?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Maura,
    First, sorry I took so long to reply; my comments got out of hand as I finished up the second edition of my snacks book! Did you use a full cup of honey? I’ve never had someone say they weren’t sweet enough… ??? I do use raw honey, but that alone shouldn’t impact flavor all that much. Maybe take the extra half cup flour back out and cut the butter by 1/4-1/2 cup. I tried that recently and they stayed together fairly well, although the re-toast is still the very best option. :) Katie

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  • Christina

    My daughter and I made these this weekend – we added chocolate chunks peanut butter chips (trying to slowly get rid of things like this in my pantry but hate to throw away) coconut and nuts. They are seriously addictive! Great recipe Katie!

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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