Famous homemade granola bars! This easy snack for kids has been a favorite recipe on Kitchen Stewardship for a long time and we are excited to show you how really simple it is!
This recipe can be adapted to be gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free. Plus we have a magic re-toasting trick to make your bars stay together without crumbling at all.
I get at least 20 good-sized bars from this recipe. I figure it might be the equivalent of 3 boxes of Quaker chewy granola bars, so even though butter and honey are on the pricey side, this still works out to be nicely frugal and so much healthier.
Easy Snacks for Kids (Made by Kids)
Many people are surprised that you can whip up homemade granola bars as easily as a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies. There are endless variations to this recipe, and I can almost guarantee it will become a family favorite! And in fact, there are even more tips to save time if you combine making these bars with making our healthy crunchy homemade granola.
Let’s see what your kids can do with this simple snack recipe – either the making or the eating!!
Healthy Homemade Granola Bars Recipe
- 1 c. butter, ghee, coconut oil or palm shortening, softened
- 1 c. honey
- 4 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1 ½ c. flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Add-ins to equal 2 cups total:
- mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- chopped walnuts
- dried fruit
- sunflower seeds
- other nuts…
- Lightly butter a 9”×13” glass pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, honey, and vanilla. Tip: If your butter isn’t softened, use a rolling pin and roll it between two sheets of wax paper, or mash it with your hands while in the wrapper. Our secret. 😉
- Add the oats, flour, and baking soda. Beat well until combined.
- Stir in add-ins by hand.
- Press mixture hard into pan. (You can use your hands!)
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 15-22 minutes until just golden brown on the edges. You will think they are too soft. They are not. Just remind yourself that there’s not even any egg in the recipe, so you can’t hurt anybody if you underbake.
- Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving. Store at room temperature or freeze.
Our Magic Trick for Crunchy Bars: Spread a full batch onto a large cookie sheet or a half batch in a 9×13 pan. Press firmly and bake as usual. Cool completely and cut apart, then spread individually on a baking sheet or stone and toast again for ~10-13 minutes in a preheated 325F oven. Watch carefully for browning on the edges. Now, listen closely – do not touch. Got that? Wait until the bars are totally and completely cooled on the pan before removing, and you will have sturdy, crunchy granola bars to die for.
For Stickier, Chewier Granola Bars: Melt the butter, honey, and vanilla in a saucepan and cook on low for 5 minutes after the butter melts, then mix the liquid ingredients into the dry.
Some of Our Favorite Granola Bar Variations
- Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and skip the chocolate chips – or double up on chocolate!
- Nutty Butter: Use 1/2 cup natural peanut butter, almond butter or sunbutter in place of 1/2 cup of butter – divine!
- Gluten-free: Just sub GF all-purpose flour for the whole wheat and it works acceptably, but more crumbly. Another option is to use a cup of mixed sorghum and brown rice flour plus a teaspoon of xanthan gum.
- Dairy-free: Coconut oil works fine in place of butter, especially in the nut butter versions.
- High protein: Add up to 1/2 cup of collagen peptides to the recipe to pump up the protein and other benefits!
- Less sweetener: Honey is expensive and the “unhealthy” ingredient in this recipe. When you heat the honey, you can definitely cut it down by at least 1/3 cup and everything still holds together. I also had success substituting natural applesauce for up to 1/2 cup honey, but the resulting bars weren’t very sweet. The chocolate chips were a necessity.
Originally adapted from a recipe in Faith and Family Magazine.
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