posted in Breakfast & Brunch

Homemade Granola Bars

Boxes of granola bars are so easy to purchase.  They’re right there in that snack aisle, packaged so nicely.  And there’s usually a brand or two on sale for a great price.  I admit to buying them all.  But every time my son reaches for one of those processed bars in our pantry, I feel a little twinge of guilt creeping across my shoulders.  I’m Recipe Girl, darn-it… I should be making that kind of stuff homemade!  I’m going to make a pact with myself right here and now that I will do my best to provide more healthy, unprocessed snacks for my family.  And I’m starting with these:  Homemade Granola Bars

This recipe comes from a brand new cookbook called The Pure Kitchen from first time author Hallie Klecker.  Hallie is also the author of a gluten-free website called Daily Bites. These granola bars are easy to make gluten free, they are dairy free too, and they also happen to be vegan (though the cookbook does not include vegan-only recipes).

A few things about the recipe:

1. It’s all done in the food processor.

2. It begins with something I never thought I’d eat in 5,842 years: Prunes. The prunes are softened in hot water and then pureed in the processor. They act as the binding for the rest of the ingredients. I bravely tasted a prune, and I LIKED IT. Who knew? Crazy that at my ripe old age, I just figured out that prunes aren’t all that bad.

3. They’re sweetened with maple syrup, molasses, and dried apricots, and they’re flavored with cinnamon, vanilla and a little sea salt.

4. You can choose your nuts- walnut, pecan, or almond. And there are sunflower seeds too. All is mixed together with oats and baked for a short time.

My version turned out to be a Maple- Pecan Granola Bar. They’re a chewy sort of granola bar, rather than hard and crunchy. And the best part is… my kiddo likes them! No guilt on my part when he reaches for one of these to snack on. Completely healthy and homemade granola bars- yay!

The Pure Kitchen offers a unique but easy approach to fortifying your diet with whole, natural, pure foods. Included are 100 recipes free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Included in the book are tips on how to transition to a whole foods diet, a guide to stocking the pure kitchen, lessons in label-reading and tips for menu planning and picky eaters. Recipes I’m looking forward to trying in this cookbook: Herb & Heirloom Tomato Frittata, Flourless Banana- Nut Breakfast Cookies, Greek Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Tahini Sauce, Cumin- Scented Potato- Leek Soup, Shredded Balsamic- Beet & Kale Salad, Honey- Mustard Salmon w/ Lemon Herb Quinoa, Baked Chicken Thighs with Balsamic- Cherry Pan Sauce, and Lemon Bars with Oatmeal- Coconut Crust. There are lots of delicious-sounding dishes in this book, and I’m not even gluten free or  dairy free!

Author Hallie Klecker is offering a copy of The Pure Kitchen to one Recipe Girl reader. This giveaway is open to anyone who has a mailing address in the USA. One winner will be chosen via on Sunday, April 22nd and will be contacted via email. The winner will receive one copy of The Pure Kitchen cookbook. GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED.  The first winner I picked did not respond to my email, so I picked another… the randomly selected winner of this cookbook is: #261 Vera- congrats! 

The Pure Kitchen is available for purchase on Amazon, and it’s in bookstores too. You can visit author Hallie Klecker on her blog: Daily Bites, on Twitter and Facebook.

Yield: 10 to 12 bars

Prep Time: 20 min + chill time

Cook Time: 25 min

Homemade Granola Bars

These are a "chewy" variety of granola bar.


1 cup pitted prunes
1/3 cup dark maple syrup
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
2 1/2 cups rolled oats, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds (or a combination)
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Spray with nonstick spray.

2. In a heat-safe bowl, cover the prunes with hot water. Soak for 10 minutes. Drain and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the syrup, molasses, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Process to form a thick paste, about 20 seconds (stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice with a rubber spatula). Add 2 cups of the oats and pulse 8 to 10 times, until the oats are coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup oats, apricots, nuts and sunflower seeds.

3. Using slightly dampened hands, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Cool the dish for 15 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to the freezer and chill until completely cooled (about 30 minutes). Cut into 10 or 12 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


*If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use brands of syrup, molasses, vanilla and oats that are known to be GF.

Source: (reprinted w/ permission from The Pure Kitchen)

279 Responses to “Homemade Granola Bars”

  1. postedApr 18, 2012 4:09 AM
    Lori H

    I make my own ranch dressing, sometimes adding ground chipotle pepper and lime juice for a southwestern kick!

  2. postedApr 18, 2012 4:16 AM

    I make my own taco & fajita seasonings to help cut out of some of the sodium in my kiddos food.

  3. postedApr 18, 2012 4:32 AM

    I just made condensed milk from scratch and it was so easy I might never buy it again!

  4. postedApr 18, 2012 4:37 AM

    We like to make our own bread. It always tastes so much better and then you can do your own variations too to make it even more healthy like using Wheat Flour instead of White.

  5. postedApr 18, 2012 4:45 AM
    amy marantino

    i make my own potato chips

  6. postedApr 18, 2012 4:53 AM

    Those look great! I make my own bread — two days ago it was oatmeal bread with some chocolate chunks thrown in .

  7. postedApr 18, 2012 4:59 AM

    I make my own granola in every flavor from pumpkin to chocolate to cinnamon raisin!

  8. postedApr 18, 2012 5:02 AM

    These sound so tasty! I make my own sandwich bread almost every weekend…I think that’s something most people buy :)

  9. postedApr 18, 2012 5:08 AM

    I make my own granola, which I love because it turns out different every time! I would love to learn how to make my own bread.

  10. postedApr 18, 2012 5:10 AM

    All my desserts are homemade. I recently made my very own body butter.

  11. postedApr 18, 2012 5:14 AM
    Gina B

    I’m eating a processed granola bar right now. This post made me feel inadequate. But what I’d really like to try making homemade, is bread.

  12. postedApr 18, 2012 5:16 AM

    I’ve tried homemade granola and just can’t get it right!

  13. postedApr 18, 2012 5:27 AM

    I actually have made a homemade granola bar before too!

  14. postedApr 18, 2012 5:32 AM

    I can NOT eat store-bought cookies. My homemade ones are just too good, and they don’t even taste like the two should be in the same category! I also enjoy homemade granola bars. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe!!

  15. postedApr 18, 2012 5:36 AM

    i have been on a bean making kick. they taste so much better than the canned ones. and i feel so frugal.

  16. postedApr 18, 2012 5:48 AM

    Homemade granola is so yum!!!! I love the idea of using prunes as a binding agent!

  17. postedApr 18, 2012 6:02 AM

    I make my own granola all the time. It’s so easy and I like being able to pick my own flavors…

  18. postedApr 18, 2012 6:28 AM

    I make all my own cookies and have been looking for a granola recipe. Can’t wait to try this one.

  19. postedApr 18, 2012 6:36 AM

    I’ve started making home made almond milk. Never realized how very easy it was to do. I’ve always wanted to make my own granola bars for the kids. Thanks so much for the recipe. Gonna give this a try this weekend. :)

  20. postedApr 18, 2012 6:36 AM

    I finally started making my own pie crusts… I use to use only store bought, but then I came across a recipe that is so very worth the effort. Lard all the way!

  21. postedApr 18, 2012 6:38 AM
    Jenny P

    I make my own salad dressing – so much better than anything store bought.

  22. postedApr 18, 2012 6:42 AM
    Chris J

    I always make cakes from scratch. No idea why people buy box cake mixes since it’s really so easy!

  23. postedApr 18, 2012 6:46 AM

    Hi Lori! Thanks for sharing this recipe! It looks delicious! I have almost all of the ingredients to make them now. Can I substitute honey for maple syrup? The cookbook looks very nice. I make a lot of things I used to buy: bread, ketchup, home canned beans. yogurt, brown sugar, ginger ale, red or white wine vinegar, etc. I’m learning new things almost every day! I love making things from ‘scratch’! Blessings from Bama!

  24. postedApr 18, 2012 6:50 AM

    These look fantastic, and I can’t wait to try them! I love finding healthy alternatives to the crap you can find in the store. :)

  25. postedApr 18, 2012 6:51 AM
    April V

    My daughter could eat those packaged “fruit snacks” all day long, but I wonder how healthy they really are!? I’d love to make my own!

  26. postedApr 18, 2012 6:52 AM

    Dried tomatoes! I buy them in the summer when they’re cheap, and I dry them in oven at low heat for 4-5 hours with whole unpeeled garlic cloves and fresh herbs (my current favorite is thyme). They’re so much better than store-bought sun-dried tomatoes, and the garlic and herbs give them a really deep flavor. I use them in pasta, rice dishes, salads, and on sandwiches or pizza for the whole year.

    My roommates and I also make our own bread, pizza dough/sauce, jams and baked goods. It’s so much cheaper and more delicious than buying pre-made things at the store.

  27. postedApr 18, 2012 6:58 AM
    Nikki Robinson

    Can’t wait to try these! I make almost all our food from scratch now since we are gf, dairy free, low-sugar, soy, corn and nightshade free! My favorites I make are bread, butter, granola, ice cream, pies and cakes. Anything my toddler will eat 😉

  28. postedApr 18, 2012 6:59 AM

    We make our own gluten-free/soy-free “soy” sauce. So tasty!

  29. postedApr 18, 2012 7:01 AM

    Greek Yogurt – it’s crazy how easy it is!!

  30. postedApr 18, 2012 7:07 AM
    Amanda L.

    I love making homemade cookies and other treats – so much better than anything from the grocery store – but I’ve always wanted to try making my own bread and jam.

  31. postedApr 18, 2012 7:09 AM

    I would love to try these bars for my 8 yr old. These lookk delicious and I am sure my son would love it. I make the rice crispy treats at home using peanut butter and so far no complaints :)

  32. postedApr 18, 2012 7:13 AM

    WOW! I have been looking for a yummy homemade chewy granola bar recipe!! Thank you! Winning the book would be awesome, but I am totally excited about this recipe all by itself!!! YAY!

  33. postedApr 18, 2012 7:18 AM
    Karen L

    i make my own almond milk and use the pulp for cereal. i wish i wish i wish i had one of these bars right now and that i was eating it while reading my new cookbook. :)

  34. postedApr 18, 2012 7:27 AM

    2 things – homemade “everyday” granola with chopped dates and a plethora of nuts.

    Pizza dough – I make it in my bread machine – sooo simple and extra dough keeps well in the refrigerator.

  35. postedApr 18, 2012 7:27 AM

    i make pita chips

  36. postedApr 18, 2012 7:28 AM

    black beans are easy to make in the crock pot

  37. postedApr 18, 2012 7:29 AM

    I make all my backed goods from scratch. I have also started making ice cream. It is amazing how much better foods taste when you make them yourself.

  38. postedApr 18, 2012 7:29 AM

    I love making homemade pizza dough. It’s simple and a whole bunch healthier! :)

  39. postedApr 18, 2012 7:37 AM
    Melissa C.

    We make ricotta cheese

  40. postedApr 18, 2012 7:38 AM

    I make my own bread crumbs. It’s a great way to get rid of leftover bread.

  41. postedApr 18, 2012 7:39 AM

    I finally made homemade frozen yogurt last weekend. So easy and turned out great. I cannot wait to try lots of new flavors this summer!

  42. postedApr 18, 2012 7:39 AM

    I try to make most things/snacks homemade. Right now I am making my sons baby food and juicin my daughters apple juice daily. I also try to bake her crackers from time to time. Wish I did it more

  43. postedApr 18, 2012 7:40 AM

    I always make homemade cookies; they are so much better than anything in the store.

  44. postedApr 18, 2012 7:40 AM

    Although I know how to make bread I’d like to get better at it so I don’t have to buy it from the store. Life is good :)

  45. postedApr 18, 2012 7:47 AM

    Yesterday, we made flatbread and muffins. Hoping to try these granola bars when I get my hands on some GF oats. Thanks!

  46. postedApr 18, 2012 7:54 AM

    I would really like to learn how to make yogurt!

  47. postedApr 18, 2012 7:58 AM

    I make granola bars…I am gluten intolerant (I get nasty migraines from the stuff) so I make my granola bars…I would like to see a super easy recipe for a bread (GF) that rises really big like regular bread. That would be awesome!

  48. postedApr 18, 2012 8:01 AM

    Tortilla chips – homemade taste sooo fresh!

  49. postedApr 18, 2012 8:03 AM

    I make homemade pizza dough and sauce! :)

  50. postedApr 18, 2012 8:04 AM
    Alie O.

    I would love to learn how to make my own bread. Homemade bread is so much better than store bought!

  51. postedApr 18, 2012 8:12 AM

    I just posted yesterday about homemade fudge bars/bites. Vegan, GF, and easy! This looks like a great cookbook!

  52. postedApr 18, 2012 8:13 AM
    Ms. Z

    Those look so good! I would love to learn how to make some kind of healthy fruit snacks without all the HFCS and dyes (that my kid will actually like!).

  53. postedApr 18, 2012 8:13 AM

    I’ve always cooked and baked, but trying to find healthier snacks the kids and hubby will eat.

  54. postedApr 18, 2012 8:16 AM
    Laura S.

    I make all my desserts homemade. I stay away from store bought desserts when people bring them to work. I’m known by my fiance’s friends to make the best homemade snickers bars : )

  55. postedApr 18, 2012 8:20 AM
    Alba Kerr

    I recently made sunflower seed butter in my food processor and it came out so tasty & at a fraction of the cost of a store-bought jar

  56. postedApr 18, 2012 8:23 AM
    Lauren S.

    I make salsa and can it every fall from vegetables in my garden. I will never use store bought salsa again.

  57. postedApr 18, 2012 8:38 AM

    I make my own Salsa. Ever since I learned to make my own from my stepmom several years ago, the stuff in the jar tastes horrible to me. Making my own is quick, easy, and delicious.

  58. postedApr 18, 2012 8:43 AM

    i made cupcakes for the FIRST TIME EVER homemade. Typically I buy the box or get the cupcakes at the store. They were the best cupcakes I have ever had.

  59. postedApr 18, 2012 8:47 AM

    I like to make homemade bread. It just tastes fresh!

  60. postedApr 18, 2012 8:49 AM

    I make my own granola. I like that I can control the amount of oil and sweeteners and that I can change up the flavors.

  61. postedApr 18, 2012 8:53 AM

    I’m big on DIY! I make my own granola, mayo, jam, sourdough starter. Pretty much anything that’s made with ingredients I don’t like, I try and make myself. So…everything? Ha!

  62. postedApr 18, 2012 8:53 AM

    Amazing! I wish I could make more things homemade but it seems like such a hassle in my tiny NYC apartment. I’d love to make something like yogurt from scratch. I eat it all the time and I spend so much dough on it!

  63. postedApr 18, 2012 9:06 AM

    I’m *working* on making my own sourdough bread using Mama Pea’s sourdough starter-so far, I’ve failed twice but I’m still hopeful!

  64. postedApr 18, 2012 9:11 AM

    Yogurt, butter, cupcakes and muffins!

  65. postedApr 18, 2012 9:14 AM

    Every Friday I make my own Challah – it’s much more delicious than store bought and my kids wouldn’t want it any other way! :)

  66. postedApr 18, 2012 9:15 AM

    I love to make homemade yogurt!

  67. postedApr 18, 2012 9:17 AM

    These look Yum!! I make my own Granola along with bread and pickles and jam. Can’t wait for summer.

  68. postedApr 18, 2012 9:19 AM

    i love homemade bread! on a huge sourdough kick lately!

  69. postedApr 18, 2012 9:22 AM

    I’ve been starting to make a lot of things, including bread, hummus, granola, muesli, and pickles. I love that I’m skipping out on preservatives and added sugar!

  70. postedApr 18, 2012 9:24 AM

    I make loads of homemade granola.

  71. postedApr 18, 2012 9:33 AM

    Bread, granola, salsa, tomato sauce…it goes on and on :)

  72. postedApr 18, 2012 9:33 AM

    These are great granola bars, Lori! I think making seasoning mixes at home versus buying at the store is my favorite. Also, making homemade stock is so much better than store-bought. Actually, I prefer anything that I can make at home!

  73. postedApr 18, 2012 9:37 AM

    The favorite thing of my family’s that I make homemade is Maple Almond Butter. SOOOOO much better than storebought & easy to whip together. I’m excited about these granola bars!

  74. postedApr 18, 2012 9:44 AM

    Wow these look super good… I started making my own flavored lattes and coffee creamers… From the Recipe Girl archives, of course! :) Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m excited to try it… And I totally know what you mean about the guilt about buying and serving up processed food… It’s just so much easier sometimes. Oh well, I’m working on it!

  75. postedApr 18, 2012 9:50 AM

    I just recently started making my own tomato sauce, it’s ridiculously easy and delicious when it’s homemade. Just cut up fresh tomatoes and simmer them with olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs, wine, etc. until reduced. Puree and use for anything!

  76. postedApr 18, 2012 9:58 AM
    Carly Frank

    I love to make homemade graham crackers!

  77. postedApr 18, 2012 10:14 AM
    Patti Krueger

    I make my own version of Lara bars.
    This granola bar looks good!
    Thanks for the chance for the cookbook.
    I might have to buy it if I don’t win.

  78. postedApr 18, 2012 10:14 AM
    Jen B

    I love to gift homemade hot chocolate mix with homemade marshmallows! It’s so easy at holiday time. I also refuse to buy boxed cookies!

  79. postedApr 18, 2012 10:32 AM

    I always make my own tomato sauce and this year hopefully it will be full of heirloom tomatoes from our garden. I would like to start making more of snacky treats my family enjoys, like these yummy granola bars, and I will not feel bad to let them have their sweets. 😉

  80. postedApr 18, 2012 10:41 AM

    My husband just asked me to make granola bars today! I will try this recipe. I make a lot from scratch due to food allergies and we are all healthier because of it.

  81. postedApr 18, 2012 10:43 AM
    Melissa J

    I love baking and make most of the desserts in my house, when I have time. I can’t wait to try these because they look so much better than store-bought. I would love the recipes from a lot of the previous comments. :)

  82. postedApr 18, 2012 10:44 AM
    Lori B.

    Wow- I can’t wait to try these granola bars. I have always wanted to try to make homemade granola. Does anyone have a good recipe for it?

  83. postedApr 18, 2012 10:44 AM
    Shelly R

    I make ice cream, trail mix and cookies! I cannot find any of these in stores that do not contain ingredients I cannot eat, or would not eat for that matter! :)

  84. postedApr 18, 2012 10:58 AM

    I love making home-made muffins. I love that I can control what goes into them (tons of fresh fruit and fiber), yet they’re still easy to pick up for a quick snack or part of a breakfast.

    I can’t wait to try this granola bar recipie. It sounds delicious!

  85. postedApr 18, 2012 11:10 AM

    I’d like to learn how to make home made energy bars!

  86. postedApr 18, 2012 11:24 AM

    I love making homemade granola!

  87. postedApr 18, 2012 11:33 AM

    I just learned how to make homemade tortillas. They’re super simple, but taste amazing! Awesome giveaway. :)

  88. postedApr 18, 2012 11:51 AM

    I love to make my own dressings. They are so much better than those from the store and give me a reason to crave salad 7 days a week.

  89. postedApr 18, 2012 11:59 AM

    Lately I’ve been making homemade GF Buckwheat graham type crackers. Sooo good with some Nutella smeared on top!

  90. postedApr 18, 2012 11:59 AM

    I’ve been working really hard at getting rid of all condiments from the store….

  91. postedApr 18, 2012 12:05 PM
    Erin Lembke

    Hi! I make my own salad dressing, spicy pickles, waffles, nut milk, and crackers. Hope to make my own granola, tomato sauce, beans, and sprouted flour!

  92. postedApr 18, 2012 12:07 PM
    Lorie Vance-Castaneda

    I make all of my desserts homemade + muffins + recently started making homemade pancakes…I feel silly for ever buying pancake mix in a box! I still buy organically processed granola bars but want to try making them homemade! Thx for sharing the recipe!

  93. postedApr 18, 2012 12:09 PM
    Nikki V

    I would like to learn to make homemade crackers. That’s one of my next goals.

  94. postedApr 18, 2012 12:30 PM

    I wanted pumpkin cheese cake for Thanksgiving… but how GF? GF Ginger Snap crust, that is how. Wow was it amazing and the kids loved it too. YAH!

  95. postedApr 18, 2012 12:39 PM
    Kelly F.

    I love making homemade cookies, not exactly healthy, but they taste way better!

  96. postedApr 18, 2012 12:41 PM
    Sarah G

    I really need to be better about making things myself. I would like to start with granola, bread, and yogurt.

  97. postedApr 18, 2012 1:04 PM

    I wish I could make my own tempeh!

  98. postedApr 18, 2012 1:26 PM

    I already have the book so no need to enter me in the giveaway, but I just wanted to say, what a nice review of Hallie’s work!

  99. postedApr 18, 2012 1:40 PM

    I make lots of things at home that you could buy at the store. Bread, salad dressings, and have made granola bars similar to the recipe. Looking forward to trying this recipe. Looks very tasty!

  100. postedApr 18, 2012 1:45 PM

    I’ve made both granola bars and ricotta cheese in my kitchen (not at the same time) and was very happy with the results.

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