Paleo Chewy Granola Bars

January 6, 2012 in Categories: , by

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I have played with homemade chewy granola bar recipes for about a year.  I never did master my oat-based recipe, so I didn’t have the best of starting points for a paleo version.  Very few of my recipes have required this many iterations to perfect.  But I desperately needed to create a granola bar recipe for my kids.  Granola bars are our “go-to” travel food, perfect for a drive during snack time or a picnic. But granola bars are a very lofty goal for the paleo baker.  They have to have the right chewy with some crunch texture, hold together, travel well, and taste great!  I finally got it right and am happy to share the very successful recipe with you!

Note:  This recipe is very sensitive to small changes in the wet to dry ingredient ratio.  Please measure carefully.

Ingredients:

 

1.    Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease a 9”x13” baking pan with coconut oil.
2.    Mix ground flax seed with water and let sit for 3-4 minutes.
3.    Pulse pepitas in a food processor a couple of times to break up to the size of sunflower seeds.
4.    Add coconut oil, almond butter, honey and vanilla to flax goop and mix well.
5.    Add almond flour and baking soda and stir to combine.
6.    Add slivered almonds, shredded coconut, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and chocolate chips or dried fruit.  Stir to combine.
7.    Spoon batter into prepared baking pan.  Spread out and flatten well with your hand or the back of a spatula.
8.    Bake for 22-23 minutes, until golden brown.  They will puff up slightly while baking, so immediately after removing from the oven, flatten the bars with the back of a spatula (or something else heat resistant and flat).
9.    Let cool completely in pan before cutting into bars (I actually like to refrigerate before cutting).  Cut into bars (I usually get 18-20) and wrap individual bars in plastic wrap for easy travel (optional).  I prefer to store these in the refrigerator.

Do you need help finding any ingredients?  Check out  Important Pantry Items for the Paleo Baker.

Comments

I made these over the weekend. They are sooooo good! I added dried blueberries and pistachios to mine. Thank you for this recipe! I’m going to attempt some almond bread from a recipe that I found yesterday 🙂

Yeah, embarrassing story. I didn’t realize honey wasn’t vegan when I first posted the recipe. When this was brought to my attention, I corrected the title of the post, but there were so many links and shares to this post already, that I didn’t want to correct the URL and make it so people would get a dead link. I guess if you do need to make these vegan though, you could sub maple syrup or brown rice syrup.

My college aged daughter and I are attempting to go Paleo this summer and we have signed up to do kickboxing together and we are very excited for both challenges. I was wondering how well you thought this recipe or the results of this recipe would last if I made them and then shipped them off to college to her. Timetable would be like this: Make bars, refrigerate overnight, ship priority mail to arrive 2/3 days. Her college gets packages out right away but sometimes her schedule doesn’t allow her to get to the “package place” right away. So add two days, which means in total 5 days no refrigeration. Would these be edible after that length of time?

I think it would be okay from a safe to eat standpoint, but when I’ve tried leaving mine out at room temperature, they loose that little bit of crunch within the chewy texture and become more soft and cookie like. Maybe send paleo cookies instead? (the “oatmeal” cookies would ship well)

I love the flavor of these bars, but unfortunately my recipe turned out too crumbly. Can you tell me what ingredient is the actual glue, so that I can increase the quantity next time? I think the crumbly nature may be a function of the slivered vs. sliced almonds I used…but would love any tips on making them firmer. Thanks!

The glue comes from the combination of honey, coconut oil, almond butter, and flax with water. I get crumbly bars if I ever try to skimp on the honey. It’s probably easier to adjust the dry ingredients, mainly the shredded coconut and almond flour. It’s a fairly sensitive recipe, so try 1-2 Tbsp less of one or both and that will probably be enough to fix the crumbliness (also, are you making sure to press it down right out of the oven? skipping or delaying that step can make it crumblier too).

Thank you so much for your speedy reply! I will try the changes for the next batch, because there definitely will be a next batch! Everyone loves the flavour and we eat whatever bits fall off the bars by sprinkling on top of other foods/fruits. Look forward to exploring more of your ideas/recipes. Thank you!

The coconut flavor is very subtle in these bars. I’m not quite sure what a good substitute would be, maybe some ground nuts? But you might have to play with the wet to dry ratio.

Well, I accidentally put a container of them in the freezer this morning. They were in there for about 4 or 5 hours before my husband fished them out (they were unwrapped in a plastic container). They are absolutely perfect and I may start freezing them on a regular basis. 🙂

Guess my question was timely then. 🙂 Also, just so you know, I used oats instead of coconut and sunflower oil instead of coconut oil (my son is allergic to coconut along with diary, gluten, beans and other things) and it worked well I think. I used only 1 3/4 cups of oats and since we’re not 100% paleo here, I am fine using GF oats. They were a little crumbly but after refrigerating, they crumbled a lot less and cut much easier. Anyway, thought you’d want to know in case anyone asks about a coconut substitution for these.

Hi – I made a version of these replacing the almond flour with 1/4 cup coconut flour, and 1/4 flax meal – omitting any nuts, and using pumpkin seed butter instead of almond. To make them nut free- as my daughter can’t take any nuts to school. They turned out wonderfully. My daughter loves them and my husband said “best granola bar I’ve ever had”! Thanks so much for the recipe!

I made them with your nut-free instructions for my son and made a separate batch for myself. They were sooo yummy! I think the nut-free ones might have tasted better than the original recipe… maybe 😉

Hi! I just found this recipe and will give it a go this weekend … can you just clarify what you meant in step #3

“3. Pulse pepitas in a food processor a couple of times to break up to the size of sunflower seeds” (did you mean to write that pulsing the pepitas will break up the pepitas … or are we supposed to put in the sunflower seeds and not the pepitas … or maybe we put both in?)

Thank you!

Oh, the idea is to only partially chop the pepitas so they end up the same size as sunflower seeds. If you make them too small, you lose the texture, but if they’re too big, the bars don’t stick together as well. You could also do this by hand with a knife.

Hi, thanks for a great recipe. I’ve made these twice now on a Sunday to see the family through the week with an instant on the go snack.
Like you’ve suggested, I flatten it down when it comes out of the oven then once it’s cool I put it in the fridge overnight before I cut it. It’s nice and solid and I keep it in the fridge wrapped and ready to grab.
Both times I’ve made it with less coconut and sliced almonds (just because I didn’t have enough) and totally forgot about the vanilla extract (both times – doh!) but they still keep together and taste very nice.
Because I need extra calories but my partner doesn’t, I worked out that each slice is approximately 350 calories, a good reason to tell him to keep his hands off, leaving more for me and kids, ha ha.

These are delicious! I love the flavor. I used dried cranberries and mini Enjoy Life chocolate chips to equal the 3/4 cup. I would definitely recommend cooling these overnight in the fridge before you attempt to cut them into bars. They were way too crumbly the night that I made them (even after pressing and cooling), but cut perfectly the next morning after they were refridgerated. I am going to lightly drizzle the cut bars with a little melted dark chocolate too!! Thanks for the recipe – I will be definitely making these again and again!

hi- I made these today and, yes, mine came out too crumbly…I read all the notes here and I see that I didn’t press them as soon as they came out of the oven. Will break the current batch into granola and try again. My older son has Type 1 diabetes ( recent diagnosis) and he was enjoying Trader Joe’s granola bars until I got a look at the label and saw all the junk in them! He’s a rapidly growing teen so he need the calories and i don’t mind him eating the carbs in this as they are all well sourced/ good quality. I’m just guessing as to the actual carb count in these homemade bars, though. Any educated guesses? Any T1D families out there trying to go paleo?

This recipe is very sensitive to the wet to dry ratio, so if your coconut flakes are finer than mine or your almond flour is denser, that will make the difference. Try either adding a titch more honey (like 1 Tbsp) or cutting back a bit on almond flour (say 2 Tbsp) and coconut (say 1 Tbsp). That should do it.

Hi Cheryl! I also have been recently diagnosed with TID and love paleo, and so does my body! When I was diagnosed I had an A1C of 14%, three months later I am now at 6.1%. My doctor was amazed at how fast I have transitioned with the new lifestyle of diabetes. To be honest, I feel healthier than I ever have!

hi!
4th times a charm! I finally got this recipe to work out perfectly! I was determined as my 13 yo diabetic son loves Trader Joe’s granola bars, until I read the label and learned that they have 25 grams of carbs and 16 grams of sugar- that’s a tablespoon per bar! So, I was motivated to find something new. All the bars on the market a full of sugar! I think for this recipe to really work well you have to use the FINELY shredded coconut, but just the regular shredded or flaked type. It’s more like dust than that type that goes on coconut cakes, for example….Then, YOU MUST PRESS THEM DOWN HARD when they come out of the oven. Do it a couple of times to really get them compressed. Once chilled, they will cut musch better and stay together! My son doesn’t love them…but I htink he’ll get used to them if that’s all there is…..lots of changes in dealing with T1D! He’s adjusting well, and his first A1C was great (6) but now he’s in a massive growth spurt which, his doctors say, leads to high blood sugar #’s due to the hormone production…we are trying to manage, eat well and exercise. The silver lining of T1D is that we are all very health and nutrient aware as never before.

Hi, I just wanted to update that I now make these with no Sliced Almonds or Baking Soda and they seem to come out really well. No need to flatten after baking (just flatten before cooking) and they stick together well after a night in the fridge. I always add the optional dried fruit (raisins) or sometimes dark choc chips and they still hold there shape.
I just managed to convince a friend with IBS to try Paleo and she loved the granola, so thanks again.

I just want you to know how much we love these! Since I found this recipe months ago, I have been making a batch per week for my family. We all love it and fight over it once it’s made. And every where I bring a bar, someone tries it and wants the recipe. They even fight over it at work and go behind my back and eat them on me! My husband likes to eat them for breakfast because he is really hungry in the morning, and since going paleo, he doesn’t have time to make eggs, or anything really, and this really fills you up. I just wanted to thank you for such a great recipe. This is one I know my kids will want to make themselves one day, when they grow up.

These bars are unbelievably delicious! We’re not a Paleo family but we eat a very low carb diet. I also have been playing with a bar recipe and never could get it quite right. A friend of ours brought a big batch to a party and I have been making a batch (sometimes two) a week ever since! Thanks!!!

So glad I found your site! I just went grain free, dairy free, etc. I am also using the “no no” list from SCD way of eating as I have inflammatory bowel disease. Anyway, I cannot have flax seed. If I added dried blueberries and pistachios like a previous poster, will that make up for the flax seed?

After making these and having them end up crumbly, I decided to try again and weigh out most of the components using my scale. This ended up working for me, and I measured a little over for each wet ingredient:
85g honey
75 g almond butter
85g coconut oi
65g almond flour (was shooting for 56g, but this worked)
200g slivered almonds
120g coconut flakes (Bob’s Red Mill flakes, as I can’t find unsweetened shreds around here).

Hope this helps those who are ending up with a crumbly end product.

WOW!! I can’t believe how amazing these taste!! I followed them exactly how you wrote the recipe. I used golden raisins and didn’t even need the chocolate. They are just incredible. Thank you!

These are awesome!!!!! We aren’t Paleo, but I do lean towards that point of view. I have a favorite granola bar recipe that includes oats & flour (i usually use spelt) & this can totally replace that one! Even my husband & kids approved! I enjoy the chewy texture & sweet flavor of the choc chips. The texture is so close to that of my other bars – you’d never guess it was all nuts! I would say that the coconut flavor is pretty prominent, so if your people can smell coconut or taste it easily you might have trouble there! However, I think they’d like it anyway!!

For those having issues with crumbling, I use this on my “regular” granola bar recipe & it’s like a miracle! After you bake them, let them cool completely. Then cut them into bars & place them a little ways apart from other bars. Put them back in the oven at 325 for about 10-12 minutes. Let them cool completely on the counter before you move them at all. This keeps my other bars from crumbling & may work for these, too. Also, I don’t keep mine in the fridge & that may actually contribute to the crumbling. They keep fine in a container in my pantry for several weeks – at least.

I love you and your willingness to share what you have learned through trial and error.. Thank you for being my go to person for paleo yummies.

I have almond and cashew allergy. What can substitute??? I’m recently diagnosed with 30 food allergies and my doc suggested adopting and adjusting paleo “diet”. These sound good.

Just made these. Topped them with chocolate coating, put in freezer for half and hour. Oh my good after coming off whole30! (equal parts raw cacao, pecans, (or other nuts), coconut oil) blend until pudding like in vitamix or foodprocessor. Put in freezer to harden. Yummylicious!!

Just followed your recipe. I have a picky eater and these were a huge hit. Family and friends now want your recipe. Thanks for this one – enjoyed by all!

Just wanted to say that I made these bars last night. I put them in the freezer after I cut them up. I took one out of the freezer today and ate one. Wow!!! Super Good 🙂 Thank you so much for your recipe. BTW, love your site and recipes.

Any thoughts out there on replacing the flax seeds? My youngest is allergic to all seeds. The pumpkin and sunflower seeds are easily subbed, but I’m paying attention to the flax being part of the binding process. EnerG egg replacer? Xanthan gum?

We love this recipe and make it all the time for school lunches and snacks. Thanks so much for this great recipe!!!

I followed the recipe to the T and it’s wonderful each time. Needless to say……I add dark chocolate chips!
I make a double batch every week……guess I’ll need another good recipe soon 🙂

Great recipe! Thank you for sharing the results of your granola bar trials. Made these and they turned out great. (Did not process the sunflower seeds – didn’t seem to affect things. Oh yes and I added 2t cinnamon and some salt). Next time I’ll use a real egg but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing. Love the toasted coconut flavor!

I’ve made these several times, and used an egg rather than flax/water. I also use 1/2 the amount of coconut and use gf oats for the other half. They’re wonderful!!

I made these paleo chewy granola bars. They taste great but would like to know how to make them so they are not so crumbly . It would be nice if the held together better and a little more crunchy.

I make paleo bars that hold together pretty well … better if you add a little extra almond butter, or get extra glue (and protein) with a tablespoon or two of chia seeds

I was wondering whether there is any way to work around the fact that I don’t own an oven. Could I maybe microwave it?

I’m not sure. You definitely wouldn’t get that crispy browning on the outside, a toaster oven would be a better bet. Let us know how it comes out if you try it! – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

This made a lot! I’d love to save them for a day we didn’t have something on hand. Will these save if you freeze them? Thanks!

[…] Paleo Chewy Granola Bars » The Paleo Mom – January 6, 2012 in Categories: Snack Bars, Snacks … Almond Coconut Bars Paleo Snickerdoodles Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Carrot-Parsnip Muffins Holiday Trifle, … head-to-toe understanding of autoimmunity and its relationship to diet. […]

I’ve made these twice now and can’t get them to hold together! I even tried more of the egg/chia seed substitute. Blerg! I read through the comments and I see refrigerating them over night works wonders. I’ll try this next time. Maybe third’s a charm?

I make a batch every week……..once baked, I leave it in the oven for 10 more min. When cold, I put the tray in the fridge for a few hrs at least (overnight works wonders). They are the yummiest!

I am also looking for this answer re:coconut, though mine is a taste issue since I use coconut oil, but have a fierce hatred for actual coconut.

I have everything on hand except pepitas and brown sesame seeds. Any subs you’d suggest? Also, what to do instead of honey? Trying to avoid sugar. Thanks for your help!

I didn’t have any sesame seeds, so I just dropped them out. For pepitas you might be able to put some more sunflower seeds/almond/coconut, but I never tried so I dunno. When I made them I used half the amount of honey, using a bit extra almond butter instead, and they turned out great! Maybe you can completely sub the honey with almond butter? Not sure though sorry.

My son is allergic to nuts (peanuts and tree nuts). What would you recommend I use instead of the sliced almonds? I can use sunbutter instead of almond butter.

I made these today and they are very tasty! I added cinnamon and sprinkled sea salt on top – I’m not sure I notice the cinnamon but the salt is a great addition. I had mixed success getting them cut into bar form. I didn’t have time to refrigerate overnight as some posters suggested. I’ll try that next time but I did let them cool and finished the cooling in the refrigerator — about 1/3 of it was very crumbly. The rest made bars but some are likely to be difficult to eat. In any case – this will be a yummy addition to our travel options this week and the crumbled bowl of granola tastes just as good as the bars. 🙂

These look great, eager to try them, but I was just wondering whether blanched almond flour is necessary? Would there be any difference in using almond meal? thanks! Love your site.

would you please make these with every other combination that has ever been thought up by 30 million people around the globe and some they haven’t thought of, and post the results for all of them so nobody else has to experiment or waste THEIR precious ingredients, and Please keep the length of the post down to a quick read so everybody can find their own particular choice, and if possible tell everybody how to make it all work for their body? gee we know you don’t have a life and wouldn’t mind doing all this for us.

So true…. Enjoyed your comment! People need to realize the recipe is as written, and if they want to experiment, it’s on their time / their dime!! Give the author a break people!

Haha yep, or google “Paleo granola bars”, and choose a recipe without the ingredients you don’t want to use? 🙂

I made these this morning after finding the recipe yesterday. Based on the comments about them crumbing, I reduced the almond flour to 1/2 cup and added 1 cup of rolled oats. I thought this would help them hold together and would also make my boyfriend happy. It worked perfectly on both levels. Thanks for the recipe. I look forward to trying your cookies!

P.S. I also used parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.

Mechel

Hi Mechel,
I’m a little confused by your comment. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of Almond flour and you said you decreased it to 1/2 Cup and added 1 cup of Oats. Did you mean you cut out the Almond Flour and used 1 cup rolled oats instead?
Thanks,
Kathleen

I’ve made these many times and we all love them! The last time I made them I added a pinch of kosher salt. What a difference! Delicious!

Made these last night with one change and they turned out great! Based on the crumbling warnings, I added 1 medium sized egg at the time of adding the coconut oil and all the other wet ingredients. They were chewy but with a browned, crunch on the top and bottom.

I am trying to understand how this recipe works. when I made crunch granola, to make it is easy to swap things to make new flavour variations, I grouped things as: crunchy ingredients, sticky ingredients, oil, sweetener, and rolled grain. obviously grain is out now. but other than that these look very similar so I can’t figure out which ingredient(s) make them chewy? the leavening? the eggs some people are adding?

also wanted to share if this helps others whose bars are incoherent: put a flexible cutting board on top of the filled pan and roll, with a solid rolling pin (the kind with handles will bend or break, oops) leaning as hard as you can, to compress them before baking. though even with that I have never able to get a recipe that was much less than 5% honey (by volume) to stick together. maybe the eggs will help. or chia. tasty experiments ahead. at least with bars most failures are perfectly good granola! 🙂

These are tasty, they have a rich, buttery flavor. I guess that comes from the combo of almond butter and coconut oil.

However I did add 1/2 t salt. And I realized too late that there was no cinnamon or other spice in it, so next time I would certainly add cinn and maybe nutmeg or dried ginger.

However, having said all that, these are a bit too coconut-ty for me. I am going to guess that the reliance on shredded coconut (2 cups!) is more about texture than about flavor. Shredded coconut has long thin tendrils that sort of grab onto other ingredients and help to hold it all together.

I understand — there are a dozen paleo snack bar recipes on the web and they all seem to fall apart to some degree or other. I’ve probably tried 4 of them at this point and they all taste good and they all fall apart.

I might try this again and add an egg, and cut the coconut amount in half. And I wonder if doubling the flaxmeal/water mix would help, too. I’m guessing, though, that the author would’ve thought of these things already.

The cook who can create the perfect Paleo snack bar recipe will be famous!

I used an egg instead of flax meal too. It was delicious and I didn’t have any trouble with it crumbling. I lined the pan with parchment and the bars came out easily. I am freezing them as I do for all of our snacks. It tastes more like a chocolate chip blondie to me rather than a granola bar. that’s good though because my love treats like this.

I used an egg instead of flax meal too. It was delicious and I didn’t have any trouble with it crumbling. I lined the pan with parchment and the bars came out easily. I am freezing them as I do for all of our snacks. It tastes more like a chocolate chip blondie to me rather than a granola bar. That’s good though because my boys love treats like this.

When mixing these, you need to add enough of the “wet” ingredients to make a thick dough. If the dough does not stick together in the mixing bowl, it is unlikely to stick together when it comes out. I added about half sunflower butter and half eggs until it looked more like cookie dough than a bunch of mixed nuts.

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