These chocolate chip granola bars are easy to make and healthier than store-bought ones. They are also vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, and dairy-free, making them suitable for a variety of diets!
“And they look like the ones you get at the store,” he added.
“I’m glad you like them,” was all I said (with a slight smile). After all, you’ve got to play it cool. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I am practically doing cartwheels when the boys love a new food that I’ve made, but I think sometimes that backfires!
I have made many batches of granola bars, but I will be honest, I often overdo it on the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, leaving them just a touch too healthy for my kids! But I finally figured out a combination that satisfies both of my boys, my husband, and leaves me feeling like they are getting a wholesome snack.
These granola bars have evolved from my usual go-to chocolate chip granola bar recipe, which was adapted from a weelicious recipe. They are great to have on hand for school snacks, after school snacks, and weekend outings. Of course, you won’t always find them in my pantry. I still buy my fair share of granola bars, partly because it’s the easy thing to do, partly because we eat a lot of granola bars, and partly because I like to mix things up!
Usually, I’m able to cut around 15 nice, rectangular granola “bars”, but often many of them crumble into smaller, bite-sized pieces and crumbles. My kids prefer the bars, but I also love the smaller pieces and crumbles. After all, sometimes you want a whole bar and sometimes you just want a bite. (And as for those crumbles, well they taste really good in a bowl with some almond milk!)
Definitely give these a try, but full warning, they are hard to stop eating, so maybe freeze half or hide them in the back of the refrigerator for a few days!
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup avocado or grapeseed oil*
- 3 ½ cups gluten-free oats
- ¼ cup chia seeds (optional; they do make the bars a little messier)
- ¼ cup gluten-free oat flour (or other GF flour)
- ½ cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- * If using coconut oil, melt it and then let it cool slightly so the chocolate chips don't completely melt!
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line an approximately 9 x 13-inch rimmed baking sheet or oven-safe glass baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine oats through salt. Add the maple syrup and oil and stir well to combine.
- Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and then use the palms of your hands to press down to compact.
- Remove top parchment paper and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely and then slice into squares or bars.
- Store in an an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for longer storage.