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Grab and Go Granola Bars Recipe


Saturday was one of those days!  We really wanted to take the kids to an Astronomy Festival at BYU. They were having free planetarium shows, physics demos and lectures by Astronomy professors.  Nate (my 13 year old loves Astronomy, and we were all looking forward to the view of the Solar Eclipse last night).

As always, when we are gone all day, we try to pack some snacks to limit the moodiness that accompanies waiting in long lines on a hot day with nothing to eat.  That’s where our little snack basket is handy.  I’ve got nuts, seeds, and granola bars (although the snacks change in and out often).  If it’s easy for a child to reach into a box of commercial granola bars for a quick treat, it’s just as easy to reach into our basket for one.

Grab and Go Granola Bars Recipe. Some granola bars were meant to be chewy. This is that bar.

I’m sure you can find commercial granola bars that have limited and natural ingredients, but you will also pay more for the more natural bars.  If you are on a budget,  cheap granola bars often contain chemicals and additives that you don’t want your kids eating.

We’ve been using this Grab and Go Granola Bars Recipe lately, and it has replaced our old favorite recipe, as I was searching for ones with less sugar, and more good stuff!  This new one, originally posted here by Anni Daulter,  is truly delicious!

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon flax oil
  • 3 TBL brown sugar
  • mini chocolate chips (optional – white or milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a ceramic or glass 9X13 inch baking dish.
  2. Mix oats, sunflower seeds, cranberries, wheat germ, and almonds altogether in a bowl. Spread mixture on a sheet pan and toast in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Return mixture to a large bowl.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine salt, peanut butter, honey, flax oil, and brown sugar.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium heat and immediately remove from heat. Pour over oats mixture and combine until dry ingredients are evenly coated. Stir in chocolate if you are using it.
  5. Pour into baking dish. Press mixture down into pan.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool for up to 2 hours and then cut and serve.

Grab and Go Granola Bars Recipe. Some granola bars were meant to be chewy. This is that bar. Grab and Go Granola Bars Recipe. Some granola bars were meant to be chewy. This is that bar.

Then, we sealed the cut bars with sandwich bags and a food sealer (like a food saver). Otherwise, it’s too easy to keep slicing off pieces right out of the pan, and eat out of boredom or habit.  Packaging them ourselves, limits portions, and allows us to pack them in a lunch or when we will be gone all day.

Grab and Go Granola Bars Recipe. Some granola bars were meant to be chewy. This is that bar.
Grab and Go Granola Bars Recipe

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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Thanks! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this. What would you recommend for someone with a peanut allergy, though? BTW, when I first read the opening paragraph I thought it said, “physics demons” and thought, “That sounds interesting….” hahaha.

Ha ha ha!! That is funny! Demons would be entertaining!
Who has a peanut allergy? Do they also have an almond allergy? You could use almond butter, but if it’s a nut allergy, try sun butter, made from sunflower seeds!

I’ll be trying these out this week, thanks for the recipe! (Also love the snack basket idea!)

These look great! I can’t wait to try them. Also, I have been looking into getting a food saver. What do you use?

I have just the regular “food saver” brand, food saver. I actually only use it for heat sealing bags, and almost never use it to vacuum pack something. I just hate buying those special bags for that purpose!

Thank you for reminding me that I DON’T have to use the special bags with my food saver. I’ve had mine for years and don’t really remember the last time I used it. I knew that it could re-seal bags but why I never thought of using regular sandwich bags to seal stuff is beyond me. I think I might just go on a sealing spree!

This is just what I was looking for! I’ve tried multiple recipes and this is the best so far. I just made them and they are chewy and delicious. Thank you.

Chewy!! Did I reply yet? Sorry, I’m behind.
It has a lot to do with how long you cook the sugars over the heat. The longer you cook the honey, the crunchier it will be (just like if you were making hard candy). But if you just heat to barely boiling, then take it away from the heat, they should stay chewy.

Chewy granola bars! I’ve been looking high and low for such a recipe. Thanks Amy for explaining how to do it.

Sorry Meredith, I’ll edit that. The original recipe is for almond butter, but I didn’t have any, so I made it with peanut butter! Thanks for noticing, and I’ll fix it!

I can’t wait to try these! And a question…once you heat seal them,how long do you keep yours? Wondering if I can make a month’s worth at a time….Thanks!

Hi Erica,
I get questions about how long things last a lot, and they are hard to answer because my kids eat everything so fast!! LOL. I don’t think just sealing them would let them last a month, but they could go in the freezer for a month for sure!!

Let me know how it turns out.

What other nut could I put in place of almonds my daughter has a sensitivity to that type of nut. Would the same amount of peanuts work well?

Yes Dawn, I think peanuts would work great!! It’s crazy- usually kids have the peanut allergy and almonds are fine with them!!

Just made this and it was sooo yummy. I substituted the wheat germ for flaxmeal and chia seeds and added a cup of protein powder which i baked with the oats first. I didn’t use any sugar but a bit more honey and they are seriously delish!!

We made these and loved them! Turned out delicious!! We used almond butter and added about 1/4 c chia seeds. The only issue I had was getting them out of the pan. I did grease it, maybe too lightly? Do you have any suggestions in that regard?

Hi Marlleen,
It does not seem like I’ve had that problem so it’s hard for me to figure out what to do.. I would definitely start with a bit heavier greasing. Did you use cooking spray?

Wow they are delicious! So glad I found your recipe and blog 🙂 I think I need to shorten the cooking time by a few minutes but they are soooooo good!

I tried to make these today and they ended up very dark and very hard. Did I just overcook? Would love to try again.

Hi Kaitlin!
Just try reducing your cooking time. Honey browns much faster than other sugars (and burns faster too). So, you have to watch these very carefully, and take them out before they get too dark.

I would just leave them out! I’ve made this a lot of times, and the nuts and seeds can be super flexible. I use what I have on hand, and omit those things that I don’t!

I have a gluten allergy instead of rolled oats, have you tried quinoa flakes? Also what would I sub for the wheat germ?

Hi Darlene, as with meat, when your oven is a specific temperature, that doesn’t mean the food reaches that temperature. When you cook meat at 350 with a meat thermometer, it’s always pulled out when it reaches 165. Unless we were boiling the oil, it will never reach 350. In fact, even boiling I don’t think it would.

Thanks for responding so quickly! I was toasting the ingredients for them when I thought about the oil. So I posted here then quickly searched the internet. I found a similar answer to yours. Frying with flax oil a definite no, no. Boiling is okay and baking is okay too since the oil itself doesn’t reach that hot. Thanks, again!

Oh, and I made the quinoa coconut bars yesterday and the kids loved them! I did leave out the coconut since my crew are not coconut fans but that’s the great thing about bars, you can tweak them to your liking.

Also thanks so much for the idea to use the foodsaver to seal the zipper type bags….never thought of it. However that’s what I’m doing with these and the quinoa bars. Great job!

Just wondering how much Quinoa you would add to this recipe – can’t wait to make these for my kids … much better than the store bought, as I will know exactly what is in them.

I made these today and I like them even better than the Quinoa Coconut Bars!! lol My two kids and my son’s friends loved them too. They gobbled them up with stuffed mouths and big eyes nodding yes when I told them they could have one when they come over! lol

Unfortunately, the foodsaver with zip lock bags didn’t work for me 🙁 I think my baggies were too thin. My foodsaver didn’t sense there was anything even there.

I did my own calorie calculations and these bars are extremely high in sugar. 27g for one serving (if you are going by the 10 bars stated in the recipe). I know that these are all raw ingredients and not highly processed (so theoretically “better” for you) but I can purchase nature valley granola bars and have double the serving with over a 50% reduction in sugar. I guess I’m just concerned that this type of recipe is on a website touting itself as “super healthy”. 27g of sugar is ridiculously high for a kid. Or adult for that matter. ?

In my pantry? About one afternoon. 🙂 ha ha.
but If my kids didn’t eat them so fast, they would last about 3-4 days.
In the freezer 1-3 weeks.

My daughter is allergic to all nuts, but can have seeds. What can I substitute for the Almond butter or peanut butter since I can’t use them?

I line my pans with non-stick foil,I think a must for anything sticky. I make it longer then lift it out to a cutting board an cut. No messy pan No score marks in pan and easier to make uniform pieces.

What could you use instead of peanut butter (as we are a nut free school) can you use tahini? I like this recipe just wanting a conversion for peanut butter.

Do you have the nutritional value for these bars?
I’m especially interested in the carbohydrate

Jeanette- I haven’t calculated, but you can use this site and enter the ingredients here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/

@jenny The wheat germ is a portion of the wheat kernel that is considered the super nutrient dense part of it. You can find it usually in the baking aisle.
@Rachel, you could use almond butter or sunflower butter.

Hi I tried these today morning but by mistake I added 1/4 cup salt and as I warm the coconut oil instead of peanut butter I used coconut oil.that gives very rancid smell now it’s full of salt and rancid flavour. ..what should I do to make it taste better I added more oats sugar resins rice flour but nothing v work bit taste so salty and oily can’t put it in mouth pls help…I don’t want so many things to get wated..thank u

@Aysie- We keep them for just a few days. Not longer than 5 days.
@Melissa- Just leave it out- You probably won’t even notice.
@Ruchi- I’m afraid that batch is lost.. I don’t know how you’d recover from that much salt!
@Rachelle- I’ve used both regular, quick, rolled, etc. As far as the chocolate chips, only about 1/2 cup.

Thank you for posting this recipe, just made them today – delicious! Slight problem though, they are a bit crumbly! Does it need more peanut butter/honey/oil??

Thank you. You have a great site and I want to try so much but my son is severely allergic to all nuts so I am going to try this recipe with the sunflower butter 🙂

Hi! I know I can leave the wheat germ out, but if I wanted, would substituting flaxseed meal work? I have coconut oil and not flax oil, so I thought flaxseed meal might be a good idea.

I know this is a strange question but is there a way to make these without some type of nut/seed butter? I have one child that refuses to eat anything that is made with nut/seed butter but wants to eat some type of granola bar. I am sure it is used as a binding agent so is there any alternative I can try?

I made these yesterday and they are amazing! They are so simple to make and they taste absolutely delicious…..soft and chewy too! I used coconut oil instead of the flax oil. I will definitely be making them again!

Nice recipe, but don’t you think it’s terribly wasteful to use single serving bags for everything? When we are thinking about what’s good for ourselves, we should also do what’s good for the environment.

I have not been on your site in quite a while but used to make the other granola bar recipe all the time. Do you still have that recipe posted somewhere? I would like to make those again because my kids love them. I used to have it memorized because I made it so much but now have forgotten some of it. Could you direct me to the old recipe? BTW, I just made these and they are cooling. I’m sure the kids will love them too.

I made these for my kids and they’re delicious! I did not use the brown sugar or the chocolate chips and they’re still plenty sweet! I think next time I’ll reduce the honey as well to 1/2 cup just as a personal preference! Great recipe 🙂