Chewy Fruit & Nut Granola Bars

Say hello to yet another recipe that I’ve been sitting on for a very long time. In this case, three years (!!) to be exact. Oy vey. I think I have a problem.

But, all is well because today we finally get to chat about these thick and chewy fruit & nut granola bars! Perfectly sturdy, totally chewy and a fantastic on the go snack!

Homemade chewy fruit & nut granola bars! These simple bars are easy to make, perfectly sturdy and delicious! Packed with nuts and seeds!

So. Here’s the deal. Three years ago I decided to create this recipe as a homemade version of these awesome soft and chewy fruit & nut granola bars that they sold at our local Whole Foods. I was mildly obsessed with said bars, which they conveniently always placed in little baskets at the checkout section. Hello impulse buy! I could never keep my grubby little hands off them. Hence the need to create a homemade version.

It took me oh so many attempts but I finally nailed down the recipe that you are seeing here today. Which I think is pretty darn similar in taste to the version that they sold!

{Side note – of course since creating this recipe we have since moved and no longer live near a Whole Foods – so um, I have no idea if they still sell these bars???}

ANYWAY. Let’s discuss how they go down.

We start with a mix of oats, oat bran, a litttttle bit of ground cinnamon, dried cranberries and then a whole array of raw nuts and seeds! We have some cashews, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, pepita seeds, sunflower seeds! It’s a party all up in here!

We bind it together with a combo of creamy almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla and … the key ingredient … brown rice syrup (which I explain down below). It all gets pressed into a baking dish and is baked off to golden brown snack-time perfection.

So, I’m thinking you should stock your cupboards, fridge and freezer with these delicious bars to defend against any snack attacks that may come your way in the near future. Granola bars to the rescue!

These simple chewy fruit & nut granola bars are a perfect grab and go snack! Filled with oats, dried fruit and tons of raw nuts and seeds!

Let’s move along to some tips & tricks for the recipe:

  1. The brown rice syrup really is the key ingredient to keeping these bars nice and sturdy. While the almond butter also helps with this, the brown rice syrup is super important. So please don’t try to sub it out with something else! Trust me, I’ve tried these bars with all honey and / or maple syrup and they just don’t bind as well. Capeesh? Cool.
  2. Now, let’s talk about where you can play around with these bars! Feel free to use different nuts and seeds, or even other dried fruit in place of the cranberries. One caveat? Keep the overall amount of mix-ins the same (otherwise it could throw off the recipe).
  3. To keep these bars vegan, use additional brown rice syrup in place of the two tablespoons honey. I like the touch of different flavor the honey adds, but the brown rice syrup works in a pinch.
  4. Let’s chat storage! I personally prefer to keep these bars in the fridge (which extends their shelf life and makes them even sturdier). But you can also keep them at room temp.
  5. And finally, I like to wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap – no matter where I am planning on storing them. Perfect for grab and go! I would also highly encourage you to wrap them individually in plastic wrap if planning to freeze (after wrapping, store them in a freezer-safe baggie or container in your freezer). When ready to enjoy, just move as many bars as you’d like to the fridge to thaw out.

Love granola bars as much as I do? Then you should also check out these chewy cranberry orange granola bars! Or otherwise known as the fall version of today’s recipe! Yay fall!

Chewy fruit & nut granola bars! These sturdy bars are freezer-friendly and completely delicious! A perfect on the go snack!

Yield: 16 (2x2 inch) bars

Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:30 minutes

Total Time:45 minutes

Homemade chewy fruit & nut granola bars! These simple bars are easy to make, perfectly sturdy and delicious! Packed with nuts and seeds!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup oat bran
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil*
  • ¼ cup creamy almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper (cutting a big enough piece so that it hangs over the edges on two sides). Lightly mist with olive oil or nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, oat bran, cinnamon, salt, cranberries, pepitas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, walnuts and almonds until well combined. In a medium bowl, mix together the coconut oil, almond butter, vanilla, honey and brown rice syrup until well combined. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until well combined (it will be a very thick mixture). Dump into the prepared baking pan and press firmly into an even layer.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, use the parchment overhang to lift from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into squares.
  4. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator in an airtight container. I like to wrap the individual bars in plastic wrap – perfect for grab and go!

*Melt the coconut oil first then measure out the correct amount, otherwise you may use too much.

Feel free to cut the bars however large you would like! In the pictures, I cut them into rectangles and got about 8 large bars.

Cook Nourish Bliss