granola bars

Some of you have asked me to share what kind of cooking I’ve been doing to stash in the freezer and hopefully tide us over for the coming storm (T-minus 22 days, not that anyone is counting). I know it’s common, in a fit of impatient nesting, for soon-to-be mamas to tuck away pans of enchiladas and lasagnas and meatballs and other hearty, freezable fare so that they don’t starve in those early weeks when the baby demands constant surveillance (okay, cooing), but despite understanding the logic behind this, I should confess: I’m prepping nothing.

dried apricots, cranberries and raisins

At least one of the reasons I’ve decided to ignore sound advice to cook and stash while I can is that food could not be easier to come by around here. Hummus platter with fava bean stews, pirogis and borscht and/or Tom Collichio-crafted sandwiches arrive so quickly after you call, we’ve become convinced that they’re actually preparing in our building’s basement and you don’t even want to know how many Thai and sushi restaurants there are per block around here (at least two). Plus, both of our families live within an hour of the city and (Hi Mom! Hi Alex’s Mom!) our moms are not only good cooks, but have vowed to keep us from starving. Wasn’t that sweet of them?

granola mix

But mostly, I don’t want to fill our freezer with practical meals that will allow us to dote fully on our baby is that I hope to get back in the kitchen as soon as humanly possible after the baby is born, and the only way to get me back in the kitchen is to let me get hungry for something that nobody makes the way I want them to. It is the only reason I cook, it’s the only reason I’ve ever wanted to cook and it’s the only thing that’s going to get me to cook when feasting on pudgy baby cheeks no longer cuts it, as impossible as that is to imagine.

Though I did make granola bars, albeit as much for now as for later. I spend a ridiculous amount of time in doctor’s offices these days and I’m not the kind of person who plans ahead well and find myself starving and wondering if it would kill me to just once pack a nutritious snack. The pre-packaged ones are ick to me, more candy bar than wholesome, but I had one from Le Pain Quotidien last week that was so good, so hearty and so barely sweet, I knew I was overdue to try my own hand at them. I’m so inspired, I might even make an extra batch for the hospital bag. I hear it helps wash down the post-baby double-bourbon.

granola bars

A different granola bar: Several months later, I added another granola bar recipe to this site, a thicker, chewy one. You can see the recipe, along with dozens of adaptations (and more in the comments!) over here.

One year ago: Bourbon Peach Hand Pies
Two years ago: Spicy Soba Noodles with Shiitakes
Three years ago: 44-Clove Garlic Soup and Silky Cauliflower Soup

Granola Bars
Adapted from Ina Garten

I started with Ina Garten’s recipe but hacked it a bit. First, I decreased the sugar because, as I mentioned, I find most granola bars excessively sweet. Think you’ll miss it? Stir in the 1/4 cup brown sugar I took out. I also removed the tablespoons of butter, as I’m convinced that the oil component in most homemade granola recipes prohibits clumping. Of course I have yet to do a side-by-side test of this theory — this is the Smitten Kitchen, not America’s Test Kitchen! — so if you think you’ll miss the butter, stir in three tablespoons, melted.

Finally, if you’re going to be a houseguest this holiday weekend — can I come, too? — I think these would make a spectacular hostess gift. Or, you know, something to tide you over until the rest of the house rouses for a late breakfast.

Makes 12 to 16 granola bars

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed (I used unsweetened)
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup dried fruit, or a mix of dried fruit (I used chopped apricots, cranberries and raisins)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter an 8×12-inch baking dish (lacking this, I used a 9×13-inch) and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

While the mixture is still warm, stir in the honey, vanilla and salt until the mixture is well coated, then the dried fruit. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press, press, press it in (wet fingers and/or a silicon spatula work great for this) until the mixture is packed as tightly as possible.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares — your best serrated knife is great for this.

You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or two, as you would cookies, however, I prefer to store mine in the freezer. I find that they stay the most crisp this way as all granola tends to soften at room temperature after a day or more.

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343 comments on granola bars

  1. Bri

    I am so excited to try this. I was just thinking the other day about how much I like the idea of granola bars, but hate all the ones at the store. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love granola bars, but find most too sweet as well. I often make my own granola cereal and use maple syrup to sweeten it just a bit. Just a few weeks till baby! Excited for you. And I hope once things settle down a bit and baby is eating more than milk you’ll post some baby food recipes!

  3. You got a point there. If you have lots of good places to eat near by which are not too expensive as you will need LOTS of food after the birth, and you have family support, you really don’t have to stock up in advance. But, you will learn what “hungry like a wolf” really means! So, on the other hand, you might want to think twice about it :)
    I stocked up since we don’t have much family close to us and not too many good food places (even though we live in Microsoft-land) and I used to be a personal chef so I know how to do it efficienetly. But to my surprise, I did find out after the birth that what I really needed were good snacks! I had meals, but no snacks and so with the help of Coke and cookies at 2 am I gained pounds and pounds (went from size 8 to 14!). So maybe make extra batches of granola bars…

  4. I am looking forward to trying this- we need something to tide the kids over after school before dinner. We had just downed a box of granola bars-(4 kids- they are almost all gone in 1 sitting!) and whoa! There is a lot of sugar in that box!

    1. deb

      Wheat germ questions — I wouldn’t skip it as I think having small bits of stuff is essential to get ingredients to glue together. But I see no reason why other things cannot be swapped for it, but I’ve only tried it with the wheat germ. Leave a comment if you have success with an adaptation. I am sure others will appreciate it.

  5. Katie

    Yeah! I am so excited. I made granola this week that was fantastic (as a hostess gift), but was looking for a bar. I think I’ll swap out the raisons for dried blueberries. Looks great!

  6. I agree with you — butter and oil cause granola to un-clump and become loose oats. I’m not America’s Test Kitchen either but I tried three different recipes (one with oil, one with butter, and one with applesauce) before realizing that granola with applesauce clumps up beautifully (I’ve got the recipe on our site). Oil and butter cause the granola to break apart. But, I like the idea of not using any liquid because I am sure it makes a crispier granola bar. I am planning on making some granola tomorrow so I’ll have to try it without liquid.

    And, I am totally with you on storing granola in the freezer. It stays nice and crispy for so long.

  7. Oh, and I am not a huge fan of wheat germ, so I often substitute wheat germ with puffed brown rice instead. It is almost as small and crispy but not as wheaty-tasting.

  8. Funny – this is almost exactly how I make my granola to sprinkle over yogurt or douse with milk (minus the coconut – not a fan). I’ve never packed it together and made it into bars, but maybe I should. I never understood the addition of oil or butter to granola, although the olive oil granola that’s been popping up around has me intrigued. T-22 days though – that’s so exciting!

  9. michelle

    these granola bars look amazing! I had a quick question —- before I saw this recipe, I had already made a batch of granola the other day….. do you know if there is anyway to use the existing batch of loose granola and turn them into granola bars? Any tips would be greatly appreciated :)

  10. Kim M.

    I saw Barefoot episode where Ina made these last weekend, and I was dying to try it! Now that you have (and given it your blessing), I will definately try it! Thanks, Deb!

    My thoughts, prayers, and best wishes are with you as you embark on your journey to welcome your baby into the world! :-)

  11. I am a big granola fan and love bringing fresh batches when staying over friends’ houses. This is a great way to change it up. Love it. Can’t wait to try ! And I’ve always got a cupboard full of dried fruit – apricots, figs and dates it will be over here…

  12. A granola bar and a container of yogurt often serves as my breakfast when I am leaving home early and working long hours in a client’s garden. Surprisingly, this kind of healthy fast-food recipe is hard to find. So thank you Deb. I like the mix of all-out-cooking and quick-but-interesting things you dish up here.
    All the best,

  13. Ooh! The baby is coming so soon! I wish you and your baby much health and wellness! I’m sure your families will be a huge help- that’s very lucky for you :)

    This recipe looks awesome- I also am intolerant of too much sweetness in granola bars, ESPECIALLY since they’re supposed to be considered a HEALTH food!!

    I am thinking of even further reducing the honey to 1/2 cup, or do you think they wouldn’t stick together in that case?

    Thanks Deb!

    1. deb

      Alex — I very much wanted to reduce the level to 1/2 cup but got nervous at the last minute that it wouldn’t stick, just like you. If you try it, please leave a comment and let myself and others know how it goes. They’re not very sweet at all with 2/3 cup, but I think the 1/2 cup would be even closer to the barely-sweet bar I had at LPQ.

  14. Pete C

    These look excellent. In fact, I was just looking for a good recipe!! I’m glad you took out some of the sugar and butter. I feel the same way about those pre-packaged snacks.

  15. Jennifer

    Just sent my oldest off to all-day kindergarten, and this is just the thing I can mix up quickly and send in her lunch to power her afternoon! She’s high-energy, so I think this will keep her in good stead. . .
    I sure could have used this when I was pg–the whole grain bagels with peanut butter that I used to stave off hunger pangs when I worked 12 hours were messy–these would have packed much better!

  16. Me at 38 weeks gestation, calling Labor and Delivery: “Um, I think my water broke…I’m 38 weeks tomorrow…Yes, this is my first baby…Yes, I know it’s unusual to be two weeks early with my first, but…Well, no, I guess then I can’t REALLY be certain it’s my water, but…Um, yeah, certain enough that I do think I should come in to be checked. THANKS.”

    30 hours later, there she was. Surprise!

    In short, I didn’t expect to go two weeks early either. I had nothing in my freezer but empty ice trays and a half-eaten pint of Chubby Hubby at the time. We survived! You never know what you’ll actually feel like eating in those early days anyway. Good luck!

  17. kimberley p.

    Will be trying this asap, as we have a high school water polo tournament to attend Sat. Must add choc chips to satisfy sweet tooth of HS girls – so the bars do not appear *too* healthy! I’m thinking of the packing down process, and how perhaps covering the mixture with parchment and using another pan to press very hard might work a treat??? It would distribute even pressure on the whole deal at once…

  18. prklypr

    Thank you, I just found the recipe that will go in the first college care package of the year! I get together every month with 2 other moms to bake treats for our oldest daughters, who are now sophomores in college. These granola bars will be in the next package!

  19. I am really amazed as how your blogging this stage! And lucky as well that I get my constant dose of smitten kitchen! When I was in NY I has an apple cinnamon muffin at Le Pain Quotidien and loved it! Esp like the rustic touch of keeping the skin on. Maybe I should make that again. Or maybe you should so i can just ape you. :D

    1. deb

      Purple Foodie — I had a sample of their cake-y apple tart (also with the skin) and nearly died of buttery deliciousness. Discovered that their cookbook is out of print. Might have to track it down just for that.

  20. These granola bars are in the oven right now as I type this comment. I substituted raw sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for the almonds, and used dried cranberries, raisins, and prunes. I won’t miss all of the butter and sugar that is typical in traditional granola bar recipes. I’m sure they will be delicious.

  21. i love how you can customize it to your very liking.

    I got these powdered freeze dried strawberries for the strawberry wedding cake I made a while back. I would drown in some of that, lime zest, seeds and walnuts.

    You could go crazy

  22. Amanda

    i saw Ina make these the other day and thought they looked delicious, but a bit unhealthy with all the butter. I am definitely going to try your adaptation!

  23. sarah

    It’s like you read my mind. just this week, i’ve been trying to come up with a good, simple recipe for granola bars – specifically, peanut butter granola bars. My first crack at it had the same quantity of oats (2c) and a lot of butter, and fewer crunchy add ins. The bars didn’t really hold their shape (maybe I didn’t press enough?) and the texture just a bit to chewy for me (all that butter, I guess).

    I might try adapting this one by using 1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter + 1/4 c. honey (instead of the 2/3c. honey), and 1 c. of chopped peanuts (instead of almonds), and 2-1/2c of something (??) for the coconut and dried fruits. (I might use the coconut, but I’m not sure about dried fruits with peanut butter. Maybe a mixture of toasted pumpkin seeds or some other seed-y goodness.)

    Maybe. But I might just make these, as is, because they look so yummy and I need at least once successful baked good this week. My sweet tooth is hungry!

  24. LeAnn

    MMMmmm!! We make granola bars quite often, and they are nearly identical to yours, just the addition of an egg and 1/4 cup coconut oil. (This makes a more chewy granola bar.)
    I normally make a double recipe, and bake them in a sheet cake pan. This way the pan is wide enough for me to use my short rolling pin to press the dough uniformly and quickly into the pan. Cover the top of the mixture with plastic wrap before rolling for a mess free procedure. Then toss the plastic wrap and into the oven they go. MMMmmm!

  25. These look fabulous! And as a new-mommy I have run out of the house at 3pm so many times only to realize I haven’t yet eaten breakfast…this would be perfect to throw in my bag (diaper bag that is.)

  26. Jacqueline

    The best granola bars (although, bakery style) that I ever made came from Christopher Kimball’s book “The Kitchen Detective”. On page 224 he says that the recipe is an adaption of Joanne Chang’s from her bakery Flour in the South End of Boston. They are, in his words “rich, addictive and, well, deadly.” The compote fruit filling is very flavorful and the dough, buttery and delicious. However, I would like to try your recipe for a more simple and every day (and perhaps more healthful) alternative. Thanks for the recipe.

  27. Deb,
    Yeah! I have been trying different granola bar recipes for a while and my favorite one used a cup of corn syrup so I just can’t bring myself to make them. This morning I made your recipe using golden raisins, currents and regular raisins and they are baking in the oven. So excited to try one with natural sweeteners! Thanks!

  28. God bless mothers that don’t let you starve. Funny thing is, is 22 days (hopefully less–you’re full term now!), you’ll be that mother. Crazy.

    My first “D’oh! you’re a mother moment!” came when filling out hospital paperwork, and all the spaces for “mother’s name.” Wait a second, they’re not asking for my mom’s name, they’re asking for MY name. Holy crap, what did I get myself into?

  29. I make Ina’s granola all the time, but lately the husband and I have looked at it, and wondered why it’s not a bar instead: LOOK! Now it can be bars instead! And I had no idea I was supposed to start squirreling away food come baby time. Due in March, and yeah, I probably won’t bother, either. That’s what the husband is for.

  30. Katie W

    Thanks so much for this recipe, Deb! I have a toddler and am at T-8 for another baby, and I completely agree with you about the importance of having healthy snacks easily at hand, preferably ones that don’t make a huge mess. Also, these would be great to take to my daughter’s school when we want to bring a snack. I always struggle to find healthy and tasty things for the children, although your whole-wheat apple muffins were a big hit last fall at the pumpkin patch!

  31. Yeah.. before my son I didn’t make any meals ahead either. :) I have to say I practically lived off granola bars though.. those middle of the night feedings sure do make a person hungry. :) I wish I had, had these on hand instead of the prepackaged ones. I wish you all the best in what is to come. You will be tired but blessed. And, baby cheeks are very nourishing.. maybe not to the body but to the soul. :)

  32. Kristin

    I have a child with tree nut allergies and it is recommended that she avoid coconut. I’ll substitute roughly chopped peanuts for the almonds (*sob*) but I’m stumped on a replacement for the coconut. Any ideas?

  33. maire

    highly recommend candied ginger in granola bars as well. a zippy bite. good luck with everything deb! we’re rooting for you! my sister got back to cooking with baby attached almost straight away. made her feel good to get right back to what she also loves.

  34. I just made these over the weekend. Thought they were pretty good even though I overcooked them. I missed the portion of the recipe that states “reduce the oven to 300″…

  35. Carolyn

    I love the looks of this recipe. I’m recovering from 2nd degree burns (due to hot butter and flames), and this looks like the healthy recipe I need to make. I’m going to add some pumpkin seeds to add some extra vitamin A. I totally understand the need to get back in the kitchen after baby. Returning to ‘normal’ (albiet a new normal) was so important to me after baby.

  36. Maille

    I ended up making four million whole wheat honey biscuits, two veggie lasagnas and a bunch of stock; all of which is still hanging out in the freezer. Miss Rowan arrived at 38.5 weeks, though, so there wasn’t much time for anything else. I have been exclusively cooking on the grill or eating raw since that time. We’re now three weeks post partum, kid’s put on over 2 lbs and (due to breastfeeding) I’ve lost 20lbs of the preggo weight. Long story short: all that planning and I haven’t used any of it

  37. tj

    …”I hear it helps wash down the post-baby double-bourbon.” *giggle*snort* ;o)

    …These sound great Miss Smitten! Just the other day I purchased a granola bar in the checkout aisle because I was famished only to have it be a gooey, overly sweet mess in a foil wrapper! Disappointed to say the least… :o/

    …Thanks for the recipe – I’ll give these a whirl! Blessings too… :o)

  38. Annalisa

    I’ve been making this exact recipe (Ina’s) for a few months now for us to eat for breakfast. I almost never use the coconut, though (just sub extra oats). I have occasionally had trouble with them sticking together well and would completely reiterate the triple pressing instructions! And I’ll have to try them without the butter–never though of it! And also might try w/o the sugar, b/c I have always though they were too sweet, but wasn’t sure if taking the sugar out would make them too dry and crumbly. Thanks for trying it this way!

  39. Hillary

    Have you tried Probars? I don’t care for overly sweet bars either and frankly too many taste like cardboard anyhow. But, the Probar was a pleasant and deliciously moist surprise. The bars come in a variety of flavs. Happy times ahead SK!

  40. Maille

    And, P.S., the baby requires more constant surveillance than one would have guessed. Let me know what you’re eating when the three week growth spurt (aka Hell on Earth) happens.

  41. Beth

    De-lurking to say I love your blog, and this recipe looks great. Now I’m going to give you some unsolicited advice. I had a baby 8 months ago, and he was a week late. I spent most of the last couple weeks before his birth (since I still felt good) making casseroles, meatballs, soups – anything I could fit in my fridge. And boy was I glad about that after he arrived. We don’t have family too nearby (or the array of food options that you do in NYC), and after they left from the initial helping visits, it was so nice to reach in the freezer and have a homemade meal. I love to cook, and it was at least 3 – 4 months after giving birth that I really felt like cooking again. (I did have a c-section which might make some difference). Just saying – it’s OK if you don’t feel like cooking again right away, and you probably won’t. Your take on things after having the baby probably will be different than now in the rosy pre-baby glow days.Good luck to you – I know all of your readers hope that you will be cooking again soon after the baby’s birth.

  42. Stephanie

    Thanks for the recipe. I’ve found a similar recipe recently, but it has egg. I’ve looked all over the place for one without egg so I can store it longer. I’ve finally found it.

  43. Kate

    I am also delurking, like Beth above…as a fan of all things granola, this might be the very first recipe I try from SK – or should I say, the first recipe I am BRAVE enough to try. :) Thanks for all the deliciousness!

  44. When I saw the picture and the title for your post, I knew exactly where you were going with this. I just watched that Barefoot Contessa to-go foods episode the other day and have been thinking about granola bars non-stop since then (I’m pregnant too…due in 10 days). I tried to make granola once before and it was a disaster, so I haven’t attempted a re-do just yet. But I might!

  45. For the person that wanted to skip the wheat germ…I recently made granola (not bars) and used oat bran (gluten-free)…. maybe you could use that if it would reduce sticking together properies. My granola rocked… also not too sweet… I will have to try these next. :)

  46. Huh…yeah, the “Tom Collichio-crafted sandwiches”, or ” ‘wichcraft ” so he calls them, yeah those sandwiches are NOTHING special. And don’t even get me started on the teeeeeeny tiiiiiny little plastic ramekin of bland potato salad they call a “serving”. Mark and I were in NYC one day and Mark wasn’t feeling that great so we spent most of the day in our hotel room. We decided to order sandwiches from ‘Wichcraft. We couldn’t have been more disappointed. Sorry, you struck a nerve with that one. haha….

    The granola bars look great though! I have a plum tree in the back and I’m wondering if they would be good to throw into some yummy granola bars…. hhhmmmm….

  47. Kellie

    First time commenting….I love this granola bar recipe of Ina’s! Have made it numerous times and my husband (and some of his coworkers who also got a taste of it) love it! I make mine exactly per Ina’s instructions and they are not too sweet for me but I will try it your way next time and see what my husband says – he is the ultimate taster for all my baked goods :D
    Love your site and good luck on your new addition to the family!

  48. Your timing is perfect! It was my daughter’s second day of school today and she was telling me that all the other kids had bars in their lunches, so I said we’d make some (no icky processed granola bar for my little girl). This is definitely the recipe I’ll try!

  49. These could not look any better. I can almost taste them! I was searching for something sweet but these will make me feel better about myself! Thanks so much!

  50. Susan

    I’ve wondered what was wrong with my non-clumping granola! I should have known that the fat was the culprit. I’ve thrown away three different batches that just looked like saw-dust to me and tasted probably the similar. I’ll give this a shot..the dried apricot bits and the bar form are renewing my interest.

  51. shara

    my little man is 2 weeks old. i prepped nothing as well.
    my midwife had the best advice.
    she told me if anyone wanted to visit, they had to bring a casserole of some sort.
    i must say, it works well.

  52. Has anyone ever thought of making savory granola bars? I’m not a sweet lover so I’d love that, perhaps I’ll be experimenting in the kitchen soon.

    I’m thinking a bar with dried tomatoes instead of fruit, and maybe some savory spices and pine nuts or something like that. MMMMMMMM.

  53. Heidi

    Seems like just yesterday you posted the news of your bun in the oven and here we are just 22 days to go. Best wishes for a speedy and happy delivery. I’m curious as to how much time you’ll have for creative cooking once your little one takes up your entire day. Hopefully the family will offer relief.
    I too am so happy for your granola bar recipe. These are just what I have been craving during my car ride to work.
    Thanks a million.

  54. Nicole

    I was wondering what I could substitute the coconut for… I don’t like coconut at all. Thanks!! :)

    And congrats on the new baby almost here…

  55. Helen in CA

    more unsolicted advice: basically, the 1st weeks (for many it’s the 1st 6 weeks) is a tome of major sleep deprivation.

    Because your new sweetie takes awhile to learn how to regulate this. Which is why the whole “time off after baby’s born” legal thing.

    If you feel that you can comfortably eat take-out (worst case scenario) for 6 weeks =/-………..or consider it like paying for insurance “just in case”. Not suggesting 6 weeks of meals…..but something that’s comfort food for you. That’s the way you like it as only you (well….OK, and SK’s readers ) know.

    speaking from the experience of 2 babies (1 3weeks early & the other 3 weeks late)

  56. Ha! I packed granola bars along with S’s gear for our labor and delivery. The nurse was aghast that I’d been baking, but happily munched on one herself. Granola bars=babies in my book.

    Oh! And it makes for a slightly-denser result, but when I reduce sugar in granola bar recipes, I often will weigh them down as they cool. That extra compression seems to help the (relatively) scant sugars adhere.

  57. Liz

    Gots to try these — the storebought ones are too sweet for me, too.

    I like how your “one year ago today” recipes coincides with your reference to post-baby bourbon. We’re all counting down the days for you, Deb.

  58. Julie

    I’ve been looking for a healthy granola recipe! This is definately something to try. Dumb question though, where do you get your dried fruits? I feel like the ones find at the grocery store are all sweetened, and avoiding a lot of sugar is the whole point of this recipe!

  59. Hello!
    SO these look amazing. I would add that I make my own bars as well! I’m not sure how comparable it is, but I often make granola cereal the same way – you just don’t compact it and stir it up a bit now and again while it’s baking. It’s really easy and just one more step.

  60. You could also replace the wheat germ with ground golden flaxseed for those omega-3’s we can all use more of. Grind it right before you use it to retain its healthy goodness. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, Deb!

  61. Stephanie

    Thank you so much for the idea. I made 3 batches today to help out with the back-to-school teacher blues. I found some dried strawberries at the market and decided to go with a berry theme – strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries.

  62. Looks so good! Makes me want to make these RIGHT NOW. For those of you who are looking for different sweeteners to sub for corn syrup, refined sugar, etc., you might want to try brown rice syrup, available at health food stores and some larger/fancier supermarkets. I’ve used it often in recipes like this and it makes a nice and chewy bar. Try googling “brown rice syrup granola bar” (without quotes) and you will find recipes. Also, brown rice syrup is gluten free. Good stuff.

  63. I love your rich blue background against the jewel colours of the dried fruits. Beautiful.
    Mmmmmm granola bars! Nothing else quite hits those notes of nostalgia and satisfaction. What a good treat to stop up on before….THE DAY!….approaches.

  64. nia

    When I was at home with a new baby I was eternally thankful for the veggie lasagna someone brought over. I also ate several batches of the NYTimes choc chip cookies because they could be made ahead of time and baked later, and you can easily eat them while nursing. (with a glass of milk they’re nearly a meal) you’ll find that you really can only do 20 minute projects. So you can cook but not necessarily eat, you can shower but not dress…it gets easier but at first its really just about getting enough calories and making it through the day.

  65. This just bought back a whole whirl of memories- i food styled her latest tv series with this recipe. Good call on cutting the sugar- all her sweets are too sweet!

  66. Regarding substitutions: I’ve made these several times using flax meal instead of wheat germ, and it works beautifully. I’ve also swapped maple syrup for the honey with great results. The first batch I made using the full 3T of butter, and they came out *very* buttery. I cut it to 1.5-2T and it’s enough to keep the bars chewy without being greasy.

  67. Amy B.- Portland, OR

    This really pertains to the tomato corn pie BUT….I was visiting a client today who was warming something yummy in their toaster oven for lunch…..guess what it was…YOUR Tomato Corn Pie! Oy, did we kvell over the deliciousness of it all. Thanks Deb.

  68. EG

    I had my 2nd baby in July, and I could NOT STOP BAKING before he was born. At the end I finally cooked a few meals to stick in the freezer (most of which I wound up feeding to my in-laws, so helpful). But I had a couple of beautiful months of eating a lot of cookies, cakes, BREADS, etc.

    Best wishes for your delivery!

  69. i know what you mean. even though i have nothing that life-changing happening in the next 22 days, my freezer is still stacked full of a ridiculous amount of things, and i hope to be able to fit some more fresh fruit and or veggies in there before they completely go out of season. hello, peaches and tomato sauce!!

  70. Sasha

    I too, hate sweet granola bars filled with chocolate chips and other junk. While I would love to make your recipe, as a college student I don’t have the luxury of time (or kitchen supplies). I find that Kashi’s TLC bars are really yummy – barely sweet, and chock full of fruit and nuts (Trail Mix) – there were like, 5 whole almonds in one bar! Give them a try. I’ll def be making this recipe during my visit home :)

  71. bridget

    This is weird; I just realized that we have the same due date, if I’m calculating correctly. Anyway, I found with my first baby that what I really wanted to have on hand was snack type stuff. I was hungry ALL THE TIME when I was breastfeeding (hope that’s not TMI for you), so this time around I’ve made up muffins for the freezer and was planning on making some granola. So I think these granola bars are spot on – I’ve even been looking for a good recipe.

    Good luck!

  72. Dude! T-22 days puts you right on my birthday! Damn fine day to be born, if you ask me.

    Also: yum. These look excellent. I doubt I’d miss the extra sugar.

  73. Heidi in DF

    Hmmmm…you have terrific recipes, stunning photos, and now you read minds?!? I was just wondering two days ago whether that recipe blog I just discovered might have a recipe for granola bars.

    You will make an excellent mother with those mind reading skills! (I find them useful in my teaching job.) Thanks for the delicious-looking recipe…I’m gonna try it this weekend.

    Best of luck to you!

  74. Maria

    Deb- more unsolisited advice: I just had my 2nd baby 2 months ago. With the first, the hospital food was terrible, so I ate Granny’s chocolate chip cookies and little else for 3 days. This time I made granola bars, and though the hospital food was better, I ate at least 6 bars in the day and a half I was there. They were perfect.

    The recipe I’ve used creams together butter and applesauce or other fruit puree (about 1 cup total) and brown sugar (1/2 to 1 c.), adds 1 c. whole wheat flour and a pinch of baking soda and salt to make about 3 cups of batter, just enough batter to lightly coat 6-8 c. of mix-ins. My favorite combo is: Rice Crispies, toasted sliced almonds and oats, minced dried apricot and a generous handful of good chocolate chips.

    God bless your delivery. Enjoy your little one!

  75. Ida R.

    I love the idea of having something like to have on hand for when you need a snack. I don’t have a problem with the taste of most granola bars but most that are in packages have some milk, or whey in them, and as a person who has milk/whey allergies, that is not appreciated. I’m thinking dried blueberries as a mix in might work too. Also, I have got to say, I am getting excited for you and the new forthcoming member of your family! I know this is a food blog, but I hope you will share with us some baby pics some time later.

  76. samarahuel

    My baby is due to arrive in 4 days. I think I’ll adopt your philosophy as my excuse for never getting around to cooking up some extra food to store away. (In reality, I think it’s because I found cleaning out the freezer in order to accommodate said food such a dull task.) But it really is true that though the grandmas-to-be are a country away, my church family has offered to take care of 2 weeks worth of meals, and our favorite Thai place does deliver, and I do look forward to getting back into the kitchen.

  77. I never did do that whole cooking and freezing thing before our little punk was born. We survived, albeit on a diet of steamed veggies and baked fish for about 5 weeks. Serisouly. where was MY family? No wonder I went crazy cooking when I had the time again. I would have loved to have had these delicious looking granola bars…that’s one lucky husband.

  78. Amy

    I have been stalking your blog for a while now. It is by far my favorite (your apple galette is currently in the oven). It’s exciting that you will be entering the mommy world soon. I get ya when it comes to leaving the house without eating and suddenly freaking because hunger strikes. I had a babe a year and a half ago and the need for a healthy snack tucked in my bag (for me) is more crucial than ever. Thanks for the recipe; I’ll be whipping it up tomorrow.

  79. sol

    Hi Deb, I don’t know how things work in the states, but here in Italy hospital food is decent but scant (the cost of socialized medicine?). So when my friend brought me a bag of homemade granola bars when i gave birth 4 months ago she saved me from starvation.

  80. Vidya

    Oh finally these might be just the thing I’m looking for! I’m a student and my school is very academically focused. I need to stay awake in classes, and, more importantly, be able to study for hours and hours afterwards! I often get realllly tired (anaemic here) and sometimes when I don’t eat for a while I actually start to shake and get headaches…coffee and fruit can only do so much for you. I’ll need to try these. Do you think agave nectar would work instead of the honey? A slower energy release might be what I’m after.

  81. Katy Belle

    If you can manage to have some of these around when your bundle arrives, they will be perfect. I remember many, many bowl of cereal going soggy on me while I was interupted by a new family member. You really do need stuff you can just grab and stuff in your face,for a few days anyway!

    Looking forward to trying these! I just made your cinnamon swirl buns yesterday, they were delicious!

  82. Sibyla

    I’d love to be a child of such a sweet and well-cooking momma! :] Good luck!

    As for the recipe, I also don’t buy these bars, because they look healthy but they aren’t. If I want to make myself happy from time to time, I buy at least organic but since I am a fan of homemade everything, I didn’t hesistate and they are in the owen now. My version is: dried sherries (from our garden!), raisins, half of the almond is not sliced (I like them in bit bites:)) and maple sirup, because honey looses much of its good nutrional values at high temperatures.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe with us! You are my favourite foodblog!

  83. Duessa

    Sorry, I did not get a chance to read ALL comments so I’m not sure if this question has already been asked but I LOVE the idea of doing granola bars (I feel the same way about the ickiness of store bought ones) but my family and i HATE coconut. What would you replace it with? What about the almonds? My friend is allergic to nuts and that means she can’t have many store bought granola bars. what would you replace those with? Thanks a ton. I really will appreciate answers because we are going for an all homemade christmas this year. Granola bars will be just the ticket for my friend and her children.

  84. I love these. They look so good. Less sugar & no butter seem perfect here. The only problem I sometimes have with mine are that they stick to the parchment. Maybe it’s the honey I use iso sugar?

  85. jen

    I can’t believe you posted this–the day AFTER I was searching your very site for homemade granola bars. Uncanny! I ended up finding a recipe for a chewy, unbaked version that was really good. Not the most healthy (really sweet) but it was yummy and sort of a granola bar/rice Krispie treat combination that my kids loved.

  86. Smitten Kitchen must be on the psychic hotline. I was just this morning lamenting the unpalatable store-bought granola bars that my kid insists I keep in the cupboard for snacks and wondering if there’s any such thing as a healthful homemade variety. Thank you, I’ll be trying these very soon!

  87. Naomi

    These look great and in the vein of unsolicited advice food that you can eat with one hand will be just what you need (although you will quickly learn how to eat and really do more things than you thought you could with one hand).

    Question about your comment that oil in granola recipes prevents clumping- can you explain? I’ve been trying to figure out how to get my granola MORE clumpy – is leaving out oil the trick?

    1. deb

      Crispy/chewy questions — Mine are crisp, but I overbaked them so your results may not match mine. They’ll stay chewier if you keep them at room temperature. If you want them to stay crisp, keep them in the freezer.

      Coconut questions (11 of them!) — I am reading them but I don’t have a suggestion. I’d suggest playing around, swapping 1 cup of … something else… more nuts, more oats (see comment #64)? Can’t be sure. When/if you try it with a substitution, let others know how it went since apparently there are a lot of coconut haters out there!

      (P.S. Did you know that almost every granola in the world contains coconut? It’s entirely likely people don’t even notice it because it’s so different when it toasts up.)

      Naomi — As I said, it’s just a theory and I haven’t tested a recipe side-by-side with and without the fat, but in general, we use butter and oil to keep things from sticking; take it out, you’ve got something closer to a brittle. Brittles hold together as a mass. That was my logic.

  88. Oh wow, those look fantastic – much better than the granola bars I buy to put in my daughter’s lunch. I think lunch packing moms everywhere are rejoicing.

    I’m in the what can be used in place of the coconut group, and am also wondering if they’re crunchy or chewy.

  89. Butzeballchen

    This looks like a great school snack (does Ina get kickbacks from the butter council?)

    Frozen meals are nice but I agree with the commenter that said what you need are snacks. I stopped making meals for new moms and just started bringing a grocery bag of fresh fruit, crackers, cheese, and quick snacks.

  90. Perfect timing! I was just look for a granola bar recipe last night as I was convinced that I could come up with something infinitely healthier if I just had a basic to start from. You saved me the step of morphing the recipe. Now to add the goodies: how does macadamia, dried pineapple and coconut sound? Candied ginger and lemon zest? (well, only for me, the kids will insist on something normal….)

  91. Liz

    Any suggestions for adding peanut butter into this? I don’t want to unstick anything, thus making a mess out of a perfectly delish granola bar. But peanut butter + granola = foodie heaven in my house :-)

  92. annie

    This is so perfect! I’ve been trying to think of a healthy snack to have with me during my busy days and this is just what I’ve been craving! I’m making them today. Thanks, Deb!

  93. Coconut hater here! At least I thought I was — I’ve recently deided that is *raw* coconut I hate. I totally agree with Deb, once the coconut toasts up it beomes completely yummy and hardly recognizable. I’ve been making my own granola and it has coconut in it – no one in the family notices its there yet it does something for the overall texture.

    I’ve been eyeing this granola bar recipe in my Ina book-now I have to try them for sure!

  94. Jami

    Wow! Just made these with pepitas instead of almonds and dried cranberries (and a few raisins). Sooooo pretty with the green and red and so tasty!! Also, sprinkled a tiny bit of kosher salt on top to up the salty-sweet ratio. YUM! Thanks!!!

  95. Kate

    Deb, you may also want to try David Lebovitz’s “friendship bars.” I made them last night with pecans and almonds and they are wonderful. I’ve never seen my coworkers devour something so healthy quick so quickly.

  96. Melissa

    Your timing could not be better with this recipe. I was searching for a healthy cookie alternative. My neighbors and myself are baking for the 2500+ firefighters that saved our neighborhood from a huge fire in northern Los Angeles. We will be delivering them on Saturday.

    Congratulations and good luck with the new little one!

  97. SaraM

    My oven and I have finally become friends again after a long hot summer…you have impeccable timing! I am going backpacking this weekend and was thinking about making my own granola bars- I have a love hate relationship with the store bought ones. They all taste too sweet and too sticky-icky. Thanks for trying this recipe out and modifying it so appropriately! I’m sure they will be a hit with the rest of the group hiking with me.

  98. I didn’t prep any freezer meals before my 3 1/2 month old was born, either — but mostly because we have a tiny (1960’s GE) fridge, and an even tinier freezer. Friends from church were a godsend and brought dinners for us for a couple days.

  99. B


    thank u so much for the recipe, its so on time. We are goign to be house guests this weekend, so will make these and liek u I hate the store bought ones, even the fancier ones, too much sugar…so these will be good to have at home for the kids when they are back from school…which starts soon too soon

  100. Tanya

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m getting married in a month and have been looking for a granola bar recipe to make and include in the gift bags. I am hoping to make them ahead of time and freeze them. When you freeze your bars, do you then just thaw them to room temperature and they’re ready to eat? Do you think I could pre-package them in treat bags and freeze the bags? Any advice would be appreciated – and thanks again for the healthier alternative to store-bought bars!

  101. Amy

    This looks like a recipe we’ll have to try out in my house. These look like a great post-baby snack. Old fashioned oats are great help for milk production. (maybe tmi, but it’s true!)

  102. thebrunettebaker

    Whoa! You seriously are coming across as sounding like cooking is more important than this child. Love your writings, your photos and your recipes but human beings come first. Take some time off, enjoy & dote for awhile…you may feel a little differently. Guess you’re not breastfeeding?! hahahhahaha Best of Luck!

  103. OK, I get your I want to cook rationale, but it IS a good idea to have a few freezable things around for those first few weeks where you’re just too exhausted to THINK about food. Then you’ll quickly get sick of that food and want to cook again. We bought a honeybaked ham (not a whole one) which was nice to have around –we ate a lot of ham sandwiches, until I got sick of it and vowed never to eat ham again. Quiche was also nice for lunches. And 1 or two nights of casserole food were lifesavers. And I had cookie dough in the freezer so I could amaze guests with freshly baked cookies. It’s a good party trick.

  104. Megan

    I think I’ll try a batch with peanuts and chocolate – defeats the whole healthy bit, but better for my daughter than the store-bought ones she eats now!

  105. Stephanie

    These are in the oven right now. I added some pumpkin pie spice and halved the fruit and added semi-sweet choc chips for some added antioxidents (that’s my story and I’m stickin to it.) I also cut the coconut and replaced it with additional oats. I’m hoping for something like those decadent delight granola bars only more healthy. If these turn out well, I won’t have to spend $3.50 for a box of eight anymore! I want to try replacing the butter in Ina’s recipe with applesauce as another poster suggested. I wonder if this would make a chewy bar that holds together well?

  106. Jeni

    I’m going to visit my parents this weekend & I want to make these for my mom (she teaches 5th grade & is always eating store bought granola bars). I’m wondering if I can’t find wheat germ in her grocery store would it be ok to leave it out?

    1. deb

      As I mentioned in an earlier comment, the smaller particles of wheat germ help the larger oats and nuts and pieces come together. Many have commented that they successfully swapped it with flax seed. You might also try sesame seeds, or — and this is just a hunch, not one I have tested — a 1/2 cup of oats or nuts that you’ve pulsed in the food processor a bit. Not to powder them, but to get them into small enough bits that they help glue the mixture together.

  107. Regarding mothers (and mothers in law) coming over to cook after the baby’s born: one of my most treasured cookbooks is my paternal grandmother’s copy of the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook. It’s what she cooked from when she came to cook for my parents for the first couple of weeks after I was born (lucky duckies), and recently she handed it down to me.

    That said, I absolutely understand your desire to get back into the kitchen ASAP.

  108. I’ve been on a flax seed meal kick, and I def. think that would help glue these together.

    Thanks for the great recipe Deb, might need to make some tonight!

    And Stephanie, let us know how your version comes out… chocolate is a GREAT idea!

  109. Chrissy

    I’m home with my parents for a little before moving to your neck of the woods (well, Brooklyn, specifically) and just made these as a little surprise for my Mom, a second grade teacher who had her first day today. I thought they’d be a good packable snack to have during her first week. I used a combination of golden raisins, craisins, and dried apricots and cherries. Also threw in some flax seed for a little extra protein boost, aaaand some chocolate chips because “a little extra protein boost” and “chocolate” in the same breath just about explains the whole of my healthy-with-a-sweet-tooth approach to eating :-) My Mom was SO excited and we’ve already sampled and love them. Thank you so much for this! And best of luck with all things baby!

  110. rootietoot

    Hey I have all this stuff! Except the only dried fruit I have is cherries…but I think that would work. I love homemade granola bars. Like you, I think the store bought ones are ick. I may try them with hazelnuts, too…because I have them.

  111. rootietoot

    You’ll totally have time for the kitchen. That’s what those clever little bouncy seats are for. I had 3 babies in 3 years, and even after the third I had time for cooking, making my own baby food, all of it. Best wishes!

  112. Thanks Deb. this is perfect. we’re going backpacking tomorrow and i’m gonna make some tonight! woohoo! i’m doing flax and wheatgerm cuz we need the extra boost. =)

  113. Micki

    Love, love, love your blog, but . . . can I try to set you straight on the early motherhood thing? It’s not completely about baby surveillance. It’s about your body healing, reorganizing itself after being ballooned out over 40 weeks, and learning to make milk (if you go the breastfeeding route — but even if you don’t your hormones will still be confused for at least a week or so). And it’s doing all this while you are waking up every two hours to feed/change the baby.

    Sounds like you are completely covered on the food front, and good for you! My advice: stock up on underwear and socks so you don’t have to do laundry for the next three weeks AB (after birth). Best wishes, and thank you so much for this delicious food and imagery!

  114. I think you’ll be cooking again the day the baby’s born! It’s the new walkers who get in the way of the cooking. New babies nurse, sleep and stare. Pre-walkers sit and coo or twirl around in a spinny thing or swing. If they’re awake, you can cook with them in a sling or backpack. It’s when they’re mobile that they get in the way of cooking. And soon after than you can hypnotize them with Elmo. Just kidding. (Sort of kidding.)

    I am making these bars tomorrow. Man, I love this blog.

  115. As long as all goes well you can be cooking right away….I made all the food for my son’s Bris…actually twice in 22 months for the second son. Babys do sleep a lot in the beginning…so you can always get a quick meal in, in the evening. The first week you will all get used to being a family…the second it will be better and by the third you will not remember that lovely bundle not always being there…
    I just dropped my baby off at college today…it goes by so fast, in the blink of an eye, so enjoy each and every moment. Smell that delicious baby head as much as you can…
    Mazel Tov…
    And your granola bars look fabulous!
    I am going to make some to send to my baby…he will love them!
    Oh, and I had nothing in the freezer for either birth and no family nearby…we were just fine.You will be fabulous…

  116. Melina

    This recipe is delicious! One tip: they were getting a bit fally-aparty even after having them sit for a few hours after baking so I popped them in the freezer for about an hour and it was easier to cut after that.

  117. Anna

    first, i am obsessed with making healthy granola bars! i made these this afternoon, pretty much as-is, except i reduced the honey to just 1/2 cup. they came out great, and i think with the dried fruit, the amount of sweetness is just right. a hint i use is to really press hard both before and after baking. i place a sheet of parchment over the top, and use a metal measuring cup to press down. thanks again for the recipe!

  118. Megan

    Hi! I’m due with my first on the 27th, just a few days after you! I am so happy to see someone else bypassing the cooking and freezing in preparation for the new baby! The fall is such a beautiful time of year for produce I just don’t have the heart to forgo all those new recipes in Oct’s Bon Appetit in lieu of lasagna! I hope that we will both be back to the kitchen and cooking sooner rather than later!

  119. brendalynn

    kind of unrelated, but I just wanted to say “Thank you!” for adding the seasonal tabs to your recipe index. I’ve been wishing you would do something like that, and am so thankful you read my mind! It will make finding inspiration and your reliable recipes so much easier, especially for using local produce. Love your site! Keep it up!

  120. You’re completely right about commercial granola bars being more like confectionery. I used to work for a large cereal and bar company and it used to really annoy me the number of different types of sugar (and the amounts!) we needed to use to get a product that was able to work with our packaging equipment. Also agree with the reduction in butter.

    loving the seasonal index as well.

  121. Not that Baby will be eating granola bars right away, a great toddler-friendly variation that I use with my granola bar recipe is to press the mixture into mini-muffin cups for bite-sized portions. We always take a bag to the pool with us, because there’s nothing worse than trying to transport two post-swim three-year-olds from the pool home without a snack to bribe nourish them with!

  122. Hi, Deb. I’ve been looking for a good granola bar recipe, so thanks for this. And can I just say that you really seem to have your head on straight about this whole motherhood thing. Go you! (Enjoy that double-bourbon.)

  123. JC

    Phew, the white elephant in the comment room. Obviously, quite a few people have taken Deb’s desire to get back into the kitchen after having a baby as a personal affront to their own post baby cooking ideas. Gasp, people! Perhaps Deb wasn’t making social commentary on your lives, but simply sharing hopes and dreams for her own. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Deb, who clearly has things beyond Smitten Kitchen going on in her life, very likely doesn’t appreciate the aggravation. Not only that folks, but she might be less inclined to share with us in the future! For the good of the group, let’s not bite the hand that feeds us.

  124. Julie B

    Just made these for a playgroup we’re having this morning. I forgot to go to the store so had to make some subs- I used agave instead of honey and had no wheat germ so used (and this is what is freaking me out a little) Psyllium husks. Yep. The mad scientist got the best of me. But may I say – THEY ARE DELICIOUS (after affects remain to be seen! ). Best part for the cook was sticking all the crumbs in milk for my morning cereal! The agave maybe doesn’t have the binding power of the honey – next time I’ll use honey for that reason and the nice flavor. Can’t wait to play around with spices. I used dates and cranberries for my fruit. Thanks for another goodie, Deb!

    1. deb

      Glad you are all enjoying the seasonal tabs. I’ve actually been making a lot of behind-the-scenes changes, because as it turns out, my third trimester burst of frenetic organizational energy almost solely landed on this site.

      First, I’ve cleaned up the print templates, so they only include the recipe and the top photo and are hopefully a lot more useful. I’ve also re-tagged (and am continuing to) most of the recipes with more specific tags so if you find yourself with a bundle of peaches, there’s a link to all of the recipes that contain them. (I’m still working on how these new tags will be displayed in the Recipe Index — soon!).

      Finally, there’s now a side-blog solely devoted to the tips I continually refer back to in posts. (It has its own feed as well, but will only be sporadically updated.) For a while, I had these mini-posts on this main site but I’ve moved them over, mostly because I’m excessively fussy and hope to be able to do more with these in the future.

      The seasonal categories were actually the brilliant suggestion of a reader (Hi Elizabeth!) and I got working on them right away. The only thing I struggled with is whether I wanted them to describe just what produce was in season or what kinds of foods we like to eat in those seasons (i.e. hearty short rib braises in the winter). Here in the Northeast, just about all of our produce peaks in summer so winter is rather sparse. I ended up using a little of both, but mostly what you’ll find at your Farmer’s Market. (Though this, too, is sticky because it’s not like the Northeast grows the citrus fruit that peaks in January… and now you can see why my head exploded a little while populating these categories…)

  125. Leigh

    Delurking now to tell you that you are doing exactly the right thing for your family… whatever you decide will be right. EVERY single situation is different. I breastfed both of my children (yeah – for a full year)- and had c-sections (X2)… I didn’t pack my freezer – partly because I’m a slacker, and partly for the same reasons that you mentioned. We had more casseroles, baked ziti and soup than we could eat… Let it go and do your thing. You’ll be back in the kitchen faster than you might think – babies are amazingly portable.

    Granola bars would be a brilliant addition to the diaper bag though – smart thinking! I was up in the middle of the night eating oranges and peanut butter crackers… the nurses thought I was nuts :-) Best of luck to you – It’s a great adventure!

  126. jill

    Congrats in advance on your new baby — my second was born on Labor Day — something we always laugh about.

    A suggestion — make a batch of these bars for the Labor and Delivery Nurses — you will be the best attended mother in delivery!!

    My entire family loves your blog and always asks if whatever i make for dinner is a “smitten recipe.”

    Best wishes to you and Alex.

  127. Valerie

    I have been looking for a granola bar recipe that isn’t too sweet and doesn’t involve too much butter so am excited to try your recipe. Granola bars are a perfect snack to have around after the baby is born because I found when my daughter was born I would always be starving in the middle of the night when I got up to feed her and was always looking for something yummy and nutritious to eat! My sister-in-law made me muffins for the first couple of weeks for this purpose but granola bars would be even better!

  128. Made these yesterday. Yum! I sprinkled flax seeds in there too. I probably didn’t compress them enough, so they didn’t cut into nice neat squares, but they taste great. I had it this morning crumbled on top of my greek yogurt with some berries.

  129. Lisa

    These sound delicious. I’ve made granola bars before and wasn’t that pleased with them. Most of them are still have so much sugar and fat, and since it’s the sugar that holds them together, how to cut it down? Leaving out the extra fat makes sense though, and probably gives more room for cutting down the sugar. I will have to try these.
    Make good use of the two mamas/soon-to-be-grandmas close by. You never get to old to need your mommy! Let them make you some meals, or come over and cuddle baby while you make a meal, or whatever. I worked in childcare before having my children, and I still needed my mom to come over, and just assure me – yes that’s normal; yes you’re fine; yes the baby’s fine.

  130. Theresa

    I’ve made the granola bars from the King Arthur recipe a couple of times, and each time I cringe at how much sugar (plus honey!) is in them, so I am excited to try these. Just a note in response to your guess about leaving out the wheat germ – their recipe uses 1/3-cup of oat flour (or oats whirled in your food processor) for 1-2/3 cups oats and I have never had any problems with the bars sticking together. And I always line my pan with parchment paper or else it’s impossible for me to get the bars out.

  131. I have a four-week old and I did all the cooking and freezing in preparation for the birth. We’ve had a ton of family & friends in and out of town doing some cooking for us. Also, I am breastfeeding so I feel like I’ve got a baby attached to the boob for most of the day. But despite all of that, I’ve still found the time to get back into the kitchen and was cooking meals a few times a week by the time the baby was 10 days old. I haven’t even used all the frozen meals – I’m cooking because I want to, not out of necessity! So to the naysayers – Shut it. Because it’s entirely possible. FOR REAL!

  132. Amy Rice

    I made these this morning and they are just perfect! Yay, for a not-too-sweet granola bar! I think next time I will press a bit more, as I had quite a few crumbly bits on my cutting board (which were happily munched on while cutting). I divided them up into 10 or so snack baggies and popped the lot into a freezer bag in the freezer. I love that I can pop a baggie out for a quick breakfast on the go, or when I need a quick pick-me-up. This is exactly the type of food you need with a new baby (or small children for that matter). You’ll get plenty of meals from others, but it is the snack you need because you are suddenly FAMISHED and need food NOW (hello, nursing metabolism!). Thanks again, and best wishes!

  133. Katie

    Deb, I made these last night, and they are great. I altered them a bit. Instead of raisins, I did dried blueberries. I also dumped in a half cup or so of sunflower seeds. (My regular granola recipe calls for them). Next time, instead of the honey I think that I’m going to try maple syrup. My tried and true granola recipe is a maple syrup based recipe and it gets SUCH raves….love the maple flavor here in New England. I’m curious to see if there is enough stickiness to the syrup to hold it all together like the honey does. Will let you know!

  134. Heidi in NYC

    These were so good. I am already planning on making them again with peanut butter. Oh it made my day. If you will cook for us my roommate and I will nanny for you! haha Thanks for another good recipe.

  135. Yum!!! Just a note – made these tonight and I poured all the honey I had into my measuring cup, only 1/3 a cup!! In a pinch I used half honey half grade B pure maple syrup, SIMPLY DIVINE!!

  136. New Mom Aimee

    Thank you so much for such a simple but lovely recipe. I too hate the sweetness of pre-packaged granola. The dog park morning crew will love these… but i do have to save, after going through our first in April – and as much as going to the kitchen and cooking is a LOVELY thing for me, nay my vocation – YOU WILL NOT FEEL LIKE IT. I hate to be so blunt, so take advantage of the takeout, the moms, the neighbors, whomever. I actually succumbed to box mac and cheese because I was so freaking tired. oh yes. that tired. May your culinary urge push past the sleep deprivation better than I. I wish you well and look forward to all the yummy recipes postpartum.

  137. Hi Deb, these look awesome! I’m cracking up, since when I packed my hospital/delivery bag, I included… homemade granola bars. And cookies for the staff (which were highly appreciated). The granola bars were perfect for my exhausted body, and so much less sweet than anything in the hospital canteen!

    BTW, we did NOT pack our freezer. Two families from church brought dinner the 1st 2 nights we were home, we had takeout the 3rd, and then I was back in the kitchen with a vengeance! I think everyone’s different, but my food cravings were/are so unpredictable that I knew that making and freezing enchiladas or casseroles would only guarantee that I had no desire to eat them later.

  138. Having kids definitely changed our cooking style, but we cooked when the twins were infants. When I was nursing 12 hours a day (!), the burden of feeding me fell on my husband, and there was all sorts of deliciousness in the house. You actually need more additional calories to nurse than when you’re pregnant. (Dunno if you’re planning to nurse; it was pretty all-consuming for me as a new mom.)

    Now, I’ve got two three-year-olds to help me in the kitchen. There’s nothing more rewarding that having your child specifically request a dish that only YOU can make just right. :)

    Making Baby’s food when he/she starts solids is also most rewarding. I was a big fan of Annabel Karmel’s baby puree book. It helps you get in the mindset of baby food not having to be bland.

  139. Hungry Student

    This will help me save so much and have a healthy snack! I used a muffin pan so that I could avoid cutting them later and it worked really well. After the fact I realized that I could press them even better by using a second matching muffin pan of top and squeezing them together. oh well, next time I guess.

  140. Kristin T.

    I made these last night — they are great! They were surprisingly sweet considering the comments in the recipe, but definitely not too sweet. In other words, the amount of honey was just right. I ground up some flaxseed & mixed that in too. Instead of almond (my boyfriend’s allergic) I used peanuts that I ground in the coffee grinder — some stayed big, but lots of tasty peanut crumbs that mixed throughout. Really tasty.

  141. Julie

    I made these yesterday and I love them… I didn’t have wheat germ but I found some toasted oat bran in the pantry (have no idea why that was there) and it worked great. I also didn’t have apricots or almonds so i used walnuts and raisins and some chocolate chips to entice the husband and they turned out great. Oh, and then after I made them I turned on the TV and the Barefoot Contessa was on making her granola bars! Thanks Deb – yet another great recipe.

  142. Jeni

    I made these tonight for my mom (who of course had 3 boxes of store bought granola in the pantry). I didn’t add coconut because we forgot to buy it at the store so I just put in more oats & I was able to find wheat germ. My mom decided the fruits she wanted were prunes & a bag of dried mixed berries. I also heated the honey a little on the stove before adding it to the oats just so it would be easier to mix. They turned out tasting really good but I had a lot of crumbles. I’m going to make another batch tomorrow & press it more before baking. Once I finish that batch I hope to have filled a gallon size freezer bag full of bars.

  143. maxine

    i haven’t made the bars yet, but was wondering if the peanut butter was in addition to the ingredients or a substitue for something else, like the honey. i love peanut butter, so please, tell me how much. also, i want to send the bars to a friend, any ideas about that?

  144. Oh wow these are GORGEOUS and delicious!

    I subbed walnuts for almonds,
    used dried tropical fruit,
    and used a mixture of honey, dregs of maple syrup, and kuromitsu as the sweetener.
    I also omitted the wheat germ (didn’t have any) and made these before I saw the comments about using flax meal; but they’re holding together pretty well.

    Thank you!

  145. PL

    I made these last night and used the 1/4 cup brown sugar. Won’t do that again – they were on the edge of too sweet for me (but the kids loved them – go figure).

    I omitted the coconut, since no one in my family likes it, and added a little more of the oats and almonds to make up for the cup of missing ingredient. I also added some flax seeds, just because I know they’re good for you and are quite palatable in a granola mix.

    After I had baked them as directed, they were very soft and crumbly. I put the bars in a plastic storage bag and went to bed. When I woke up, I decided to bake them a little longer, so I put the bars on a Silpat and popped them into a 300 oven for 20 minutes or so until they were more than golden brown. PERFECT. They’re crispy and they stay together, so I’ll make sure to bake them longer next time.

  146. sarah o

    Got the ingredients today! Making these tomorrow ;) Cant wait! Also, I hope one day that you will make a cook book…Id buy one for every person I know! Thanks for the great recipes!

  147. I just made a double batch with flax instead of wheat germ, brown rice syrup + a little maple syrup instead of honey, and skipped the almonds and cranberries. I used a rolling pin on top of parchment paper (as per one of the comments) to press the mixture into the pan. I also cut them about 1/2 hour after they came out of the oven.
    My first successful granola bars, and totally tasty! I didn’t know the problem I was having was the oil. Thanks for the recipe!

  148. Aude

    For those of you keen to make the bars less sweet, just some additional info. I made the bars using agave syrup instead of honey over the weekend. But they didn’t stick well together. I ended up eating them as granola, in milk or yogurt, so nothing was lost. I’m not sure if they didn’t hold together because I didn’t have wheat germ (yes Deb warned i would need it but couldn’t find it at the store) or because the Agave syrup was absorbed by the cereal in a way that honey wouldn’t have been.

  149. Made these today. I used 1/2 cup of honey because I’m not really supposed to be having sugar – will try it with the agave syrup next time, but I wanted the first time to be as close to the recipe as possible. Also, I didn’t have wheatgerm, but I saw that someone substituted oatbran, so I took the right amount of untoasted oats and blitzed them with a handblender and chucked those in. REALLY pleased with the results. A little crumbly, I guess because of the reduced honey and possibly I didn’t squish them quite enough, but very tasty, and not crumbly in a dissolve-in-your-hand kind of way, just enough to require a plate so you don’t shed oats everywhere. Will definitely make these again. Thinking chopped-up dried mango would go very well… mmm.

  150. hillarybug

    I made these exactly as written here (unusual for me), and they are very tasty. However, mine are pretty crumbly; I wasn’t able to get neat bars. This could have been for any number of reasons: maybe I didn’t press hard enough (next time I’ll try the rolling pin suggestion from another commenter), maybe it was the strange texture of the honey I used, or maybe I didn’t bake long enough. Nevertheless, the flavor is excellent and I will likely make these again.

  151. Fayet

    What a great recipe! As I’m a fan of all things granola those will def. be made in my kitchen very soon. Like, this weekend. Or even tomorrow. I’ll substitute the wheat germ with sunflower seeds, as I can’t imagine for the live of me where I could buy wheat germ – and I’ve never even heard of it before…
    Congrats for your baby!

  152. I’ve been a quiet admirer of your site for a month or more, eagerly checking out your site as part of my daily ritual of readings. Of course, I’m a foodie…
    Enough said. I made the granola bars yesterday, but as usual, substituted a few things through need or want. We had pistachios as the only nut in the house. Dates and chopped apricots worked for fruit. No wheat bran, but I had chia seed and flax seed. The main problem — they didn’t stay together very well, but crumbled. Still delicious. I think with the extra seediness I might have needed more honey. Also, I didn’t have parchment so went with foil and I think that tends to stick a bit more.

  153. Debra

    LOVE this recipe! I made it this weekend, it was so easy, and so yummy. And quite versatile, too – you can change up the nuts and fruit for whatever you are craving. After I read your post I saw Ina make hers on the Food Network. She used dates in the mix, which sent me running to the store to buy some! I love that they are not too sweet, also – I even added some extra salt because there is something about salty oatmeal that I cannot resist. Thanks for another great recipe, Deb!

  154. Rupi D.

    I made these this past weekend and we’ve been eating them anytime we need a snack! I used walnuts, cranberries, currants and raisins. Thanks for the recipe!

  155. SaraM

    I made these to take on a backpacking trip last weekend. I made up the base of oats honey etc. and split it in half- one half I added a generous amount of cinnamon and dried apples, the other half I added dried cherries and apricots.

    I don’t think I exceeded the measurement for the dried fruit, but my bars didn’t stick together very well at all…I pressed them down, baked them for the right amount of time, they were golden brown, I used parchment paper, and I waited at least 3 hours before I attempted to cut them. But they still just fell apart. They were still delicious on the trail, but I’m not sure what went wrong. Any ideas?

  156. Lara

    I just made some midnight granola bars…heavenly! I swapped out the wheat germ for ground golden flax seed and all seems to have worked well. I didn’t have enough honey so I threw some agave in the mix with success. My 2 year old and I will be eating these for days. Thank you!

  157. Marissa

    wow! Made these late last night and just had 2 big squares for breakfast. Thank you for a great reicpe. I also made the nectarine galette last week for friends and it was a huge success.
    Good luck with the last bit of the pregnancy!

  158. Erin

    To Deb and all the coconut questions, I wonder if finely shredded zuccini or carrot would make a good substitute? I am a coconut addict but maybe I’ll do a combo. Thanks to whoever suggested brown rice syrup. I like my granola bar cheeeeewwwwyyy. Good luck with the delivery!

  159. Rachael

    I tried these and loved them! Only problem was that they were very crumbly and many of the squares I cut would not stay together, suggestions anyone?

  160. Talia

    Baked them yesterday using date syrup (known as Silan in hebrew), cranberries and a teaspoon of cinnamon. My kids couldn’t stop eating them!

  161. Natalie

    I made these yesterday and substituted flax seed for wheat germ because that’s what I had in the house. Sadly, mine did not stick together as bars so I just declared it granola. And a very tasty granola it is.

  162. I tried this today without the brown sugar and butter. The sweetness is just perfect. But some of my bars were a bit too crumbly and fell apart. The other side of the pan was better. Maybe I didn’t press hard enough? Maybe next time I will use a big flat spatula and press down on that.

  163. Lea

    These look so delicious, can’t wait to make them…anybody added chocolate? Have been reading for years but lately too lazy to comment from an iPhone…congrats on the coming baby and take full advantage of those cooking grandmas while you have the chance! Actually, take advantage of them being there so you can cook a full recipe without interruption or mishap.

  164. Kim

    I have a question for you concerning the granola bars.

    I tried this recipe and double checked to make sure i put all ingredients in, but when i baked them and let them cool (for longer than a couple minutes) it came out be granola not bars. HELP! Did I not bake long enough? Or can I add something to make them stick together better. I used 9 by 13 if that is an issue.
    Thank Kim

  165. Sara

    I made these and they are amazing – thanks so much for posting this. I do havea confession to make though…I know healthy was part of the point, and I’m all for healthy, but…I added some chocolate chips. Yum.

  166. Gracie B.

    I made these yesterday and I’m a convert. I will NEVER buy granola bars ever again. I added the brown sugar, but not the butter. Mine are on the chewy side will a little crunch (especially since I just chopped up whole almonds). Also I used flax seeds rather than wheat germ. Also since I like things a little salty, I added probably too much salt…but they’re really good – kinda like a clif mojo bar

  167. shannon

    it’s a little worrisome/stressful to try out a recipe that has so many ways it could go not as expected! after spending way too much money on dried fruit (who knew a cup of dried cherries would be almost $8!?!) i must admit i had a little too much hope riding on these little what would hopefully be granola bars, and not just granola cereal. also, it definitely didn’t help that there was no parchment paper anywhere in the house. next time (if there is a next time) i will have to invest in some parchment paper as it was quite the adventure cutting them out of the pan. i sure hope they are worth all the mishaps!

  168. My boyfriend suggested just last week that “we” should try making granola bars sometime. They served him homemade granola bars as an afternoon snack at a company function he intended and he was hooked. So thank you for the recipe. I, that is, we will give it a try soon.

  169. alix

    i made the granola bars and the first time they stuck together and quickly became loose granola. the second time i added a bit more honey and cooked them a little longer than the recipe states. i also didn’t have wheat germ and instead ground up some hazelnuts. also, i cut the fruit into smaller pieces the second time around and i think that helped too because the second batch was bar like. hope that helps some of you.

  170. jill

    made these today as exactly as written(cooked on the longer side if 25-30 mins) and they’re wonderful. i was very careful to press them in well before and after baking. they’re sticking together although not super crunchy but kinda crunchy/chewey. yummy. the kids and hubs love them.

  171. Tric

    Yum! I have been looking for the perfect granola bar recipe, and I think this is it! I ended up using a mixture of brown rice syrup and maple syrup (in equal measure) in place of the honey. I also added about 1 cup of crisped brown rice, in addition to the other ingredients. They turned out great!!

  172. These were amazing. They really did not have any sort of coconut flavor whatsoever… no one even guessed it was in there, for everyone out there who is scared to put it in. Also, I tried to cut them too early and they were really crumbly, but once I actually let them cool, they held together very well.

  173. Thanks so much for this! A while ago made another version based on Ina’s recipe, but it was actually more sweet than her original. I made your version today and love that it isn’t so sweet. With all that dried fruit, it doesn’t need brown sugar. I thought I pressed really hard, but they didn’t cut very nice. Next time I may refrigerate before cutting. I’d like to have them good looking enough to give away.

    Good luck with the baby. How exciting! Love the idea of bringing goodies for the hospital staff.

  174. gentlekath

    These were a disaster for me! I forgot to put parchment down. My advice: DONT FORGET PARCHMENT! Of course it wouldnt come out of the pan…so I had crunch it all up to get it out and I made homeade granola cereal. Which is fabulous in itself!

  175. Susie

    I have been making this recipe for the last year following Ina Garten’s recipe. It is excellent and wouldn’t change a thing in her recipe. I use chopped dates, apricots and cranberries. Dried blueberries would also be good with it and adding some flax seeds to it would be it extra healthy.

  176. Maggie

    I’ve made these twice. The first time, they were chewy and moist but fell apart and wouldn’t take any sort of shape (I.E. “bar”) when cut. Tonight, I made them again for a friend’s birthday. I used part honey, part maple syrup; 1/4 C wheat germ and 1/4 flax seeds; I added chocolate (duh!) and only used dried cranberries; and before toasting, I put the dry ingredients in a food processor for a quick second, so as to make the final moist product adhere better, and easier to cut (I ran into problems cutting the first batch when I hit huge nuts and clumps). They came out chocolatey and crispy and shaped like bars! I’ve been snacking on broken bits with cold milk. Fantastic, friends.

  177. erin

    I made these with agave, ground flaxseed and I tablespoon of brown sugar and they turned out great! I am going on a trip next week with a dance company and am already planning my next batch (cherry/ chocolate or I really like the idea or petipas and maple). As for cutting, I let mine cool for the two hours and then I stuck them in the freezer for about five hours. Cutting them required quite a bit of force, but I got neat rectangles. Thanks Deb!

  178. I know I’m a little late, but I just made these and they are fabulous! I used the Honolulu Mix from Gourmet Garage (minus the nuts) for the dried fruit, which goes well I think with the coconut. I left out the butter and extra sugar and they are plenty sweet! Thank you!

  179. Jamie

    I am in love with this recipe. I add walnuts, macadamia nuts and ground flax and subtracted the coconut. I found this website 5 days ago and have made about a dozen recipes already. Thank you so much Deb!

  180. I just saw what Jamie posted and it reminded me that I skipped the wheat germ altogether for just flax seed meal. It ended up more crumbly than what’s in the pics, but still the taste is great. And it makes them super filling!

  181. DIANE

    Yummy, these are soooo delicious. I used carob chips, walnuts and flax. I am so glad I doubled the recipe because they are going to disappear fast. So much healthier than store bought. Excelent recipe, thanks for sharing.

  182. Katie

    These are GREAT! I used flax seed and no parchment paper – just make sure to grease the pan with a good coat of butter. They came out without a problem, held together nicely, and taste amazing. Slightly sweet and so good. Great on the go breakfast or anytime snack.

  183. I’m visiting your site for the very first time today, linked from Shim & Sons, and I was able to go out and get all the ingredients for these bars a few hours ago!

    I used 1-1/2 cups of coconut flakes since I love coconut and I did not put in any nuts. I used a little under 1-1/4 cups raisins plus a little more than 1/4 cup of diced dried papaya and apricot. I also subbed puffed brown rice as someone suggested for the wheat germ. Last, I used 1/3 cup agave nectar and 1/3 cup maple syrup. I recently started eating mostly/only whole, all-natural and if possible all organic foods, so I’ve been looking for recipes (especially sweet ones, since I still crave sugar) that don’t use processed sugar and use natural sweeteners instead.

    I just pulled them out of the oven and I don’t think it’s going to stick at all as a bar. But I’ve tasted it and it’s AMAZING, especially the coconut. I’m thinking next time I’ll do either all maple syrup or half syrup/half honey, but I don’t think the puffed rice worked, does anyone else have other suggestions, especially for a whole food as a binder?

    But I’ll let you know if they miraculously harden!

  184. Michellers

    Made these as a healthy(er) alternative for my daughter’s snack but… she doesn’t like them. Neither does my husband, so I was forced to eat them all myself. I, too, prefer them from the freezer. Next time I would add chocolate chips and cut back on the dried fruit, which made them too sweet in that intense dried fruit kind of way.

  185. Molly

    Silly me, so excited I neglected to actually grease the parchment paper! Gave me the fun activity of attempting to remove all that paper from the bottom of my granola bars, which are now chewy clumps of relatively paper free granola. Not my plan, but hopefully delicious nonetheless.

  186. Lisa

    Made these today, with some modifications of course (I can never seem to stick to a recipe, no matter how hard I try… although I don’t try very hard – and being a student doesn’t seem to help, since I never have the right ingredients!)

    I don’t have nuts, dried fruit, or coconut (my pantry is in need of replenishment), but I did have sunflower seeds, so I used those. And although you have an aversion to putting fat in your granola bars, I did add some organic coconut oil – which added a little bit of coconut flavour (and good fats!).
    Also, I didn’t have any wheat germ, so I used whole wheat flour instead – and with great success!!

    They came out perfectly, and are they ever delicious! Thank you!

  187. These were fabulous! I love your blog. My husband had been asking if I could make homemade granola bars, so when I saw your recipe I just had to try it. My husband’s allergic to tree nuts, so I substituted 1 cup of sunflower seeds for the almonds. I also cut back the honey slightly, I filled the 1/3 cup all the way the first time and maybe 1/2 way for the second third, but then I was worried about the bars falling apart so I threw in a tablespoon of black strap molasses (I had it in the pantry). I did end up using the butter from the original recipe and I only used raisins because I didn’t have any other dried fruit in the house. I just wanted to share, because they were so good. Also, I noticed that other people were wondering about cutting back on the honey and subs for the almonds. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  188. Nina

    I made mine with pumpkin seeds, candied ginger, cranberries and flax seed. This was so amazingly delicious and perfect that I will never buy granola again. But it never really made it into ‘bar’ form, even having followed all the tricks. That’s okay, I’m more of a granola+yogurt person anyway. MAN, this is delicious.

  189. Just made these with 1/2 cup honey and T. or so of brown sugar and were sweet enough for me. Used 2T butter as well, and they held together just fine. My post-baby freezer stash thanks you.

  190. Joy

    amazingly i just read through all of the comments. i wanted to find all the secrets. so far i’ve learned: it’s important to press press press before and after baking, wheat germ can be substituted with flax seed meal, you can reduce the honey to 1/2 a cup, instead of the coconut just add more oats/fruit/nuts, and maybe on the second go i’ll try putting these in muffin tins as #202 suggested. i’m going to make these tomorrow, will report on my success!

  191. Tanya

    Love it! We will probably never buy granola again. I love that its so flexible. I skipped the butter, added more fruit (raisins, dates, apricots), skipped the sugar and only added 1/2 cup of honey because that was all we had and it is plenty sweet. I also replaced the wheat germ with rice krispies because I couldn’t find it. Thanks for the recipe!

  192. Cristina

    Hi everyone! Just made these with the sesame seeds (as suggested by Deb, just in case you didn’t have wheat germ around) and it turned out great. It does have a sesame-y flavour though, which may be a different result compared to wheat germ (I suspect the germ is more flavour-neutral as a binder). This is definitely not a bad thing if you like sesame, and I found that with the honey the taste is similar to sesame snaps. I would also suggest to toast the sesame seeds lightly on the stove-top – it adds a nice complexity of flavour.

  193. Francheska

    I made these last week and they’re already over even though the little honey I added made them all crumbly, I gave half of it to my sister cause shes on a diet and her hubbie loved it, he says it makes his bowels…”active” ahem, Anyway im trying it today with dried apples, cherries, blueberries and cranberries, I loved having it for breakfast with just a yogurt and coffee all this week, Contrary to what I used to think it IS filling, I’ll be making these a lot!

  194. Joy

    i made these last weekend and they are perfect!!! they’re in a container in the freezer and i eat one a day after work. Francheska, i agree! i’ve found that they’ve made me very ‘active’ too.. is that b/c of the wheat germ? regardless, they are great! i think the key to making them into bars is to remember to line the pan with parchment paper and the press press press before putting in the oven, and press press press once they come out.

  195. Hi, I just want to say I love your site. I tried the Granola Bar recipe but was looking for something like I found at Costco. It was stickier, sweeter and was more in clusters form. However, it contained sugar and I avoid sugar. Is it possible to change this recipe so that it could be like clusters? These bars are too dry for that. Also, I tried the Peanut Butter Cookies. Because of the sugar issue, (Diabetes) I substituted 3 ingredients, whole wheat flour for the white flour, NuNaturals More Fiber Baking Blend for the white sugar, and Organaic Sucanat for the brown sugar. It seemed to work. I would appreciate your suggestion. I’m not much of a cook so I don’t do substitutions on my own. All of my substitutions are equal quantities. Thanks, Gloria

  196. Rosemary

    Yum! I just made these with a few alterations and came out with some delicious results… they are so tasty I thought I must share! Instead of using all honey, I used 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup rose petal preserves, used dates for the dried fruit, and subbed pistachios for the almonds. I added a few dashes of cardamom and a sprinkle of cinnamon along with the vanilla extract… and the blend of coconut, dates, pistachios and rose with a hint of spice and just enough sweet makes for a magical one-of-a-kind granola bar. Also, I found it useful to put them in the fridge for a few hours before slicing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  197. Earthstar

    I went out and bought wheat germ specifically to use in this recipe, then forgot to use it. The granola still turned out okay, probably a bit more crumbly than intended, but still solid enough to cut into squares.

  198. Absolutely delicious. Really chewy, almost too chewy. I kept them in the refrigerator, but i never had the patience to let them warm up to room temp before i ate them. My right jaw is still a little sore…

  199. colleen

    My sons and I made these today using dark chocolate chips and dried cherries. I also added a big scoop of vanilla protein powder and next time would skip the sugar entirely – sweet, gooey and perfect eaten warm with vanilla ice cream! Thanks!

  200. I’ve been meaning to make these, oh.. since you were still pregnant! I just got around to it yesterday and they were great! I made a lot of changes (I can never help myself…) I’m allergic to nuts, so in their place I used half a cup of sesame/poppy seeds and an additional half cup of oats. I cut the honey down to half a cup and added a (tiny) free range egg for more sticking power. As part of the dried fruit, I used about a half cup of unsweetened flaked coconut (or at least I think that’s what it’s called, I live in Chile where it goes by “coco slice”) to cut down on the sugar a bit more and to add more coconut flavor. They turned out great! I prefer them stored at room temp, rather than in the freezer, as they are barely barely sweet and I think they need a bit of chewiness so that they don’t feel too much like crunchy bricks of fiber. I was surprised by how strongly the sesame flavor came through, which was great, because I love sesame. Cutting them into bars was quite a workout after they had been in the freezer, but they stayed together well, plus I was left with about a cup of granola. Thanks for this great recipe!

  201. Stiffler

    I made the granola bars according to Ina’s recipe. They are good but rather sweet. i think i will try again by omitting the sugar (and maybe the butter too). Thanks for adapting and sharing your results.

  202. Ashley McKee

    My sisters tried this recipe just after I had my wisdom teeth removed and called to tell me how wonderful they were (JERKS!). Can’t wait to heal completely so I can make a batch myself!

  203. ruma

    hi deb i am from india. Have recently started visiting ur blog and tried a couple of recipes. and must say they have come out very well. I wanted to try out granola bar but m confused really. Read the other recipe also of chewy granola well first thing what is the difference between regular oats, rolled oats and oatmeal. We just get quaker oats here in india. So how can i use the regular oats in this recipe. What do we sub cornsyrup with. We do not get wheat germ here in india so will swap it with flax seeds or sesame seeds. Please reply as have bought all the other ingredients n I am not sure what to do with the oatmeal.

  204. Erica

    These look great! I have been looking to make my own granola/bars as everything in the store is loaded with sugar and corn syrup… do you think that quick-cooking oats would work in these, or will they turn to mush? I have the quick-cooking ones for fast breakfasts and cookies, but no regular oatmeal on hand

  205. Britt

    Love this recipe! I’ve used it three times since I came upon it, it’s so versatile with subbing ingredients depending what I’m in the mood for and I like being able to control the amount of sweetness and that I actually know what the ingredients are in them (as opposed to the store bought ones)-peanut butter is an especially good addition to these. I am also a huge fan of the chewy ones you have posted, Thanks so much!

  206. adlyn

    I’ve been searching for my ideal granola recipe and this one is actually getting to what I’m aiming for! I LOOOOVE the fact that I don’t have to use butter (or oil)! In my case, given that I’m “nuts for nuts”, I swapped the 1 1/2 cups of dried fruits for 1 1/2 cups of nuts (walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts). And I added 1/2 a tsp of cinammon: believe me, it’s got the touch! Nonetheless, mine transformed into clusters rather than granola bars, so I decided to use it for breakfast (granola mixed with plain yogurt and banana slices; one whole wheat toast with raspberry jam; freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly brewed coffee… yum!!). Next time I’ll add a tiny bit more of honey to see if I achieve those pretty bars! Thanks so much, Deb. I love your Smitten Kitchen! =)

  207. Jean

    made these today–instead of baking them, i just stirred everything together loosely and popped the mix into the freezer to use as cereal!

  208. Regina

    Hiii , Iloved your recipe
    But i have a question in the last paragraph
    For how long do i have to leave them in the freezer?
    Thankyou , Ill be waiting for your answer

  209. ruma

    Hey Deb, cant thank u enough for a wonnnnnderful granola bar. I am a no cook just learning and this recipe worked wonders…my husband and i just love it. excellent. Thanks a ton Deb. This is just perfect. I make it every week. thank u. and love ur recipes.

  210. Great recipe, Deb, thanks so much! after two failures with other recipies i finally tried your version and voila: a great result.
    i can´t believe how easy this is and how tasty the bars are, thanks so much, this is a great addition to my go-to recipe stash..

  211. Danielle

    My bars didn’t hold together! Where did I go wrong? I used 2/3 cup of honey. And baked for 28 minutes, and let cool for 3 hours! At least I ended up with tasty granola, but was hoping for bars like the photo!

  212. Ellie

    Hey deb! Made these last week with a friend and they were delicious! I’m making another batch right now. I used ground flaxseed instead of the wheat germ, and they were delicious! I’d say it’s a great substitute. (I like wheat germ but didn’t have any on hand.)
    Danielle- Maybe you didn’t press them down hard enough?

  213. Angela

    To answer the coconut questions: my husband is allergic to coconut, so it’s a big no-go in our house. Instead, I substituted an extra 1/2 cup of oatmeal. I also halved the amount of dried fruit and they turned out crispy, very slightly sweet and slightly salty which is just what I hoped for! They easily cut into bars.

    A good cheat for pressing them into the pan: use a sheet parchment paper to mash them down…they get firmly packed and it doesn’t stick!

  214. These granola bars look fabulous – Re: whether or not to skip on the wheat germ, I’ve been dying to try chia seeds, and I think this is a great opportunity. Thanks, Deb!

  215. I just found your blog, and I am already reading through your recipe index like a book.. I love it! I completely agree with you about granola bars, they’re only good if they are hearty and healthy and not to sweet. Otherwise it’s an afternoon dessert not a snack. These look amazing, I’m planning on making a big batch to bring to school.

  216. julie s

    These are delicious! I made them last night (exactly as written) and had some for breakfast this morning. Two of the bars in the middle of the pan crumbled a bit on the bottom (I guess I need to work on my press, press, pressing) but otherwise they turned out perfectly! Thanks for another terrific, go-to recipe!

  217. Emma

    Completely brilliant recipe. Added a few tablespoons of high quality unsweetened cocoa to add an anxtioxidant boost to the mix. Already had home made muesli and just had to mix it up with the honey and bake!
    Thanks for posting all these recipes.

  218. Jody

    Love this recipe! I made it 3 times already and varied eacg one just a little. Each turned out great! I used PB2 (powdered peanut butter) instead and added flax seed meal. Yummy! I also made them gluten free. So easy and I am already thinking of different dried fruit combinations. Thanks!!

  219. Emily

    I love this recipe!! I am 39 weeks pregnant, and have been trying to fill up the pantry with healthy stuff. I don’t think I pressed them enough before baking, so the ones that crumbled ended up as granola for my yogurt. I can’t wait to make them again. Thank you!!

  220. Zoe

    My granola bars taste delicious! One question — they stuck to the parchment paper. How can I prevent this in the future?

  221. Claire

    I made this yesterday with the edits of no nuts, but 1C each of pepitas and sunflower seeds instead, I dropped the coconut to 2/3C, added 2/3C sesame seeds and 6 squares of Lindt 70%. Beautiful! I think next time for fat reasons I will take out %25-%50 and increase the oats by an extra cup. Probably won’t be as nice, but I cut my bars into probably near in 30 pieces and only 3 of them has used up all of my fat allowance for the day and then some.

  222. Pat

    I have used Ina Gartens recipe for a year and bake it in a spring form pan lined with foil that I have used pan spray on instead of the parchament.

  223. David Hoffman

    I’ve been playing around with this recipe off and on since last fall, trying to figure out how to get them to hold together better without adding a ton of additional fat, sugar or oil. After trying a half-dozen different additions, I think I finally hit on a combination that works, at least for me. I melted a scant half-cup of honey and a cup of almond butter over low heat until thoroughly combined, added the vanilla extract, and mixed it all with the rest of the dry ingredients still warm from the oven — it worked like a charm! And if you’re concerned about overall fat content of the bars, you can cut out the cup of sliced almonds. I’m sure cashew butter or peanut butter would work just as well…

  224. Kathryn

    I’ve tried this recipe with both wheat germ and whole wheat flour, and I find the flour helps the bars stick together much much better! I love them both ways though. What a great recipe. I make them every week!

  225. Lucy

    I made these this morning and they are great. I love the fact that they are not full of sugar and butter – a virtuous flapjack! They are quite dry and crumbly, so I may increase the honey a little next time, but it doesn’t matter, as I am quite happy to eat in bits, and can sprinkle on yogurt for breakfast!

  226. Michelle

    So excited I found this recipe! I made it today and used dried cherries and raisins for the fruit, ground flax seed instead of wheat germ and I did use a couple tablespoons of brown sugar because I was worried it wouldn’t be sweet enough (I needn’t have worried…next time I’ll leave it out). I wrapped each of them individually and put the ones I’m not going to use in the next few days in a freezer bag in the freezer to pop in my work lunches over the next few weeks. So excited! None of my kids like dried fruit, though, so I’d like to try this with a bit of chocolate chips and maybe graham cracker crumbs as a binder and for flavor. The possibilities are endless!!

  227. Maryam

    Just tried your recipe for granola bars with a few changes: 1T of maple syrup (didn’t have enough honey), peanut butter morsels and grated apple(bad choice, it was too tart) and pecans. Next time I make this recipe again (which will be this weekend) I’m doubling the amount of morsels and pecans!! My husband loves this recipe! Thanks!!!!!

  228. Anna

    Sadly, these were impossible to cut, even though I followed the recipe to the letter. I’m left with a jar of sticky bits, so I can’t take them into work, but I’m sure they won’t go into trash.

  229. Lauren

    I didn’t care for these. The honey and dried fruits both baked up into a tough, gummy bar with a very unsatisfying texture. Especially disappointing as I had to go to two stores to track down wheat germ! This produced 12 BIG bars, but I don’t know that they will get eaten, and I find myself wishing I had just made my standard granola recipe.

  230. Jean

    Made these for the office and home and big hit. I basically cleaned out my pantry so had a little bit of dates, dried cherries, dried mangoes, golden raisins and dried plums. Came out great. A good trick I thought from my rice krispie days, is to use wax paper to cover the mixture in the pan and then press down – it was super easy and no sticky fingers. I also cut them into 1.5 in. squares and called them “Breakfast Granola Squares” when I left them out for the office. I like little bites and then more to share. Am considering swearing off the commercial stuff for my daughter’s lunchbox in the fall. These were so easy and so much better tasting, besides leaving out the preservatives and other fillers. p.s. I LOVE the coconut.

  231. Jean

    p.p.s. I didn’t use parchment paper – just buttered pyrex and they came out fine. I was able to get a spatula under the whole bar to lift it out onto a cutting board before I cut them into squares. I thought risky but it worked!

  232. Kelly

    I’m late to this party, but just made these and am squealing with delight! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

    I misunderstood the directions and only put parchment paper down for the first round in the oven, not the baking of the bars with honey. They popped out of the pan fine just the same. The granola still seemed very loose when I took them out of the oven, so I found it helpful to press them down with a plastic potato masher the moment they came out of the oven to pack them down for good measure.

  233. I used unsalted pistachios, slivered almonds, flaxseed and sesame seeds and only about 5 dried apricots (not a fan of dried fruit). They came out great! Chewy, just as described. I would actually have liked them even less sweet, might replace the two tablespoons of syrup with butter next time.

  234. Just realised I posted the above comment for the wrong granola bar – I meant these! Also heads-up: They (the other granola bars) are not posted in the category “Bar Cookies”. Might be an idea :)

  235. neha gattani

    Debby, I am making the granola bar recipe you have in your cookbook. Can you please tell whether I should use Toasted Almond Butter or Raw Almond Butter? Thanks.

  236. Shanon

    This is literally the only thing I have made from this site that didn’t turn out at all. They didn’t hold together, and the only substitution I made was applesauce for oil. I’m going to chalk it up to that! I even – seriously – placed a pan on top of the bars and weighted it down with cans – overnight. They came completely apart. Tasty though!

    Think I’ll try my hand at the other recipe.

    1. Sarah

      This recipe has no oil, so you must have meant to comment on the thick, chewy granola bars (different recipe on this site). Also, subbing cooked fruit for fat is a major change, not a minor one. It’s not the recipe’s fault if it doesn’t work when you don’t follow it.

  237. Hi Deb!
    I LOVE the cookbook so much!
    I have just made the almond date breakfast bars, which are similar, to these. What would you think about the addition of an egg to the wet ingredients? Do you think it would serve to hold them together better? or make them tough?
    Thanks very much, Helen

  238. andrea

    These re delicious, too bad that my family prefers crunchy and not chewy but i loved them, it was suppoused that i bake them so they lasted all week long xD but only a few survived

  239. Kate

    I nixed the dried fruit and added 1/3 cup of tahini. It makes the bars super nutty, rather than just sweet and oatey. I also used flax meal instead of wheat germ, and it worked great! I have made them twice, worked fantastic both times! Thanks so much for the recipe.

  240. Kay Lynn

    I’ve been trying to email this recipe to myself, but it keeps making me re-enter the verification code. Thought maybe someone else was having that problem….oh well, I’ll just remember and come back to it.

  241. I just made these with brown rice syrup instead of honey and some butter. I don’t know why I put butter in, I just felt the deep need. With chocolate chips on top. Very chewy and perfect. I love your site, it makes me get all pumped up about cooking.

  242. irini

    Hi Deb i made the bars last night and they are awesome When i went to cut them they crumble what did i do wrong? I used rolled oats instead of old fashioned otherwise i follow the recipe.Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

    1. deb

      irini — I think granola bars are just very prone to crumbling. Did they seem too dry? Perhaps warming them a little (just a little) before cutting would help next time. I hope they are at least still tasty.

  243. Sunny

    Late to the party but thought I’d add, I just made the granola in the cookbook for the first time yesterday and I’m hooked, can’t wait to try this. I didn’t have wheat germ either, but I’m itching to get some of the blueberry ground flax seed they have at Trader Joe’s which I’ve loved in the past (a nice boost and crunch on pb&j sandwiches!).

  244. I just recently started making my own Homemade Granola Bars… Dates w/ Almonds & Walnuts w/ Cranberries – Both w/ Lots of different combinations of Seeds. Pumpkin, Flax, Chia, Hemp, Sunflower. Instead of Honey – I used Agave Syrup w/ Brown Rice Syrup & Organic Maple Syrup, & Old Fashioned Peanut Butter. These were Very Tasty w/ the P-Nut Butter… But Can’t wait to Try this Recipe w/out it. It Looks & Sounds Positively Scrummy ( Dame Edna)
    Nothing Compares to the Homemade Bars….

  245. Mary

    Hello! Does anyone know if I can use quick cook oats (the ones that you only have to microwave for a minute to make oatmeals) or does it have to be old fashioned roll oats? Thank you!

  246. Em

    I made these this morning, in a quest to replace the granola bars I love that are suddenly way more expensive. I made 2/3 of the batch as written (1 cup of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of raisins for the fruit) and 1/3 with the addition of two scoops of vegan protein powder. Both taste amazing, but the ones with protein powder were WAY easier to get out of the pan and held together way better when I was cutting them. Maybe I underbaked the non-protein powder ones a little. Anyway, it seems like adding a little of some powdered ingredient makes the honey into more of a glue. I’m excited to try the other granola bar recipes on here too.

  247. Tessin

    Hi! I love your blog – thank you for sharing so many amazing recipes. I wanted to share my granola recipe with you because, in my experience, fat doesn’t prevent clumping. Here it is:
    Makes one half-sheet pan
    Heat oven to 325
    Line your half-sheet pan with a sturdy liner, not parchment paper
    Melt together over low heat:
    A heaping 1/2 cup coconut oil (I usually double this recipe and would estimate I use as much as 1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cup, so it’s heaped pretty well.)
    1/2 cup honey
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    2-3 tsp vanilla

    Mix in a big bowl:
    6 cups oats
    1 cup sliced almonds
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1 1/4 tsp salt

    Beat two egg whites with a fork and set aside. (I sometimes just throw in a whole egg, but when I double the recipe and use only whites, sometimes I am forced to make pudding with the yolks!)

    Add your syrup to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly, moistening all ingredients. The add the egg whites and mix thoroughly again. Spread evenly on prepared pan. Bake 30 min (if doubling the recipe, I rotate pans at 15 min). Stir, spread, and return the pan to the oven for 15 min. Stir again and bake for 10 minutes. Stir again and bake for 5 minutes. Continue stirring at 3-5 minute intervals (closer together toward the end) until the granola is a nice dark-ish golden brown, possibly 2-4 more times – I don’t usually count! Let it cool on the pans, and you should get some nice chunks. Add any dried fruit you like at this point!
    Hope you enjoy!