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Loaded with texture, crunch and bursts of sweetness, these homemade vegan granola bars are easy to make and a zillion time better than anything you can buy at the store!
Okay, question: can you even buy granola bars at the store? I legitimately don’t know.
I mean, I know there are plenty of granola bars available, but I’m guessing most of them contain honey, and probably a few have dairy as well. I’m also guessing you can get vegan ones at places like Whole Foods, but I didn’t check.
In fact, I haven’t really looked at granola bars at the supermarket in years, because they’re my weakness. I know if I buy a box I’ll gobble them all up in like, 24 hours.
So what did I do? I just went ahead and made my own vegan granola bars, with my own recipe. Smart.
And to my dismay, these things were way more addictive than store-bought granola bars. SO GOOD! I have no plans on making them regularly because I sure can’t resist them.
So take that as fair warning. If you’re a snack bar addict like me, maybe hold off on making these until you have a special occasion where you can feed them all to other people, like taking them to your kids’ soccer practice for teammates…that kind of thing.
But definitely save one for yourself.
- Ingredients You’ll Need
- How They’re Made
- Shelf-Life & Storage
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Sweet Vegan Snacks
- The Best Vegan Granola Bars
Ingredients You’ll Need
There are lots of options for substitutions in this recipe, so feel free to customize it to suit your taste!
- Rolled oats. Quick oats should also work, but the texture may be slightly different.
- Creamy almond butter. Another nut butter could be used, such as peanut butter. Use tahini or sunflower seed butter for nut-free granola bars. Whatever you use, make sure it’s creamy (not crunchy) and of the natural type (runny, and not semi-solid like conventional peanut butters).
- Brown rice syrup. This particular ingredient is non-negotiable. Brown rice syrup is thicker than other liquid sweeteners, so it’s necessary to help bind our vegan granola bars together. Look for it near the other sweeteners or in the natural foods section of your supermarket.
- Vanilla extract.
- Ground cinnamon.
- Almonds. You can substitute your favorite type of nut here. Cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts would all be excellent. Try sunflower seeds for nut-free bars.
- Vegan mini chocolate chips. I used Enjoy Life brand.
- Dried cranberries. Or your favorite dried fruit! Raisins, cherries, apricots (chopped), and black currants would all work.
How They’re Made
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Briefly toast your oats in the oven. Spread them on a baking sheet and pop them into a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.
- They won’t look much different when they’re done — maybe a smidge darker. But toasting will bring out their flavor and enhance their texture.
- Stir your almond butter, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
- Now add your dry ingredients: oats, almonds, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries.
- Mix it up! This can take some elbow grease. I start by stirring, but then dig in with my hands. You want the ingredients to be nice and evenly distributed.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan that’s been lined with parchment paper. Use a lot of pressure. I like to place a sheet of parchment paper on top, then use a flat object such as a cookbook to press down on the mixture to get the top nice and even.
- Let the granola bar mixture sit in the pan until the bars are set. This should only take an hour or so, unless it’s very warm in your kitchen.
- Once the mixture feels set, pull up on the parchment paper liner to release the mixture from the pan. Slice it into bars and enjoy!
Shelf-Life & Storage
Store your homemade vegan granola bars in an airtight container or sealed bag.
They’ll keep at room temperature for about 1 week, in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are these granola bars gluten-free?
They are if you use certified gluten-free oats!
Do I need to chill the granola mixture in the pan in order for it to set?
You shouldn’t, unless it’s very warm in your kitchen. You can optionally place it in the fridge it to speed up the setting process.
Can I use maple syrup (or agave, or coconut nectar) instead of brown rice syrup?
Please don’t! Brown rice syrup is the only sweetener I’ve found that’s thick enough to really hold these bars together.