Chewy Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola Bars are a healthier version of packaged granola bars with an even better taste!
Listen guys. I am having to get creative with the snack and lunch foods around here. Gone are the days where I could heat up leftover dinner and feed it to my kids for lunch. This whole school thing where I actually have to pack a lunch is a whole new world for me. Perhaps you can tell by my recent burst of snack/lunch items, that I am really trying to give my kids healthy food without breaking the bank. I’ve been dreaming up these granola bars all summer, and I finally decided to try them last week.
It didn’t go so well at first…… It was actually really bad.
I wanted a no bake recipe, one that would come together in 10 minutes. Well, my original recipe fell apart. It wouldn’t bind, I had the wrong size pan, I even tried baking it, and nothing worked. It happens. I was bummed because the mixture was sooooo good! I decided to freeze it, and we’ve used it as some pretty delicious granola. But the second time was a charm. I learned from all of my mistakes.
These delicious bars were born and will now be in a regular rotation of goodies to make. Here’s what I love about them: healthy ingredients, delicious taste, they took less than 10 minutes, and they are much cheaper than those $1.50 bars you buy at the store. Are you sold yet? My kids are, and that’s what matters here. They’ve had them in their lunchbox both days this week, and told me it was the best part of lunch. Those compliments make me happy 🙂
To start, all we do is whip place most of our dry ingredients into a bowl:
I don’t have the chocolate chips in this photo because I didn’t want the chocolate to melt. They were added last. The dry ingredients include: oats, chia seeds, dried quinoa, almonds, coconut chips, and cherries. And the most important of them all: chocolate chunks. The wet ingredients that bind the bars are just almond butter, honey, and coconut oil. These three ingredients are heated together, and mixed into the dry ingredients. Press it all together in a pan, and this is what you get!
A few important notes about this recipe: Use an 8×8 square pan (not a 9×13), make sure you really press the mixture into the pan, so it’s very firm, and refrigerate for a few hours to let it all set.
Chewy Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola Bars
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats Gluten Free kind
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup dried quinoa seeds
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
- 1/4 cup coconut chips or flakes
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup honey
Begin by greasing an 8x8 inch cake pan, and adding parchment paper that hangs over the sides (like a sling).
Place oats, chia seeds, quinoa, almonds, coconut chips, and cherries in a large bowl and mix.
In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together honey and almond butter. Microwave at 30 second intervals until mixture is nice and smooth. Add in vanilla and cinnamon. Let cool for a few minutes.
Mix together the wet ingredients with the dry. Once mixed, add in chocolate chips.
Bring the entire mixture to the 8x8 pan. Press mixture down very firmly against all edges of the pan. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Remove parchment paper sling with bar mixture, and cut into bars or small squares.