Super chewy, soft granola bars loaded with coconut flakes and chocolate chips- super easy and taste amazing!
I was so excited to find a great granola bar recipe online that I could easily adapt to our tastes. I was buying the more expensive granola bars with better ingredients for my kids lunches, and at almost $4 a box this was too much for my budget. These are made at a fraction of the cost. I buy organic oatmeal and unsweetened coconut at my local co-op for a great price and with just a few minutes of time each week, I have homemade granola bars for my kids snacks.
These granola bars are very versatile and can be made with coconut oil or butter, whatever you prefer. You can also experiment and tailor these to your taste, using different add ins like almonds, seeds, other types of chips or dried fruit. Just keep the ratios similar and the sugar, honey and butter or coconut oil the same. My kids love these (so do I) and we all think they are way better than the boxed ones!
I changed the recipe just a bit from the original- I increased the salt and vanilla a bit, tried coconut oil in place of butter and changed the method just a touch. I also used different add ins for this recipe but have also tried and enjoyed the original add ins (almonds, dried fruit and chocolate chips). The coconut oil in place of the butter has worked very well for me but I will have to see how they hold up in a heat wave since coconut oil is liquid when warm! But you can just refrigerate them if they get too soft or use butter instead.
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut (can use shredded, I have just used the bigger flakes)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil OR unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (if you only have table salt use 1/4 tsp)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place oats on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until lightly toasted. If desired, you can also toast the coconut at this time with the oats- just watch carefully as coconut can burn easy. Place the oats and coconut in a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan by lining it with foil or parchment paper and then lightly grease.
- In a medium saucepan, combine honey, coconut oil OR butter, brown sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until butter melts and bring to a low boil. Allow to boil, while stirring, for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour hot mixture over the oatmeal/coconut mixture in the bowl. Stir until well combined and everything is coated with the sugar/butter mixture.
- Let the mixture sit for about 8 to 10 min, stirring occasionally, before quickly stirring in the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. The mixture will still be warm but not so hot that the chips completely melt- they will melt a bit which just helps hold bars together.
- Scrape the mixture into your prepared pan then, using a rubber spatula or a lightly greased piece of parchment paper/foil press the mixture firmly into the pan. Take your time here and really press the mixture in so you have cohesive granola bars once cooled and cut. Then spread remaining 2 Tbsp of chocolate chips on top and gently press in. Cover the pan and place in refrigerator until cooled and set, about 2 hours.
- Remove pan from refrigerator and remove granola from pan using the foil/parchment lining. Then gently peel off the parchment paper/foil. Cut into 12 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. (they can be stored in the fridge but they will be a less chewy texture).
- **gluten free if you use gluten free oats**
- You can also add 1/2 cup chopped almonds or substitute the almonds for the coconut if desired- just toast the almonds along with the oats.
- Just use your imagination and add in whatever you like (other nuts, dried fruit, other flavored chips, or seeds) to make your own creation, just keep the ratios basically the same same.