These healthy granola bars are packed with good-for-you ingredients, like oats, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds to provide healthy macro and micronutrients to fuel your day. Plus, these healthy snack bars are refined sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan!
Super Customizable Healthy Homemade Granola Bars
It’s time to ditch ‘convenient’ store-bought granola bars loaded with sugar, empty calories, and preservatives from your meal plan. Instead, replace them with easy homemade healthy granola bars that fuel your body with great macro and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Plus, with only a few minutes to prep these healthy snack bars, you’ll never need (or want) to buy them again!
These naturally vegan granola bars are a nutritional powerhouse with a combination of ingredients that provide plenty of fiber, plant-based protein, and healthy fats. That’ll keep you satisfied until your next meal and way from that bag of chips! Plus, the nutty, chewy, sweet combination is perfect for those who have a breakfast or snacking sweet tooth (adults and kids).
These muesli bars are also made primarily of inexpensive pantry staples, helping you save money and be in 100% control of the ingredients used. And did I mention they’re super versatile too? In fact, there are hundreds of different ingredient combinations and mix-ins you can play around with!
Best of all, once these homemade granola bars are prepared, they keep for up to a week at room temperature (or several months in the freezer). They also travel well, making them a perfect healthy snack for road trips and mini breaks!
I love keeping healthy snacks like these bars, healthy breakfast cookies, strawberry oatmeal bars, and lemon coconut energy balls to keep me from reaching for unhealthier choices.
With simple and versatile pantry staples, you can pull this healthy snack bar recipe together in no time.
- Oats: You’ll need rolled oats and oat flour (certified gluten-free if necessary) for these healthy granola bars. Oats will add plenty of fiber to help keep you satiated for longer. Millet or quinoa flakes might work too, but I haven’t tried it.
- Flax egg: A mix of ground flaxseed (or chia seeds) and water makes an egg substitute to bind the vegan granola bars. It also adds protein.
- Nuts/Seeds: You can use any combination of raw, unsalted nuts and/or seeds. I.e., sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc. These will add plenty of omega-3s and plant-based protein.
- Tahini: Tahini provides more binding, with a creamy, slightly bitter flavor as well as protein and heart-healthy fats. However, any runny seed or nut butter should work. I.e., sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc. Coconut oil should work too.
- Dried fruit: I used a combination of apricots, raisins, and dried cranberries. However, any dried fruit (blueberries, apples, dates, strawberries, goji berries, etc.) will work. These add sweetness and various micronutrients.
- Cinnamon: For subtle additional warmth and flavor to the healthy snack bars.
- Maple syrup: Or another unrefined liquid sweetener. Like date syrup or even a sugar-free syrup for super low sugar granola bars.
- Sea salt: To balance the sweetness and enhance the various flavors within the cereal bars.
What Else Could I Add to the Vegan Granola Bars?
One of the best things about making your own homemade granola bars is how easy they are to tweak and adapt to your liking. Here are a few ingredients you could experiment with for new flavors and textures.
- Puffed quinoa or rice: To combine with the oats for extra texture, crunch, and more fiber and micronutrients in these gluten-free granola bars.
- Vanilla extract: Use a splash of pure vanilla for the best (non-artificial) flavor in these low sugar granola bars.
- Other spices: I.e., pumpkin spice is lovely for fall/winter, nutmeg, etc.
- Citrus zest: Lemon or orange zest helps to brighten and infuse the healthy granola bars with a subtle citrusy flavor.
- Shredded coconut: Use raw or lightly toasted (I prefer the latter) coconut for texture and a subtle flavor. I recommend adding just a few tbsp (2-4 tbsp).
- Dairy-free chocolate: You can either add some mini chocolate chips (sugar-free if preferred) into the homemade granola bars, drizzle vegan white chocolate or dark chocolate lightly over them, or add a handful of cacao nibs (for crunch and antioxidants but no sweetness).
- Sugar–free mini marshmallows: For a super soft, sweet element.
- Protein powder: I haven’t tried this, but I think you may be able to substitute the oat flour for protein powder. Let me know if you try it.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Healthy Granola Bars?
This easy granola bar recipe requires just a few minutes of prep before they’re ready to bake for a low-effort, high-reward snack!
- First, preheat the oven to 350 °F/175 °C and line a 7×7- inch (18 cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
- At the same time, combine the ground flaxseed and water, mixing well and setting it aside for 5 minutes to create the flax egg.
- Then, transfer all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Pour in all the wet ingredients, including the flax egg, and mix thoroughly.
Depending on the nut or seed butter you use, you may need to add more if the mixture seems too dry.
- Transfer the oat mixture to the prepared baking pan and press it firmly with a spatula to pack everything in tightly.
- Bake the vegan granola bars for 25 minutes. Then, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely before slicing it into bars.
Enjoy a healthy granola bar as a midday snack, or top it up with a piece of fruit and/or some vegan yogurt (and your morning brew) to make a healthy breakfast!
Store: Allow the healthy snack bars to cool completely and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days.
Freeze: Spread the bars across a baking tray, not touching, and freeze until solid. Then transfer to a Ziplock bag (or individually wrap each bar with plastic wrap or parchment paper). You can store the healthy granola bars in the freezer for 2-3 months, then allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight, at room temperature for several hours, or in the microwave.
Are granola bars healthy?
While many store-bought granola bars contain oats, nuts/seeds, and fruit, many are also often loaded with refined sugars (and lots of them!) and other processed and junky ingredients. In some cases, the delicious granola bar you’re eating every day is actually on par with eating a candy bar for breakfast.
Luckily, these homemade granola bars are made with only natural, wholesome ingredients, unrefined sweeteners, and plenty of macros and micronutrients to nourish and fuel your body. In fact, just one muesli bar contains 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.
Do I have to bake these vegan granola bars?
No-bake versions require a stronger binder to ‘glue’ everything together, i.e., Medjool dates and, optionally, coconut oil. As written, it’s unlikely that the bars would hold their shape. However, you can refer to my no-bake granola bars recipe!
Recipe Notes and Top Tips
- For more flavor: You could toast the nuts, seeds, and even optionally the oats in a dry skillet (or spread across a baking tray at 350 °F/175 °C for around 10 minutes) until fragrant and the oats are a slightly darker golden color.
- The yield: This easy granola bar recipe makes a small batch. Double the recipe if you have a larger, 8 or 9-inch square pan.
- To change the consistency: Reduce or increase the baking time by several minutes (3-5) for chewy vs crunchy granola bars.
- Experiment with flavors: As long as you keep the general ingredient ratios the same, there are plenty of ways to play around with the flavor of your healthy granola bar recipe. Adapt it based on the season, your budget, your macro goals, and your taste buds.
More Healthy Vegan Breakfast Recipes
- Chocolate keto chia pudding
- Healthy oatmeal chocolate chip bars
- Chocolate granola bars
- Healthy banana bread (sugar-free)
- Breakfast granola cups
- Peanut butter overnight oats
- Homemade nut-free granola
If you try this healthy vegan granola bars recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan—I love seeing them.
Healthy Granola Bar Recipe
- 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 1/4 cups (125 g) rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1/4 cup (22 g) oat flour (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 cup (150 g) nuts or seeds of choice (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 pinches of salt
- 1/2 cup (70 g) dried fruit (I used raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots)
- 1/4 cup (65 g) tahini
- 1/4 cup (85 g) maple syrup (or any other liquid sweetener)
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Line a baking pan (mine was 7x7 resp. 18x18 cm) with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
- Meanwhile, prepare the flax egg by combining the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl, mixing well, and setting it aside for 5 minutes.
- Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.
- Add in the wet ingredients (also the flax egg) and mix thoroughly.
- Transfer the mixture evenly to the lined pan and press it down firmly using a spatula.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, then let cool completely, slice into bars and enjoy!
- Oats: You could experiment with millet flakes or quinoa flakes instead of oats.
- Mix and match nuts and seeds: These healthy granola bars are super versatile, so use whatever nuts and seeds you have on hand. I used 1/2 cup (64 g) sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup (36 g) peanuts, 1/4 cup (36 g) pumpkin seeds, and 2 tbsp hemp seeds.
- For more flavor: You could toast the nuts and seeds in a dry pan until fragrant.
- The yield: This recipe makes a small batch, double the recipe if you have a larger pan like 8x8 or 9x9.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
these bars are lovely, but I didn’t put enough liquid in so very crumbley. I’ll know next time .
these were so so good! they held together beautifully. The kids ate the whole batch in one. I halved the sweetener, added a bit of erythritol instead and a dark of milk to keep the consistency without the extra maple syrup. thanks for a great recipe. Healthy and delicious
too crumbly, the bars broke and pretty much became granola. I used peanut butter and followed the recipe exactly so I guess if that’s your nut butter of choice use ALOT more.
Hey Charlotte, I never tried peanut butter, so that might be the reason. Did you melt the peanut butter, so that it was runny? Did you press the dough firmly into the pan?
I used peanut butter and they held together really well.
Hi Laura, I am so glad you liked them! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂
Absolutely delicious!!! I love that variations for this recipe are endless. Thank you Ela, another winner with my family 🙂
You are very welcome, Dana. 🙂
I made these bars and they were delicious. I added a tsp of chia seeds also.
Hi Judy, I am so glad you liked them! 🙂
Can the tahini be omitted??
I can’t do oil.
No, as it acts as a binder. Any other nut/seed butter will work.