November 16, 2011 by Flora Dawn
If you have any sort of food issues/allergies, chances are, store bought granola bars are off limits. They are chock full of nuts, seeds, fruits, and grains; and then there’s the soy, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives.
My oldest daughter has tree nut allergies, so we have always been very limited on what brands of granola bars she could eat, but then we went gluten-free, and it’s next to impossible to find gluten-free, nut-free granola bars.
Honestly, I haven’t seen any gluten-free granola bars available. And if they are available, I am guessing they cost a small fortune. I have seen cereal bars, but they aren’t exactly the same. So I knew if we wanted to eat granola bars, I would have to figure out how to make them myself.
Over the years, I have tried quite a few recipes, and some worked better than others. But truthfully, I didn’t really want them to contain marshmallows or corn syrup. Now, I am not claiming my version is healthy, because it does contain a fair amount of sugar, honey, and butter. However, it does need something to hold it together, so I tried to pick the lesser of the evils.
Today I am posting the recipe for my favorite chewy granola bars. They are fairly simple to make, and best of all, they are ready in about 30 minutes. Not only do they look cute, but they taste great too! Perfect for the lunchbox or snack.
*Oats remain a controversial subject in the gluten-free world; however, if you do include oats and oat-containing products in your gluten-free diet, I would highly recommend purchasing them from a supplier that tests them. I always buy my oats from Bob’s Red Mill although I am guessing other reputable brands exist.
They look like this when they come out of the loaf pan.
Chewy Granola Bars
- 2 cups plain gluten-free granola (here’s my recipe)
- 1 cup gluten-free crispy rice cereal (I think a corn flake type cereal would work too)
- 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional (mini-chips work best)
- Grease (or line with parchment or foil) two 9×4 loaf pans.
- In a large, heat proof bowl, combine the granola, cereal, and raisins; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved; this only takes a minute or two. Remove from heat.
- Pour the hot mixture over the granola mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly coated.
- Place half the mixture into each prepared pan and using a spatula or spoon, press down firmly. If using chocolate chips, press them firmly into the top. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Turn out onto cutting board and slice into bars. Wrap in plastic wrap. *I have found these get really soft and break apart when left at room temperature for too long, so I store them in the refrigerator and remove them for a few minutes before eating.