Cranberry Pepitas Almond Granola Bars are the perfect blend of sweet, nutty, and crunch for your on-the-go breakfast or snack. Easily customizable to anyone’s taste and make the perfect edible gift too!
The only time I ever remember eating granola bars was during my high school and college days. Always on-the-go and never really trying to implement breakfast as a priority. It was just easier that way. Thinking back, I wished I knew how to make my own granola bars not knowing how easy they were to make!
Have you ever had those granola bars that were hard as a rock and bland? Yep… One day I discovered KIND bars that were kind of a game-changer. They had a variety of combinations such as blueberry vanilla cashews. cranberry almonds, and more. I did also enjoy Quaker Chewy Granola Bars but they contained way too much sugar and it didn’t help with my healthy eating lifestyle. Hence, why it had inspired me to marry both. Giving you the wholesome nuts, seeds, and dried fruits along with rolled oats for the perfect chewiness.
What Mix-In Can Be Used To Make Granola Bars?
Making homemade granola bars is delicious and fun because we can mix it up. You will never have a boring granola bar again! My favorite combination is the recipe we are making today, Cranberry Pepitas Almond Granola Bars. But honestly you can use just about any topping of your choice. Here are some of the mix-ins you can use:
- Goji Berries
- Pepitas Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut Flakes
- Chocolate Chips (dark, milk, or white)
- Coarse Sea Salt
Speaking of nuts and seeds. Ash and I have done a 5-part nut series where you can learn how to make nut base to nut milk and use that to create sweet and savory recipes! You can check those recipes out here.
Ingredients You Will Need
To make homemade granola bars you will need 7 essential ingredients.
Honey: Along with nut butter they create the bind to hold the granola bars together. It also adds natural sweetness and warm flavors with your spices. If you are vegan, pure maple syrup makes a great substitute for honey.
Natural Peanut Butter or Nut Butter: It helps bind the bars together with honey. Not only that, it adds protein and healthy fats with a nutty flavor. You can learn to make your own homemade nut butter at home. They are super easy to make and only contain 2-ingredients! Your nut of choice and a bit of sea salt. Yup.
Old Fashioned Rolled Oats: Ahh..the star ingredient of course! This gives the granola bars a nice chewy texture and packed full of fiber! One thing to keep in mind is to be sure to check if your oats are certified gluten-free if you do have a gluten allergy. I love using Bob’s Red Mill if you need a recommendation.
Pepitas, Sliced Almonds or Flax Seeds: These add a great crunch to your granola bars and if you didn’t know they contain healthy fats and protein too! Which is why I enjoy it as a quick on-the-go breakfast or post-workout snack.
Chocolate Chips: What is there to say? It’s CHOCOLATE! They make the perfect pair with nut butter and a great balance with dried fruits. Ever enjoyed chocolate-covered almonds or cranberries? My thoughts exactly. When making granola bars, I like using chopped-up dark chocolate or sometimes mini chocolate chips. Use what is available in your pantry.
Sea Salt: With all the natural sweetness from honey and chocolate, sea salt will make all the sweet and nutty flavors really pop. Never undermine salt in any baking or cooking as it balances all the flavors in your dishes.
Vanilla Extract: It can bring forth the warm flavor in the granola bars. We all love a bit of vanilla in our baked goodies.
Total Break Down of Recipe Cost ~ $13.30 / $1.33/$0.67 per (10 large and 20 bite-size) serving
How To Make Cranberry Almond Pepitas Granola Bars
Servings: 10 large Bars, 20 Bite-Size Bars | Course: Snacks, Breakfast | Cuisine: American
- 2 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- ¾ Cup Pepitas Seeds
- 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 Cup Sliced Almonds
- 1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- ½ Cup Honey or Maple Syrup
- ¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
- ¼ Cup Peanut Butter (or any nut butter)
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Chocolate Baking Chips (mini or regular)
Prep: 1 hour 5 minutes | Cook Time: 35 minutes
Time needed: 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your square baking pan with parchment paper. Set it aside.
- In your medium mixing bowl, add in your rolled oats, almonds, pepitas seeds and flax seeds. We will add the cranberries and chocolate chips after so that it doesn’t melt or cook with the binding mixture.
In your saucepan on medium heat, add in your coconut oil, honey, light brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and peanut butter. Stir everything together until they are well-combined. Once everything is incorporated, remove it from the heat. Let it cool a bit before adding it into your oat mixture. Give the oat mixture a good mix until everything is combined.
- Then add in your cranberries and chocolate chips into the mixture. Give that a good mix. Next, grab your lined square baking pan and evenly spread the granola mixture. Try to flatten it evenly so you can cut them into the perfect bars.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Once it is cool, place it in the refrigerator for about 30minutes to 1 hour to firm up. This will make it easier to cut them into bars without it crumbling.
- Cut them into rectangle bars and store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days for freshness. Now you can enjoy these delicious bars for a quick breakfast or snack on-the-go!
- Be patient.
Do not cut the time short chilling in the refrigerator before you cut the bars. We know it’s so tempting to eat them right away, but if you don’t they will be crumbly and not chewy and cohesive.
Storage. When storing them in your airtight container, I like lining the bars with some parchment paper between them so they don’t stick together. I also keep them in the fridge for up to 5 to 7 days for freshness. But, if you’re just eating them by yourself, you can freeze them up to 2 to 3 months. Just be sure if they are frozen, let the bars thaw for about 20 minutes before eating. (They make a great meal prep healthy snack.)