Chewy Granola Bar recipe {Gluten-Free}

Sometimes when I cook I think Martha Stewart should come knocking on my door. I twirl around my kitchen, making deliciousness magically, pouring pre-measured bowls of ingredients like a pro and singing to the forest animals gathered at my windows….

Then other days my snotty-nosed, molar cutting 16-month-old clings to my leg, making walking impossible.  I  throw my Sunbutter into the microwave  to soften it a little and almost blow up my microwave because I forgot about the foil rim. In an effort to save time I used my blender and made almond flour instead of just chopping them.  I didn’t realize how low on Sunbutter I was so I had to add a little almond butter to have enough.  I haphazardly threw coconut oil into a bowl and then forgot about it in the microwave until it was liquid and knocked over the child rushing over to get it … it didn’t want to cook right and I’m pretty sure that I put too much coconut oil in it *and* I forgot to grease the pan.

Whatever the day you have had, smile. Life, in it’s messy ways, is beautiful even in the sweaty, dirty trenches. I will rejoice and be glad in it. :) …and the bars turned out perfect…

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As any one who has been to my blog recently knows, a lot has been going on in our lives.  One of the easiest  ways to save money is to make things myself and not buy them pre-packaged. Gluten-free can be expensive so I researched several recipes and combined a bunch until I had a recipe that I was happy with. (Also, since Bug has dairy and egg  allergies, these were a nice snack for him too!)  Actually- 2 recipes I was happy with. Here they are: ( I modified mine to my tastes but this was my base recipe- Thanks to The Smitten Kitchen)

Chewy Cranberry Almond Bars

1 2/3 cup oatmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal but be sure to get certified gluten-free oats if your body is sensitive!)

1/2 cup brown sugar (you can add more if you want a sweeter bar)

1/3 cup oat flour ( I use ground flax seed & almond flour)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2-3 cups dried fruits & nuts (I used almonds, craisins, dried cherries, raisins & chopped dates- add whatever dried fruits & nuts)

1/3 cup peanut butter (I used Sunbutter- it’s allergy friendly and OK for schools and kids under 2)

1 tsp vanilla

6 Tbsp. melted butter (I used an equal amount of coconut oil because of Bug’s allergies)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup, heaping (honey is another healthy  option- I just preferred maple syrup for this one)

OR

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

1 2/3 cup oatmeal

1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour (I use ground flax seed- but oat flour would work)

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2-3 cups white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped dates  & almonds or whatever you want)

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla

6 Tbsp. melted butter

1/4 cup  Honey, heaping (or maple syrup)

DIRECTIONS:

Oven at 350

Line a 8×8 pan with foil or parchment paper & grease it.

Stir dry ingredients together then whisk the  liquid ingredients together (vanilla, coconut oil, maple syrup, peanut butter (or sunbutter) & tiny bit of water if it’s too dry).  Add it together and press it VERY FIRMLY into the pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes. They will be browned on the edges and a little on top but seem soft, let them cool completely before cutting.

TIP- let them sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes before cutting. Wrap individually & freeze. Great for a busy morning or a kid’s lunch!

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  • Joe Robinsmith

    I like the sound of the peanut butter one. I’m going to try these. Looking to reduce or cut out gluten this coming year. Thanks for posting this

  • http://TheBusyNothings.com Heidi

    I’m so glad that you found my blog! Thanks for taking the time to comment!! :) Gluten Free is hard but it’s worth it! :)) Good Luck!

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  • Karen

    I assume you’re using GF chocolate???

  • http://TheBusyNothings.com Heidi

    if you need too. Like I said in my ‘recipe nothings’ we are gluten free by choice and not b/c we have too at this point- which might change. for now I use ghiradelli chocolate chips.

  • Lisa

    I made both recipes last night. NIRVANA! I added some unsweetened coconut to the cranberry almond bars, because I had it. Both outstanding recipes! My 8-year-old and husband both think that they’re phenomenal. Thanks.

  • http://TheBusyNothings.com Heidi

    thanks so much for letting me know! I’m so happy you liked it! ;) I really need to make some more, I’ve been on such a quinoa granola kick that I forgot how much I loved this one too, hah!

  • Jamie

    What do you recommend wrapping them in to freeze? They are going to be a gift for someone. :)

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  • Lily

    I’ve made the second for a year or so now, and instead of 2-3 cups of chocolate chips, I use 1 cup of dried chopped apricots or mushed up bananas.

  • http://TheBusyNothings.com Heidi

    that is a great idea! I’m always looking for yummy, healthy tasty alternatives!

  • Ann

    I tried to make the peanut chocolate bars and it was a crumbly mess! I figured I had to have left out an ingredient by mistake and sure enough – I forgot the HONEY!!! lol

    The taste otherwise is pretty good – so I am going to try it again! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  • http://TheBusyNothings.com Heidi

    hah! I forget ingredients all the time! That isn’t a good thing when you are baking, right? Hope it turns out good for you! :))

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  • Sarah

    I am so tired of eating crunchy granola bars, and it seems that is the only option for those who need to avoid gluten. I am very excited to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  • Heidi Clark

    Let me know how it turns out!!! I make this recipe pretty often! :)

  • Heidi Clark

    Thanks for commenting! :) Hope it turned out good for you!

  • Heidi Clark

    DELICIOUS- I will def be trying that! I love all things coconut! :)

  • Heidi Clark

    That sound AMAZING! thanks so much for the suggestion! I’ll try that out- I’m always looking for new ways to make this recipe.

  • Heidi Clark

    Sorry- just saw this! I used foil b/c I could reuse it… :) I’m cheap.

  • Kjjsjeep

    Do you have to use both coconut oil and peanut butter?

  • D Vacca

    Quick clarification – do you use a ready serve oatmeal, or large flake oats?

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