Just put it in the oven and it’ll work! All you have to do to make these wholesome oatmeal bars (vegan & gluten free) is mix 5 ingredients (no peanut butter) and bake them in the oven. In less than 30 minutes you'll have your own homemade healthy granola bars, much better than the store-bought stuff.
Pair these chewy, baked oatmeal bars with a banana and you have one of the best breakfast recipes with oats or a perfect mid-day snack. They're made with 5 basic ingredients but you can certainly incorporate a few more add-ins, such as cranberries, chocolate chips, raisins and seeds just to make them more wholesome and delicious.
For more breakfast recipes, check these whole wheat apple pancakes (made with grated apple and cinnamon in the pancake batter) and these yogurt parfaits with honey and fruit (another healthy option to start your day).
If you prefer a savory breakfast, don't miss these savory breakfast muffins with olive oil, ham, cheese and tomato sauce which smell and taste like pizza!
😍 Why I love this recipe
These are some of the reasons why I love this oats and honey bars.
✓ Easy: Mix the ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a baking pan and put it in the oven. That simple.
✓ Delicious: Honey, cinnamon and coconut oil give these simple bars an amazing taste just like crunchy granola (you can actually make granola with the same ingredients, as you can see in this homemade granola YouTube video).
✓ Wholesome: Oats is a whole grain food with many health benefits while honey is a natural sweetener much better than sugar. Coconut oil, when used in moderation has also a number of emerging benefits for your health.
✓ Diet friendly: These bars are naturally nut free, gluten free, dairy-free, egg free and they can also be made vegan if you use maple syrup instead of honey.
For this easy recipe for baked homemade oatmeal bars you'll need the following simple ingredients:
Oats: This recipe has been tested with quick oats and rolled oats (also known as old-fashioned oats). Both types will work, but I Generally use half of each type to get the chewiness level I prefer. Make sure to use gluten-free oats if you make them for someone who follows a gluten free diet.
Honey: Choose a thick honey with high viscosity because it will help the bars to be more coherent. If your honey is very runny, maybe it's best to add a tablespoon more.
Dried fruit: Cranberry and oatmeal is a classic combination, but raisins are also great for this recipe. You can also use other dried fruit such as blueberries, dates, prunes and apricots but make sure to finely chop them, otherwise the bars may be crumbly.
Seeds: Sunflower seeds are usually well tolerated by people with nut allergies. Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are also great.
🥣 Substitutions - Variations
Vegan oatmeal breakfast bars: This recipe has also been tested with maple syrup instead of noney and it works just as well, with the exception that the bars come out just a tad more fragile/crumbly.
With nuts: If you don't have any nut allergies, you can also use chopped nuts instead of seeds. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts etc. will be great. Process them in a food processor because this will minimize the crumbliness of the bars.
Chocolate chip: Need a bit of chocolate to make your day better? Replace the sunflower seeds or the cranberries with chocolate chips and you've got yourself the best chocolate chip oatmeal breakfast bars
🔪 Instructions (Steps)
Follow this easy step-by-step guide to make the best homemade granola bars in less than 30 minutes:
1. Warm the honey and the coconut oil (wet ingredients) in the microwaves or on the stove. This will make it more runny and it will coat the oats better.
2. Add the dry ingredients (oats, salt and cinnamon) and mix well with a spatula until all the oats are wet and sticky.
3. Optionally, add the vanilla, the desiccated coconut, the seeds and the dried fruit (or chocolate chips) of your choice. Stir well to distribute evenly in the mixture.
4. Transfer the oat mixture to a baking dish lined with parchment paper and level the surface with a spatula. Then, press the mixture very firmly with the back of a measuring cup or another utensil with a level bottom (lightly wet the bottom of the cup with some water, for the mixture not to stick to the cup).
5. Bake in the oven until golden brown. Take them out of the oven and immediately cut into bars using a sharp knife, while the bars are still in the baking dish (if you get any loose pieces, press them back with your fingers). Let the bars cool, then lift the parchment paper and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut again with a sharp knife.
👨🍳 Expert Tips
✤ Use a thick type of honey, such as thyme honey, because it will make the bars more cohesive.
✤ Press the oat mixture inside the baking dish VERY firmly. This way you will compact it and the bars will be less crumbly.
✤ Cut the bars immediately after you take them out of the oven, and while they're still in the baking dish. The bars will harden as they cool, so if you try to cut them later on, they will break.
I don't advise soaking the oats before making granola bars because they will take longer to cook and will not be as crunchy. Also, the additional mositure will reduce their shelf life.
If your granola bars fall apart and don't stick together this is probably because you didn't use enough honey or the honey you used had a high moisture level. Another reason is that the mixture was not compacted very firmly into the baking dish.
Once cooled, transfer the bars to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5-6 days.
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If you tried these baked oatmeal bars or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Homemade oatmeal bars recipe (granola bars)
- 1 rectangular baking dish 8x11 inches (21x28 cm) or a 9 inch square pan or a 10 inch round cake pan
- 3 tablespoons (35 g) coconut oil
- ⅔ cups (200 g) honey or maple syrup
- 2 ½ cups (250 g) oats, I use half rolled and half quick oats, see notes.
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup (70 g) sugar-free dried cranberries or raisins or chocolate chips
- ½ cup (70 g) sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons (18 g) desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 320°F / 175°C, fan setting (if you don't have a fan setting, increase the temperature at 370°F/ 185°C).
- Warm the honey and the coconut oil (wet ingredients) in the microwaves or on the stove). This will make it more runny and it will coat the oats better.
- Add the dry ingredients (oats, salt and cinnamon) and mix well with a spatula until all the oats are sticky and wet.
- Optionally, add the cranberries (or chocolate chips), the sunflower seeds, the dessicated coconut and the vanilla. Stir well to distribute them evenly in the oat mixture.
- Line your baking dish with parchment paper, transfer the mixture into the dish and level the surface with a spatula. Then, press the oat mixture very firmly with the back of a measuring cup or another utensil with a level bottom (if the mixture starts to stick to the back of the cup, wet it with some water).
- Bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Take the pan out of the oven and immediately cut into bars while the bars are still inside the pan and warm. Be careful not to damage the pan. If you get any loose pieces, stick them back with your fingers.Let the bars cool in the pan, then lift the parchment paper and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut again with a sharp knife.