This healthy chewy granola bar recipe calls for just ten, yes TEN ingredients. Packed full of healthy, natural ingredients, these chewy granola bars are gluten-free, vegan and free of any refined sugars.

Photograph of homemade chewy granola bars stacked on top of each other on wax paper on a marble table.
What’s in a chewy granola bar? Nothing but good stuff! Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Oats
  2. Sliced almonds (any chopped nuts or seeds work too)
  3. Shredded coconut
  4. Chia seeds (or flax seeds)
  5. Dates
  6. Natural peanut or almond butter (or sunflower seed butter)
  7. Honey or pure maple syrup
  8. Cinnamon
  9. Vanilla
  10. Dark Chocolate (optional)

Healthy chewy granola bar recipe without nuts

You can easily make these granola bars completely nut-free! Here is how you should swap the ingredients out:

  • Swap 1 cup sliced almonds for 1 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
  • Swap ½ cup peanut or almond butter for sunflower seed butter

Photograph of homemade chewy granola bars stacked on top of each other on wax paper on a marble table.Tips for making delicious healthy chewy granola bars

  • Toast the oats—this adds a ton of toasty flavor!
  • Toast the nuts—ups the nuttiness of the bars.
  • Use good-quality ingredients like pure vanilla extract, local honey and natural nut butters

How to make healthy granola bars with dates

Dates are a great ingredient to use in healthy homemade granola bars. They’re often called nature’s candy, and for good reason! They’re sweet, sticky, and almost reminiscent of a good caramel.

One important thing to keep in mind—if your dates are bit old or dry, consider soaking them in warm water for about 15 minutes before using. Once they have soaked, drain them and use as directed.

  • First off, it’s important to pit the dates. To do so, simply pull the dates apart with your fingers and discard the pit. It should come out pretty easily.
  • Process the pitted dates in a food processor until a thick paste forms, you may need to break the dates apart a couple of times until it processes smoothly.
  • Combine date paste with nut butter, honey, salt and cinnamon and briefly cook on the stove until combined.
  • Combine date mixture with toasted oats and almonds, coconut flakes and chia seeds. Your hands are your best tool here!
  • Press granola bar mixture into a glass pan.
  • Optional step: melt chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave) and drizzle over bars.
  • Chill granola bar until set then cut into individual bars and enjoy!

How to store healthy chewy granola bars

I like to store these no-bake granola bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I think their texture is best right out of the fridge. However, if you want a super chewy, cookie-like granola bar, you can also store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Photograph of homemade chewy granola bars stacked on top of each other on wax paper on a marble table.Looking for more granola bar or granola recipes? I’ve got you!

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make these healthy chewy granola bars.

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Photograph of homemade chewy granola bars stacked on top of each other on wax paper on a marble table.

Healthy Chewy Coconut & Date Granola Bars

  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 granola bars 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These healthy chewy granola bars naturally sweetened, packed with whole grains, healthy fats and plant protein. They can easily be made vegan and gluten-free as well.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ¾ cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped *soaked if needed, see note below
  • ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • ¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate (optional)

Instructions

Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick spray.

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine oats and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Add coconut to baking sheet and toast until golden, 3 minutes; transfer to bowl with oats and add chia seeds.

Meanwhile, process dates in a food processor until a thick paste-like ball forms. Break ball apart then continue to process until paste forms around sides of bowl. Combine date mixture, peanut butter, honey, salt, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until combined, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in vanilla.

Add date mixture to oat mixture and mix until thoroughly combined (set down the spoon and get your hands dirty, this is a sticky mixture). Transfer mixture to prepared dish and press into an even layer.

In a double boiler (glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water), melt chocolate until smooth, drizzle or spread over bars. Chill bars at least 1 hour before cutting.

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Notes

*One important thing to keep in mind—if your dates are bit old or dry, consider soaking them in warm water for about 15 minutes before using. Once they have soaked, drain them and use as directed.

Make these vegan: use pure maple syrup instead of honey and use vegan chocolate

Make these gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free oats and use certified gluten-free chocolate

Nutritional analysis calculated without chocolate.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 428
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Sodium: 79mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 55g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: Healthy Chewy Granola Bars, Chewy Granola Bars, Healthy Granola Bars, No-Bake Granola Bars

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I originally developed this recipe for Cooks’ Emporium in Ames, IA. 

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. This recipe is a little messy to make. Once you have the dates paste-like you have to mix it together with your hands to incorporate all the ingredients and I lost some of it since it was stuck to my hands! Once this was done it was easy to form into the pan. I put it in the freezer, then took them out to cut. I got 12 servings since the bars are thick. Don’t skip roasting the nuts, oats and coconut, it really adds to the flavor. I will make them again, they tasted great!

    1. I used popped amaranth instead of oats and put it in the freezer. They turned out lovely! Thank you for an awesome recipe!!

  2. These were SO so tasty. I used pecans instead of almonds and 3 TBSP of maple syrup instead 4 TBSP honey. My new favorite snack for sure. Thanks for this recipe!!

    1. Hi Gianna! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these! Love hearing about your ingredient swaps—these are so helpful for other readers! Thanks for the comment!

  3. I was searching for a breakfast bar recipe with all my favorite ingredients and this is it!! I made it 3 times already you are genius!