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  1. Monday, April 2, 2018

    Gluten-Free Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars

    Recently I had to go super clean with my eating. There were a few weeks where I couldn’t eat any sugar, dairy or wheat. It ended up being easier than I thought it would be (no, really), but it has been nice to slowly add those ingredients back into my diet here and there. But now that I’ve made these positive changes to my diet, I would really like to maintain those changes. As a result, I’ve started looking at some of my favorite recipes and thinking about how I can modify them. One of the first recipes to go through a makeover was my beloved Chewy Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bar recipe. First I made the recipe gluten free and reduced the sugar by about 3 grams per bar. Then I took it a step further, which brings us to today’s recipe for homemade chocolate granola bars.

    How to Make Gluten-Free Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars from Jane Maynard of This Week for Dinner

    When I was working on reducing the amount of sugar in my original granola bar recipe, I was surprised by how much sugar was coming from the chocolate chips. I wanted to be able to take out the chocolate chips but still get a good chocolate fix. By removing the chocolate chips and adding cocoa powder to the granola bar, we still get that delicious chocolate flavor with even less sugar. I tried it and it totally worked.

    Recipe for Gluten-Free Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars by Jane Maynard of This Week for Dinner

    This recipe for homemade chocolate granola bars is awesome. My original recipe is a bit more chewy, but the texture on these chocolate bars is fantastic, a little chewy as well as a little crispy, and they don’t fall apart at all. The flavor is wonderful – I think I might even like these better than the original chocolate chip bars, which is really saying something. This recipe is gluten free and each bar contains about 8 grams of sugar, which is 5-6 grams less per bar than my original recipe. Woohoo!

    Gluten-Free Homemade Chocolate Granola Bar Recipe by Jane Maynard at This Week for Dinner

    Please note that if you do not need the bars to be gluten free, you can in fact use regular all-purpose flour as a substitute for the oat flour. But if you want to go gluten free, stick with the recipe below using oat flour.

    Without further ado I give you Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars!

    Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars (Gluten Free)
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 24
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups rolled old-fashioned oats (make sure label says gluten free)
    • 1 cup brown crisped rice cereal
    • ½ cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
    • ⅓ cup brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons oat flour (make sure label says gluten free)
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • Generous ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¾ cup coconut oil
    • ½ cup honey
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
    2. Combine oats, crisped rice, coconut, brown sugar, oat flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix well.
    3. Combine coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk well. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. (Stir. Stir some more. Keep stirring!)
    4. Line a large cooke sheet with parchment paper. Pour granola bar mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. Press mixture out into a large, uniform rectangle, about 9" x 13" (which will be smaller than the pan, you do not push the granola all the way to the edges of the pan). It is easiest to form the rectangle if your hands are wet.
    5. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate pan and bake for 14-15 more minutes.
    6. Cool completely before cutting. Cut into 24 bars, 8 rows x 3 columns.
    Notes
    The coconut oil can be solid or liquid - whatever it happens to be sitting in your cupboard is fine!
    If you do not need these to be gluten free, regular all-purpose flour can be substituted for oat flour with the same measurement.

    OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:

    EQUIPMENT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:


  2. Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars

    One of the recipes I’m most proud of on this blog is the Chewy Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bar recipe. I love those granola bars and everyone I’ve ever shared them with loves them. I’ve tried different flavors, but we always come back to chocolate chips. The original recipe is best! However, for reasons I will describe below, I recently developed a recipe for gluten-free homemade granola bars based on that wonderful original recipe, which I will share with you today!

    Recipe for Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars with Chocolate Chips from This Week for Dinner

    Over the last few weeks I’ve had to clean up my eating and do some elimination diet stuff. (FUN TIMES!) The adjustments to my diet prompted me to modify my granola bar recipe in two ways: take out the wheat and reduce the amount of sugar. The recipe below is the gluten-free version of my original granola bar recipe and each bar contains about 3 grams less sugar than the original recipe, going from 13-14 grams added sugar per bar to about 11 grams.

    What the gluten-free homemade granola bars will look like when formed into shape on the pan

    This recipe tastes almost the same as the original, it’s just a little less chewy and a little more crispy. But not by much. I am perfectly happy with the modifications to this recipe and would use either recipe just as happily! Also, for those of you who do not need the bars to be gluten free, you can use all-purpose flour, which basically will make these a lower-sugar version of the original.

    I have created a second modified version of these bars that has even less sugar, Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars (click here to see the recipe). The chocolate granola bars have only about 8 grams of sugar per bar and they taste great! But if you are wanting chocolate chips, here is the recipe for Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars!

    Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Homemade Granola Bars
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 24
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups rolled old-fashioned oats (make sure label says gluten free)
    • 1 cup brown crisped rice cereal
    • ½ cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
    • ⅓ cup oat flour (make sure label says gluten free)
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup chocolate chips
    • Generous ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¾ cup coconut oil
    • ½ cup honey
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
    2. Combine oats, crisped rice, coconut, oat flour, brown sugar, chocolate chips and salt. Mix well.
    3. Combine coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk well. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. (Stir. Stir some more. Keep stirring!)
    4. Line a large cooke sheet with parchment paper. Pour granola bar mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. Press mixture out into a large, uniform rectangle, about 9" x 13" (which will be smaller than the pan, you are not pushing the granola all the way to the edges to fill the pan). It is easiest to form the rectangle if your hands are wet.
    5. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate pan and bake for 14-15 more minutes.
    6. Cool completely before cutting. Cut into 24 bars, 8 rows x 3 columns.
    Notes
    The coconut oil can be solid or liquid - whatever it happens to be sitting in your cupboard is fine!
    If you do not need these to be gluten free, regular all-purpose flour can be substituted for oat flour with the same measurement.

     


  3. Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Handy Trick When Forming Granola Bars

    Ever since I wrote about homemade granola bars last fall I have been consistently making them every week. I haven’t bought a box of granola bars since – the homemade version is just too delicious!

    tip for shaping homemade granola bars easily from @janemaynard

    With all this granola bar making that I’ve been doing, I finally have the recipe memorized and making them is a snap. However, there is one part of the process that is always a little tricky – pushing the granola bar mixture out into a rectangle before baking. The granola mixture sticks to your hands so you have to work very carefully, especially around the edges. Well, I accidentally stumbled upon a trick that solves the problem: push the granola into shape with wet hands!

    One day I washed my hands and went to make the granola bar rectangle without drying my hands off first – it was the most magical mistake! With just slightly damp hands, the granola mixture does not stick at all to your hands, making it sooooo much easier to form the granola into a nice, squared-off rectangle.

    tip for shaping homemade granola bars easily from @janemaynard

    That’s all for today. Just a simple little trick to make your granola-making endeavors easier. Also, if you haven’t started making homemade granola bars, hop to it already. Super, duper, crazy delicious.


  4. Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    Chewy Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bars

    Since I first shared Catherine McCord’s chocolate chip granola bar recipe with you. I have made a lot of granola bars. We are going through them like water! I am loving it because they are cheaper than store-bought granola bars and I love that we aren’t throwing out a wrapper with every granola bar we eat, instead using our reusable Lunchskins pouches.

    homemade chewy chocolate chip granola bars | thisweekfordinner.com

    Catherine’s recipe is perfect just the way it is, but I still couldn’t stop myself from experimenting! The original recipe I shared is a nice combination of crispy and chewy. I actually think crispy is probably a good description, although it’s not crispy like a Nature Valley granola bar, so I hesitate describing it purely as crispy. ANYWAY…I wanted to see if I could make a chewier granola bar based on the recipe, and I did!

    homemade chewy chocolate chip granola bars | thisweekfordinner.com

    I think I  prefer the chewier version myself, but every time I quiz Cate and Nate about which one they like better, they can’t decide. So, this new version is not an improvement over the previous version, it’s just different. If you’re looking for a chewier granola bar, then this version of the recipe is for you!

    homemade chewy chocolate chip granola bars | thisweekfordinner.comClick here for a gluten free version of this recipe, which also contains less sugar, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

    Click here for another version of this recipe that is also gluten free and has even less sugar, Chocolate Granola Bars.

    Chewy Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bars
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    I adapted this recipe from Catherine McCord's granola bar recipe, to make it more chewy and changed up ingredients just a smidge.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Snack
    Serves: 24
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups rolled old-fashioned oats
    • 1 cup brown crisped rice cereal (you can use regular crisped rice; I like brown because it’s a little healthier, I get it at Sprouts and Barbara’s Bakery is my favorite brand)
    • ½ cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
    • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
    • Generous ⅓ cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup chocolate chips (regular or mini)
    • Generous ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ⅔ cup coconut oil (you can also use canola oil as a substitute, but the best texture comes with coconut oil)
    • ⅔ cup honey
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
    2. Combine oats, crisped rice, flour, coconut, brown sugar, chocolate chips and salt. Mix well.
    3. Combine oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk well. Add to dry ingredients and mix well (stir a lot...and then stir some more!).
    4. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour granola bar mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. Press mixture out into a large, uniform rectangle, about 9”³ x 13”³. If your hands are damp when you push the mixture into shape, it won’t stick to your hands as much.
    5. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and dry to touch (watch out, it’s hot!). (I bake for 14 minutes, then rotate the pan, then bake for 14 minutes more.)
    6. If you use canola oil or your coconut oil was in liquid form, the bars may spread a bit during baking. As soon as you take them out of the oven, use a spatula to push all the edges back in, so you get your original rectangle.
    7. Cool on the baking sheet for 10-20 minutes until completely cooled. Slide granola bar along with parchment paper onto a large cutting board. Cut into bars using a long serrated knife - bars need to be completely cooled before you cut them.
    8. Makes 24 bars (8 rows, 3 columns). Bars will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.
    9. Tip: I use the parchment paper I cooked the granola bars on torn into smaller pieces to place between layers in the container I store the bars in.

     


  5. Sunday, September 15, 2013

    Week 347 Menu

    I am already making our second batch of homemade granola bars! I can’t believe how many we went through in just three days. I think having six guests and two soccer games this weekend may have had something to do with it!

    weekly menu post | thisweekfordinner.com

    I’m feeling a bit under the weather and not really wanting to sit here at the computer planning a menu, so I’m pounding this out as fast as I can!

    MONDAY:
    Bistro Chicken
    – Mashed Potatoes + a veggie

    TUESDAY:
    Chicken Soup with Rice

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Chicken Croissants (got moved to this week)
    – Veggie

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Take out

    SATURDAY:
    – Homemade pizza (Hawaiian and Honey Goat Cheese with Caramelized Onions)

    SUNDAY:
    Waffles
    – Fresh Fruit

    Your turn! Bring on the menus! I was so happy to see a few long-time reader, first-time menu posters last week! Hope to see more of you! 🙂


  6. Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola Bars & Weelicious Lunches

    When you have a lot of food blogger friends, you end up with a lot of friends writing and publishing really cool cookbooks! I have another one of those cookbooks to share with you this week from my friend Catherine McCord of Weelicious.

    homemade chocolate chip granola bars from weelicious | thisweekfordinner.com

    Catherine is every bit as cute and sweet as her recipes. She is gracious and kind and generous and I am so grateful to know her!

    Her second book Weelicious Lunches just came out and it’s great! The photography is beautiful, there are SO many recipes to choose from, and my kids were excited to read through the book to get ideas for their lunches (something I always need help with). This book is great inspiration if you’re looking for wholesome and delicious lunch inspiration for your kids (or even yourself!).

    weelicious lunches cookbook | thisweekfordinner.com

    I have been wanting to make my own granola bars for some time now. I’m on Year Two of trying to use less plastic and one of the specific goals I set for myself this year was to replace some or all  of the store-bought snacks that we regularly include in packed lunches, including granola bars. I haven’t really found a recipe that caught my eye until my review copy of Catherine’s book arrived last week. She has a simple granola bar recipe in the book that looked like just what I needed!

    weelicious lunches cookbook | thisweekfordinner.com

    The granola bars are wonderful (recipe below!). They are a little bit crispy, a little bit chewy, with just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of salt. I’ve already eaten a few and they’ve only been out of the oven for an hour! Cate and Owen are equally as addicted. The best part was the bars were so easy to prepare and the ingredients are accessible and inexpensive, making this a much more affordable option than buying granola bars. Plus, we’re using less packaging, contributing to our family’s environmental goals. Yay for homemade granola bars!

    homemade chocolate chip granola bars from weelicious | thisweekfordinner.com

    The giveaway is now closed. Thank you! And, of course, we are giving away Catherine’s book! Two of you lucky commenters will each receive a copy of Weelicious Lunches. Please leave a comment on this post by Midnight PT on Wednesday, September 18.

    You can also buy Catherine’s book on Amazon!

    Good luck to you all with the giveaway! And happy granola bar cooking!

    Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
     
    From Weelicious Lunches by Catherine McCord
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
    • ¼ cup whole-wheat flour
    • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
    • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 cup chocolate chips (or raisins or other dried fruit) Jane note: I used mini chocolate chips
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ cup canola oil
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • ½ cup honey
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Combine the oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar, chocolate chips, and salt in a large bowl.
    3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the canola oil, vanilla and honey.
    4. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine. (Jane note: stir and stir and stir!)
    5. Spread the granola mixture on the baking sheet and shape it into a large rectangle about 1 inch thick.
    6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and dry to the touch. (Jane note: mine cooked for 35 minutes.)
    7. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then cut into 3 x 1 inch bars using a serrated knife. These bars will remain fresh for several weeks if wrapped individually in parchment or wax paper. (Jane note: I am planning to store in an airtight container.)
    Notes
    Jane’s adaptations: I had a box of brown crisped rice cereal and I love it when granola bars have crispies in them, so I modified things a bit. Since I was adding dry ingredients, I upped the amounts for some of the other ingredients. Here are my modifications:
    - Add 1 cup brown crisped rice cereal to the dry ingredients
    - Increase to ⅓ cup whole-wheat flour
    - Make the ⅓ cup packed brown sugar heaping
    - Used ⅝ cup of canola oil
    - Used ⅝ cup honey

    homemade chocolate chip granola bars from weelicious | thisweekfordinner.com