I’m not sure if you’re like me or not, but when school starts, I’m always scrambling to find snacks for my kids. I also want different snacks for myself, because SNACKS.
I usually hit the grocery store and throw a big box of granola bars into my cart, because I’ve never been able to make a bar recipe that my kids will actually eat…until now!
Maybe it’s the chocolate drizzle.
Maybe it’s the dried cherries.
Maybe it’s the nut butter.
Who knows…all I know is that I’m constantly making this oat bar recipe because I can’t keep them stocked. We love them that much.
I’m not knocking store-bought granola bars (or store-bought anything), don’t get me wrong. I buy plenty of stuff that I could make myself, because I’m often not motivated or I don’t have time to do it myself. But these are more delicious than what I get at the store, and my kids also love making them.
If you a need nut-free granola bar recipe, simply replace the nut butter in this oat bar recipe with seed butter – sunflower or soy butter work fine, and replace the nuts with coconut, or seeds. You can also throw a handful of flax, chia, or hemp seeds into these bars to amp up the omega-3s!
As far as the cherries, I recommend the unsweetened dried kind. These can be tough to find, so feel free to replace them with any dried fruit at all! Blueberries, apricots, raisins, and cranberries work well, too.
You can really make these oat bars your own…but I do recommend them just the way they are. You can even roll the recipe into energy balls…yum yum!
These bars are also perfect for before after-school sports or workouts – the oats and fruit provide long-lasting energy to fuel all of your activities.
This oat bar recipe makes the most scrumptious replacement for store-bought granola bars!
- ¾ cup almond butter
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons honey agave, or maple syrup
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup toasted rice cereal
- ½ cup sliced almonds roughly chopped
- ¼ cup dried cherries unsweetened, chopped finely
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chopped finely
- Chocolate Drizzle
- ¼ cup dark chocolate
- ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
In a medium bowl, add almond butter and honey. Stir to combine.
Add oats, rice cereal, almonds, cherries, and chocolate. Stir until nut butter is evenly distributed and mixture is sticky. (You may need to add an additional tablespoon of honey or nut butter if the mixture isn’t coming together.)
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover with more parchment or plastic wrap. Use your hands, the back of a sturdy glass, or mug, to pack the mixture evenly into the pan.
Chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Remove, slice into bars, and drizzle with chocolate, if desired.
Optional chocolate drizzle: In a microwave safe bowl, combine ¼ cup dark chocolate with ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil. Heat in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Drizzle over sliced oat bars.
Store bars in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to three days.
- Replace rice cereal with extra oats, if desired.
- Replace honey with additional nut butter, if desired.
- Replace almond butter and sliced almonds with nut butter/nuts of choice.
- To ensure the bars stick together, chop the almonds, cherries, and chocolate finely before adding to the mixture.
- The recipe calls for 1-2 Tablespoons honey so you can customize the recipe to fit your ideal sweetness level. You can always start with one and add more to taste!
- Because the consistency of nut butter can vary, you may need to add extra to bring the mixture together. It’s up to you whether your extra “glue” is in the form of nut butter or honey.
- If you don’t have an 8x8 dish, you can use half of a 9x13 or really any food container. Just press, chill, and cut. You can also roll the mixture into balls to make grabbable energy bites.