You’re going to love these homemade granola bars. Made with just 5 simple ingredients for an easy chewy granola bar recipe that is vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free! Thrown together in just 10 minutes.
Originally published July 10, 2014. Last updated March 15, 2019
It’s time to take another look at the My Darling Vegan archives. This recipe is from 2014; it’s an oldie and a goodie.
These chewy granola bars are, in fact, one of the first recipes I made for this blog. As I reread what I had originally written for this recipe, I was brought back to a time of marriage, babies, and stay-at-home parenting. My oh my, does my life look different today.
Change is sometimes hard, but it’s most often for the best. And, like my life that looks so different than when I originally published this recipe, I figured it was time to give these chewy granola bars a new look as well. These chewy granola bars are made with only 5-ingredients. They are vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free, and I think you’re going to love them!
Have you ever made homemade granola bars before? If not, it’s as easy as making granola and today is the day to start. Let’s take a look at how to make perfect homemade granola bars every time.
Best oats for homemade granola bars
When I make my vegan granola bars, I choose extra thick old fashioned oats. You want oats that will keep their shape so that you can have that perfect crunchy texture.
If you are gluten-free, make sure to look for gluten-free thick cut. This is the brand that I recommend.
Wait, aren’t all oats gluten free?
Unfortunately not. Most oats are rolled in flour during the process or are cross-contaminated by sharing the same equipment as wheat products. If you are strictly gluten-free, make sure to find the oats that are labeled as such.
How to make homemade granola bars
There is a variety of ways to make homemade granola bars. My preferred granola bar recipe is one made without refined sugar. Because of that, I often make my granola bars with dates. (If you are looking for other sugar alternatives, make sure to check out my guide to vegan sugars.)
Ingredients to chewy peanut butter granola bars
These chewy granola bars are made with just 5 simple ingredients. The ingredients are:
- Rolled Oats
- Medjool Dates
- Peanut Butter
- Maple Syrup
- and Peanuts
That’s it! Now, let’s take a look at home to assemble these ingredients for ultra-chewy wholesome granola bars.
Step one- soak the dates
The first step in making these peanut butter granola bars is soaking the dates. Like most of my granola bar recipes, I recommend using Medjool dates. Medjool dates are bigger and juicier than traditional dates which help bind the ingredients together. Without Medjool dates, you’ll risk getting a crumbly bar.
If you have a hard time finding Medjool dates, you can pick some up online.
Soak the dates for at least 30 minutes. This step is crucial as the dates absorb liquid making them process smoother and provide overall moisture to that granola bar.
Step two – combine the wet ingredients
Once your dates have soaked 30 minutes, drain and rinse them under cool water. Add them to a food processor along with the peanut butter and maple syrup and process until completely smooth. This may take 5-10 minutes depending on the strength of your food processor.
Transfer the date/peanut butter mixture to a saucepot and place it over medium heat. Heat up the mixture until it is warm and gooey.
Step three – Add the oats and peanuts
Once the date/peanut butter mixture is soft and melted, stir in the oats and peanuts until they are completely combined.
Step four – Press into baking dish
Press the granola bar mixture into a parchment-lined baking dish about 8×8″ in size. Make sure the parchment paper hangs over the edge so that the granola bars can be easily removed.
Place them in the refrigerator and let the granola bars set up for at least one hour before slicing and serving.
Tips for making the BEST vegan granola bars
- Medjool dates are the best kind of date for these granola bars. They are fuller and juicier than regular dates and give these granola bars a delightfully sticky texture. However, if you can’t find Medjool dates, you can use regular dates. Soak them for at least an hour first.
- To encourage the granola bars to hold together, press them again after they have set for one hour. Press them with a spatula or roll them with an 8″ rolling pin.
- If you are going to add chocolate, add them after the oats and peanuts have been stirred together and the mixture has cooled to room temperature (about 10 minutes) to prevent the chocolate from melting.
- These peanut butter granola bars can be served after they have set in the refrigerator for at least one hour. They will continue to set as they chill for the next 4-6 hours.
- Store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, just pull them out of the freezer at least 2 hours before for a delicious grab-n-go snack.
Variation of homemade granola bars
I love making my vegan granola bars at home and with so many variations, it’s a recipe you can make again and again. With these peanut butter granola bars, consider adding chocolate chips, cacao nibs, or pumpkin seeds. Also, check out a few of my other favorite granola bar recipes:
- Grain-Free Granola Bars
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- Super Seedy Granola Bars
- Almond Coconut Granola Bars
These granola bars are all vegan and super easy to make! So if you’re just starting out making your own granola bars, let’s check out the recipe for these peanut butter granola bars below.
These chewy peanut butter granola bars are made with just 5 simple ingredients for an easy vegan and gluten-free snack. Thrown together in just 10 minutes.
Keyword: Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 196 kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn
- Drain and rinse the dates. Place them in a food processor along with the peanut butter and maple syrup. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer the date/peanut butter mixture into a medium-size saucepot and place over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to get soft and gooey. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the oats and peanuts until well combined.
- Transfer to a parchment-lined 8x8 baking dish (or similar sized dish) and roll or pat flat. Place in the refrigerator until hardened, about 1 hour.
Remove from refrigerator and cut into 12 equal pieces. Store uneaten granola bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.