Trail Mix Granola Bars have everything you could want in a healthy snack. They're homemade with wholesome ingredients, no processed sugar and contain plenty of nutritious nuts, sunflower kernels and dried fruit. Plus they're finished with a topping of chocolate that puts them over the top! Great for hikes or an afternoon snack and gluten-free too!
Have you ever tried making homemade granola bars? They are really easy and, when you make them yourself, you can be sure exactly what's going into them. I like to avoid processed sugar, preservatives and other unknown ingredients that are listed on most packages, so my solution is to make my own. It's a delicious and healthy snack to have on hand. I grab one after a workout, pack it to munch on while hiking or just nibble on it as a "get over the hump" mid-afternoon snack.
This recipe has only 5 ingredients including gluten-free oats and is held together with almond butter and maple syrup or honey. It was inspired by a trail mix made by Second Nature that I found in our organic food store. The mix contains nothing artificial and has raw almonds and cashews, sunflower kernels and dried blueberries and cranberries. Of course, I just had to add a little indulgence - a topping of dark chocolate chips! I know, I know, I couldn't help myself. And it doesn't involve any baking! Just mix, pat into pan, then chill in the refrigerator.
How to make Trail Mix Granola Bars
- Pour oats, trail mix and additional seeds or chocolate chips into a large bowl.
- Melt almond butter and maple syrup or honey in a large microwave-safe cup or bowl.
- Stir into oat-nut mixture.
- Make sure everything is well coated and the mixture holds together when you pinch it with your fingers.
- Pat the trail mix-granola mixture into a pan that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray. Chill for 2 hours.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave safe container and pour on top of chilled granola bars.
- Spread chocolate evenly on granola bars.
- Chill again until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
- Cut into bars. I like to cut them into 16 bars for adults but smaller when serving children.
These are a great way to get a healthy snack without blowing your diet and they're a lot less expensive than buying the packaged ones. It passed the taste test when I sent them into my husband's office, so that's a win for these tasty granola bars!
Ways to change up Trail Mix Granola Bars
- Exchange the trail mix for a combination of your favorite nuts, dried fruit, chia seeds, flax seeds and coconut
- Add a little spice like cinnamon or nutmeg to the mix
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Supplement it with a protein powder for more on the go energy
How long will these last?
I've kept mine in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and they're still fine.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab the ingredients and whip up these granola bars in time for an after-school treat for the kids. Enjoy!
HEALTHY TRAIL MIX GRANOLA BARS
- 1 ½ cup almond butter
- ¾ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 ¼ cups oats (gluten-free oats if needed)
- 3 cups healthy trail mix (mine contained sodium-free dried cranberries, whole almonds, whole cashews, sunflower kernels & dried blueberries)
- ½ cup favorite seeds or chocolate chips
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Sea salt (optional)
- Line a 9x13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt almond butter and honey or maple syrup. It takes about 1 minute on high power.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, trail mix and extra seeds or chocolate chips.
- Pour melted almond butter-honey mixture over oats-trail mix & stir until well combined and sticks together.
- Spoon into prepared pan and press evenly into bottom of pan.
- Chill for about 2 hours.
- Melt chocolate in microwave safe cup or bowl in 30-second increments, stirring in-between, until melted. Usually about 1 to 1-½ minutes.
- Remove chilled granola bars from refrigerator and spread with melted chocolate. Return to refrigerator until set.
- Cut into desired sized bars. I cut mine into 16 bars.
- To store, wrap each bar separately and store in refrigerator. They can be stored at room temperature as well but may tend to be a little messier to eat.
This post was first published on March 15, 2017. Photos and recipe have been updated to make it even more delicious for you.
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