Granola Bars

"I got this recipe from my sister-in-law. With so many ways to vary this recipe, I've never made them the same way twice."
photo by CoffeeB photo by CoffeeB
photo by CoffeeB
photo by bernettavan photo by bernettavan
photo by jessie.d. photo by jessie.d.
photo by ercvt photo by ercvt
photo by Bonnie Young photo by Bonnie Young
Ready In:
24 bars




  • In a large mixing bowl combine oats, sunflower kernels, coconut, flax seed meal, oat bran, dates/fruit and nuts.
  • In a small sauce pan, melt margarine over medium-low heat.
  • Add corn syrup, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and honey; stir to combine.
  • Increase heat to medium and stir occasionally.
  • Meanwhile spray a 13x9 baking pan with non-stick spray.
  • Measure out a sheet of foil large enough to cover pan.
  • Spray foil with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • Cook corn syrup mixture until it comes to a full boil; let boil for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and pour over oat mixture.
  • Stir to combine (mixture will be very stiff).
  • Transfer mixture into prepared pan.
  • Cover with prepared foil and PRESS FIRMLY.
  • You want the mixture to be as compact as possible.
  • I've even used a small cutting board to help press the mixture firmly& evenly (don't be afraid to stand on it!).
  • When mixture is as firm and even as you would like, remove foil& let mixture cool.
  • Cut into bars.
  • Note: Don't be afraid to add, remove and/or substitute ingredients, such as chocolate chips, wheat germ, raisins, anything goes.
  • I'd love to get some other suggestions!

Questions & Replies

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  1. I had alot of fun with this. I substituted pumpkin seeds for the sunflower, wheat germ(3/4 cup) and nutritional yeast(1/4 cup) for the flax seed and oat bran, and maple sugar for the corn syrup(happened to be what I had on hand). I put in dried apricots,dates,figs, and raisins for fruit, and almonds and walnuts. Yum! Oh, and I used a metal baking sheet to help press with my barefeet-it felt so nice and warm! Thanks for the recipe!
  2. these are really excellent. i made them just as the recipe said but i think i will reduce the brown sugar next time. i wrapped them individually in plastic wrap so we can grab one in a hurry on the way out the door.
  3. What a great backpack snack! I don't know the source for flax seed meal but toasted up some sesame seeds and ground them up instead. It worked great. Next time I'd like to add some dried blueberries and cherries. Thanks for the recipe.
  4. Well, I finally got this recipe down after 4 tries! Let me tell what I learned NOT to do! :) 1) Do not substitute flax SEEDS for flax seed meal, you need it to hold them together. 2) If you add chocolate chips, wait until the mixture is almost cooled then mix them in and transfer to pan. Otherwise, the chips melt and you end up with "Chocolate" Granola Bars! 3) If you add peanut butter, don't melt it with the butter and corn syrup mixture. Wait until the end and stir it in as one of the last ingredients. A good amount of peanut butter is 1/4-1/2 cup, depending on your taste (and omit the cinnamon and fruit for this and for choc. chips). 4)Don't replace the corn syrup with all honey (I tried to be Ms. Healthy)...they'll taste gross. NOW I'll let you in on what I did RIGHT! 1) Adding 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup makes them taste wonderful. 2) So does adding something crispy like Rice Crispies or even some other cereals like Kix or Cocoa Pops. When I make these with PB AND Choc. Chips, my three kids, and even my husband DEVOUR them within about 3 days! I think I will be making these for years and years to come. Thanx, Mary! -- posted Jul 8, 2005
  5. These granola bars are totally awesome. I omitted the sunflower seeds as we have allergy to them but added chopped prunes (for madisinal use), raisens, chopped Walnuts, almonds and used 2 cups rice crispies and 2 cups oats. My husband has been snacking all afternoon. This recipe is definutley a keeper. It did however take about 45 minutes to prepare as I had nut and fruit chopping to do. Next time I will double the recipe and try different fruits in it. Thanks


  1. As many have stated, a very versitile recipe! I've already made them twice. I couldn't find oat bran, so I used wheat bran. Substituted sunflower seeds with pumpkin seeds, doubled the amout of dates, used only 1/4 cup sugar (because the dates are sweet enough). As per another suggestion, I substituted corn syrup with honey and the honey with tahini. DELICIOUS. A bit crumbly but I think it's almost impossible not to have it like that unless you use marshmellow or some other sugar that hardens. <br/>Tip: to coarsly chop the nuts, I throw them in a mortar and bash them a few times. Much faster than chopping.
  2. I changed a few things- and I think that is the point of her recipe! This is a diving board to making your very own. I didn't add coconut ( dh doesn't like it and I didn't have any!) I also used butter instead of margarine. I used craisins and honey roasted walnuts ( a salad topping!) and crushed some cashews. I also added some almond butter to the liquid mix and about a tablespoon of maple syrup. I also added some rice crispies too. And I had lots of chocolate chips so I melted them and put them on top! Oh! And I added some brewers yeast too. Those of you that are breastfeeding moms, this would be a great boost to your supply!
  3. This is such a versatile recipe! My kids' school is nut free, so I subbed pumpkin seeds for the nuts. I also subbed maple syrup for the honey, and wheat germ for the oat bran. Our dried fruits were raisins and dried cranberries. Absolutely delicious! Next time I'll try using agave or rice syrup for the corn syrup, but even if that doesn't work (I can see they might not hold together as well without the corn syrup), this will still be a new lunchbox staple in our house. Thanks so much for sharing!
  4. use brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup and you can even decrease the brown sugar because its sweet!
  5. Love this recipe! I substituted black strap molasses for half the corn syrup and used dried blueberries as the fruit. Instead of nuts I used school friendly pumpkin seeds. When I have a small amount of cereal in the bottom of the box I throw that in instead of the oats. There is no end to the possibilities with this one! Great energy bar for the kids on sports nights and handy to bring on hikes!


I have been a Central Illinois resident all my life. My hobbies include fishing with my husband, reading, counted cross stitch, and of course, cooking (especially baking)! I currently work in an office, behind a desk, pushing paper. My dream would be to open my own bakery. Spending time in the kitchen is very relaxing to me, and it keeps me connected to my domestic side!
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