No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

27 Sep

Print the recipe card!  no-bake chewy granola bars

So I’ve been posting food storage recipes for a year now and still haven’t posted a granola bar recipe. Seriously, what kind of survivalist blogger am I…no granola bars?? Well, I’ve finally found what I consider to be the ideal food storage granola bar recipe.  It’s perfect (as in “it deserves it’s own parade” perfect) and I’m really excited to share it with you!

I need to explain why I’m so in love with these granola bars.  First (and this is BIG) they don’t fall apart.  Against all odds they’ve achieved the ultimate goal of being actual granola bars instead of granola chunks and pieces, which is what usually happens. Secondly, they’re fabulously nutritious .  They’re also made in just one pot (love love love), are fast to make, taste GREAT and require no baking!   I’m beside myself.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that my kids and husband all loved them.  Which, even if they hadn’t, I’d still have used the recipe because I myself loved them so much.

Before moving onto the recipe, I have to thank the author of it, Jami from “An Oregon Cottage”.  I only changed one ingredient to make it storable long term otherwise it’s entirely hers.  I’m so glad someone finally got it right!  We’re going to be using this recipe a lot!

makes 20 bars


1/2 c. honey

1/3 c. brown sugar

1/3 c. peanut butter (*see note)

2 TBS coconut oil

3 c. granola

1 1/2 c. popped amaranth (*see notes)

3-4 TBS flax seed meal

1 c. TOTAL add in’s.  Choose whatever you like, I used 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless.



Line a 13 x 9″ pan with parchment paper or wax paper.  Combine the first four ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly using the same saucepan.    Spread evenly and press down firmly.  Allow to set at least 2 hours before cutting.  Once set, lift out using the paper and cut into bars.


Add the first four ingredients into the pot to heat.

While the sauce heated I got all of the dry ingredients ready to throw in.

Stir the sauce just until smooth and add in the dry ingredients.

Pour the entire mixture onto the lined pan and press it all down firmly.  My metal measuring cup does a good job for things like this.

Contrary to the original recipe, I didn’t refrigerate these at all.  They set up all on their own after two hours.

Cut into bars.  The size I preferred made 20 of them.

Such a convenient and power packed bundle for breakfast, lunch or snack!



  • For any of you dealing with scary peanut allergies like me, there are a few “peanut free” options I can recommend when it comes to substituting for peanut butter in a recipe.  The first one is called Barney Butter,  an almond butter made in a dedicated “almond only” facility.  With this brand (so long as there’s no allergy to almonds) you don’t have to worry about cross contamination from peanuts.  The second is one called Sun Butter which is made from sunflowers in a tree nut-free and peanut-free facility.  And finally, there’s I.M. Healthy’s Soy Nut Butter (which is what I used in this recipe).
  • I store flax seeds raw so for this recipe I just had to grind them to make the flax meal. To demonstrate how this is done, I found a cool link to share.  I’ve had questions asked before about what my grain mill can and can’t grind and I happened upon a place you can go that answers that question with videos of all kinds of grains being ground in it.  The mill I’m talking about btw is the Wondermill Junior Deluxe.  As I shopped for a grain mill I settled on this one because it was rated best in being easy to use, which it definitely is.  I’ve been very happy with it.  Here’s the demonstration link:

Popping Amaranth

To make this into a recipe I could store, I swapped out the puffed rice cereal for popped amaranth.  Food storage or not, I actually like it better this way since amaranth is such an amazing grain nutritionally.  I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about it already (and I talked about it a while ago in this recipe) so I won’t elaborate too much.  Bottom line, it’s a true super grain especially when it comes to protein.  You can check out more  on it’s nutritional value *here*.

To eat it, it’s really good especially when it’s popped.  That said, popping it without burning it can take some practice so I’ve got a list of tips from what I’ve learned in doing it.  Mainly, it’s about getting the heat right, popping in small amounts and getting the grain in and out of the heat fast.  You don’t want it waiting to pop for too long (because the pan isn’t hot enough), you don’t want it popping too fast (because the pan is too hot) and you want to get it out of the pan as soon as you can.  Once you get the heat of your pan right the process goes fast.

I’ve found that with a small frying pan, popping 1 TBS at a time works the best, so my tips here are centered around using a small frying pan (dry) with 1 TBS amaranth at a time.

  1.  It will only work if your pan is fully heated (start at medium heat and test it until it’s the right temperature).
  2. Test the heat of your pan by adding a few raw grains of amaranth.  If it takes longer than 3 seconds for them to pop, it’s not hot enough. If they pop immediately it’s too hot.  Ideally you want them to pop at about 2 seconds.
  3. You have to cover the pan after you add the amaranth or you’ll have it flying everywhere!
  4. Once it begins popping start counting (one – one thousand, two – one thousand, three- one thousand) at three lift the pan up off of the direct heat (just a couple inches above it) and continue to let it pop there until count nine.  At count nine remove the lid (it should be mostly all popped) and pour into a separate container.  Even if it’s not all popped you’ve most likely popped it as much as it will pop and if you keep it on the heat you’ll just have burnt un-popped grains.
  5. Return your empty frying pan back to the stove and allow it to re-heat atleast 7 seconds before starting again.
  6. 1/2 cup raw amaranth = about 1 and 1/4 cup popped.
  7. The popped amaranth can be stored in a sealed container for a couple of weeks so for me it’s easiest to make a bunch of it all at once.  I store my raw amaranth in vacuum packed pint jars, so one pint yields about 5 cups popped. I love just snacking on it like popcorn and of course it goes into lots of baked things like granola as well as being added to cereal.

13 Responses to “No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars”

  1. Julene September 27, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    You have done it again!! You are a genius! I make granola bars weekly for my kids and I have wondered what I would do if I couldn’t get Rice Krispies to add in. I would never have thought of amaranth. I love it popped but I never put two and two together. Thanks for the tip!

    • myfoodstoragecookbook September 27, 2012 at 5:43 am #

      Thanks Julene, but you’re too kind. It’s Chef Brad and all his “wonderful grain” recipes rubbing off on me. I love that guy!

  2. plicketycat September 27, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    You can pop quinoa and millet the same way… and all 3 also work as EXCELLENT replacements for puffed rice cereal in our favorite marshmallow treats (with last week’s homemade marshmallows, too!) I’ve also substituted cracked & toasted buckwheat groats with good results.

  3. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage September 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Thanks for the shout-out! So glad you like the bars as much as we do. Though I use an unsweetened puffed brown-rice in my bars, the idea of popping another grain is really interesting – love the idea of upping the nutrition content. 🙂

    • myfoodstoragecookbook September 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      Thank you! I’ve loved looking through your recipes and I really appreciate you sharing them! Home cooks unite! 🙂

  4. Jocelyn September 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I am so excited to try your granola bar recipe! I have been trying unsuccessfully for quite some time to find one that doesn’t fall apart and doesn’t taste like baked oatmeal (my husband’s words!). Yours is the first recipe I have come across that uses granola in it instead of raw oats. Do you find this makes the bars too sweet? Could I use one of my own recipes for granola and still get good results? Have you tried the recipe with plain oats (perhaps toasted first) instead? I’m sorry for all the questions; I’m just trying to plan my first go with your terrific sounding recipe. Thank you!

    • myfoodstoragecookbook September 28, 2012 at 3:01 am #

      They are pretty sweet but I don’t think it’s because of the granola, it’s the honey I think. In the original recipe (you can read more through the link in the intro) Jami says that she decided she liked honey w/ sugar (since honey is sweeter than sugar) rather than 100% honey. Try it as written once yourself and see what you think; maybe if it’s too sweet you could try tweeking the honey to sugar ratio but I’d be careful because it might alter the syrup itself which is what keeps the bars all together. I think the granola in it is a great addition for it’s texture more than anything and yes, any granola recipe would work. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them. My husband liked these so much that he actually face booked about them, lol! Good luck!

      • Jocelyn September 28, 2012 at 3:11 am #

        Thank you for your thoughts. If the honey seems too sweet, I might try replacing some of it with maple syrup. I am eager to give this recipe a try!

  5. Jocelyn May 13, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    I finally made these! Sadly, they did not hold together very well. So, I mixed in some flour and baked them for about 18 minutes at 350 degrees. After cooling, they cut nicely and tasted yummy.

    • myfoodstoragecookbook May 13, 2013 at 3:26 am #

      Wow, I wonder why they never set up?! I’ve never had that happen. Did you press them pretty firmly into the pan and wait the time you needed to so that they were completely cooled before cutting them? Sorry about that! I’m glad you found a way to make them work anyway 🙂

      • Jocelyn May 13, 2013 at 3:54 am #

        I too am perplexed! I thought I pressed them pretty well and waited the requisite time before cutting. The only significant modifications I made to the recipe were replacing the flax meal with crispy brown rice cereal (I had no flax meal) and using the crispy cereal instead of amaranth. I’d like to give this recipe another go sometime because it is so easy and the taste is terrific. Thank you!


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