JAN
26

Molasses and Ginger Granola Bars

Breakfast and Brunch, Kid Friendly Recipes, Oatmeal | 59 comments

I have never made homemade granola bars. I thought it was time to change that. They looked pretty simple and it’s always nice to have a semi-healthy sweet on hand for a snack or to grab on my way out to take the kids to school if I don’t have time to eat breakfast beforehand.

gingerbread granola bars

Then I had the idea to make gingerbread inspired granola bars. Instead of honey as the sweetener as is used in many recipes I substituted molasses and maple syrup and used plenty of ginger and other gingerbread inspired spices.

I can’t wait to try flavor combos using this easy formula. Next time I’ll make a double batch in a 9×13 inch baking pan. They store well in the freezer for up to a month. The recipe for the Molasses and Ginger Granola Bars is below, just keep scrolling.

Print This Print This

Pin It

5 Ingredients To Create Your Own Chewy Granola Bars

1. Rolled Grains (i.e. oats): 2 1/2 cups total

  • You’ll probably want to use oats for the bulk, but you can use a combination of several different grains. Other ideas include: rye and barley flakes.
  • When using oatmeal, be sure to use old fashioned or rolled oats – NOT quick cook oats.

2. Nuts, Seeds, & Spices: 1 cup total Nuts & Seeds, Spices per your discretion.

  • Use 1 cup of your favorite nut or a combination of several different nuts.
  • Nuts are a good source of protein, fiber and the good fats (omegas). Because they’re calorie dense, they will help fill you up.
  • Accent your bars with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or another favorite spice. Or, simply omit.

3. Sticky Sweetener: 1/3 + 1/4 cup

  • For something sweet you’ll need a sticky sweetener, such as honey, agave, molasses, maple syrup, etc. Sweetener adds moisture and flavor.
  • Use the full amount as one sweetener, or mix up the flavors.

4. Dried Fruits: 1 cup total

  • Fruits are what I most look forward to experimenting with. You can change the flavor of the bar so easily with different fruits.
  • Fun combinations: triple berry, apple cranberry, pineapple mango

5. Binder: 1 cup total

  • This is what will hold the bars together and keep them chewy without over drying.
  • These Molasses and Ginger Granola Bars use pureed dates, but get creative. Prunes, Apple Butter, and Almond Butter would be great choices too.
  • Just make sure you use something that has a thick consistency that will also add moisture.

Print This Print This


how to make homemade granola bars - recipe

I am hoping that the kids will be game for eating these homemade granola bars as well since they are so simple to make. I think they’d make a perfect afternoon snack paired with apple slices, or another fruit.

These soft and chewy granola bars really hit the spot for me when I was in need of a little bit of a sweet fix.

Pin It

Molasses and Ginger Granola Bars

Print Save Recipe

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

In a full sized food processor, combine the molasses, maple syrup, vanilla, and dates. Pulse three times. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Puree until mixture is smooth. Add the oats and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped.

Remove the oat mixture from the food processor and transfer to a medium bowl, taking care to scrape the edges of the food processor to remove all of the mixture. Stir in the cranberries, pecans, apricots, and sunflower seeds until well mixed.

Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper (Kitchen Tip: Lining Pans with Parchment). Press the oat mixture into the baking pan until the mixture is evenly distributed throughout the pan and tightly packed.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool in the freezer until the bars are firm. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan, remove, and cut into 8-12 bars.

Store bars in an airtight container for up to a week. Bars may be frozen for up to a month and thawed as needed.

Katie

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

Email  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

59
RESPONSES - LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW
  • 1
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - January 26, 2011 @ 6:38 am

    I haven’t made homemade granola bars yet! I am dying to…

    [Reply]

  • 2
    Cait @ A Bicycle Built for Two - January 26, 2011 @ 6:42 am

    I love how easily everyone can make this recipe “their own” with different nuts & fruits. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • 3
    Heather (Heather's Dish) - January 26, 2011 @ 6:47 am

    i love that this is a method recipe and doesn’t have to be exactly like the one you made…customization is fun! :)

    [Reply]

  • 4
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel - January 26, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    I meant to make granola bars the other week but never got around to it. Love all of the suggestions you gave.

    [Reply]

  • 5
    Angela@RecipesFromMyMom - January 26, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    What a beautiful breakfast! I don’t think I would change a thing from your recipe but the variation instructions are great.

    [Reply]

  • 6
    sylvie of silver lining - January 26, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    LOVE. gingerbread is one of my all time favorites and a granola bar version is a terrific and tasty idea! i’ll be passing this recipe onto my wonderful readers this morning, too. thank you!

    [Reply]

  • 7
    Aliza - January 26, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    Thank you so much for the tutorial! I’ve been playing with granola bar recipes for awhile, ever since I started reading the ingredients on the back of my “all natural” granola bars. Most recipes I’ve made use peanut butter, but I have been looking for a different flavor. Now with your guidelines, the possibilities of flavor are endless! I will be stopping at the store on the way home today.

    [Reply]

  • 8
    Kelly Lester - January 26, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    These will be perfect for my girls to grab and go in between school and dance classes. They love to bake so I know they’ll have fun coming up with different ideas for these. Fab!! Thank you :)

    [Reply]

  • 9
    Kristen - January 26, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    I’ve never made homemade granola bars either. Love the ribbon you used in your photo!

    [Reply]

  • 10
    Heather (Gluten-Free Cat) - January 26, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    What a lovely guide! I’ve been wanting to try making granola bars, but I wasn’t sure what ratios to start with. I’m diving in!

    [Reply]

  • 11
    Lauren from Lauren's Latest - January 26, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    The “5 ingredients to create your own granola bars” lays it out so easily! Anyone can do this! I love that you make this so approachable.

    [Reply]

  • 12
    ann - January 26, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    These look so great and your instructions are so helpful.

    [Reply]

  • 13
    thatssoron - January 26, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    wow great . awesome recipe!

    [Reply]

  • 14
    Kori - January 26, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

    Yum! I love your idea to use molasses! I’ll have to remember that next time.

    [Reply]

  • 15
    Winnie - January 26, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

    These look awesome. I have not had much luck with homemade granola bars- definitely going to give these a try!

    [Reply]

  • 16
    Tracy - January 26, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    Love the formula! I definitely want to give my own granola a try!

    [Reply]

  • 17
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - January 26, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Katie, you’re killing me. Those look like something you’d get at a tiny family owned bakery and I’d happily pay $3 a bar. Gorgeous photos!

    [Reply]

  • 18
    Kat @ Cupcake Kat - January 26, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    I love the formula you give for creating your own granola bars. I’m going to try it out. The bars you’ve made sound delightful.

    [Reply]

  • 19
    Sues - January 26, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

    These look awesome! I love homemade granola, but need to try it in bar form. I have a feeling I’d really enjoy the ginger flavor :)

    [Reply]

  • 20
    Lisa@ Dishes of Mrs. Fish - January 26, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I am planning on making homemade granola bars soon, so I LOVED this post. :)

    [Reply]

  • 21
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} - January 26, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

    I love how you break down the ratios of your granola bar recipe for customization-thanks! I love molasses-sweetened treats so I think your recipe sounds perfect.

    [Reply]

  • 22
    Casa e Cose - January 27, 2011 @ 4:38 am

    Will do this with my son tonight! He is allergic to milk protein so im allways in the search for happy healthy and yummi things for him!

    [Reply]

  • 23
    Cheryl Smithem - January 27, 2011 @ 5:33 am

    Once again, I’m inspired by your carefully thought out recipe and the incredible photography. We don’t eat many granola bars, but you’ve made me want to make some with this recipe. The other benefit of molasses is the wonderful nutritional bonuses you get: iron, calcium, copper and manganese as well as a good source of potassium and magnesium.

    [Reply]

  • 24
    Happy When Not Hungry - January 27, 2011 @ 6:49 am

    I love making homemade granola bars! Yours look delicious too. Thanks for the tips!

    [Reply]

  • 25
    Andrea [bella eats] - January 27, 2011 @ 7:56 am

    Hi Katie! I’ve just discovered your blog…it is so lovely! Your food photography is gorgeous and your recipes are very accessible. I look forward to reading more!

    [Reply]

  • 26
    Lynda@Me and My Pink Mixer - January 27, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    I’ve been making my own granola bars for about 2 months now and love them. So much better than store bought! I use peanut butter and rice syrup for my binder and keep them in the fridge. Yours look yummy ~ love the addition of the dried fruit.

    [Reply]

  • 27
    Jennifer - January 27, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    Why should you not use quick oat for granola bars?

    [Reply]

    • Katie

      Katie replied: — January 27th, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

      Because I did not create this recipe using quick oats and therefore cannot guarantee how or what it will turn out like. If you’d like to take the risk, that is fine just know that I’m not able to vouch for how they will turn out.

    • Jennifer replied: — January 27th, 2011 @ 9:47 PM

      Okay, I wanted to try this recipe but all I have a quick oats. I guess I will just try it and see how they turn out! Thanks!

    • Jennifer replied: — January 27th, 2011 @ 9:47 PM

      Okay, I wanted to try this recipe but all I have a quick oats. I guess I will just try it and see how they turn out! Thanks!

  • 28
    Lisa {Smart Food & Fit} - January 27, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    Great post, we make homemade granola and homemade granola and protein bars all the time!

    I just started “name this product” on my food blog. The ingredient list for store bought granola bars will be on my “name this product? ” post, (near future). Your recipe is definitely a more nutritious one compared to many store bought ones!

    [Reply]

  • 29
    Cecelia - January 27, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    Thank you so much for posting this formula! very helpful

    [Reply]

  • 30
    Erica - January 27, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    Can you suggest any other things to use as binders?

    [Reply]

    • Katie

      Katie replied: — January 29th, 2011 @ 12:03 PM

      Any kind of nut butter or thick fruit – figs, prunes, dates, (applesauce might be too thin, I haven’t tried that yet). Just substitute whatever you choose, i.e. dried figs, and puree with the ingredients listed in step one of my example recipe. Hope that helps.

  • 31
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - January 27, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    LOVE this post! What a great formula. I have made homemade granola bars before, but I’ve always been “tied” to a specific recipe. I will absolutely be making some granola bars over the weekend for snacks next week!

    [Reply]

  • 32
    Kasey - January 27, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    I’ve never made my own granola bars and these look fabulous!! Definitely bookmarking this one :)

    [Reply]

  • 33
    Kathi - January 27, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    When in an air tight container does it have to refrigerated?

    [Reply]

    • Katie

      Katie replied: — January 27th, 2011 @ 5:21 PM

      No, unless you plan on storing them for more than a week. They can also store frozen in a container for up to a month or so.

  • 34
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - January 27, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

    Spicy! I love all those yummy spices in the recipe, it’s like a molasses ginger cookie but better for you :-)

    [Reply]

  • 35
    consu - January 28, 2011 @ 4:07 am

    I am a big fan of granola. Now you gave me the perfect “excuse” to try to make some of my own. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  • 36
    The Food Hunter - January 29, 2011 @ 8:03 am

    I’ve been wanting to try making granola bars..thanks for this great recipe

    [Reply]

  • 37
    Dori - January 30, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    I love granola bars for their convenience and tastiness, especially on mornings when I’m rushing to school. Thanks for the great recipe!

    [Reply]

  • 38
    Lindsey - January 31, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    Yum; they are in the oven right now. I’ve been looking for a good granola recipe for a while to avoid all the processed ingredients. This looks like a winner!

    [Reply]

  • 39
    Holli - February 01, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    These look beautiful. I love how easily you present them and allow the baker room for creativity. Thanks for putting this out there! I can’t wait to make them!
    Cheers,
    Holli

    [Reply]

  • 40
    Shaina - February 01, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    Love how these look. I’m always looking to expand our granola bar love.

    [Reply]

  • 41
    Chocolate Freckles - February 02, 2011 @ 7:05 am

    Why would you need to buy any unhealthy preackage stuff with tons of salt when you can actually make your own and control how much you add into it!

    [Reply]

  • 42
    Amy - February 03, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

    Wow–these were so good. I had to take them to work and share them so I would not eat the whole batch myself. Now everyone wants your recipe, and I am happy to oblige! At first I thought the molasses was a bit strong but they quickly became strangely addictive. I may try less molasses next time and add some honey in instead. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

    [Reply]

  • 43
    Candy Sartell - February 10, 2011 @ 7:00 am

    I made these. A departure from your typical granola bar. This one is lovely, so full of flavor which I love. Store bought granola bars typically taste like sawdust and are a far cry from the “healthy” reputation they would have us believe them to be. These are so simple to make and the Molasses/Ginger is reminiscent of the old-fashioned brown bread. Allow a bar to come to room temperature. The flavor is heightened and it’s a softer,gooey treat. Thanks for sharing… and the suggested alternatives!

    [Reply]

  • 44
    mary n - February 24, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

    Can’t wait to try it. I use the suggestion of another blogger and put mine in a muffin tin, that way they come out pre-portioned.

    [Reply]

  • 45
    Suzanne - February 25, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    I have been interested in making granola bars and granola in general, but the ingredients used seem expensive. Dried fruit is probably the most expensive. Does anyone have a general idea on how much a batch of 8 bars costs? Also, does anyone have recommendations on good places to buy dried fruit? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    • Katie

      Katie replied: — February 25th, 2011 @ 10:07 AM

      I have not calculated out how much the batch costs. I like to buy dried fruit at Costco. Dried cranberries are particularly inexpensive.

  • 46
    michelle - February 26, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    I made these today and they are yummy! I used quick oats and it turned out a little crumblier than pictured above, but still yummy! The molasses is not overpowering, it is about the same amount of flavor you would taste in gingerbread or molasses cookies.

    [Reply]

  • 47
    April - March 18, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    http://organiquegal.com/chewy-granola-bar-formula-chocolate-chip-coconut.html

    I made these granola bars and gave you credit in my blog post. :) They turned out AMAZING!!!

    [Reply]

  • 48
    Chad - April 06, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    I’ve made similar granola bars for over a year now and stumbled onto using molasses or pancake syrup when I ran out of honey. Another tip that I stumbled upon quite by accident was storing the granola bars in a freshly emptied out coffee can. The trace amounts of coffee grounds get picked up by the sticky bars and gives an eye opening invigorating boost to the bars. Look forward to the next post.

    [Reply]

  • 49
    Audrey Ellen - April 11, 2011 @ 7:43 am

    Hi Katie!
    Sorry about the mixup with your recipe. Thanks for putting this together and I can’t wait to try other options. I appreciate you letting me know what I’m doing wrong here on the blogosphere, I am new at it. And I hope you have a chance to look at my blog sometime when it’s not about my errors, I am trying to get the hang of it.

    Thanks for the recipe, and great looking site!

    [Reply]

  • 50
    Leah Adams - November 15, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    I currently have some granola bars in the oven, just waiting to come out. I made mine with my granola mix, rolled oats, wheat, barley, & rye. I added honey & some pomegranate syrup, as well as nutmeg, mace, ginger, cinnamon, cloves & vanilla. To round it out, there are walnuts & almonds and cranberries & dates. I can’t wait to see how they come out!

    [Reply]

  • 51
    Mary Lou - January 17, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    Katie,
    I’ve been looking for a good granola bar recipe and yours looks the best so far. I have them in the oven now and will post your recipe on my blog. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • 52
    siewlingchaw - June 20, 2012 @ 9:31 am

    why is it that we can’t use instant quick oats for this recipe ? :(

    [Reply]

    • Katie

      Katie replied: — June 20th, 2012 @ 9:39 AM

      Because I did not test the recipe using instant quick oats and therefore cannot endorse as to whether or not it works to achieve desired results.

Leave a Comment