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Almond, Blueberry & Date Granola Bars

5 stars based on 27 votes

homemade granola bars

Meet my new favorite granola bars. They’re crispy, chewy, and rich: a mishmash of nuts, cereal, coconut, and dried blueberries held together with a sweet almond butter-date paste. Unlike most homemade granola bars, they hold together as well as store-bought bars. You can pack them in the kids’ lunches or stuff them in your purse for on-the-go snacking — and they won’t crumble into a million pieces when you’re noshing on the sofa either. The trick is to purée the dates with the liquid ingredients to make a sticky concoction that binds the ingredients together. A quick flash in the oven helps the bars set too. Keep in mind: these bars are quick to throw together but they do take a few hours to set up after baking. They also keep well; actually, they seem to get better and better so stash them in a zip-lock bag and leave them on the counter all week long to grab-and-go as you please.

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To begin, place the dates, melted butter, brown sugar, honey, almond butter and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade (or use a blender).

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Process until mixture is smooth and thick.

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Transfer to a large pot or microwave-safe bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients, and bring the mixture to a boil. Whisk to combine, and then add the oats, rice cereal, coconut, almonds, and dried blueberries.

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Use a large rubber spatula to gently fold the mixture until the wet ingredients evenly coat the dry ingredients. Be gentle so as not to crush the rice cereal.

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Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and, using the bottom of a glass or dry measuring cup, press firmly into an even, compact layer. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Set the pan on a rack and let cool completely, a few hours. (Please do not attempt to cut the bars while still warm, as they will fall apart.)

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Use the foil overhang to lift the uncut bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the block into 16 bars.

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Wrap the bars individually with foil or parchment paper for easy on-the-go snacking, or place them in an airtight container.

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Almond, Blueberry & Date Granola Bars

Servings: 16 bars
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus a few hours to cool and set

Ingredients

  • 3 oz pitted Medjool dates (see note)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2-1/2 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • Heaping 1/3 cup dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a 9-by-13-in pan with aluminum foil, so that it hangs over the edges, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the dates, melted butter, brown sugar, honey, almond butter and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or use a blender. Process until mixture is smooth and thick. Transfer to a large pot (or microwave-safe bowl) large enough to hold all of the ingredients; don’t worry if the butter separates. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stovetop (or in the microwave), whisking to combine. Take off the heat.
  3. While the mixture is still hot, add the oats, rice cereal, coconut, almonds, and dried blueberries. Use a large rubber spatula to gently fold the mixture until the wet ingredients evenly coat the dry ingredients. The mixture will be thick. Be gentle so as not to crush the rice cereal.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and, using the bottom of a glass or dry measuring cup, press firmly into an even, compact layer. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Set the pan on a rack and let cool completely, a few hours. (Please do not attempt to cut the bars while still warm, as they will fall apart.)
  5. Use the foil overhang to lift the uncut bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the block into 16 bars. Wrap the bars individually with foil or parchment paper for easy on-the-go snacking, or place them in an airtight container. The bars will keep for up to a week at room temperature. They can also be frozen for longer storage.
  6. Note: You'll need about 5 Medjool dates for this recipe but it's best to weigh them if possible, as sizes vary.

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 264
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 113 mg
  • Cholesterol: 11 mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    These are absolutely delicious and came out perfectly. I have used dried cranberries in lieu of the blueberries and they were just as delicious!

    Thanks for a yummy nutritious treat.

    - Charlen on September 21, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The best granola bars ever! I used Coconut Oil instead of butter.

    - Zelda on September 20, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My family loves these bars! I substituted peanut butter for the almond butter since that’s what I regularly have in the pantry. A great healthy snack that satisfies those cravings for a little something sweet. Since they are requested frequently, sometimes I change out the dried blueberries with cranberries, cherries or a mix. Have added pumpkin seeds too.

    - Karen on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 3 stars

    Turned out great in terms of consistency and appearance. For my taste they were too sweet and the blueberry flavor did not come through. Would love to find a more healthful granola bar recipe.

    - ElliO on August 19, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    How long should you boil the date /sugar /butter mixture?
    They taste very good but mine still crumble very easily even when completely cool!

    - Jen on July 29, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Jen, you really aren’t cooking the mixture, just heating it enough so that it gets well combined. (So after it comes to a boil, it doesn’t need to be cooked any longer.) If these were crumbly, it could be that you didn’t keep them in the oven quite long enough. Also, did you press the mixture into a compact layer on the baking sheet before baking?

      - Jenn on August 1, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    A great snack and my kids love them too! They’ve become a favourite in our house!

    - Catherine on June 26, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    These bars have a nice, less sweet meld of flavors than Jennifer’s no-bake, chewy chocolate chip granola bars. In our house, they appealed more to the grown-ups than the kids. Because the clean-up from all that peanut butter was a lot stickier, we won’t make these bars nearly as often as the others.

    - Diane Webber on June 22, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love this recipe and can’t wait for more. Question, first batch fell apart- was delicious but was missing the chewy everyone else raves about. The second batch held together (baked a bit longer per other review/response) but still didn’t have the chew. What do you recommend?

    - Elaine Wang Molotky on June 21, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Elaine, the date mixture should definitely give the bars a chewy consistency. Is there any chance you could’ve measured something incorrectly?

      - Jenn on June 22, 2017 Reply
  • Jenn, is there a good substitute for dates? I’m having a difficult time finding them in the regular grocery store. I love granola bars but we are limited with store bought due to nut allergies in our house. Almonds are safe for us and I can’t wait to try these!

    - Sarah on June 16, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Sarah, You could try dried apricots.

      - Jenn on June 16, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these just before leaving on a vacation to MT, as I thought they would be good for snacks in the car. I wrapped individually and put in a plastic bag and they stayed fresh all week. My husband and friends loved them – the chewy texture had them fooled into thinking there was marshmallow in the bars! Will make these again and try with peanut butter and mini chocolate chips.

    - Pam S. on June 9, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have never reviewed a recipe before however these granola bars were nothing short of spectacular, I had to say something! I had to make them two weekends in a row because they absolutely disappeared after 2-3 days. I cut the second batch into 24 pieces just so they would last longer. There is the perfect balance of chewiness and crunch, the end result looks exactly as pictured. Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe, I cannot wait for the cookbook to come out!

    - Janice on May 30, 2017 Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback, Janice…I’m so happy you enjoyed them! There’s a peanut butter granola bar similar to these in the cookbook 🙂

      - Jenn on May 30, 2017 Reply
  • Is there any substitute for Rice Krispies ……
    leaning toward less processed grain, paleo or gluten-free substitute? Thanks

    - Debby on May 20, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Debby, The rice cereal gives these bars a really nice crispy texture. That said, you could always replace the cereal with more oats.

      - Jenn on May 20, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These were fantastic, well worth the effort! I made them to take to an adult ed. class where everyone raved about them. I had one small problem; even though I pressed the mixture very firmly into the pan, many bars crumbled. Any ideas why? I used coconut oil and omitted the shredded coconut, but that shouldn’t have made a difference.

    - Marlene on May 17, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Marlene, Glad everyone enjoyed the bars. It sounds like they may not have cooked long enough – next time try keeping them in the oven a little longer — they definitely shouldn’t crumble. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on May 18, 2017 Reply
  • Can you use 1 minute oatmeal instead of old fashioned oatmeal?

    - mommo on May 16, 2017 Reply
    • I think that would work here. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on May 17, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love these – a great option for busy mornings! The texture is great – satisfyingly chewy. This recipe is wonderfully flexible. I’ve made a couple batches, and experimented a bit. The coconut and nuts both really benefit from a light toasting in a 350 degree oven first – really enhances the flavor and texture. Let them cool before you use them. Pecans and apricots are a great combo. I’ve also made a batch subbing in peanut butter, dried strawberries, and honey-roasted peanuts – they taste like a classic PBJ. I didn’t reduce the salt, cuz’ I’ve got a bit of a salt-tooth. They’re like crack in the form of a granola bar! This batch disappeared in three days. Next time, I’ll throw in some flax or chia seeds to boost their nutritional content . Thanks for this!

    - Kat on May 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These came out great! Made them exactly as written. Will definitely make again, may try with different fruits and nuts. My husband loved them and wants me to try with chocolate chips, but I think they may melt too much. Maybe I’ll do chocolate dipped after they cool.

    - Erikka on May 11, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved this! Delicious and filling. May try with other dried fruits. Thank you!

    - Jeri on May 11, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious. Not inexpensive but worth every penny.!

    - Terri on May 11, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’m allergic to almonds so I used pecans as a substitute…amazing bars!!!

    - Gay Lee Freedman on May 11, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    a little labor intensive, but well worth it. super yummy and easy to grab in the morning.

    - Carrie on May 9, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these following the recipe exactly. Once again, this is a winner! I’ve made at least 25 of your recipes, and they never fail to wow me and my family. I’ve shared your recipes and your website with countless friends and family…it’s a go to resource for me, given that I try new recipes every week. Thanks for the delicious inspiration!!

    - Becky on May 9, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is the granola bar of my dreams – crispy, chewy, packed with flavour, and NOT cloyingly sweet. Thank you!

    - Joanne on May 4, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Not a granola lover. but these bars hit the mark. Used chopped dried apricots instead of blueberries and could not stop munching. Thanks Jenn

    - Carol Winkelman on May 3, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great!

    - Lovesdogs on May 2, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I will never buy another store bought granola bar again. These are not inexpensive to make, but the recipe makes 16 bars and the quality is so superior to anything you can buy. They are so worth it.

    - Trudy Black on May 2, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Yummy and chewy. Although not low cal, so be careful :/

    - Kelly on May 2, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are really, really wonderful WOW. I like to bake and my husband wants to eat healthier so this was a terrific compromise.
    Didn’t have the blueberries so I was gonna use raisins but was in a rush to get to a running race, and oops! No matter, they were delicious and so tasty, too bad they are gone now…. Also: I used Agave syrup (just because I bought it and need to use it on something), and hemp based granola in lieu of rice krispies, yum, yum, yum.

    - Michelle Sweeney on May 1, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Holy cow Jenn, these bars are seriously awesome! Not dry, not too sweet, and chewy. I used cranraisens as I didn’t have blueberries, peanut butter as my husband doesn’t like almond butter. I omitted the salt and 2 tbsp. of the brown sugar. A word of caution, only process ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth. I turned my back for a moment and the mixture turned into a ball! These bars are going to become a new staple in our family. Thanks Jenn!

    - Glenda Andrew on April 30, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I forgot to add my star rating

    - hdecam01 on April 28, 2017 Reply
  • As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it! Sent my RN daughter to the store for the missing ingredients and quickly whipped them up. These granola bars are seriously delicious. Great for a snack while working nights or anytime actually. This recipe will be a great springboard for creating a lot of different combinations. Thanks again!

    - hdecam01 on April 28, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn
    Was wondering if you could include recipes with less flour and use perhaps almond flour/ coconut flour as ingredients to reduce the carbohydrate load in some of the recipes?
    Made the banana bread and it was delicious especially right out of the oven with the crisp outer crust – love it when I get an email from you !
    Priya

    - priya rajkumar on April 27, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Priya, I do try to develop most of my recipes to appeal to the widest group of readers and that’s why I generally use all-purpose flour versus less traditional flours. I am always happy to help you adapt a recipe if you want to try a different ingredient but definitely will keep your request in mind. (And glad you enjoyed the banana bread!)

      - Jenn on April 27, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Is there a nut you could swap out well for the almonds? I’m allergic to them but would love to make the bars. That nutty crunch is important for a granola bar, so I am wondering what other nut would work. Nancy

    - Nancy Peckham on April 27, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Nancy, I think pecans with peanut butter would be wonderful with these. (If using peanut butter, reduce the brown sugar by 1 tablespoon and the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.)

      - Jenn on April 27, 2017 Reply
  • Can I replace almond butter with peanut butter?

    - Lu on April 27, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Lu, Yes but I’d reduce the salt and sugar just a bit — unless you use all natural peanut butter.

      - Jenn on April 27, 2017 Reply

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