Almond, Blueberry & Date Homemade Granola Bars
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
These homemade granola bars are a mishmash of almonds, dried blueberries, oats, cereal and coconut — all held together with a sweet almond butter-date paste.
Meet my new favorite homemade 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.
What you’ll need to make homemade Granola Bars
How to make homemade Granola Bars
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).
Process until mixture is smooth and thick.
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.
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.
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.)
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. For more granola bar recipe inspiration, check out my Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and my Crispy Honey Nut Granola Bars. I also have a wonderful peanut butter granola recipe in my cookbook.
You may also like
Almond, Blueberry & Date Granola Bars
These homemade granola bars are a mishmash of almonds, dried blueberries, oats, cereal and coconut — all held together with a sweet almond butter-date paste.
- 3 oz pitted Medjool dates (see note)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp honey
- ¾ cup unsalted creamy almond butter (see note)
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2½ cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
- ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped almonds
- Heaping ⅓ cup dried blueberries
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Note: You'll need about 5 Medjool dates for this recipe but it's best to weigh them if possible, as sizes vary.
- Note: For best results, use a smooth and creamy commercial almond butter. (I do not recommend all-natural or chunky almond butter.)
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The granola bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove them from the container and let them come to room temperature.
- 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
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Gluten-Free Adaptable Note
To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.
I just made your almond, blueberry & date granola bars with the following changes: natural peanut butter instead of almond butter; dried apricots instead of dried blueberries. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. However, I ended up with crumbs – not bars. Although delicious, it is not what I wanted. Do you have suggestions as to what went wrong?
Hi Linda, I’m pretty sure the issue is the natural peanut butter. It doesn’t have the same sticky quality as processed nut butters that also contain sugar — it doesn’t stay emulsified. I hope that helps!
Jenn if you want to use natural peanut butter, what do you suggest doing to get the same “stick together” consistency?
Hi Amy, Unfortunately, I don’t recommend using all-natural peanut butter here. Sorry!
Hi Jenn, can you recommend a substitute for the butter. I cannot eat dairy. Thank you, Kelly
Hi Kelly, Although I’ve never tried it, I think you could substitute coconut oil for the butter here. I’d love to hear how they turn out if you make them! 🙂
These turn out equally delicious with coconut oil. They may even be better.
Oh and I meant to add, you could also use Earth Balance vegan butter or any of the vegan butter substitutes. Earth Balance is the only “butter” I use.
These are incredible. Soooo soooo good. I actually made them with a cornflake type cereal that had slivered almonds and dried cranberries in it (lightly crushed to the size of Rice Krispies) as was what I had. I cannot imagine them being any better with the Rice Krispies but will try next time. Worked very well with cornflakes.
My Costco has bags of mixed dried fruit that included blueberries, cherries and strawberries and used that instead of just blueberries.
I’ve made these bars and my daughter loves them! I was wondering if I could up the protein by adding Raw Fit Vegan Protein Powder to the recipe and if so, do I need to add more liquid and what liquid do you suggest?
Thank you for the recipe as is. It is wonderful and so easy to make.
Hi Sandy, So glad your daughter likes them! If you add a few tablespoons of protein powder, I would the same amount of dry ingredients (equal parts Rice Krispies and oats).
Thought I had enough almond butter to make these but was short about 4T. Added peanut butter and it worked beautifully well!
Question: my son is vegan – would coconut oil work instead of butter?
Hi Connie, glad you liked these! I’ve never made these with coconut oil, but I suspect it should work.
Just made a batch using coconut oil and dried apricots instead of blueberries (didn’t have any on hand). Turned out just as good as the original recipe, but now my vegan son can also enjoy them Thanks for the recipe.
Glad to hear it – thanks for reporting back!
Can I substitute brown sugar with jaggery?
Hi Salina, I think that’d probably work (although I’ve never cooked with jaggery so I can’t say with 100% certainty).
Hi Salina, did you try with jaggery and how did it turn out?
Delicious! My 3yo had one for breakfast this morning and I heard him singing, “Yum, yum, yum!” This is a keeper.
Is there a substitute for the butter? Would it work with the same amount of coconut oil? Any other ideas?
Your recipes are INCREDIBLE! Reasonable and delicious!
So glad you like the recipes, Nylca! Yes, I think you could substitute coconut oil for the butter. I’d love to hear how they turn out!
So I tell my best friend of 40 years, Sunny J., that I was looking for ways to eat oats to lower my cholesterol. She had just made these granola bars and raved how delicious they were. She has never been wrong about something tasting delicious and she is a fantastic non-professional baker. So despite I hated baking I trusted her. I used all the ingredients except the dried blueberries (store didn’t have any) and added ground flaxseed meal. They came out amazingly delicious! My husband and son looked at them questioningly at first (have a history of sucking at baking) but now can’t stop eating them. My husband said how the sweet dates really shined through. I loved the texture of the Rice Crispies. I don’t feel guilty for eating these healthy granola bars and will make them again. I also tasted it before putting it in the oven and they were yummy without baking. Thank you for creating such a thoughtful melody of flavors and textures and to Sunny, ” Sharing is Caring” as you have always said!
These almond, blueberry and date granola bars were absolutely delicious and addictive. It took a little more time to make than other granola bars but it was worth it! I made one batch exactly as written but used dried cranberries instead of blueberries and swapped brown rice krispies for white. I also made another batch with semi-sweet choco-chips that I gently added at the very end before placing into the oven to bake. These bars were by far the best I have had (store bought or homemade)! My sister and best friend have requested the recipe and loves them, too. Make sure not to cut the bars too thick and definitely make sure to make two batches because it is so addictive!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!
I love these bars, I just made them with chocolate chips instead of dried blueberries so my six year old would eat them, and they are just as delicious! So much better for you than the processed bars at the store and easy to make!
I made these a few weeks ago and they were SO good! I didn’t have almond butter or dried blueberries on hand so used peanut butter and dried cherries. They were really delicious and had just the right amount of chew. And they didn’t crumble at all, which happened the last time I tried a recipe for homemade granola bars. I froze half of them (wrapped individually in foil) and they were an awesome snack with just a few minutes thaw time. Sadly they’re all gone, so it’s time to make another batch. I’ve since bought almond butter and it’ll be interesting to see how they compare, but I know they’ll be delish. Another winner, Jenn, thanks so much!
Can you make this with peanuts and peanut butter instead of almond? If so, would you keep the measurements the same?
Hi Deepa, Yes and yes. 🙂
What a good, solid granola bar recipe. They are a little bit chewy and crunchy. Great texture! And they really do hold up in my lunch bag without turning into a zip lock full of loose granola.
I used dried cranberries instead of blueberries because that’s what was in my pantry. I also don’t own a metal baking pan, so I used a Pyrex baking dish. Still used the aluminum foil. I did have to add an extra few minutes to baking time. 19 minutes in the oven.
Hi, Jen. Love your site and almost every recipe I’ve tried has become “the” recipe at my house. How do you do it? Anyway, I’m curious if you use salted almond butter or just simply roasted? I only buy roasted AND salted, but most jars on the shelf contain no salt—should I adjust the amount of salt down for this recipe?
Hi Kaime, so glad you like the recipes! 🙂 For the granola bars, I use unsalted almond butter. If you only have salted, just reduce the added salt to 1/2 tsp. Hope you enjoy!
Thanks, Jen. I’ve made these twice now, and the consistency could not be more perfect. All of your granola bar recipes are amazing—I don’t think I can choose a favorite.
Will the recipe turn out the same if I use a glass 9X13 pan versus an aluminum pan?
Yes, Chloe, I think that should work. Enjoy!
What a great recipe! Yummy; a satisfying “chewy-crisp” bite, and full of wonderful flavors. Truly worth making again and again.
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.
The best granola bars ever! I used Coconut Oil instead of butter.
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.
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.
How long should you boil the date /sugar /butter mixture?
They taste very good but mine still crumble very easily even when completely cool!
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?
A great snack and my kids love them too! They’ve become a favourite in our house!
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.
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?
Hi Elaine, the date mixture should definitely give the bars a chewy consistency. Is there any chance you could’ve measured something incorrectly?
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!
Hi Sarah, You could try dried apricots.
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.
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!
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 🙂
Is there any substitute for Rice Krispies ……
leaning toward less processed grain, paleo or gluten-free substitute? Thanks
Hi Debby, The rice cereal gives these bars a really nice crispy texture. That said, you could always replace the cereal with more oats.
Not to butt in, but I use puffed rice. It’s not as crisp as Rice Krispies but gives nice body to the bar. Plus, it’s just rice—no other ingredients involved!
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.
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!
Can you use 1 minute oatmeal instead of old fashioned oatmeal?
I think that would work here. Enjoy!
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!
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.
Loved this! Delicious and filling. May try with other dried fruits. Thank you!
Delicious. Not inexpensive but worth every penny.!
I’m allergic to almonds so I used pecans as a substitute…amazing bars!!!
a little labor intensive, but well worth it. super yummy and easy to grab in the morning.
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!!
This is the granola bar of my dreams – crispy, chewy, packed with flavour, and NOT cloyingly sweet. Thank you!
Not a granola lover. but these bars hit the mark. Used chopped dried apricots instead of blueberries and could not stop munching. Thanks Jenn
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.
Yummy and chewy. Although not low cal, so be careful :/
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.
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!
That’s what I must have done wrong! 😂 Thanks for posting.
I forgot to add my star rating
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!
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 !
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!)
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
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.)
Can I replace almond butter with peanut butter?
Hi Lu, Yes but I’d reduce the salt and sugar just a bit — unless you use all natural peanut butter.