100% Whole Grain Chewy Granola Bars

I’ve tried so many types of granola and granola bars and they were all okay, but these bars are just amazing. And they’re chewy! They’re actually chewy. And they’re not full of sugar like almost all of the other recipes.

I know there’s a bit of controvery about agave, but I won’t get into it. I’ve tried it with brown rice syrup but it didn’t come out the same. It could have been that I forgot about the mixture and let it cook too long, but I’m not sure so I can’t recommend it. 

I have to add that someone picky around here, and it’s not me for once, has hated all previous granola recipes but couldn’t keep their hands off of these. I actually had to remove them from his reach.

Thanks to Amanda at Thinly Sliced Cucumber for the recipe!


  • 2 cups rolled oats, non-contaminated for gluten-free
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds (unsalted, unroasted) coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries (I used sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried apricots, coarsely chopped (I left these out)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter 
  • 1/4 cup agave 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest 

1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF / 177ºC. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, but be sure to leave a few inches of paper hanging over the edges so that the bars will be easy to remove from the pan.

2. On a large rimmed baking sheet combine the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds and ground flax. Bake for 5 minutes, stir, and then bake for another 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and place the oat mix in a large bowl. Add the dried cranberries and apricots to the bowl and stir.

3. Cook the almond butter, agave, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and orange zest in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. When it’s bubbly, immediately remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the oat and fruit mixture. Mix well. I had to use my hands towards the end.  Press the mix into the dish, making sure to press down in the corners in order to prevent crumbly bars.

4. Cool for 30 minutes in the fridge so that they harden a little. Remove from the pan and cut into 8 bars. Store them in an airtight container.

Source: Chewy Almond Granola Bars, adapted from Eating Well
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22 comments on “100% Whole Grain Chewy Granola Bars” — Add one!

  • demi says
    September 12, 2021 @ 11:09 am

    can i use sesami butter tahini instead almond butter?and also add alittle honey ?

    • Erin replies to demi
      September 14, 2021 @ 9:21 am

      I haven’t tried it but think it’d work. You could use honey in place of the agave. :)

  • MP says
    May 8, 2016 @ 2:20 pm

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to what i could use as a binder that isn’t a nut butter? My son hates PB or nut butters in granola bars.

    • Erin replies to MP
      May 8, 2016 @ 8:32 pm

      I think that’d be pretty difficult to do. You could try finding a nut-free granola recipe. I think that’d be easier than trying to adapt this one. :) Here’s one that looks yummy!

  • LouAnn MAllon says
    August 3, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    Does anyone have a really GREAT CRUNCHY granola bar recipe??
    I have a great NO OIL crunchy granola recipe but not the bars. Always looking though!

    • Erin replies to LouAnn MAllon
      August 4, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

      Sorry, LouAnn! I’m afraid I don’t have a good crunchy granola bar recipe. Only chewy. I hope you’re able to find one. :)

  • Hayley says
    September 30, 2012 @ 6:30 am

    I made these this evening and and decided not to substitute the agave with maple syrup. I followed the recipe exactly and they taste delicious but are not staying together well at all:( any advice?

    • Erin replies to Hayley
      September 30, 2012 @ 11:23 am

      Aww, that stinks. Did you put them in the fridge before cutting? I made them once and didn't do that and they were crumbly. And did you press down hard? I hope they eventually came together!

  • Erin says
    September 29, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    I'd love it if maple syrup worked but I don't think it will. I tried these using brown rice syrup and they fell apart. Maybe you could try half a batch to see if it works? Good luck! :)

  • Hayley says
    September 29, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    I am really excited about trying these but was wondering if anyone has ever tried using maple syrup instead of agave? If so did it work or did it effect the chewiness?

  • Erin says
    March 15, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    Lakshmi – Me too. Today I posted my first recipe using regular sugar since September. :(

  • Lakshmi @Purevegetarian says
    March 15, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    Nice recipe! I'm slipping out of the sugarfree phase again, which is NOT good. Will try these to keep the sweet tooth from aching…

  • Erin says
    February 19, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

    Nora – You can actually eat these?! Yay! I hope you do get to make them and that you like them. Thanks for saying the pictures are nice. I'm always unsure.

    Heidi – Thanks! I'm happy you found them too. I love it when I click on something on one of the picture sites and then find out I missed an amazing post from someone I follow (although this post is definitely not amazing!). These are wonderfully chewy and not too sweet. It's the best bar with the least sugar I've found yet so I hope you like them too. :)

  • Heidi @ Food Doodles says
    February 19, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

    I don't know how I missed these! Good thing I noticed them on Healthy Aperture, I clicked right away and then saw it was you! :D I'm a huge granola bar fan, especially if they're perfectly chewy. These look awesome!

  • Nora @ Natural Noshing says
    February 19, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    I LOVEEEE granola bars, these look fantastic Erin! :) I'll have to make some of these to take to work with me! Lovely photos as well, nice job!

  • Erin says
    February 18, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

    Amanda – Yeah, the brown rice syrup was really weird. I even did an extra half of the wet mix when I saw that it wasn't coming together and even with extra, it didn't work. I don't understand why though. It's just strange. Thanks again for the recipe. I'll make these next time with honey as I don't mind extra sweetness. :)

    I hope the bagels come out well! I can't wait to hear how you like them. They taste like whole wheat, which is a taste I generally dislike, but they're still super yummy.

    Miryam – Amanda said that honey works so I'm going to try that next time. Maple is a good idea. :)

    I normally have to ask Alex to hide whatever I've baked or else I eat it all within a few hours. Really. And then he doesn't even do a good job of "hiding" it!

    Sara – That was my problem too! I really tried a lot of recipes but none of them were actually chewy and they all contained way more sugar anyway. So this was a real winner! Let me know if you get to try them out. :)

    Katie – What?! I do not belong on that list with those other blogs. But I won't complain. :) Thank you! I actually squealed when I saw that.

    And I bet your girls would love these. They're chewy and sweet enough to please anybody!

  • {Epicurean Mom} says
    February 18, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    Granola bars are so perfect and healthy for my girls! I love this recipe! And your pictures are gorgeous Erin!!

    I responded to your comment on my blog! :) Did you happen to see my noteworthy sites? xx

  • Sara @ SimplyWholeKitchen says
    February 17, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    YUM! I am so excited about trying these! Since I am 'watching my sugar' I've found it hard to find an easy recipe that give you that chewy bar I am looking for! Thanks Erin!

  • eatgood4life.blogspot.com says
    February 17, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

    Another thing in my list that you beat me to it :-)

    I am glad to know that the brown sugar does not work as well as the agave. I wonder how honey and maple syrup would work.

    It is funny you mention you have to put them out of site…I find myself having to do that sometimes with things I bake as well :-)

  • Amanda @ Thinly Sliced Cucumber says
    February 17, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    I am so glad that you love this recipe (and you're husband too)! I also tried the brown rice syrup and found it to be not chewy enough. I've also used honey as a sub for the agave and while it does provide the right amount of chewiness, it's noticeably sweeter. So my next experiment will be half agave half honey. Think i'm going to try your whole wheat cinnamon bagesl next week – I'll let you know how it goes :)

  • Becca says
    February 17, 2012 @ 4:30 am

    I could eat granola bars all day. They are one of my favorite snacks, and I'm always looking for a good granola bar recipe. :) This one looks really delicious.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
    February 17, 2012 @ 4:03 am

    These are absolutely lovely! I can't wait to try!!


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