Chocolate Chunk Gluten Free Granola Bars
These irresistible gluten free granola bars are packed with oats, coconut, flax, chia seeds and nut or seed butter, and are sweetened with maple syrup, honey and chopped dark chocolate. They’re similar in flavor to store-bought bars, but are much more nutritious and delicious (they pass the kid test with flying colors!). The bars are easy and fun to make, especially if you have little hands around to help you. Be sure to use quick cooking oats, not old-fashioned, which won’t hold together.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 12 bars
- Cooking spray or oil for pan
- 2 ¾ cups (248 grams) quick-cooking rolled oats
- ½ cup (45 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup (26 grams) oat flour
- ¼ cup (30 grams) ground flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon (11 grams) chia seeds
- ½ cup raisins or dried cherries
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1/3 cup nut or seed butter, such as peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray an 8-by-8-inch pan with cooking spray or brush it with oil. Line the pan with a large piece of parchment paper, leaving an overhang (you’ll use the overhang as handles to pull the bars out later).
In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, oat flour, flax seeds, chia seeds and raisins.
In a medium pot, add the coconut oil, nut butter, maple syrup, honey, almond extract, cinnamon and salt. Put the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth and bubbling. Remove the pan from the heat, and dump in the dry ingredients. Stir until everything is well combined and the mixture looks like damp sand. Fold in the chocolate.
Spread the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Using damp hands, firmly press the oats into a smooth, even layer, making sure to get into the corners.
Bake 22-25 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. Put the pan in the refrigerator to cool completely (this is the hardest part!), about 30 minutes.
Gripping the foil overhang, pull out the bars and place them on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the bars: first, cut across the middle, then cut each half into 6 bars.
- The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, or they can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen in a large ziptop bag for up to 3 months.
- If you happen to have a kitchen scale, it will make quick work out of measuring out the dry ingredients.
- The bars are a tad crumbly (since they have less sweetener than others), but it works in their favor - they're filling without being heavy or saccharine.
- Since these often go to school as snacks, I use unsweetened sunflower seed butter, since nuts aren’t allowed at school.
- Feel free to swap out the raisins or cherries for other chopped dried fruits, such as apricots, dates or prunes.