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FoodGranola Bars - Budget Bytes

Granola Bars – Budget Bytes

When I’m looking for a snack, I want it to be wholesome. These Homemade Granola Bars are delicious and free of all the junk and preservatives you can’t pronounce on most boxes of affordable store-bought granola bars. Instead, I loaded mine with quick rolled oats, Medjool dates, peanut butter, walnuts, and chocolate chips. They still taste amazing and are much healthier with whole food ingredients.

3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a bit crunchy… the kind of “crunchy” who left the city for the county, lives on a farm, grows their own vegetables, and makes their own Granola Bars. Guilty as charged! I love a hearty, chewy granola bar with a variety of textures, and this recipe is all of that and more! Marsha and I break these out of the freezer at the Budget Bytes studio on a regular basis; they make one heck of a snack.

Bonus: Because there’s no heat involved, these homemade granola bars are also fun to make with kids! They can mold the dough into fun shapes and help you in the kitchen!

Are Granola Bars Healthy?

That depends on a lot of factors. In general, granola bars are a good source of fiber (and sometimes protein, too!). However, many times, they also contain as much sugar and calories as candy bars. As a general rule, if I check the ingredient label on something and I can’t recognize or pronounce the majority of the ingredients, I usually put it back.

My homemade bars are made with Medjool dates and honey as the primary sweeteners, which are both lower on the glycemic index, making these bars more nutrient-dense and healthier than ones made with straight up sugar or corn syrup. The peanut butter and walnuts add a good bit of protein, and the oats up the fiber content. Overall, these homemade granola bars are much healthier than store-bought, but taste even better!

Here’s what you’ll need to make granola bars:

  • Medjool Dates: Sweeten the bars and help bind them together.
  • Chunky Peanut Butter: Adds creaminess and crunch, and also helps bind everything together.
  • Walnuts: Add extra crunch and protein.
  • Cinnamon: Adds a touch of warmth to the bars that enhances their overall flavor.
  • Sea Salt: Enhances the flavors of these bars.
  • Quick Rolled Oats: These are cut into smaller pieces than traditional rolled oats, making for a more cohesive bar.
  • Honey: Adds a little extra sweetness and helps the bars harden.
  • Chocolate Chips: Add a pop of rich chocolate flavor!

Is it cheaper to make your own granola bars?

Sometimes! I like to buy peanut butter and oats in bulk whenever they’re on sale since they keep well for a long time unopened. This really helps me cut down on costs. Some value-sized packs of store-bought granola bars are cheaper than my homemade recipe, but I can guarantee the ingredients aren’t nearly as wholesome. At just $0.72 per bar, these healthy homemade granola bars are good for your wallet and better for your body!

These bars are a great base for all kinds of mix-ins. Try:

  • White chocolate chips
  • Dried or freeze-dried fruits
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Crushed pretzels

Do you have a peanut allergy? Try swapping peanut butter and peanuts for almond butter. If you’re allergic to all tree nuts, try tahini and pumpkin seeds instead!

overhead view of 10 granola bars.overhead view of 10 granola bars.


Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars are wholesome and healthy! Loaded with oats, dates, peanut butter, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

Author: Jess – Budget Bytes

3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted ($2.99)
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter ($0.29)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts ($0.87)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt ($0.01)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats ($2.23)
  • 1/4 cup honey ($0.78)
  • 2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips ($0.20)
  • Gather ingredients. In a food processor, process dates (make sure all of them are pitted!) until they form a big ball of “dough”

  • In a mixing bowl, combine Medjool date “dough”, chunky peanut butter, walnuts, ground cinnamon, sea salt, cups quick rolled oats, honey, and dark chocolate chips and mix together by hand (it’s going to be sticky!)

  • Spread granola bar batter into a lined baking dish and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm but not completely solid.

  • Remove from freezer. Cut bars into the size and shape you want. These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one month!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1barCalories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 6gFat: 10gSodium: 122mgFiber: 3g

Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.

overhead view of 2 granola bars on a white plate next to granola bars on parchment.overhead view of 2 granola bars on a white plate next to granola bars on parchment.

how to make Granola Bars – step by step photos

medjool date paste in a food processor.medjool date paste in a food processor.

Gather ingredients. In a food processor, process 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (make sure all of them are pitted!) until they form a big ball of “dough”

pouring honey into a bowl with granola bar ingredients.pouring honey into a bowl with granola bar ingredients.

In a mixing bowl, combine combine Medjool date “dough”, 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats, 1/4 cup honey, and 2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips and mix together by hand (it’s going to be sticky!)

spreading granola bar mix into a baking pan with a rubber spatula.spreading granola bar mix into a baking pan with a rubber spatula.

Spread the granola bar batter into a lined baking dish and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm but not completely solid.

cutting granola bars on a cutting board.cutting granola bars on a cutting board.

Remove from freezer. Cut bars into the size and shape you want. These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one month!

3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.

You’ll never buy store-bought granola bars again!

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