Soft and Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars
Make your own Soft and Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought. They’re so much healthier, too!
Please forgive me if I haven’t been my peppy old self lately.
I won’t bore you with the details but the truth is I’m currently going through a real harsh emotional patch, and the very fact that I even manage to get any work done at all is sort of a miracle in itself. Especially given the nature of my job, you know.
My stomach pretty much locked up on me and is obstinately refusing all food offerings. Even chocolate seems to have lost its appeal, putting My Evil Twin on forced vacation. I basically have to force myself to eat.
Needless to say that creating tasty dishes, taking beautiful photos of them and then writing interesting stuff about them are the last things I feel like doing right now.
As if to make matters worse, it seems even the weather hasn’t been on my side. We’re having the most depressing summer ever: cold, gray and damp. Bucket-loads of rain appear to be pouring from the sky every.single.day.
So yeah, seeing as how this is all affecting my work so much, and you guys are kind of my boss and co-workers all rolled into one, I thought I should at least let you in on the fact that I hadn’t been feeling all that great lately.
Fear not though. For the time being, I’m still capable of coming up with great recipes, only they tend to be more on the “comforting” and “easily-accepted-by-picky-tummy” side.
Like these Soft and Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars, for instance, which Mr. Stubborn Tummy appears to consider as acceptable fare. I think he would be very satisfied feeding on nothing but them until there were no more.
Good thing he doesn’t make the rules and I also happen to have a blog, and you guys, to feed!
To make them, start by lining a 8″ square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang on either sides for easy removal and then set that aside.
Measure or weigh your ingredients, then place the peanut butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, until it gets nicely warm and melted; next warm up the honey in the same fashion but only leave that in for about 30 seconds; you do not want to let the honey to come to a boil.
Next, combine the rolled oats, chopped almonds, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pistachios and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a small food processor, process the dates, melted peanut butter and warm honey until they form a sticky paste, about 30 seconds, and pour that right over the reserved dry ingredients.
Now mix all these ingredients together until they are very well combined. You could use a sturdy wooden spoon to do that but seriously, the mixture is so extremely sticky and sort of hard to mix, I strongly suggest that you use your hands instead, if you’re not afraid to get a little dirty, that is.
Transfer the granola mixture into the prepared pan and press very firmly into an even layer. Very, very firmly. You want these ingredients to really stick and hold together. So really. Don’t be afraid to apply pressure here.
Place the granola in the refrigerator to set until firm, about 2 hours.
Remove the pan from the fridge and lift the granola bars out by using parchment paper overhang; Use a sharp knife to cut into 12 bars and enjoy as desired.
Store the bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container or individually wrapped in plastic film for up to 3 weeks.
Oh, and do I need to tell you that you will never again go for the store-bought stuff once you’ve had a taste of these?
I know I won’t!
Soft and Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars
- 2-1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped raw shelled pistachios
- 1/4 tsp salt, I use Himalayan salt
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unpasteurized honey
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- Line a 8" square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang on either sides for easy removal. Set aside.
- Place the peanut butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, until it gets nicely warm and melted. Reserve.
- In the same fashion, warm up the honey but only for about 30 seconds; you do not want the honey to come to a boil. Reserve.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, chopped almonds, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pistachios and salt.
- In a small food processor, process the dates, melted peanut butter and warm honey until they form a sticky paste, about 30 seconds. Add to reserved dry ingredients.
- Using a sturdy wooden spoon, or even better yet your hands, mix until all the ingredients are very well combined. The mixture will be extremely sticky and sort of hard to mix so really, if you're not afraid to get a little dirty, I strongly suggest that you use your hands.
- Transfer the granola mixture into the prepared pan and press very firmly into an even layer.
- Place in the refrigerator to set until firm, about 2 hours. Remove from fridge and lift the granola bars out of pan using parchment paper overhang. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 bars and enjoy as desired.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or individually wrapped in plastic film for up to 3 weeks.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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16 Comments on “Soft and Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars”
Oh no!! Sure hate you are having stomach issues. No fun at all. Hope this will be over soon for you.
These bars look delicious!!
Sorry to hear you are having stomach issues, hope you feel better soon.
I enjoy following your food journeys and looking forward to new ones .
I did something wrong. I couldn’t get the PB to be “liquidy”. Seemed like I didn’t have enough of a binder to hold everything together. I did mix by hand, which was better than a wooden spoon. The bars fell apart and crumbled when I lifted it out. They were in the fridge for three hours. I’m gonna try again!
Really? I don’t think I’ve ever seen peanut butter not melt in the microwave (or stove top) before. That would be key to getting the ingredients to really bind together… that and the warm honey. Maybe next time, if you find that the mixture is too crumbly, try adding a little bit more honey, or melted peanut butter. It’ll definitely help!
By the time I am writing this I hope you are feeling fabulous.
I need to keep a close eye to my calorie intake. Would it be ok to make this bars with one less of the sweet ingredients? If do, which one would you omit?
The only one you could omit is the cranberries. The other ones are necessary to hold the bars together.
Hi, Sorry that you are going through a rough time. Our emotions can certainly play havoc with our bellies! Hope it all smooths out for you soon.
These trail bars look delish, but I have a question …. I really don’t like peanut butter. I do eat almond butter, but it is a bit looser than p.b. Would you just use less almond butter …or less honey ….or more oatmeal? Just curious what your adjustments might be? Thanks for a great recipe. Can’t wait to try it.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Gave this recipe 5 stars even tho’ I haven’t made it yet. You didn’t feel like working, but gave your best anyway. I’m sure it will be wonderful. 5 stars to you as well!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Judy, I truly appreciate them! As for using almond butter instead of peanut, I think you should be fine using the same amount really, except perhaps you won’t even need to melt it first. Maybe your final bars will be a tad softer, but then again, mine were pretty firm, so you should be perfectly fine. If you want to play it really really safe, you might try making your own almond butter using my technique which produces a thicker than store-bought almond butter. See my post here: https://thehealthyfoodie.com/homemade-natural-toasted-almond-butter.
Again, thank you so much for being so compassionate about my situation. That really touched me.
Good morning, Sonia!
Thanks for your reply. I read your method for making almond butter and will definitely try it. I may not add the vanilla bean as they are kind of expensive here in AZ & I’m sort of saving the ones I have to make vanilla bean paste. We’ll be traveling over Thanksgiving & these bars should be great for snacks along the way.
Will check your recipe index for other snacks & foods that travel well. Thx again!
You are still in my thoughts & prayers. Stay 5 stars strong! You are Woman!
Thanks Judy, you’re quite the gem! I hope the bars are to your liking!
I am looking for a recipe for trail bars that I can take on a long backpacking trip (up to 3 weeks). Can these bars survive for this time without refrigeration in California summer or I should stick to bar that require baking?
Thank you. Olga
I see no reason why they couldn’t take it… they might get a little soft from the heat, but other than that, they should be fine!
What is your opinion: would it be better to bring them as a one big “brick” to minimize the air-exposed area and cut off pieces as I go or plastic-wrap the individual portions right after making them?
I would cut them individually and then wrap them real good in plastic film.
These bars are amazing and came out great.
I was just wondering if I can take the cranberries out and put a different dried fruit with.