Before going gluten free, we often enjoyed homemade granola bars on our camping weekends. The chewy goodness of oatmeal, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, crispy rice cereal, and chocolate chips (and sometimes raisins and/or nuts) was hard to beat. We always saved a few bars to savor on our ride home on Sundays. This recipe (of unknown origin) has remained in the archives with the hope that I could re-create it one day. I’m happy to say that day is now! And, my new granola bars are gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free; and, therefore, far healthier than the original, plus they taste even better, which I honestly didn’t think was possible. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Chewy Granola Bars
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)
½ cup butter, softened (non-dairy or dairy)
¾ cup palm (or coconut) sugar
2 tbsp honey
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
¾ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup quinoa flakes (or gluten-free oats/oatmeal; see notes)
1 ¼ cups crisp rice cereal (effective November 2010, Erewhon crispy brown rice cereal is certified gluten free by GFCO; see listing here)
up to 1 cup chocolate chips, raisins, or chopped nuts (I used ½ cup Enjoy Life mini-chocolate chips)
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and then mix in palm sugar. Add in honey, vanilla extract, and egg; mix well. Mixture will be thick and dense. I very slowly incorporated ingredients from this point on using my beloved wooden spoon.
Add in almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; mix well.
Stir in quinoa flakes, slowly incorporating into mixture.
Mix in crisp rice cereal and remaining ingredients, slowing incorporating until mixed.
Spread ingredients in greased 8 x 8 baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes. Use toothpick to test for doneness. Set aside to cool well before cutting.
Shirley’s Notes: The mixture is very thick before baking, which produces a nice dense, chewy granola bar. Depending upon the amount of other ingredients I add (raisins, chocolate chips, nuts), I often mix in more quinoa flakes (or oatmeal) if the mixture will take it. I want to be able to still stir the mixture and spread the mixture in the pan, so I am careful not to add too much. I never make these granola bars without chocolate chips. Chocolate chips really complement the flavors well and the softened chips help bind the ingredients, too. Just about any gluten-free flour mix, even gluten-free all-purpose flour, can be used in this recipe in place of the almond flour and coconut flour. A less denser flour like gluten-free all-purpose flour will not be as nutritious, of course. However, it will allow you to add more quinoa flakes, etc. to the recipe.
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