I pretty much eat some kind of bar every day- protein bars, fruit and nut bars, cereal bars, granola bars, etc. I have my go-to bars (Lara Bars, Kind Bars, Clif Bars), but they can be a little expensive if you’re eating them daily. The cheaper bars generally have ingredient lists a mile long or are full of preservatives that I’m not crazy about eating on the regular. Enter: Homemade granola bars. These Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are SO good and they’re made with just a handful of ingredients.
The combination of dried cherries and chocolate chips is delicious. Especially when you throw slivered almonds and almond butter into the mix as well. I used both oats and crispy brown rice cereal to give these bars a lot of texture. They’re a little bit chewy and a little bit crunchy- perfect in my opinion! The real MVP ingredient, however, is Brown Rice Syrup. This stuff is seriously sticky and really holds the bars together. Definitely DO NOT substitute any other liquid sweetener/binder. Trust me- I tried it and I ended up with Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola instead of bars (also delicious, but not really what I was going for). Full disclosure- brown rice syrup IS added sugar. Just because it is made from brown rice doesn’t make it “healthy.” However, there’s only ¼ cup in the whole granola bar recipe, so it’s nothing to worry yourself over.
These bars are very portable, so they’re perfect for school or work lunches. They’re also great to take on-the-go if you’re hiking. They contain carbs, protein and sugar so they provide energy to help fuel your body.
Active Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes
1¼ cup oats (use gluten free, if desired)
¾ cup brown rice cereal
1/3 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I use EnjoyLife brand)
½ cup almond butter
¼ cup brown rice syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the almond butter and brown rice syrup and stir until completely mixed.
Press mixture into a parchment-lined 8×8 inch baking pan. Wet your hands and press down until completely packed.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until slightly golden. Allow to cool before slicing into 12 bars. Enjoy the Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars immediately or store in an air-tight container for up to five days.
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 205 Fat: 10g Carbs: 25g Protein: 5g Sodium: 36mg Sugar: 12g
*Nutrition information is based on the products I used personally in this recipe. Different products may yield slightly different information.