Trail Mix Granola Bars
These healthy homemade trail mix granola bars will beat store-bought versions any day. They’re chewy, sweet, nutty, and are filled with clean ingredients. Plus, they’re versatile (just switch up your nuts and seeds) and so easy to whip up!
Is Trail Mix Healthy?
Generally, trail mix is viewed as a nutritious and healthy snack. It’s got a hefty dose of nuts and seeds, providing plenty of healthy fats and carbs. And a little sweetness from dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins, or blueberries, which are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants.
But when you start adding yogurt pretzels, chocolate chips or marshmallows into the mix, it changes things a bit. These types of ingredients offer minimal nutritional benefits and quickly bring the sugar levels up. So it’s best to stick with a simple nut, seed and fruit base.
Granola Bar Recipe Video
Want to see how I make this recipe? It’s easy! Just watch the quick video below.
Homemade Granola Bar Ingredients
While these granola bars have your trail mix essentials, there’s a few simple superfoods I’ve snuck in here. From pepitas to chia seeds, these feel-good ingredients will give you a quick and easy nutrient boost – all in one snack. Here’s what’s in them:
- Assorted Nuts – Almonds and cashews are my go-to, but you can use pecans or walnuts as well.
- Dried Coconut Flakes – Adds a hint of coconut flavor and crisp texture.
- Dried Cranberries – They’re an amazing superfood (get unsweetened), along with other berries.
- Pepitas – Pumpkin seeds have great antioxidants and minerals.
- Chia Seeds – Small but mighty chia seeds boasts tons of health benefits.
- Sea Salt – If you’re using raw nuts, don’t forget to add a little sea salt.
- Maple Syrup – Helps bind everything together and adds just the right amount of sweetness.
- Vanilla Extract – A splash of vanilla adds a sweet depth of flavor.
Make Your Own Healthy Granola Bars
Making these bars couldn’t be any easier. So grab your baking pan and let’s get cooking.
- Prep. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Mix. Toss and mix all the nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and salt in a bowl.
- Combine. Stir together the vanilla extract and maple syrup in a separate small bowl. Then pour the liquid over the nuts and give it all a stir, until it’s well coated.
- Flatten. Pour the mixture into a baking pan and flatten into an even layer using a large spoon.
- Bake & Cool. Let it bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Once done, let it cool in the pan for one hour (this is important).
- Slice & Serve. Once the mixture is cooled, slice them into 12 even bars.
A Few Tips To Make The Perfect Bars
- If your bars are too soft. You need to bake them long enough for the maple syrup to caramelize and harden when it cools. If your bars are still really soft and sticky when cool, bake them a few minutes longer next time. Every oven is different.
- If your bars crumble and fall apart. While you can leave your nuts whole (as shown), smaller chopped pieces will bind together more easily. You can also do a mix of some whole nuts and some chopped.
- Use a sharp knife to slice. And don’t use a sawing motion to cut, just slice straight down on the nuts.
- Don’t skip the cooling time. I know it’ll be tempting to cut a piece right out of the oven. But if you want to slice them perfectly, you need to let them chill. You can do this by letting them sit at room temperature for an hour. Or in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
How To Properly Store These
Once you slice the bars, transfer them to airtight containers to be stored in the fridge or freezer. I highly recommend placing a sheet of parchment paper in between layers to prevent them from sticking together.
These will keep for up to a week in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer. If you decide to freeze, let them thaw at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before eating.
More Healthy Snack Ideas For The Week
A healthy snack doesn’t have to resort to trail mix. Add in some savory proteins, creamy smoothies, and even healthy sweet treats.
Trail Mix Granola Bars
- 2 cups nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, etc)
- 1/2 cup dried coconut
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit and line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add all of the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and salt to a mixing bowl and give it a stir.
- In a separate small bowl, stir together the vanilla extract and maple syrup. Pour this on top of the nuts and stir everything together, until it's well coated.
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan and use the back of a large spoon or spatula to flatten it into one layer.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, then cool for one hour in the pan.
- Once the granola bars are fully cooled, slice them into bars. I slice then entire portion in half, then divide each half into six bars, for 12 total granola bars.
- If your bars break apart and you loose some nuts when slicing, you can always roughly chop the nuts first. Some smaller pieces of nuts will fill in the gaps and hold the bars together better.
- If your bars are still sticky an hour after cooling, you may need to bake them a few minutes longer next time to better caramelize the maple syrup.