Trail Mix Granola Bars

257 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Jump to RecipeJump to Video

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!

Trail mix bars cut into individual bars next to a knife.

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.

Trail mix granola bar ingredients in a mixing bowl, next to a smaller bowl of maple syrup.

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.

For a more basic granola bar recipe (that’s on the chewier side), give my chocolate chip granola bars a try!

Homemade granola bar ingredients in a baking pan.

Make Your Own Healthy Granola Bars

Making these bars couldn’t be any easier. So grab your baking pan and let’s get cooking.

  1. Prep. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix. Toss and mix all the nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and salt in a bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. Flatten. Pour the mixture into a baking pan and flatten into an even layer using a large spoon.
  5. 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).
  6. Slice & Serve. Once the mixture is cooled, slice them into 12 even bars.
Several trail mix granola bars on a plate.

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.

Three granola bars stacked on top of each other on a plate with parchment paper in between.

Granola Bar Recipe Video

Want to see how I make this recipe? It’s easy! Just watch the quick video below.

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

4.93 from 90 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Healthy homemade granola bars that are gluten-free and paleo friendly! Have fun switching up the nuts and seeds for different variations.

Video

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit and line an 8×8-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.

Lisa’s Tips

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: granola bar recipe, granola bars, healthy granola bars, homemade granola bars
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

You May Also Like

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




257 Comments

  1. these are SO GOOD!!! I changed the recipe a little bit. I used 2 cups nuts total (cashew, pistachio, pumpkin seed, almonds) and some were crushed. I also diced some dried pears bc i didn’t have cranberries and i used shredded coconut instead of dried coconut. I think the coconut make my bars fall apart but they’re still so good😍😍5 stars

  2. These are delicious! Everyone I shared them with loved them. Follow directions and use common sense. I used different sizes of nuts and seeds to fill in gaps and they looked like store bought bars. Thanks Lisa, I appreciate all you do for us. 💕5 stars

  3. Hello Lisa,
    I just made these today for the first time. The only thing I did differently was I added hemp hearts. My word these are excellent, just the right amount of sweetness….I use pure maple syrup. I can see me making another batch later this week.

  4. I made these yesterday and they are very good. I chopped up some of the nuts and left some whole. Thank you for sharing5 stars

      1. I heated up the honey in the microwave for 20 seconds to help it mix better with the nuts.

  5. Lisa, is the coconut sweetened or unsweetened. Also, my pepitos (pumpkin seeds) were salted so I should have eliminated the salt called for in the recipe.

    1. Hi Wanda – I always use unsweetened coconut. As for the salt, you can probably reduce the salt a bit if your pepitas are salted.

  6. Absolutely delicious!!! I made them tonight and couldn’t wait to try them. I added extra pepitas and 3 Tbsp of Hemp Heart. They are fantastic!!5 stars

  7. Thank you for this recipe. However, I am concerned that the dried fruit such as cranberry will be hard if baked long. I tried doing this recipe and the dried cranberry became hard.

  8. i didnt wait long enough to cool the bars.. it was still awesome.. Tasted way way better than the bought ones.. thank you for sharing this recipe.5 stars

  9. These are great! I was out of pepitas, substituted sunflower seeds. Based on the tips, I coarsely chopped half of the nuts and left the rest whole. They stayed together nicely. Enjoying these – not overly sweet!

    Thank you Lisa for another winning recipe : )5 stars

  10. I recently tried the granola bars recipe I found on this blog, and I am absolutely delighted with the results! These bars are the perfect blend of crunchy and healthy, quickly winning over the hearts of my entire family. The texture of the bars is divine—just crunchy enough to satisfy my taste buds while remaining light and wholesome. The sweet balance is perfect, and I love that I can indulge in a treat without feeling guilty.5 stars

  11. so good! Didn’t have coconut so I didn’t add any- followed the recipe the same way. Made four good sized bars and the rest were more like big chunks. Soo delicious! Will try again using smaller chunks of nuts (I used whole nuts) to see if that helps. 10/10 taste and very happy overall :)5 stars

  12. I’ve made these a few times and they are delicious! It’s good for a snack or as granola On top of yogurt, cottage cheese or chia pudding. Use any nuts you like!5 stars

  13. Hi,
    I made these and they tasted great. The problem was they fell apart so we had to eat them in a cup with a spoon.
    I did make the cashews into smaller pieces, otherwise followed the recipe as written.

    1. When mine fell apart, I put them back in oven. I also.rotate the pan 1/2 way through bake cycle. Make sure they are cool before you cut all the way through. I score them when cooled and then I put them in refrigerator to cool completely before cutting into squares.

  14. I made these today and love them! I used a mix of almonds, cashews and walnuts and since I didn’t have any dried cranberries I used diced up medjool dates instead. So easy to make and so delicious! The perfect healthy snack for those 3pm doldrums!5 stars

  15. Hi. can’t rate because I haven’t tried them. We don’t “do” coconut in our house. Can I use something else, or is it ok to just skip them?
    Thanks, Sue.

  16. These granolas bars are wonderful for a snack or breakfast. Excellent way to use up smaller amounts of nuts. Staple in my weekly meal prep.5 stars

  17. These granola bars are so delicious! I have never made granola bars before but this was so easy and took very little time, I haven’t enjoyed a granola bar this much in years! I had slivered almonds, cashews, and chopped walnuts in hand nut-wise and they worked great. I will definitely be making this recipe again.5 stars

  18. Thank you so much for all the recipes you share.
    I am about to try this recipe and my questions are:
    – are the Nutritional values per serving/piece? If so:
    – who much does a serving/piece weights? (gr, please).

    Thank you so much5 stars

  19. Hi there,
    I made the bars and they are absolutely delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe and the clear instructions.
    Do you buy your nuts in bulk, if so where?

    1. Glad you enjoyed these granola bars! As for nuts, I don’t buy them in bulk. But, I’ll usually find what I need at Whole Foods or Sprouts!

  20. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe, Lisa! I just made it and it smells and tastes divine.

    I’ve often been discouraged when I invest in more expensive ingredients to make a healthy recipe and it doesn’t turn out, but this didn’t disappoint!

    Beginner questions – are the oven temperatures for fan forced temperature? And how is it best to store these bars? Fridge or just cupboard? Thanks again 💕5 stars

    1. Hi Carolyn – I’m so happy you loved this recipe! And when I bake I use standard mode on my oven, not convection (just as I know that’s what more people have). The bars will keep a bit longer in the fridge, but they’re fine in the cupboard for a few days. Enjoy!

  21. Just tried them in silicone pan  bar pan and 30 minutes definitely too long . They got really dark . Hope they still taste good . Wish I would of checked on them sooner.  Thinking of trying 20 minutes next time . 

  22. Hi thank you for sharing this recipe and tips. I’m wondering if you have ever used coconut oil on pan instead of parchment paper? Did it stick or burn? I’m not a fan of parchment paper anymore. 

    Looking forward to making these! 

    1. I haven’t tried using coconut oil as I think the parchment paper would be a better choice in case it sticks to the bottom.

  23. About to make these but would like a little more protein in them. Could I add a protein powder to the wet mixture before combining??