How To: Make Homemade Granola Bars

By MDC | November 1, 2021
From Xplor: November/December 2021

Here’s what you need


  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped pecans or hickory nuts
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup flavor boosters (see suggestions and recipe ideas)

Other Stuff

  • Large baking sheet
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing bowl and spoon
  • Parchment paper
  • Two 9-inch square baking pans
  • A grown-up to help with the cooking

Here’s what you do

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread out the oats and nuts on a baking sheet. Bake them, stirring once or twice, until they’re lightly toasted.
  2. Mix the honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture bubbles.
  3. In a bowl, mix the ingredients in the saucepan with the oats and nuts. Let the mixture cool, then stir in your favorite flavor boosters.
  4. Line a 9-inch pan with parchment paper. Spread the granola mixture into the pan. Grease the bottom of another pan and use it to smoosh down the granola. The harder you press, the better the bars will hold together.
  5. Place the granola in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Then cut it into 8 to 12 individual bars.

Recipe Ideas

Ozark Mountain Mix

  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries

Xplorer Crunch

  • 1/4 cup pretzel pieces
  • 1/4 cup candy-coated chocolates
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Tropical Delights

  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped mango

Other flavor boosters to try

Butterscotch chips, raisins, mini marshmallows, dried cranberries, chopped dried apples, bananas, peanuts, or hazelnuts


Fuel your fall hikes with these yummy, easy-to-make granola bars

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Marci Porter
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Matt Seek
David Stonner
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White