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The Best Soft Granola Bars

22 reviews / 4.7 average

Aww, hey team! Peanut-butter-honey-loaded soft granola bar for you?

We meet again – this time across oceans where I’m writing this from our sweet lil hotel room in Cebu City, Philippines where the air conditioning is pumping and mini-fridge is serving me up some ice cold mango juice and the CNN channel on our little TV is keeping me all up to date with the SuperTuesday happenings as I write a quick post for the internet. TECHNOLOGY, MAN. It’s pretty awesome that we can make this whole food-blog-song-and-dance gig work from anywhere.

So let’s grab a BEST EVER soft granola bar and have a little snack and catch up.

HOW TO MAKE OUR BEST SOFT GRANOLA BARS (40 SEC):

Granola bars on parchment paper.

First things first – these granola bars.

They are very very VERY easy. They are just the perfect amount of crunchy and salty-sweet. And maybe most importantly, they are soft and they actually stick together and they are delicious to eat.

It’s Larabar simplicity meets Sunbelt soft texture meets KIND bar crunchiness.

Also, because the ingredients are so very basic, you can add or change them as needed. I’m guessing that you have most everything in the house right now: peanut butter, honey, pretzels, oats, and peanuts.

Take it and run with it, friends. Take it and RUN.

Creamy peanut butter with a spoon.
Granola bars on parchment paper cut with a knife.

Okay, so beyond granola bars.

We are in the Philippines! WE ARE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

Our ten days here are dual-purpose: to re-visit the city we lived in and orphanage that we worked at for a year, and to work on some media projects (read: pictures and video) for the orphanage. I have something big in the works in this orphanage-meets-blog-meets-impact department, and right now I’m just sort of simmering on it. It’s making me 95% excited and 95% nervous. Just… I hope you’ll check back. Will you check back?

Things have been going so well that sometimes I forget that I have a blog. Which is good. It’s a drink of normal water to not be so consumed with the blog and internet world, even if that means that most of my day is spent having a whopping zero amount of access to wifi and none of my attempted snaps ever go through. I can deal. It’s like a tech detox.

On the very positive side of things so far, the kids at the shelter are 100% CUTE OVERLOAD status, the projects we are working on are challenging and fun, annnnnd we ate this whole batch of granola bars throughout the two days before, two days during, and two days after our long trek to this side of the world.

Exhibit A.

Woman holding a bag of granola bars on an airplane.

On the very negative side, there’s just that one little thing about –> earthquakes. They scare me like nothing else ever and so, of course, obviously, there had to be a small earthquake here in Cebu yesterday. Had to. Couldn’t have happened in the other 350 days of the year. And also, of course, we are on the 8th floor of our hotel. Obviously. Had to be. And to say I am totally freaked out about all of this would be a major understatement. I am already a little jumpy about life in general, so having experienced some earthquakage yesterday does not help a mind like mine.

To add to the nervous energy brewing up there in my mind, I am literally sitting here in the hotel room seeing breaking news on CNN about the 8.1 earthquake in Indonesia and the resulting tsunami warnings and don’t worry – I’m not even panicking at all. (This is a lie. I am fully panicking. Indonesia is basically our next door neighbor right now. Full panic.)

FRIENDS! What is this?! How? How do people live in places with earthquakes? Like, how does one a) survive the stress of mentally having to always be prepared for an earthquake at any given moment, and b) figure out a way to stash away as many soft granola bars as possible in case of such emergency?

I’m kidding, in that ha-ha-serious way. Please advise on earthquakes immediately.

Granola bars on parchment paper.

When its all said and done (meaning when I most likely die from an earthquake in the next hour or two), just know this -> these are the best soft granola bars I’ve ever made and they are bomb in flavor and texture. It is worth it for me to use my last ever blog post to tell you this important and life-changing information.

These soft granola bars take hardly any time to prep and they will fill your fridge / freezer / belly with wholesome soft granola bar happiness.

Is that not the best Wednesday news a hungry girl could ask for?

Food blogger life mission: complete.

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Granola bar being held by hand.

The Best Soft Granola Bars


Description

The BEST Soft Granola Bars recipe – made with PB, honey, vanilla, oats, pretzels, peanuts (and any other add-ins you like). So easy and SUPER yummy!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups twisted pretzels, crushed down to about 1 heaping cup
  • 1/2 cup salted peanut halves
  • 1 cup peanut butter (more as needed)
  • 1/2 cup honey (more as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Toss the oats, crushed pretzels, and salted peanut halves together in a large bowl.
  2. Stir the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla together in a separate bowl until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients in the other bowl. Stir until combined.
  3. Press the bar mixture into a 9×9 inch pan lined with parchment paper (9×13 will work – it will just yield wider, flatter bars). Freeze for 30 minutes. Pull out of the pan and cut into bars. Store bars individually wrapped in the freezer for quick grab-and-go snacks.

Notes

After you mix everything together, it’s sort of up to you to make a judgement call about how you want your granola bars to be. A few options – 1) pulse half of the mixture through a food processor to change up the texture a bit. Stir it back in with the rest of the mix. This just helps it to have more interesting texture that holds together better. 2) Add more peanut butter or honey if things seem to dry or crumbly. 3) Add more oats or pretzels if the mix seems too heavy. 4) Mix in anything else you want! The is just the base – add dried fruit, chocolate chips, more nuts, seeds, whatever you like.

I used Jif Creamy Natural Peanut Butter, so you may need different amounts depending on the type of peanut butter you use. Sometimes natural peanut butter is less sweet, less salty, and/or more oily, so just keep that in mind.

  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade granola bars, soft granola bars, granola bar recipe

Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo

Nutrition is for 16 bars.

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Recipe rating

161 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yay for being in Cebu, boo for earthquakes. That is pretty scary! At least the people of Cebu are probably used to earthquakes and have a game plan; that would make me feel better. I am so looking forward to these media projects you’re talking about… can’t wait to see how you integrate the orphanage even more into your blog. Any pictures of kiddos or activities? Pretty please? 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hey Michelle! Thanks for the sweet comment! 🙂 There are at least 1 billion kid photos on my camera right now – it’s just a matter of me having the time to get them from camera to computer! Working on it though! I’m sharing a few short glimpses of Cebu on Snapchat too. 🙂

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    YES for soft granola bars. I basically never eat granola bars because of the whole “crunchy-gonna-break-my-teeth” factor, this is NOT my jam.
    But nourishing, healthy, PEANUT BUTTER softness? I NEED.
    Have so much fun in the Philippines! I get you on earthquakes. I live on the west coast, and we’ve been overdue for “The big one” for like, eleventy billion years. I could die at any moment.
    Oh ya, Pinned!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thanks Taylor! I cannot imagine living in a place where you are just waiting for “the big one” – I would live in constant fear. Carry on, brave one!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Jenn Foley

      Any other kind of nut or seed butter would work just as well. If all nuts are out try sunflower seed butter, it tastes great and has the same texture as peanut butter making switching easy 🙂

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    my parents live in Nepal, which is a major earthquake prone area right now..it is scary even thinking of it..my parents are living on the 1st floor now because there is only so much you can do. they are mentally always alert even when they are asleep 🙁 i hope nothing like that will ever happen because it is terrible.

    on a different note, i need to make granola bars like ASAP.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Oh my, yes, that’s right – Nepal gets lots of earthquakes, too! That must be so scary for you AND your parents. 🙁

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ve never experienced an earthquake myself, and can guarantee that I would be just as nervous as you were – especially from 8 stories up! But at least you have cute kiddos to calm your nerves and lots of peanut butter granola bars – that always does the trick for me 🙂 I’m looking forward to the new media projects and will obviously check back!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Krysten

    WOW! These granola bars look incredible! I just might need to make them the moment I walk through the door tonight…possibly before dinner!? I know our toddler would LOVE them. She has loved every.single.recipe we have tried from your blog!

    Sending you positive, calming vibes from someone who is admittedly “jumpy” as well. 🙂 Enjoy your time in Cebu–I have been following along on Snapchat!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My heart goes out to y’all – how wonderful of y’all to go back to Cebu – and brave earthquakes and all! My prayers are with y’all! I started reading POY when y”all were in Cebu last time and I will most definitely be following along eagerly—

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sherry

    I live in Southern California, born and raised. You don’t know when an earthquake’s coming, no one pre-annouces it, so you roll with it when it happens. Can’t stop it. I lived in Los Angeles for a few years, and when an earthquake occurred, many of my neighbors from non-earthquake states, ran outside in panic. I always thought it was funny, I mean what’s a little earth shaking. I think there’s no way I could live somewhere that has tornadoes, but my friend lives in Texas says ‘no big deal’.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      “What’s a little earth shaking.” – Umm no. Not true, Sherry. It is a BIG DEAL when the earth is shaking! 😉 Tornadoes – now that I can deal with. I guess it works just fine that we live in MN!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Nic

    Hi Lindsay, this recipe looks awesome! Can you recommend any substitutes for the pretzels please? Thinking of making this at the weekend ready for the week ahead! 🙂
    P.S. Your recipes & blog are great, keep up the good work 🙂

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You are cracking me up about your earthquake experience story. I love that you brought a bag of those delightful soft granola bars. Definitely, I’m hooked already to the recipe because I like granola bars only if they are soft. Crunchy is okay but not when they are so hard that they could crack your teeth.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Rachel

    The granola bars look great.
    Word of caution from a food allergy momma, please be very mindful when eating nuts of any kind on an airplane. This is surprisingly dangerous for people with nut allergies – even nut residue (cross-contamination) or nut protein in the air can result in anaphylaxis.
    Thanks.






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Oh my gosh, thank you for saying that! As I unwrapped my very peanut buttery granola bar on the plane, I seriously thought: oh my goodness, what if someone is allergic?! how do airlines handle that?? It seems like they should have regulations on that! 🙁 Must be so scary for you and your little one!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m glad someone has finally discovered the beautiful love child of Larabars/Sunbelt/Kind bars. I’ve only experienced a small scale earthquake once and I’d be more than pleased to never have that happen ever again. I’m terribly afraid of tornados so I’d never make it out in the Midwest…unless I had a stash of these 🙂

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Pretzels in granola bars? These are pretty much my dream come true! And soft granola bars are the only way to go in my world. Enjoy your time in the Philippines – love seeing those cute kids on snapchat!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thanks Heather! None of my videos work so I’m resorting to just photos from here on out… but hopefully you can still get an idea of the cuteness factor even from that.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kim A.

    These look amazing. I am going try them with Sunbutter and maybe roasted pumpkin seeds! Yum! Stay safe.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary

    Any good granola bars without nuts/peanuts and more protein? I have not found a very good one, yet.






  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I will most most definitely check back in! I’m curious, but very patient. Riiiiggghht.

    Yikes, girl! You have me terrified of earthquakes, and I’ve never been afraid of them before! (Probably because I haven’t been in a serious one. *knock on wood*) Well, when I was a kid, I was half scared, but half thrilled because I thought it was fun. We haven’t had one we could feel since, so I don’t know how I would react. I’m also now terrified that you will indeed die in an earthquake, and I don’t want to think about that! I’m just going to try and think about the cute kids and the good work you guys are doing. You guys are awesome, by the way! Thanks for letting us be a part of it! ❤

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Valerie

    I will make these. You know why? Because every recipe I’ve ever made from your site has been amazing. Pure genius. My most recent make was your detox lentil soup, which was incredible. I just wanted to stop lurking so much and tell you all this! Thank you for your awesome blog, it’s my got-to. And I wish you the best where you are, no earthquakes! Come home safe.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Soft Granola Bars <3 x 1000
    This is exactly what I needed! JUST told my husband I needed to find a good recipe for soft granola bars for our little road trip this weekend…we are on the same page even from CEBU!!
    Praying for you all over there…I would be the biggest wimp in that situation…cant believe those poor little orphanage sweeties have to deal with that all the time!! Stay strong Lindsay and eat chocolate…pretty sure it helps 😉 Loving the Snapchat glimpses and cant wait to see what media fun you guys have up your sleeve!! It will be GOOD.






  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hahaha, I just had to comment on your fear of earthquakes. What magnitude was the one in Cebu?

    I feel pretty fortunate to live in an area that, yes, has earthquakes, but all the buildings are “prepared” for it. It would take a really large one to cause a lot of damage here. Another bonus – there are no 8-story buildings around here. All the locals are riled up because someone wants to build a 3-story building and it’ll block the view of a local mountain from Downtown SLO. Things tend to stay pretty low to the ground around here 🙂






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      It was a 3.9. Not terrible. But not nothing.

      And yes – part of the reason I get freaked out is because I have no idea whether or not these buildings have the type of construction where they would be able to withstand a bigger earthquake. I seriously cannot fathom living in California. Every time we even go there to visit, I get nervous about the whole state just falling into the ocean.

      Don’t fall into the ocean, okay?!?!?

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love hearing about your work at the orphanage. What an awesome experience! These granola bars look amazing. I love the addition of pretzels.