gluten free granola clif bars. homemade goodness.

a while back i made homemade chocolate clif bars. they were a hit. delicious. easy to make. and did i mention delicious?  they were. i was first inspired to make our own granola bars because of the brown rice syrup scare that was in the news. the part where there were arsenic in the bars that the husband and i eat daily kinda freaked me out.

my first batch was pure chocolate.  i mean, if you are going to get your chocolate loving husband to switch from a store bought brand to a homemade version, you gotta make it chocolate and yummy.  that batch made 16 bars and were around 200 calories each.  which is a little bit less that the 250 calorie average clif bar. for our recent road trip i decided to make another version, without the chocolate. i know, i know. crazy talk.

these cherry granola bars are more chewy than the chocolate version i made before.  i used less sweeteners and “butters” and more natural nuts.

here are the ingredients:

1 cup whole almonds
1 cup pecan halves (could use walnuts)
1 cup old fashioned oats (i used bob’s red mill certified gluten free oats)
1 cup dried cherries, chopped if large
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
dash of cinnamon


1. add 1/2 cup each of almonds, pecans, and old fashioned oats into a food processor. process until fine (not too long or it will start to turn into nut butter!) then pour into a large bowl. roughly chop the remaining pecans and almonds, then add the bowl. add remaining old fashioned oats, cherries, and sesame seeds, then mix well and set aside.

2. combine honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla & almond extracts, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. stir until the mixture melts, then foams, then cook for 15 seconds longer. pour over nut mixture and mix thoroughly to coat all the ingredients.

3. line a 13×9 or 8×8 pan (based on how many bars and calories you want) with enough saran wrap or parchment paper to let it hang far over the sides, then pour in granola. press very, very firmly with your hands or something with a flat bottom (may need to spray it with non-stick spray.) wrap the overhanging saran wrap or parchment paper up over the sides and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

4. using a sharp knife, cut chilled granola into bars. wrap individually in saran wrap and store in the fridge or freezer.


here are the nutritional goods:

1 cup almonds = 680 calories
1 cup pecans = 746 calories
1 cup oats = 300 calories
1 cup cherries = 450 calories
2 tbsp sesame seeds = 104 calories
1/4 cup honey = 387 calories
3 tbsp coconut oil = 360 calories
total calories 3027. 16 bars = 189 calories per bar.

i like to wrap the bars in wax paper and a couple strips of scotch tape. because of the coconut oil, they hold together better when refrigerated.  it isn’t required and even chewy crumbles of these bars are really good.

good, healthy fats. low calories. every ingredient serves a health benefit.

try these along with the chocolate version here. let me know what you think. let me know if you have another variation to try.

i am thinking blueberries and pecan next.


Hi Kelsi!


I decided to try this recipe today-- I am a little confused!  Did you do any baking/heating/cooking?  Or just combine all ingredients and refrigerate? I just combined, and the bars were crumbly.  I put them in the fridge for a little overnight chill-- hoping they look like yours in the AM!  


Just wanted to clarify, did you just combine the ingredients?  


love the new blog!

oursimplehappylife moderator

 @ammoee0 I did not bake/heat/cook these at all. In the pan, I pressed very firmly and then refrigerated for a few hours to lets them firm up. They definitely were more like traditional bars when eaten chilled from the refrigerator. I took some on a road trip and as they warmed up, they crumbled. Even crumbly, they were yummy! I hope you have success with firmer bars in the morning!


  1. [...] gluten-free, losing the weightupdate: to see my cherry gluten free chewy granola clif bar recipe, click here.i have been wanting to make homemade granola/health/cliff/protein bars for a couple weeks now. [...]