These are seriously the best Chocolate Chip Granola Bars ever. They are so delicious, full of amazing texture and flavor and happen to be vegan, gluten-free and oil-free! They are packed with healthy whole food fats and only 8 ingredients!
My daughter cannot get enough of these vegan chocolate chip granola bars. Myself included. These are totally kid-approved and adults will love them too! I’ve been making them for weeks when I originally wrote the recipe. I have tweaked the recipe several times to get the ratios and texture and structure perfect, so that I can finally share the recipe. I put them in her snacks for school and they are her favorite ever.
These oil-free granola bars are packed with good healthy, wholesome ingredients like oats, almond flour, omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed, roasted almond butter and almond meal and sweetened with natural maple syrup. They also hold together beautifully! I created these with my daughter in mind. Growing kids need good calories for their constantly growing bodies and good whole food fats (instead of oil or butter) for their brain health as well. These are packed full of fiber, protein and healthy fat. Because of this, they are SO filling and really keep her full until lunch time when she has them for breakfast.
These are made with nuts, but if you are nut-free, be sure to make my Nut-Free Granola Bars instead!
INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA BARS
- Quick cooking/instant oats: You must use the instant here, it is what helps these bars bind together. If you use regular oats, they will fall apart and be dry!
- Almond flour: Since these are oil-free, we need moisture. This provides moisture and an extra layer of fat, which I’m all about getting those extra calories into my growing child.
- Oat flour: I love the health benefits of oats and using oat flour helps to bind these bars as well as giving extra fiber and healthy nutrients.
- Flaxseed: Packed with omega 3 heart-healthy fats, I love sneaking in flaxseed into recipes for my daughter. You can’t taste it and it helps to make these bars healthier, while also really giving them structure since they perform similarly to eggs.
- Maple syrup: Sweetened with syrup instead of sugar for amazing flavor and a little bit healthier.
- Roasted Almond butter: This helps give a buttery flavor to the bars instead of using oil or butter, as well as giving amazing flavor.
- Cinnamon: For extra boost of flavor.
- Chocolate chips: I used Enjoy Life dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips, but feel free to use any dairy-free you like. I like the mini because they stay in the bars a bit better.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA BARS
Step 1: Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir very well, breaking up any lumps.
Step 2: Add the wet ingredients to a separate medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
Step 3: Pour the wet over the dry and stir roughly until mostly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring and pressing the mixture repeatedly with the back of a spoon. Do this until the mixture becomes very wet and sticky. You want it well mixed before baking.
Step 4: Add the batter to a lined 8×8 square baking dish that is lined with parchment paper in both directions.
Step 5: Place a piece of parchment paper over the batter and press the mixture out to the sides evenly over and over until smooth and flat and even along the sides. Do not rush this step. Really take the time to smooth out the batter so the bars bake up evenly and cohesive.
Step 6: Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F until golden brown.
Step 7: Cool the vegan granola bars 1 hour minimum and then place in the fridge for 30 minutes for additional cooling. These steps are necessary to really form the structure of the bars. Cutting them while warm or too soon will cause them to break.
MORE VEGAN GRANOLA BAR RECIPES
- Nut-Free Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- Almond Pulp Granola Bars(These use REGULAR OATS)
- Chocolate Pecan Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Vanilla Pecan Dream Bars
- Vegan Pecan Pie Bars
- Cinnamon Roll Granola Bars
- Nut-Free Cinnamon Molasses Granola Bars
- No-Bake Mint Chocolate Chip Bars
- No-Bake Cinnamon Roll Spice Bars
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free)
- 1 1/2 cups (165g) QUICK cooking oats (NOT regular!) The quick oats are what help to bind the bars here. I used the Quaker brand in the container.
- 3/4 cup (84g) almond flour
- 6 tablespoons (48g) superfine oat flour
- 5 tablespoons (30g) ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (180g) pure maple syrup (See Notes)
- 1/2 cup (128g) creamy runny roasted almond butter (It really needs to be runny and not stiff, thick or dry, so the batter is correct/moist)
- 5 tablespoons (75g) hot water
- 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips (I use the mini ones by Enjoy Life)
- I always use and recommend a scale for baking, for accurate results. My recipes are created using ONLY the weights listed, not the cups. So you don't need to get out your cups to compare those measurements to weights. That is not needed here. You just need to use the scale and a bowl. Very simple. Make sure to zero out between each ingredient addition.
- I use this scale
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line an 8x8 square baking dish (I used ceramic) with 2 pieces of parchment paper, cut to fit and lie flat, going in each direction of the pan.
- Add the oats, almond meal, oat flour, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt to a large bowl and stir very well, until mixed and breaking up any lumps.
- To a separate medium bowl, add the syrup, almond butter and hot water. Whisk until completely smooth. Pour the wet over the dry and stir roughly until mostly mixed and moistened.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, really stirring and pressing the mixture repeatedly with the back of a spoon. Do this until the mixture becomes very wet and sticky. You want it well mixed before baking.
- Spoon the batter onto the lined pan. Place a large piece of parchment paper over the batter and press the mixture out to the sides, smoothing across with your hands. Do not rush this step. Really take the time to smooth out the batter so that it is flat, smooth and even. Make sure to go along the edges also with your fingers, pressing it down and even. The more smooth it is before baking, the better your bars will bake up. Once it is as flat as you can get it, peel off the paper, dampen your fingertips with water and smooth along the edges. Refer to photo in post.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool 1 hour minimum at room temperature and then place the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes for additional cooling. These steps are necessary to really form the structure of the bars. Cutting them while warm or too soon will cause them to break. Do not skip the cooling step!
- Once cooled, use a super sharp knife to carefully cut into desired sizes. I cut them into 16. I then like to then wrap each bar individually with plastic wrap (or parchment if you don't want to use plastic) and store at room temperature for easy grab-n-go snacks.
- HEALTHIER OPTION: If you would like to make these even healthier, feel free to omit the chocolate chips. They are perfectly sweetened on their own with a wonderful cinnamon flavor.
- MAPLE SYRUP SUB: While I have not tested this, if you would like to try date syrup in place of the maple syrup, I think it would work here. Just make sure it is sweet enough and a runny consistency similar to maple syrup, so that the bars are moist enough. Additionally, this version may not get as crispy along the edges, since maple syrup helps to make things crispy.