Bake up a pan of crisp, crunchy chocolate paleo granola bars to enjoy for a nutrient dense breakfast or a snack.
I’ve made and eaten a lot of homemade granola over the years. It first started as a necessity, back in the days when store-bought grain-free granola options were few and far between, but even now that oat-free granolas are fairly easy to find I still like to make my own when I can.
First, because I get to choose what goes in it; and second because I like clumps and let’s face it, there are never enough clumps in the bags you buy at the store. In fact, I like those big clusters so much I make a whole sheet pan of them.
If you like your granola in big clumpy bites then you’ll love these chocolate granola bars. They are light and crispy, like a granola bar but thinner and broken up by hand into shards like you would brittle or bark.
It’s great with yogurt (coconut yogurt is my favorite) and/or almond milk and fruit for breakfast or simply plain for a snack any time of day. And because it’s tree nut-free and peanut-free it’s also a great option for a lunchbox snack for the littles ones.
How to make paleo granola bars:
- It all starts with seeds, lots of different ones for a crunchy/crisp texture reminiscent of traditional granola. There are watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for flavor, fiber and fat along with some plant-based protein. Chopped up finely the seeds create an oatmeal-like base for the granola.
- To that we add applesauce and maple syrup for natural sweetness, cocoa for a hit of chocolate and flakes of coconut for lightness and additional crunch. I also like to throw in a handful of chopped chocolate to make it extra special, but you can certainly opt to make a more restrained version without it if you prefer.
- Everything then gets pressed evenly onto a sheet pan and goes into the oven where it stays until firm and dry.
- Once it’s fully cooled, you can use your hands to break the granola into shards of whatever size you please to eat whenever you please!
More paleo bars:
Bake up a sheet pan of crisp, crunchy and nutrient dense chocolate grain-free granola bars.
- ½ cup/56g pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup/56g sunflower seeds
- ½ cup/56g shelled watermelon seeds
- ¼ cup +2 Tablespoons/90g unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup +2 Tablespoons/90g light maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup/20g cocoa powder
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- ½ cup/60g unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1 Tablespoon/10g cacao nibs (optional)
- ¼ cup/60g chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor combine the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and watermelon seeds. Pulse briefly several times to coarsely chop (you should have some small and large pieces resembling oatmeal.)
- In a large bowl combine the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cocoa powder and salt, whisk until combined. Add the flaked coconut, chopped seeds, cacao nibs if using, chopped chocolate or chips and stir until well combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly on the parchment lined baking sheet. Place a second piece of parchment over the mixture and with the back of your palm or a rolling pin evenly press out granola mixture. Remove top piece of parchment and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, then turn off oven and let granola cool completely in the oven.
- Break granola bark into large pieces with your hands. Store cooled granola in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 24gProtein: 2g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.