Dried Cherry, Almond + Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Gluten Free + Vegan)
These no bake Dried Cherry, Almond + Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are the perfect grab and go breakfast or snack. These flavor-packed granola bars are gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan, and topped with a dark chocolate drizzle!
When I was a little one, I could not pronounce ‘granola bar’ for the life of me. I loved them and requested them often, but in my toddler gibberish, I was unable to ask for them, instead requesting “ganenah boats” – something my parents tried hard to decipher for a while before finally figuring out I was referring to granola bars from me pointing at them.
With my little kid speech impediments, it took me a few years before my pronunciation made sense to anyone outside of the family, but the granola bar love perpetuated through childhood. To be honest, though, I’d sort of fallen off the granola bar wagon.
Since I realized most store-bought granola bars have almost as much sugar as a candy bar and are far from the “healthy” snacks they claim to be, I stopped buying them and they were replaced with other snacks. That is, before I realized how easy and delicious homemade granola bars are – especially these dried cherry chocolate chip granola bars! 😋
And now that I’ve discovered homemade granola bars, I have a feeling they’re going to be a staple in my fridge. Let’s just see how many granola bar recipes end up on these pages in the coming months 😁
So, let’s chat about why these particular homemade dried cherry, almond + chocolate chip granola bars are so darn swoon-worthy.
- No baking required! This just always makes things exponentially easier because there’s no oven to forget to preheat, and it helps save $$ on your energy bill. Win win.
- Chocolate 2-ways: mini chocolate chips stirred into the bars, and a drizzle of dark chocolate on top. Ain’t no such thing as too much chocolate, and chocolate chip granola bars are always the best kind.
- They’re vegan! Just make sure to that your dark chocolate is dairy-free.
- They’re gluten-free, too, but make sure your rolled oats and puffed brown rice are certified gluten-free.
- Those cherries! I love having the dried cherries studded throughout like little jewels. I used dried Bing cherries and they were pretty big, so I gave them a rough chop before using. If they’re too big, they’ll tear your granola bars apart when you try to cut them. You can also replace them with dried blueberries, or skip the dried fruit altogether if that’s not your cup of tea.
The almond comes two ways: almond butter helps hold the bars together, and some toasted, sliced almonds add crunch to the granola bars. Make sure you toast the sliced almonds – it takes a little extra time, but the flavor difference is so worth it.
Maple syrup is the only sweetener, and just 1/4 cup is needed to sweeten the whole batch. These refined sugar free granola bars don’t need any more than that – the chocolate chips and drizzle provide any other sweetness you’d crave. Because I love sweet and salty, I topped off the dried cherry, almond + chocolate chip granola bars with a sprinkle of vanilla bean sea salt. Be still my heart.
The recipe makes a batch of 10, but you can double the recipe to have a big stash of granola bars on hand. I recommend storing them in the fridge – they’ll keep well for a few weeks in a sealed baggie or container.
These make the perfect on the go breakfast, snack, or thing to eat when you’re staring into the fridge longing for something to nibble on. You know the times. Enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!Print
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ¾ cup puffed brown rice
- ½ cup sliced almonds (toasted)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¾ cup dried cherries (roughly chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup creamy almond butter
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
- 2 oz. dairy-free dark chocolate (chopped or in chips)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Flaky sea salt (optional)
- Line an 8×8” square pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with coconut oil. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the rolled oats, puffed rice, toasted almonds, chia seeds, and kosher salt.
- Stir together the almond butter and maple syrup in a small microwave-safe bowl or liquid measuring cup. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds – it should be hot and pour easily. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the almond butter/maple syrup mixture over the dry oat mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are coated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Pour the sticky mixture into the prepared pan and then use a flat-bottomed drinking glass, measuring cup, or spatula to press the mixture into a firm, even layer in the pan. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cutting into 10 granola bars.
- After the bars are cut, combine the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Use a fork to drizzle the chocolate over the bars, or put the melted chocolate in a small Ziplock bag and snip the corner to drizzle over the bars. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired.
- Store the granola bars in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
You can easily double the recipe and use a 9×13″ pan.