Granola Bar

Crowded Granola Bars – Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Coconut, Cranberries, and Chocolate

Granola Bar
Granola Bar

This recipe is originally from a base granola bar recipe from Melissa Griffiths (BlessThis, but I have amplified instructions to make them hold together better than the ones I first made with Melissa’s recipe. I now grind up some of the ingredients smaller and make sure they are packed together well.

I’ve added sunflower seeds to the basic oats and almonds, but will probably try sesame or flax seeds some time. When I run out of dried cranberries, I’ll use blueberries or cherries. Maybe white chocolate instead of the semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. Find your favorites.

The flavor is pretty sweet, but the constituents are good fiber and nutritious – keeping them small limits the calories. We have found one to be a satisfying snack for a perk-up on the 9th hole, on the outward stretch of a long walk, or even instead of lunch. Enjoy!

Makes 24 bars (2″ x 2″ x 3/8″)

Granola Bar Ingredients  Ingredients 

For toasting as the base:

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds (or other raw seed)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (or other raw nut), ground to 1/8″ pieces

For melting as the glue:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

For adding to melted glue:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or other flavoring, like almond, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For more texture and flavor:

  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (like cranberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.), ground (with coconut) in a food processor or blender)
  • 1/4 cup coconut, ground

Then later, when mix is cooler:

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate, etc.)


  • Full-sized baking sheet
  • Quarter sheet pan (rimmed baking sheet 12″ x 81/2″ or comparable)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spray coconut or olive oil
  • Bench knife (for you bakers) or sharp knife – a 6″ chef’s knife or santoku would work
  • Large mixing bowl and rubber spatula

Preparation (Chef's hat)Preparation

1 – Pre-heat oven to 350˚ F. 

2 – Combine oats, almonds, and sunflower seeds, then spread evenly on the full-sized baking sheet. Bake in 350˚F oven for 8-10 minutes.

3 – While oats and nuts are toasting, combine butter, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat to make the glue. Stir continuously while it all melts together, then remove from heat.

4 – Stir in the vanilla and salt to the sweet glue.

5 – Pour the toasted oats, nuts, and seeds into the large mixing bowl, then drizzle in the sweet glue. Mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula, making sure that all the oats are coated.

6 – Mix in the dried fruit and coconut.

7 – Wait 5 or 10 minutes to let the mixture cool, then stir in the chocolate chips.

8 – Poor the mixture onto the foil-lined quarter sheet pan, making sure it is spread evenly. Then, using the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass, press down firmly to pack it together well.

9 – Cut the firmly packed mixture into 2″ squares (leaving them in the pan), then refrigerate for a couple of hours. Break them apart to wrap in foil or individual small bags. Store in fridge.


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©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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