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Peanut Butter, Coconut and Fruit Granola Bars

It’s been quite a Monday over here and I’ve been full-speed ahead since my feet hit the floor at 5:15 a.m. My first stop was the Y to teach 6 a.m. BodyPump and then back home to clean myself up and feed my starving belly. Strength training makes me so hungry!

I got a little crazy with my breakfast this morning! I was not feeling oatmeal and it was a little chilly so cold yogurt didn’t sound good either. I spotted a loaf of Great Harvest 9-Grain on the counter next to the bananas and the idea of French toast popped into my head. I soaked the bread in a mixture of one egg with cinnamon and unsweeted almond milk and then cooked it in the skillet with the bananas on the side so they could caramelize a bit. I topped the toast with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, bananas, blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

I headed over to Metro after breakfast and taught the 9:30 a.m. circuit training class and tried to start organizing myself for the week.

I broke around 12:30 for lunch and came home to check on Sul and make a salad. Arugula blend with red peppers, carrots, apples, feta, dried cranberries, almonds, avocado and a TJs Masala Burger. All topped with a lemon dijon honey vinaigrette.

My afternoon was busy, busy and full of meetings and then I taught the 5:45 hot class at Y2. Dinner wasn’t very exciting but delicious…leftover pizza!

And now for the homemade granola bar recipe!

This recipe is so simple and you can really customize it based on what you have in your pantry.

You literally just dump everything into a bowl, mix until combined.

The mixture is pressed into the bottom of a loaf pan and placed in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Remove the bars from the freezer, cut and individually wrap. I’m storing my bars in the freezer so that they will stay fresh and I can grab one when I want it.

Peanut Butter, Coconut and Fruit Granola Bars


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used a mixture of golden raisins and dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
2 tablespoons unsweeted applesauce (or use all agave or honey)
1/4 cup peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons chia seeds or flax seeds


Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until mixture is well-combined. Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with wax paper or foil and firmly press oat mixture into the bottom of the pan. Freeze for at least 2 hours or until ready to cut. Cut into 6 bars and individually wrap and store in freezer.

Yield: 6 bars

*Recipe adapted from my friend Rachael.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate March 12, 2012, 9:26 pm

    Totally making these tonight! 🙂

  • Michelle D March 12, 2012, 9:29 pm

    Looks awesome! I may add sunflower seeds to this! 😉

  • Sophie March 12, 2012, 10:30 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I was thinking of making them for myself, then realized they would also work for my 9 year old, who has a wheat, nut, and dairy allergy (if I use soy nut butter). Thank you so much — can’t wait to try them!

    • Jen March 14, 2012, 5:05 pm

      awesome! i’m glad they’re family friendly! 🙂

  • Courtney @ Fitness With A Fork March 12, 2012, 11:58 pm

    Just made a version of these and I am going to link back to you! I hope that is okay! Thanks! 🙂

  • Amy March 13, 2012, 6:15 am

    I cannot wait to make these granola bars…thank you for the recipe!

  • Erica March 13, 2012, 8:34 am

    French toast and banana looks so yum! Thanks for posting the granola recipe! I’m seriously going to try this tonight 🙂

  • Yin March 13, 2012, 9:38 am

    You have me craving French toast now! Thanks for the recipe — I know what I will be making this weekend 😉

  • Clara March 13, 2012, 9:59 am

    Mmm these granola bars look so good! And I love that there’s no baking required. It’s fun to you share recipes on PBR, Jen!

    • Jen March 14, 2012, 5:04 pm

      thank you! glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Laura March 13, 2012, 12:56 pm

    Yum! Already made these and they are chillin in the freezer!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss March 13, 2012, 2:03 pm

    Sounds awesome! I love making homemade granola bars but they can be tricky to get the right texture sometimes. These look spot-on!

  • ErikaMC March 13, 2012, 3:45 pm

    What would be a good coconut oil substitute?

    • Jen March 14, 2012, 6:59 am

      another type of oil like vegetable oil or even butter.

  • Miriam@Bellaspire March 13, 2012, 4:22 pm

    I love the French toast and granola bar ideas. You’re always coming up with the best things!

  • Dayna March 13, 2012, 8:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jen 🙂 Granola bars can be such a lifesaver and in my case an early morning gym motivator!

    • Jen March 14, 2012, 5:04 pm

      agreed! sometimes i just need a few bites of something to get me through an early AM workout!

  • jennyv March 13, 2012, 8:37 pm

    I love using coconut oil in homemade protein bars. To be honest, my husband & I primarily use coconut oil for all cooking! It’s amazing!

    • Jen March 14, 2012, 5:03 pm

      i know, it has such a great flavor!

  • Claire March 13, 2012, 9:57 pm

    Is the coconut oil necessary? or would additional apple sauce work instead? I don’t have any coconut oil…

    • Jen March 14, 2012, 6:59 am

      i think you could use another type of oil – like vegetable oil – or even butter.

    • Jen March 14, 2012, 5:03 pm

      i think it is – use another type of oil or butter.

  • Bojana March 23, 2012, 8:35 am

    Wow, I just found this on Pinterest and made them right away, I had everything handy 🙂 Plus, I added about three tablespoons of vanilla whey powder to turn them into protein bars – it worked soooo well!
    Thank you a bunch for this recipea, it is brilliant!

  • Katlyn April 18, 2012, 9:15 am

    Just made these- success! But do you have any idea about the nutrition facts? Especially calorie count?

  • betsey April 23, 2012, 9:33 am

    I made these last week and didn’t have any applesauce, so I used an extra Tbs. of agave ( 3 total.) They didn’t hold together like bars very well, but were delicious and filling. I just penciled it out and they are just short of 300 calories each when divided into 6 portions. I’m not normally a calorie counter, but I’m stuck at a wieght plateau and decided to try it for a week or two.

  • SG July 23, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Any idea the calories in one of these if you cut it in 6 bars?

  • Jack August 29, 2012, 8:13 pm

    This recipe rocks. I just made it with Almond Butter, Almonds and Chocolate Chips. I also made a smaller batch for my dairy-free girl who can’t endulge in the chocolate. On that batch I spread a thin layer of homemade raspberry jam. I did use the coconut oil and think it is so worth the investment in that it adds so much depth to the flavor. I used honey and apple sauce in the proportions reccomended. I did not include dried fruit or vanilla extract because I had neither on hand. I did however, kick it up a notch with chia seeds, flax meal and unflavored soy protein powder. What an awesome bar for the kids in my house and for us grown ups this is a perfect pre or post workout snack.

  • Ck June 13, 2013, 1:58 am

    If I used sweetened coconut should I reduce sugar? By how much?

  • Melissa June 20, 2014, 8:11 am

    These are awesome! I used all honey and they came out just perfect!

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