Snack, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Crispy Granola Bars

After school snack attack.
(that could be tattooed on my neck)

I live for snacks, this is not news. But, in an effort to spend my afternoons munching on something other than cookies I decided to make granola bars. I used to love them when I was little (I was never little, I was born this way) but somewhere between high school and college they disappeared from my edible lexicon. Flipping through the food files in my head I divided granola bars into two camps-crunchy, crispy, oaty, toasty andsticky, chewy, dense and fruity. I like both but my mouth was spinning up memories of two-to-a-package Nature’s Valley crispy bars in the green wrapping. So it was decided.

This would be a corporate takedown.

I’m all for convenience foods, lord knows I couldn’t possibly make the number of pretzels I consume on a daily basis, but sometimes I have to take things into my own hands. Nature’s Valley granola bars aren’t gluten free (duh), but they also aren’t made with terribly upstanding ingredients. GMO city. Tons of sugar. I can do better.

It took a few batches but the verdict was positive from my panel of judges. Obviously you can spice these up with more cinnamon or toss in chocolate chips and raisins, I was mainly after a standard base. This is the granola bar you can customize. Please do not put Lego pieces in the batter.

There is great power to be had in taking a product off the shelf and reconstructing it in your own kitchen. Granola bars, once a mysterious snackling, are now decoded and hang in my files alongside cookies and cakes. SO, girls, get ready-I want to hear from you. What are you taking off the shelf and making in your kitchen?

Be a corporate food hacker. Decode the crap out of your favorites. 
Email your results to and I’ll post links to the thrilling takedowns!

Free of Gluten, Dairy, Nuts, Tree Nuts, Processed Sugar, Soy. Vegan.

  • 1 1/2 cups+1/3 cup GF Oats
  • 1/4 cup Rice Bran Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Honey
  • 3 tablespoons Palm Sugar (or what you have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons Corn Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1/2 tablespoon Molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

Get Busy

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a dry skillet/saute pan toast the oats over medium heat. Shake them around to avoid burning. And feelings of claustrophobia.
  3. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  4. When the oats are toasty and warm send 1 1/2 cups into your blender for a short buzz. Pulse on high 5 or 6 times, to chop up the oats and pulverize some into flour.
  5. Stir the buzzed oats and the remaining 1/3 cup oats into the wet mixture. If it looks too dry you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until it resembles a thick, sticky dough.
  6. Using a spatula, spread the dough onto the cookie sheet. Flatten it out until it is roughly 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Bake the flattened granola for 20-25 minutes, or until it is golden all over and just turning brown around the edges.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and while still hot, slice into appropriately sized bars. If you are a giant, do not slice at all. This is one granola bar.
  9. Let the granola bars sit for 5-10 minutes before peeling them off the parchment paper and placing them on a rack to finish their cool down.
  10. Nature’s Valley? Consider yourself hacked.

Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: ~8 average granola bars