I’m thrilled to share the recipe for these Paleo Granola Bars. No event goes by without countless requests for this recipe—which is easy to make and requires only 5 main ingredients. When following a paleo diet free of refined ingredients, it can be really difficult to find a granola bar that fits within our “circle of consumption,” as I like to call it. That’s where these Paleo Granola Bars come in—satisfying cravings for anything sweet and giving us a brain boost with extra virgin coconut oil, raw walnuts, raw brazil nuts, chia seeds and raw honey.
These Paleo Granola Bars bars were inspired by the most popular bar at the health food restaurant I worked at in my teens. It featured oats, dates and dried apricots, and lots of nuts and seeds. I remember just how much our customers would rave over these bars, with many making us an essential stop on their way to work. In homage to this wonderful treat, I developed a paleo version, omitting the extra fruit and using just enough raw honey to bind all of our ingredients together.
I truly believe that any snack you bring into your workspace should always leave you better than you found it. For this reason, raw honey can be a great alternative sweetener—the effect on blood sugar is by far the least detrimental when compared to other sugars that are often considered healthy, such as dates, coconut nectar and maple syrup. For many, these can cause brain fog and won’t support a productive workday. Plus, raw honey actually boasts wonderful benefits for the immune system. For a more substantive snack, you can even top these Paleo Granola Bars with natural nut butter.
Paleo Granola Bars
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup organic raw honey (I like using honey from Y.S. Eco Bee Farms which is available on Amazon and most health food stores in the US)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 inch scraped vanilla bean)
2 cups shredded coconut
3/4 cup raw brazil nuts
3/4 cup raw walnuts (opt for sprouted if possible)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (use only 1/4 if using a non-flaky salt such as pink Himalayan salt)
Add all dry ingredients to a big mixing bowl and mix well.
Melt coconut oil in a bowl over warm water, or use a double broiler (such as this one).
Remove bowl from heat and let the coconut oil cool down for two to four minutes. It will remain a liquid, but not be so warm that it will deactivate the enzymes in the raw honey. Now you can add the raw honey, letting it sit for a few minutes to soften.
Next, add your vanilla extract or bean and mix the coconut oil, honey and vanilla mixture a few times with a spoon. If your honey is still too sticky to mix, simply wait a few more minutes or place your bowl back over the warm water for a minute or two.
Pour the mixture into your bowl of dry ingredients. Using your hands, mix everything together very well. (Be prepared for your hands to get very sticky—culinary gloves are a great thing to have for this step!)
Once mixed, put in a cake pan and press firmly down all over. (Really, really firm!)
Place in the fridge to set. After about an hour, cut into bars as desired, then store in fridge until you are ready to eat them. (If bringing them to a friend’s house or office, keep them in a glass container and refrigerate upon arrival.)
Time: 30 min | Level: Easy
The size and shape of your bars will depend on your cake pan. If planning to make a large batch, I highly recommend using a 12” x 12” square pan, and simply multiply the recipe above by 2.5. These Paleo Granola Bars can also be wonderful gifts for friends—just keep in mind that they should be refrigerated, as they’ll fall apart if they stay at room temperature for too long. I like to wrap them in organic parchment paper and tie a ribbon around each one. This also makes them very easy for people grab at events and gatherings.
The beauty of these bars is just how customizable they are—you can always swap the chopped brazil nuts and walnuts out for any other chopped nuts and seeds. And if you’re making these bars for an event, I love making two variations (for example, one with nuts and one with seeds, especially if you are expecting some nut-free guests). You can even add açaí or macqui berry powder for a light purple color and antioxidant boost, or even a teaspoon of Sun Potion adaptogens. There are so many ways to get creative with these bars! Whatever fun variations you come up with, I’d love to know in the comments.
Emilía Rún is the Chef and Founder of Los Angeles based Shanti Kitchen, a paleo, plant-based and keto-friendly cake and catering service. Emilía also instructs kundalini yoga and insight meditation, teaching self-compassion as the path to ultimate freedom.