Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Granola Bars

Let’s start the week right, with chocolate!

Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

~ Gandhi

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend – filled with family, good food, and (maybe) (just a little) sunshine!

We enjoyed a few days together and certainly made the most of it: by cleaning out the basement!

Well, not the whole weekend was spent this way, but a needed spring-clean was a feel good way to ring in the season of newness, and clean out some cobwebs (literally!)

It felt pretty good, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance.

~ Benjamin Disraeli

A few weeks ago, a reader wrote me asking if I had any recipes for kid’s lunches that are yummy, portable, and nut-free.

I admit I’m a little guilty of throwing a fruit snack or a little piece of chocolate (even a very occasional Oreo) into my kids lunches, as I’ve got at least one very picky eater in my house – the home baked goodies aren’t a guarantee that is for sure!

I’m not a big cookie-maker (or baker in general) – but I do like a good challenge…so I set out to make a treat that was flour-free, kid-approved, and still easy to make and (just a little) healthy.

I’ll let you guys tell me how I did!

No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.

~ Aesop

The Less:

Less flour-based sweet treats means more in tact nutrition, and less reliance on gluten. Less packaged cookies and treats means less waste, less additives & preservatives, and more fresh gooey texture to boot. Less looking for ways to use whole grains means more inspiration that eating this way is easy. Less wondering means more confidence, and who doesn’t want that?

The More:

More chewy sweet ways to combine healthy ingredients means more ways to ‘trick’ loved ones who may not be keeners. More millet and oats means more super-powered fuel from clean sources. More homemade sweet goodness means more ways to the hearts of those you love, and who wouldn’t want that everyday?

This recipe incorporates millet, which is actually a highly nutritious seed that dates back to Biblical times. It’s totally gluten-free and high in protein, so if you are new to it – it’s worth checking out for sure! This recipe can easily be veganized too – and I know at least a few of you who are pros at that!

Chewy Chocolate Granola Bars:

  • (1/2) cup dry millet
  • (1.25) cups cold water
  • (1.5) cups quick oats
  • (1) cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • (1/2) cup coconut milk (or nut milk or regular milk)
  • (1) tbsp butter (or coconut butter)
  • (1/4) cup brown sugar (or sucanat)
  • (2) tbsp cocoa powder
  • (1/4) tsp salt
  • (1) tsp vanilla
  • (1) tsp baking powder
  • (1) banana (fresh or frozen)
  • (1) fresh egg (or egg substitute)
  • (3/4-1) cup chocolate chips of choice (I used medium-sized dark for this, 1 cup will make them super sweet)

Start by combining the dry millet and the cold water in a small pot with the lid. Bring to a boil, and cook, covered on low heat for 20 minutes, until fluffy. Once done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Oil a cookie sheet lightly with butter or oil and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked millet, oats, coconut, coconut milk, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana and add to the mixture. If you are using a frozen banana, skip this step and instead simply soak the banana in hot water until it thaws and add it straight to the large bowl.

Add the egg or egg substitute and mix. Add baking powder and stir one more time before adding the chocolate chips.

Mix well one last time (don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands!).

Transfer to the oiled cookie sheet and press until you have a layer about 2/3 inch thick.

This recipe doesn’t make quite enough to cover an entire large cookie sheet so I butted it up the edge of one and lt it go from there trying to make the free end as straight as I could. I didn’t mind the jagged edge – the perfect tester piece before cutting the bars!

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting into bars either 3/3 inches or 4/4 inches square. Totally your call how you want to cut these! Keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature and eat with 2-3 days.

Moist, chewy, and sweet – these are perfect for the chocolate lover’s post lunch treat! No wrappers or crumbs either.

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

~ Will Rogers

Serve kid-style with a cold glass of your favorite milk. With these treats fresh from the oven….that’s a match made in heaven!

We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

~ Aristotle

That’s a sweet way to start the week – even if you are up to your bunny ears in chocolate from the weekend πŸ˜‰

Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.

~Arnold H. Glasow

An even bigger thanks for stopping by regularly and for taking the time to leave your notes and comments. I loved the response from the last post – and the appreciation for the beauty in the little things!

  • What was your favorite cookie as a kid?
  • Whats’ your favorite cookie NOW?

Let us know – we might just share in that too!

Yours in Less,


Filed under Children, Cooking, Desserts, Family, Food, Gluten Free, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Vegetarian

68 responses to “Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Granola Bars

  1. My stomach is growling looking at those Shira! Love the use of the millet πŸ™‚

    Favourite cookie when I was little- chocolate chip for sure. In particular- PC The Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie. We used to go through bags of these at my house like it was our job. It was crispy, chocolatey and perfect dunked in milk.

    Glad you had a nice Easter, despite the cleaning. You’re right though, cleaning definitely enhances your enjoyment of your home and I know I always feel lighter after.

    Happy Monday!

    • PC cookies! A classic! Sometimes you just can’t beat a little store bought – even if just for the memories!
      Love it Gabby! xox!
      Hope you had a great Easter too! πŸ™‚

  2. Love the idea of millet as the base for a granola bar! I just tried millet for the first time last week (?!) and am totally in love with it. Your thoughts about less gluten are right on – I think almost everyone could benefit from eating less of it and wish someone had educated me about it BEFORE I developed a wheat intolerance.
    Favourite cookie as a kid: chocolate chip. Now I love double chocolate chip (but still working on a gluten free version!)

    • Chocolate chip is always total perfection – thanks for stopping by! Are you totally gluten free now?
      I totally agree that moderation early could ward off future intolerance, great thought! *big smile*!

      • Yes, I’ve been gluten free since August; I’ve been using a gluten free diet to help recover from M.E. (which is what my blog is about!) – don’t know for sure if I have a gluten intolerance as such, but wheat difinitely makes me feel like crap and I think that was, at least partially, due to over-indulging in wheat for most of my life.
        Love your blog, glad I stumbled across it!

      • Yes! I am following you too – I don’t use a lot of wheat as I am low tolerance – however – my family is not! It’s all a fine balancing act here! Glad you found a way to a solution – it’s all worth it when you feel better!
        Glad you stumbled upon me too!
        Cheers! xo

  3. Oh this is going to be perfect. This week we are trying to go gluten-free and just last night I told my husband I need to make granola bars using quinoa. When I saw this post with millet I was blown away! I will be trying this this week. Great Job!

    As for cookies I love anything chocolate, then and now. I used to eat the chocolate/peanut butter no bakes make with a ton of butter and white sugar but no more. I’ve made a healthier version but I still don’t make them regularly.

    • What great timing! That just makes my day πŸ™‚ let us know how they turn out!
      Good luck going gluten free too, will you be posting about that?

      Anyone see a theme emerging here? All the chocolate lovers are making me hungry! And peanut butter too … I like your taste in cookies!
      πŸ™‚ xo

      • I’ll post my “findings” at some point, especially if I notice a difference. I have a few friends who are gluten-free so I try to make stuff for them but it is different doing it all the time. If I get up the nerve I may make these later today. We will see!

  4. Gorgeous chocolate-chewiness! Isn’t it amazing/wonderful what just a little chocolate or sweetness does for one’s day? Seriously – I look forward to me sweet treat after lunch! Sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me to eat my leftovers ;-)! Let’s see, mom made awesome molasses crinkle cookies – oh, they were good! And now…probably a double chocolate chip cookie wins my heart.

    • Your moms cookies sound wonderful! Have you ever tried making them as an adult? They sound gooooood! Double chocolate, amazing.
      Honestly, chocolate is the clear winner here so far – and for good reason!
      Happy Monday Ann!

      • I used to make molasses crinkles when I still ate butter – but haven’t tried to veganize them, mostly because I do TRY to keep added fat out of my diet – and I think those cookies kind of rely on the fat for their texture…but I s’pose it’s worth a try ;-). Chocolate…it’s just special!

      • Yes – of course! Totally didn’t think of that – even with coconut butter there would still be loads of fat! LOVE chocolate!

  5. These look delish! And I love the millet-base! πŸ™‚

  6. Did you just say chocolate? Oh yeah.. I am definitely loving the chocolate granola bars. This snack is perfect for any day of the week or really any time of the day. Thanks for this post

  7. Wow, I just recently learned that you can use quinoa in granola, and now millet. Creative and mouth-watering! And chocolaty!! I also love the photography!

    • Thank you! Thanks for stopping by my blog too – millet and quinoa: both so awesome and great for stuff like this! I’ll have to find me one of those quinoa bar recipes too! Happy Monday! πŸ™‚

  8. My cookie preferences haven’t changed much over the years. We mostly ate homemade cookies, chocolate chip-walnut, snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies. I still like all of the above. We were allowed one store-bought treat per week and I hate to say that I was partial to Hostess SnoBalls (but I never liked Twinkies).

    • Awesome – love these memories! We also had homemade, but I remember a fondness for wagon wheels πŸ™‚ Would love a good recipe for snickerdoodles – have never had a really good one!

  9. I honestly don’t know if I can pick a favourite!!! As a kid it was probably chocolate chip…come to think of it I quite like those now too! I love any kind of cookie with oats in it now…I have a slight oatmeal obsession. I really love the millet in these bars…I’m keen to try it as it’s a grain I’ve never experimented with. Can you eat it savoury and sweet?

    • I read a lot about folks who are so into oatmeal – it’s awesome!
      I grew up eating millet and it goes both ways – I posted a millet burger recipe earlier when I started this blog (actually funny because it was before I figured out the pictures!) – I make it often – millet is awesome savory! Good luck Sarah!
      You have echoed the thoughts of all the other chocolate lovers!

  10. Hi Shira – I may just have to make these for the wee nephew’s visit… They look scrummy! As usual, a gorgeous post.

    My favourite growing up was the ‘snitch biscuit’ – so named because one was never enough. You always had to snitch another – they were apricot and choc-chip oat biscuits, or cookies to you! (I’m guessing Canadians call biscuits ‘cookies’ like Americans?)

    When we first took the teenager to the States, all he wanted was a box of Twinkies to take back to his friends. Have you ever read the ingredients in a Twinkie? I don’t think there is one natural ingredient, which explains there unbelievable shelf life! πŸ™‚

    • Ah, yes Twinkies! Honestly (weird) I have NEVER had a twinkie! I think they were never big here in the north? Either that or no one around me ate them..ah the 80’s!!
      I certainly prefer the word ‘biscuit’ to cookies, it sounds so much more fabulous…my mother in law is a big fan of the word, something about tea and biscuits! Love it!
      Speaking of cookies…have to say I love the Australian ‘biscuit’ Tam-Tams!! So good!
      These bars are rather yummy, if not quite sweet though! A little goes a long way!
      Hope all is well in your part of the world!

  11. Never had millet before…might have to get some to try this one out! Been slowly eating more gluten free, but I have my weaknesses. Haha. Hope you had a good Monday! πŸ™‚

    • Worth a try Amy – nice to work in the sweet treats when trying new things! (hehe!) An interesting strategy, anyway! You too – mine wasn’t too bad at all! πŸ™‚

  12. Again, perfect timing! Jotting down the recipe for my father-in-law. Thanks, Shira!! Theadora

  13. I love the addition of millet, and the egg! I’ve never used eggs in my granola bars, but I like the idea. These sound great! And I agree: getting some good cleaning done always makes me feel reinvigorated.

    • Thanks! The millet is good! I wasn’t sure what to call these – a bit of a cookie, a bit of a bar, a bit of a chew! I settled on the bar…they are pretty yummy – and the egg adds a nice moistness!
      The cleaning was awesome..feels so good now, let’s see how long until we need it again….*sigh*
      Happy Monday! πŸ™‚

  14. These look perfect to snack on before a run! Awesome!

  15. Pre

    These look amazing, can’t wait to try your recipe! My favorite cookie is and always has been an Oreo. With (soy) milk…yum!

    • Oreo! Gotta say I might be with you on that! Lots of memories of me and my BFF sitting down to after school TV with a bag of those…my folks ever allowed them so they were a real treat!
      Awesome! Love all the answers today..

  16. Alexiasana

    these bars look great! I have been searching for an energy bar I can give my boyfriend to work with and this would defintely be his taste! He does a lot of exercise for work so he needs the extra energy. I love millet in just about anything! will make as soon as possible!

    • Again – this comment went to spam (so odd!)! I hope your guy loves them! They were a big hit at the office last week – let me know how you make out! xo!

  17. My favorite childhood cookie was the Oreo. I remember coming home from school to split them apart, lick the creme out first, then dip the cookies in milk before devouring them.

    • My fave way to enjoy too! …Ever ‘stack’ the icings from multiple cookies inside two cookie wafers? We did that too…
      Come to think of it, a bit gross too!
      πŸ˜‰ hehe..

  18. Have I told you lately how much I love/enjoy reading your blog? It always makes me breath easier when I’m here πŸ™‚ I love all the quotes you use too… xo!

  19. Looks delicious – might have to give this a go and try out for a snack when hitting the hiking trail – thanks for sharing!

  20. Starting the week with chocolate, hell yeah! I’m passing this recipe to my hubby – he made some delish coch oatmeal cookies that I devoured last week, so maybe this is a healtheir version for me πŸ™‚ Love the Aesop quote – it reminds me of your personality πŸ™‚ Lovely post!

  21. Your pictures look great! And the granola bars look yummy! As a food blogger and a stalker of other food bloggers my list of things to make is growing!! Ah, I wish I could spend days in the kitchen πŸ™‚

    • Oh, and I don’t know what I liked best as a child but I love everything chocolate. My favorite to eat and make are probably chocolate white chocolate chip ha ha but basic chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chip and oatmeal chocolate chip are all so good…apparently I am a cookie fanatic.

    • It kind of becomes a problem – doesn’t it?! Thanks! Happy to be on the other side of your stalking! Love it! πŸ™‚

  22. Kammie

    Oh my, your photography is simply beautiful! These granola bars look da bomb!

    • Hi Kammie! Thanks for stopping by! Somehow this comment ended up in spam (weird!) – so happy to have you stop by! I am following your blog too – gorgeous! Cheers! πŸ™‚

      • Kammie

        Yeah, I don’t know why but some comments end up in spam in mine too even though they don’t have any links included haha wordpress can be strange sometimes. Thanks for following too, yay! Cheers πŸ™‚

      • Just dug this one out too πŸ™‚ Guess I’ll start checking there just in case! Have a great day!

  23. Look lovely… and your quotes as always are inspiring πŸ˜€

  24. Pingback: No-Oat Granola Bars aka “Birdfood Bites” « Natural Noshing

  25. These look amazing! Definitely going to have to try them once I’m done with the Beachbody Ultimate Reset! πŸ™‚

  26. Wonderful post Shira. I love the quotes. And your shot – ‘not for the birds’ made me laugh!

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