Late Summer Granola Bars

I’m officially obsessed with the granola bars at Whole Foods – they are thick, chewy, and studded with dried fruit and seeds. Yum. Inspired by the Smitten Kitchen, I decided to try my hand at creating my own version.

Late Summer Granola Bars


  • 1 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1  cup raisins
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 5 tablespoons melted Earth balance (or butter)
  • 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ with parchment paper, letting it hang over the sides a bit. Lightly coat pan and parchment paper with cooking spray.
  • Stir together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the Earth balance (or butter), agave, corn syrup, and water. Combine the dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and nut butter until evenly crumbly.
  • Pour into prepared pan and pack down. Use a piece of parchment or saran wrap to prevent it from sticking to your hands.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Note: you may want to pop them in the fridge to speed up the cooling/firming process.

My bars were a tad on the crumbly side – next time I think I will replace the 1 Tbs water with an extra Tbs of agave or maple syrup. I might also increase the nut butter to 1/2 cup. This recipe is infinitely adaptable – replace the raisins with dried cranberries, cherries, etc. or use walnuts/almonds instead of seeds.

It’s only Wednesday, but this week has kind of been kicking my butt. Luckily I’ve had some good stress-relieving runs to keep me sane. I ran an easy 9 miles on Monday in Central Park and had big plans for an early a.m. speed workout on Tuesday. Umm. Wishful thinking! My alarm went off at 6:30am and my body just said “no way Jose”. I went back to sleep for another hour and moved my workout to the evening. After a long work day and some necessary errands, the last thing I wanted to do was run fast, but I got my butt out the door anyway.

  • 2 mile warm-up
  • 8 x 600m with 200m recovery (reps 1-4 @ 6:27 pace, reps 5-7 @ 6:07 pace, rep 8 @ 6:00 pace)
  • 2 mile cool-down
  • Total: 8 miles

Sometimes it’s tough to get motivated, but I always feel better once I’m done 🙂

This morning I met up with Kelly for another 9-ish morning miles in the park. I’ve been loving running in the morning lately – seriously the best part of my day!

And because it’s my birthday (omg, 26, omg) I got a FREE drink from Starbucks. Whee! Obviously I ordered the largest size possible – a venti iced coffee with soymilk – and now I am highly caffeinated. The best way to start the day, right?

If you could order any drinks from Starbucks (disregarding price/nutrition) – what would you get?

  • Wheeeeeeee!! Happy birthday! What a stellar way to start out your day 🙂

    Your granola bars look anything but crumbly but that always happens to me when I try to make them at home…hmmm.

    I am a big soy latte fan – iced, please – so that’s where my freebie would come from.
    P.S. 26. eek. me too.

  • Tiffany

    Happy Birthday!!! The fact that you can push yourself to get out of the door to run is very impressive and inspirational, especially after a long work day. Next time I feel like not going, I will definitely think of you, :).

  • Happy birthday!

    I used to love caramel frappuccinos, but they are TERRIBLE for you so I haven’t had one in years.

  • ohhh boy, i love those WF granola bars! sooo chewy and decadent. i have to make these. heck, i don’t even own parchment paper. seems like a worthy purchase. anyyyyway. HAPPY flippin’ BIRTHDAY!!!

    i am all about the soy chai. i drank one nearly every day during my freshman year of college. we had “campus cash” that we could use at one starbucks location… and well, i took advantage 🙂

  • ummm want to make and send me some?! please?! hahaha!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! what a killer workout to do today haha. but i bet it’s a great way to feel even more on top of the world on such a great day 🙂

    have fun celebrating 🙂

  • No regard for calories/price? Definitely Chocolate Chip Mocha Frap, w/ whip, if they even still have those. They’re like 700 calories or something.

    Happy Happy Happy Birthday!!!!

  • Happy birthday!! 🙂

    And if calories were not an issue at Starbucks-I’d be all over the peppermint white chocolate mocha!! I loved the white chocolate mochas when they were originally a seasonal item…then I realized how bad they were for me 🙂 I’ll stick with my skinny vanilla latte, with the occasional skim caramel macchiatto thrown in. I’ve actually never felt the Frappuccino love…

  • Happy Birthday! I hope you have an amazing day.

    If I didn’t have to worry about calories I would get peppermint mochas and carmel frappachinos with whipped cream. Instead I get skim mistos with mocha syrup or carmel macchiatos.


  • Megan

    Happy Birthday! Today is my birthday as well! Hope you have a great one! Doesn’t it feel too hot today to be Sept. 1st? Crazy New England weather

  • Sara

    Hi Megan!

    Happy, happy birthday! I haven’t been dutiful with commenting lately but I’m glad to see your training is going well. I hope your day is filled with good food and friends. Let me know if you ever want to meet up for a run!

  • Those granola bars look delicious! I know exactly what you mean about feeling so much better once the run is done. Some days, I seriously don’t want to do the planned workout, but within the first 5 minutes of it, it’s fine and I’m enjoying it!

    Since I’m a chocolate lover, I would get a large hot chocolate with whole milk and whipped cream and those chocolate chip things they put on top!

  • Carly


  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I’ve made so many granola bars before, and they’re always on the crumbly side.



    I adore the mocha frappucino – full fat, full whip! Hehe. Before I realized how TERRIBLE it is for you nutrition wise I used to get it all the time!

  • AR

    1. Happy birthday!
    2. I’ve been meaning to make granola bars for awhile, and those ones look so…tempting.
    3. Always an Americano. No room, never iced. When it comes to coffee, I’m easy. 😉

  • Woo hoo happy birthday! I’d pick a venti soy latte, simple and tasty.

  • Grace

    Happy Birthday! My birthday is 22nd, so how does this free Starbucks things work? Hope you have a great day!

  • Grace

    Also…I would get an iced skinny vanilla latte…but not a venti I have trouble with too much caffeine=(

  • Happy Birthday, and thanks for the granola recipe!

    I’m partial to the chai latte (hot or cold, depending on time of year) and the caramel macchiato.

  • WELCOME TO YOUR LATE 20s!!!! Hee hee. I agree, running is often the best part of my day. I don’t care if that sounds pathetic.

    So I have been on a Frapp bender this summer, but only in certain circumstances. One of my true favorites is a soy cafe con leche (or whatever the call it at ‘bucks) with a shot of pumpkin spice. Mmm. Starbucks generation, what!

  • Happy Birthday! Mine was on August 28…I turned the big 27!

  • Happy birthday! My favorite Starbucks treat is actually something I tried for the first time on my birthday last April 🙂 The dark chocolate cherry mocha (ask for just one pump of mocha so you don’t overwhelm the cherry flavor) is so good. Especially when you get the whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top!

  • Girl, please, you are a baby. I’m going to be the big 3-0 in a few months…ahhh! I’m not sure what I will get at Starbucks, but it most definitely will be a Venti-something. I usually just get plain coffee, but I think turning 30 deserves something a little more special…pumpkin latte, perhaps? mmm…

  • ahhh, the infamous granola bars!

    Hooray for venti caffeinated deliciousness! If nutrition weren’t an issue, I’d get a ginormous mocha latte with whip. Or, in this effing weather, a mocha frap! I’m also a sucker for gingerbread lattes…mmmm

    Happy happy B-day! Great running with you this a.m. 🙂

  • Allie

    happy birthday! i’ve never had anything at starbucks but iced coffee and espresso. i just love it!

  • Carissa

    Happy Birthday to you!

    I would have a venti iced caramel macchiato with 2% milk and whipped cream. Mmmm.

  • Joe

    Happy Birthday, Megs!!!
    Take Marie Antionette’s advice and eat some cake.

  • You get a free drink at Starbucks when it’s your birthday!! I had no idea, that is so exciting.

    Happy Birthday!

  • I am such a snore at Sbucks. I always get an iced coffee and then just pour some (whole) milk and sugar into it!

    Those granola bars look great – the granola you made earlier this summer was awesome, so I’m sure these are too 🙂

  • Whoa those granola bars looks so amazing! Thick and delicious! I really like my granola bars thick. Especially if they are chewy.

  • Dani Sturtz

    Happy Bday! Your granola bars look amazing and they are vegan/gf friendly! If I could get any drink from starbucks not worrying about price or nutrition I would get a soy chai latte 🙂

  • Those look awesome. But curious, why the corn syrup? Seems like the maple syrup alone would be enough to bind it all together. I’m a bigger fan of raw energy bars, but this one could be easily adaptable to a raw version.

  • Jess

    Happy BDay! I’d have to go with a caramel frap with extra whip cream.(not the light one!)

  • Felicity

    Pumpkin Spice Creme Frappucino!!! Pumpkin Spice is officially back as of yesterday!!!!
    I have, of course, already had one 🙂

    Happy Birthday!

  • Happy Happy Birthday!!!!! I hope I get to take you out for a margarita on your trip through the southwest!

  • I used to really like caramel macchiatos. I still do- I just never order them anymore because the sugar/calories!

  • Those granola bars look yummy! If I could order anything w/out the calories, I’d get a carmel mocha frappucinno or cinnamon dolce latte.

  • Britt

    If I could order anything without any of the negative repurcussions, I would wante a mocha frappucinno…now if we’re talking food, a pumpkin scone please! I drool ever fall…all fall lol 🙂

  • Tera

    Pumpkin spice latte is the best! I can only get a small though because anything else seems like too much! Love reading all your recipes and about your running. I am coming back from a injury of ITB and right now trying to build a base-so most of my runs I am not enjoying like before! You’re keeping me inspired!

  • i think those granola bars are calling my name. thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

    i’m a HUGE coffee addict, but never into anything fancy. except at Christmas, of course: eggnog latte, gingerbread latte, i mean, you HAVE to, right? hope your birthday was a good one 🙂

  • I’m late, but happy birthday! Good choice with the iced coffee! I’m totally addicted. I had THREE today!

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