Crunchy Granola Bars {Copycat, Better than Nature Valley}

by Dorothy Reinhold on September 29, 2013

Print This Post Print This Post CRUNCHY GRANOLA BARS: Crispy, sweet and oaty, these classic granola bars beat Nature Valley’s version in our family taste test. They make a great soccer game snack, or nosh for a voracious teenager. #shockinglydelicious  #snacks   #snackattack  #granolabars  #copycatrecipe  #teenager

Crispy, sweet and oaty, these classic granola bars beat Nature Valley’s version in our family taste test. They make a great soccer game snack, or nosh for a voracious teenager.

With one hungry teenager and an athletic 6th grader and husband in my house, we stock a lot of granola bars in the pantry, for grab-and go.

Every once in awhile, I get a wild hair and decide I will make my own granola bars, but so far, I haven’t been extremely happy with them. Until now.

Crunchy Granola Bars (Better than Nature Valley) stacked 4 high on a plate on Shockingly DeliciousThis latest version is every bit as good — and arguably even better! — than the gold standard, which we consider to be Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey Crunchy Nature Valley Crunchy Granola BarsGranola Bars. You know them — green box, classic flavor.

This version is BETTER. Yes, BETTER, I say!

Soccer snacks may never be the same.

Recipe: Crunchy Granola Bars (Better than Nature Valley)

Summary: Crispy, sweet and oaty, these classic granola bars beat Nature Valley’s version in our family taste test. They make a great soccer game snack, or nosh for a voracious teenager.


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or use honey)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Heat the oven to 350F degrees. Mist a 12- by 8-inch baking dish (I have a glass Pyrex dish this size) with nonstick spray, or grease it with butter, and set aside.
  2. Mix the oats, flour and coconut in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on the stove, and then add the salt, syrup and brown sugar. Stir and heat to a simmer. After it simmers, turn off the heat, add the vanilla and baking soda, and gently stir. The mixture will foam up slightly and lighten in color, thickening somewhat. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir by hand.
  4. Turn the mixture out of the pan into the prepared baking dish, and tamp it down, using an offset spatula or the back of a metal spoon.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F degrees, and then turn the oven down to 325F degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Remove pan from oven and cool it completely. Invert pan onto a cutting board and the block of cookies should pop out of the pan. Give it a tap if it doesn’t.
  7. Cut into 36-40 bars.
  8. VARIATIONS: Please see the variety of suggestions in the reader comments below. People have been experimenting with them!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 36
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

areyoupinningIf you like this recipe and want to save it, pin the image below to your Pinterest board.

Crunchy Granola Bars stacked on a plate and cut on a cutting board on Shockingly Delicious

brown protein bars on a white table by masala herbAnd if you want to try another snack-type bar for your athletes to munch, try this homemade protein bar (gluten-free, without protein powder) by my pal Helene. →

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Bea September 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Your homemade granola sounds fantastic!


The Ninja Baker September 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Wow! Even better than Nature Valley? Your recipe is definitely going in my recipes I want to make file 🙂


Courtney @ Neighborfood September 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I usually like chewy granola bars, but every now and then I get a craving for that exact kind and brand. Now I’m glad I can satisfy that with a homemade version!


Stacy September 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Nature Valley has been our gold standard too so I am delighted to hear the results of your taste test, Dorothy! I can’t wait to give these a try.


Alida September 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm

These totally sound better than Nature Valley granola bars. I LOVE the coconut you have put in these!


Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) September 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Homemade granola bars are the BEST


Shannon R September 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I love golden syrup. Now I’m going to have to dust off my can!


Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips September 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Yum! I’ve done chewy granola bars, but am yet to try the crunchy ones. These look yummy!


Hezzi-D September 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Perfect! I can’t wait to try it. So many granola bars have peanut butter in them and I don’t eat it so I can’t wait to try these!


Camille September 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

We love homemade granola bars and I’m always looking for new recipes!


Tara September 29, 2013 at 11:58 am

I really want to make homemade granola, yours looks so good!!


piesandplots September 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

I love homemade granola bars and these look and sound like quite a treat for the morning!


Anne @ Webicurean September 29, 2013 at 10:55 am

I love those Nature Valley granola bars… and now I can just make them at home? Any time? This is bad news for my waistline!


Jen @JuanitasCocina September 29, 2013 at 9:56 am

I am SO addicted to Nature Valley. I cannot wait to knock my own socks off with these!


Renee September 29, 2013 at 9:11 am

I’ve been waiting and waiting for this recipe ever since you posted the sneak peek in the forum. Oh how I love granola bars and eat one as a mid-afternoon snack almost every single day.


Shaina September 29, 2013 at 9:03 am

gotta love the classic granola bar! great recipe 🙂


Liz September 29, 2013 at 6:50 am

I’ve never found a boxed granola bar that I’ve liked, but I have a feeling your homemade crunchy version is just plain delish!


susan September 29, 2013 at 6:45 am

The one time I tried to make granola bars they all fell apart. Perhaps I should have gone for a crunchy version and Nature Valley is the gold standard, but I bet yours are a million times better.


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers September 29, 2013 at 5:49 am

I love Nature Valley Granola Bars and yours look way better!! Love your recipe!!


Helene D'Souza September 29, 2013 at 5:09 am

I wouldn’t mind munching on your tasty looking granola bars right now. In fact I am getting hungry and I am ready to pick it out of the screen.


Lisa Blaney February 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm

These are awesome. Making my 4th batch in 3 weeks.


Dorothy Reinhold February 6, 2014 at 5:16 am

How great to hear that!


Jenny September 9, 2014 at 3:35 am

thank you so much for this recipe. I made a batch last night and they’re a big hit with the whole household…roll over Nature Valley indeed! I was wondering how long do you think they keep fresh? I have them in a tuperware in the fridge..


Dorothy Reinhold September 9, 2014 at 12:04 pm

So glad! They didn’t last long enough around here for me to “test” when they got stale. However, I think they should be fine for a week in the fridge! I also don’t think you need to store them in the fridge unless you want to. I might be tempted to free half the batch, so I could pull it out 2 weeks from now and be a hero. 🙂

Amber April 22, 2018 at 7:31 am

Can you leave out coconut and add more oats?


Dorothy Reinhold April 23, 2018 at 5:39 am

I have never tried them that way, but I don’t see why not. Why don’t you try it by making half the recipe, so if you don’t like the result, you won’t be staring at a whole big pan of it. Just a suggestion.

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