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Copycat Nature Valley Granola Bars

Imagine yourself eating your favorite granola…

granola bars

Now imagine eating your favorite granola… in the form of a granola bar! Nature Valley Granola Bars… Do you know the ones I’m talking about?

Those crunchy bars in the green wrappers? My friend Sarah calls them “horse food” because they’re made up of oats and sugar—things that horses like to eat. But the following granola bar recipe is much too good to share with horses. Sorry, horses.

granola bars 1

Soccer Fuel

When I was in high school (it seems like a lifetime ago!), I played on the varsity soccer team, and our daily practices fell right after school. So I got in the habit of grabbing a bar—often a Nature Valley granola bar—to munch in the locker room while dressing out.

I’d completely forgotten about my past with Nature Valley until a few days ago, when I tasted an attempt at what was supposed to be a chewy granola bar.

“Woah, these taste exactly like Nature Valley oats-n-honey bars,” my roommate proclaimed after trying a bite. “Except, maybe these are even better!” (She quickly proceeded to eat two whole bars.)

granola bars 2

Nature Valley Granola Bars Recipe

Category: Healthy & Gluten-Free Recipes

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup rice crispies (I used brown rice crispies)
  • 3 tbsp oat flour (You can make your own by grinding oats in a food processor*.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or veg oil
  • 3 tbsp agave or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 packet stevia (or 1 tbsp dry sweetener)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, then mix in wet. Transfer to a 7×5 baking dish (lined with parchment paper), and press down. Squish HARD. Hard hard hard. Then cook for around 18 minutes. Wait at least 20 minutes before trying to cut into bars. *If making oat flour, measure the 3tbsp after grinding.

View Nutrition Facts

granola bars1

Other bars I’ve done:

homemade-luna-bars_thumb

Homemade Luna Bars

homemade-larabars_thumb

Homemade Larabars

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Published on January 23, 2012

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222 Comments

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  1. Matthew says

    Awesome blog Katie. Going to hit you up every time I need to make a dessert for an event. My roommate and I put on healthy feasts and then blog about them. We will make sure to steer everyone to your page!

  2. Olivia says

    YUMMY!!!! I was just thinking of looking for a recipe and this appeared in my inbox….thanks! I love your recipes! Especially the chocolate ones…hehehe!

  3. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather says

    I’ve always loved the crunch of those bars, just not the ingredients. These look wwaaaaaayyyyy better!

  4. Kerry says

    These bars look so good! I used to really like the Nature Valley bars, but now I think they’re too sweet. These look like they’ll be perfect! It’s so funny that your friend calls them “horse food.” I recently made a batch of healthy oatmeal cookies that got a similar reaction. When my husband tried them, he said they tasted like horse food, and he started calling them “horse cookies.” Now, whenever I make anything healthy, he puts the word “horse” in front of it.

  5. Amanda says

    Remember Clif Nectar bars? Like Lara bars, but smoother, and very sadly, discontinued. They made a fabulous lemon/goji bar that was tart, and citrus-y, and all around good, and made up a large part of my diet when I was pregnant. I’d LOVE to see those cloned, or maybe Clif could just start making them again. I’d happily pay for them.

  6. katia says

    I was hoping so hard for a cookie recipe, but I LOVE nature valley bars, so I’m super happy :’D Making these for SURE.

  7. C&C Cakery says

    My husband eats one one of these as a pre-lunch snack every day. It’s actually the only processed food we buy! Now, with this recipe, I can make it instead of bending my food morals and buying pre-packed food. Thanks so much!

  8. C&C Cakery says

    My husband eats one one of these as a pre-lunch snack almost every day. It’s actually the only processed food we buy! Now, with this recipe, I can make it instead of bending my food morals and buying pre-packed food. Thanks so much!

  9. Karina says

    i looooove nature valley bars. they have an apple crisp flavor that i can only find at one local grocery store. its amazing! everytime i go there i make sure to stock up. i also love the pb flavor and maple brown sugar…..and roasted almond….heck i love em all!! thanks for the recipe!

  10. Susie says

    Clif Mojo Bars! But sometimes they have more sugar than I want–I have ice cream every night and I worry about too much sugar overall. But the Mojo bars (esp. Mountain Mix, White Chocolate, and the new Coconut Almond) are just so good!

  11. Marissa says

    Haha, just had to pop in and say that we really DO feed the Nature Valley oats ‘n’ honey bars as treats to the horses! They LOVE them! Haha, and I do, too. Its usually one bite for the pony, and then one bite for me (except one “bite” for a pony is pretty much the entire bar, lol…)

  12. Shelley says

    do you cook these with the wax paper in the pan? I’ve never done that before, and it just sounds like it would make the bars waxy!

    I love bars! Kashi I think are my favorite. I also used to get the Nature Valley variety pack just for the cinnamon bars (because they didn’t make them in their own box, sad). I <3 cinnamon.

    Can't wait to try these 🙂

  13. Kendra says

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe! But I do have a question my absolute favorite flavor is the peanut butter. Could I just add peanut butter to this recipe?

      • Kendra says

        I made them with peanut butter last night. I added a lil over a tablespoon of peanut butter and they turned out great! They were a little bit softer than the original, I’m sure if I had cut back on some ofthe other liquid they would have been crunchier. But my husband prefers the chewy kind anyway so it worked out great! Thanks again for the post!

  14. Jodi says

    I’m in love with Nature’s Valley <3

    SO I tried this recipe and loved it! My local supermarket didn't have any small boxes of Rice Krispies so I put in almonds instead. I was worried it would fall apart but it held together nicely. It tasted so good I only cut it into 5 😉

  15. Kim says

    I LOVE Clif Kids Z-bars. Especially the Brownie flavored…yum! I buy them “for my kids” but I always end up eating more than they do!

    Question: Have you tried using Coconut Nectar in any of your recipes? I’m wondering if I could substitute the agave in this recipe. I bought a bottle because I saw it in my local health food store and it sounded interesting, but I’m not sure how to use it. The label makes it sound like it is a healthier alternative to agave, but I’ve never tasted agave so I’m not sure if this is similar! It’s molasses thick, comes from the sap of a coconut tree, but doesn’t taste like maple syrup. I guess I could stop typing about it and just give it try, right? 😉

      • Kim says

        I just wanted to update that I used the coconut nectar and it turned out really well! I was too lazy to grind up some oat flour, so I used powdered peanut butter (PB2) instead and it was tasty! Maybe a little too salty for me (my kids and husband liked it that way) since the PB2 contains salt, but still really good. Oh, and I added a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. I couldn’t help myself. 😉

    • Andi says

      I’ve used coconut nectar in many recipes. It has worked fine for me in anything that calls for agave, or honey. Only thing I’ve noticed is that it doesn’t seem quite as sweet to me. I’m fine with less sweet, but if you have a sweet tooth maybe up the amount or add some stevia too??

  16. Jade C says

    Hi Katie, I made these bars just last night for my Dad but when I tried to cut them ((this morning)) they were just crumbling and breaking :(. I DID squish them down as hard as I could. Any ideas why they might be so crumbly??
    Jade C.

    • Karen says

      I made these VERY successfully the first time using 2 Tbs honey and 1 Tbs maple syrup for the wet sweetener and 1 Tbs brown sugar for the dry. They were amazing!! The second time, since I have five kids, I doubled the recipe and used all maple syrup for the liquid sweetener. They came out crumbly. I’m not sure if it was the all maple or doubling in a 9×12, but I am guessing the maple syrup wasn’t sticky enough. We have bite size chunks, which is great, and the rest is perfect granola, so it certainly wasn’t a fail!

      Thanks, Katie!

    • Patty says

      Mine were crumbly too. I think it could be because I used quick -cooking oats. They were still delicious so I’ll try again with regular oats.

  17. SheilaBmarie says

    Katie, these came out perfect! Thank you! I ended up using olive oil, 1/4 cup ground up rice cake instead of cereal and 1t brown sugar. It seemed a little dry when i was mixing so i also added 1t almond milk….definitely nature valley worthy! 🙂

  18. Amber says

    My boyfriend loves the PB Nature Valley bars and I was wondering if the recipe would still work if I used PB instead of coconut or veg oil.

    Thank you for the great recipe. 🙂

  19. Marissa says

    Hi! I recently found your blog through Pinterest, and I am LOVING your recipes! My husband and I are trying to go completely sugar-free as we both have a lot of weight to lose, and I have an autoimmune disorder which is aggravated by sugar intake. Anyway, I have what is probably a silly question: I’ve never used coconut oil before, so when measuring it, should I cook it down/liquify it before measuring, or do you just measure the solid form?? Sorry for the amateurish question, and thank you for the great recipe, I can’t wait to try these this weekend!

  20. Stefanie Gott-Dinsmore says

    I too have been wanting to make some peanut butter granola bars and so far this is the closest to what I’m interested in (except for the pb). Do you have any opinions on simply adding some pb to this recipe? I was going to go for chewy anyways, as that’s what the boys here prefer 🙂

  21. Julia says

    These were delicious! Problem, though… the wax paper stuck to the bottom of the bars. Did I use it incorrectly, somehow? I turned the bars into regular granola while trying to get the paper off, which worked to a certain extent… but I’m also pretty sure I ingested a fair amount of wax paper 🙂

  22. Stephanie says

    I’ve got to try this. I especially like the idea of peanut butter ones, but I will try the recipe pretty much as written first. But just a thought on a PB variation: Maybe some ground peanuts instead of ground oats and PB instead of the oil?

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