Homemade granola bars are quickly becoming a household staple. I haven’t bought a Larabar in more than month! The Coconut Cream Larabar is my favorite though, and that coconut flavor, plus the memory of Clif’s Chocolate Coconut bar inspired these granola bars.
I piped some melted dark chocolate on top of these bars, but you could easily leave that out (there’s chocolate in the bars), or just pour melted chocolate on the top of the bars and let it cool into a thin layer.
The recipe does call for a 1/4 cup of coconut milk, and I know it can be a pain to open a can for just a little bit of something. (I finally switched to buying tomato paste by the tube because a graveyard of half used tomato paste cans had taken up residence in the back of my fridge). While the granola bars were baking, I cooked up some quinoa and used the rest of the coconut milk (cut with some water to have enough volume) as the cooking liquid. I always like to have frozen grains on hand, so now I have four 1/2 cup portions of coconut quinoa in my freezer just waiting to become breakfast.
Chocolate Chip Coconut Granola Bars
This recipe (like my chocolate chip pretzel granola bars and the honey peanut butter pretzel granola bars), makes 16 bars. They freeze easily and make the perfect snack. The recipe is more formula than anything; feel free to make whatever substitutions catch your fancy. For example, I used hemp seeds for the extra hit of vegan protein, but you could sub in any other kind of seeds you have on hand, or leave them out and add some extra puffed rice cereal.
for the granola bars:
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup coconut, divided
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped chocolate chips
for the chocolate topping:
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- On a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, spread the oats and a 1/2 cup of the coconut in a thin layer. Toast at 350 for ten minutes, or until the coconut is golden.
- While the oatmeal and coconut are toasting, mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the coconut milk and maple syrup into the banana mixture.
- When the oats and coconut are finished, add them to the banana mixture along with the puffed rice cereal, hemp seeds and chopped chocolate chips. Fold the mixture together using a spatula.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 8×10” baking pan.
- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the center is firm.
- Allow the bars to cool for at least an hour.
- When the bars are cool, carefully melt the additional 1/2 cup of dark chocolate over low heat until smooth. (Chocolate burns very easily, so you’ll want to watch it constantly. You can also do this step in a double boiler) Transfer to a squeeze bottle and use to decorate the granola bars if you wish.
What flavors would you want in a homemade granola bar?