Grain Free/Paleo Cherry Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars. (Gluten/Dairy/Egg/Refined Sugar Free)

by Brittany on May 11, 2013

Post image for Grain Free/Paleo Cherry Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars. (Gluten/Dairy/Egg/Refined Sugar Free)

Up until this week I had never made granola bars. As silly as it was I felt intimidated by them. I assumed making them would be a lengthy process. These bars turned out to be one of the simplest recipes I have ever thrown together. When eating grain free having healthy snacks for the days you are on the go can get tricky. These bars are the solution. Stick one in your kids lunch, or bring one with you in the car for breakfast. Not only do they taste great, but they will fill you up too!

These bars will come together in less than 45 minutes and will last you a solid week.  They will become a staple in our home.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars


  • 2 ½ cups of mixed unsalted nuts or seeds of your choice*
  • ½ cup of chocolate chunks or chips 
  • ½ cup dried cherries + 1 Tablespoon
  • 2 Tablespoons  coconut oil (or other mild flavored oil or melted butter of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut nectar (or honey or agave- see note below)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a 7 ½ x 7 ½ (or close in size) square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until broken up into small granola sized pieces. If  using larger nuts like almonds, pulse those first so they break up evenly and then add the rest. (Note: Don’t worry about the nuts/seeds all ending up the same size, having some larger chunks will give the bars great texture and make them look gorgeous!)
  3. Add chocolate, cherries, and salt to the nut mixture and pulse once more to mix them together.
  4. Transfer the nut and fruit mixture to a large mixing bowl while you prepare the sugar.
  5. In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, pour the coconut oil, vanilla, and coconut nectar. Bring to a rapid bowl and whisk while boiling for 2-3  minutes.
  6. Pour sugar into the nut mixture and mix until evenly coated.
  7. Add mixture to baking pan and press evenly using parchment paper.
  8. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing. You can speed this process up by sticking the pan in the freezer until chilled. Use a large sharp knife to slice.

The bars can be stored at room temp, in the fridge or freezer in a sealed bag or container.


Recipe notes:


  • In this recipe, I used almonds, cashews, and pecans to compliment the chocolate and cherry flavors, but you can use any type of nut or seed you prefer! For those allergic to nuts feel free to use just a mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds. 
  • If using honey or agave instead of coconut nectar, your granola bars will come out slightly sweeter. Using the nectar they are mildly sweet- if you prefer your bars on the super sweet side feel free to increase the amount of nectar to 1/2 cup.
  • For the chocolate chunks I used the Enjoy Life brand. However if you are looking to decrease the sugar content of these bars feel free to use a Simply Lite sugar free chocolate bar chopped up. (They can be found at Trader Joes and some Whole Foods)
  • Instead of Chocolate Chips Cacao Nibs could also be used.



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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin Walker May 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm

These look awesome! What a great "on the go" snack. Can't wait to try them!


Lorie Rule May 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

This recipe is amazing, Brittany! I was so excited to try this out - I just started assembling all the ingredients in a bowl. Then I read the directions about boiling the oil, vanilla and (I used) honey. Uh-oh! Too late now...but never fear - they still turned out great! Thank you for this recipe!


Mary Louise May 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

These look so tasty! How much sugar did you use? I don't see it in the ingredients list... Thanks!


Stepha May 11, 2013 at 11:50 pm

These looks deelish. Love the cherry chocolate combo. Will be sure to try soon!


chris May 12, 2013 at 12:56 am

yum! Can you use stevia instead of the honey or nectar?


Brittany May 12, 2013 at 1:16 am

No- the liquid sugars are what hold these bars together.

I will however have a sugar free granola bar recipe for you guys soon!


Jess May 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I did the recipe as discribed and melted the chocolate. I'm hoping they will be fine (in the oven now) but do you have suggestions on still having chocolate but without melting it? Chocolate is a MUST for me on my diet.


Jess May 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm

They turned out great but a little soft. The kids and I can't stop eating them!!! Next time I think I'll just press the chocolate chips into the top before baking so they wont melt when I mix the liquid with the nut mix.

Do you have any suggestions for doubling the recipe?


Brittany May 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Yes- that's a good plan.
Maybe mix everything- let it cool a bit THEN add the chocolate right before baking.


Jess May 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Thank you so much! I am SUPER thankful for your site!


Brittany May 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm



Carolyn May 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm

These were easy to make and were delicious! I made these especially for my DH's lunch. My husband passed on birthday cake at work so his boss said, "Dave never eats anything that tastes good." Please! I think these bars prove that isn't so.


michal May 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm

i made this and the taste was great!!! my son loved it.
but - it didn't hold as a bar should. maybe i didn't put enough honey and oil?
i want to make it again (my son demands it) so please help.


Brittany May 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Did you allow for the bars to cool down 100% ? (I stick mine in the freezer for a few hours before slicing!) If you did that and they still crumbled then next time you might use a tiny bit more honey.
The other issue that could have come about is that maybe you did not boil your honey long enough.


michal May 17, 2013 at 7:19 am

thank you. i will pay attention to these points. the taste was great so i'll make them again very soon.


Dawn May 19, 2013 at 2:49 am

Do you know how long these will last refrigerated?


Jamie May 20, 2013 at 3:42 am

Hi there! These taste fantastic, but I had an issue. They did not stay together. My question is when boiling the sugar mixture, are you getting it to soft crack or hard crack stage? How far to let it go before taking it off the heat to get desired results?? Thanks!!


Brittany May 20, 2013 at 4:09 am

My thermometer broke recently so I can say. But I can tell you I rapidly boiled my sugar for a solid 2-3 minutes.


Jamie May 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Thanks...I'll have to give it a go again!


Winnie May 27, 2013 at 6:43 am

These are wonderful granola bars, thank you for sharing the recipe. :)


Healthy Granola Recipes June 13, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Making granola bars for the first time does seem to be intimidating, but they usually are pretty easy to make. Thanks for sharing your recipe.


Tammy July 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I made these last week and everyone loved them! I'm making them again this weekend but I think I'll try hand chopping the nuts and adding the chocolate chips in after I've mixed the rest of the ingredients first. Thanks for the great recipe!!


Hannah August 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

What a fantastic recipe! I just made these for the second time. My husband loves them as well. I like to keep the bars in the freezer after slicing - great for grabbing on the go!


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