Sweet, salty, chewy, and dense, these Trail Mix Protein Granola Bars make a super healthy, filling, and portable snack! They’re gluten free and vegan, and can easily be made nut free if needed.
Good morning, good morning from somewhere in the middle of the Pacific ocean! And by that I mean hi from juuuuuust off the coast of Vancouver.
We’re currently hanging out on the ferry, en route to Vancouver Island, and we’ve got one more long (and twisty) stretch ahead of us before we settle down in a condo by the ocean for a handful of days and just relax.
I’m so ready. Like… so ready. I love travelling, but living out of a car and staying in a new place every night gets a little tiring. The long drives, the constant packing and unpacking, the wifi dead zones, the lack of bathrooms and consistent, warm meals (!!)… it’s been tough. Or maybe I’m just getting old 😝
Either way! I’ve been super reliant on snacks over the past couple of days, and these chewy trail mix protein granola bars in particular have been a godsend…
I mean, just look.at.them!
They’re LOADED with awesome ingredients like oats, almond butter, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cranberries, and chocolate chips, plus a little bit of protein powder to give them some extra oomph. And if you don’t want to go the protein powder route? You can easily replace that with an equal amount of oats and have chewy trail mix granola bars instead.
Or if you don’t like/have pumpkin seeds, raisins, and/or almond butter? Swap them out with whatever you have on hand or whatever your favourite trail mix ingredients are! Sliced almonds or sunflower seeds for the pumpkin seeds, chopped apricots or dates for the raisins, peanut or sunflower seed butter for the almond butter… there are so many delicious possibilities. It all depends on what you like the most!
The only thing I recommend leaving in there is the chocolate chips. Everyone know that’s the best trail mix ingredient and the one that always disappears first.
Now there’s a question… what do you go for first when you’re hanging out with a nice big bag of trail mix? Or what are your non-negotiable, gotta-hafta-must be there ingredients?
For me, it’s chocolate and raisins. I could take or leave the nuts, seeds, and random crispies, but the chocolate and raisins are a must… which probably means I’d be perfectly content with a box of chocolate-covered raisins, but it’s nice to have options, ya know?
Actually, my perfect scenario would be something like 40% chocolate, 40% raisins, and 20% everything else. Yup. Sounds good.
But back to those bars!
I made these just before we left so that I’d have something to put up on Spoons while I was gone, and I lucked out big time because they ended up making the perfect road trip snack too.
They’re soft, chewy, dense, slightly salty, sweet, chocolatey, and super satisfying.
I made them gluten-free and vegan so that most people could enjoy them, and you could easily make them nut-free if you’re dealing with nut allergies by replacing the almond butter with sunflower seed or soy nut butter and the almond milk with another non-dairy milk like rice or soy.
They’re easy to make, easy to pack, and easy to store. They’re basically perfect, and I hope you love them as much as we do (did)!
I’d love to know if you make this recipe! Leave a comment and rating down below to let me know what you think, and subscribe to our mailing list to receive new recipes in your inbox!Print
Chewy Trail Mix Protein Granola Bars
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 12 bars 1x
- 1 1/2 cups (120 g) quick oats (GF if needed)
- 1/2 cup (40 g) protein powder*
- 2 Tbsp (14 g) ground flax
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (64 g) almond butter**
- 1/4 cup (80 g) brown rice syrup (or honey)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (70 g) pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup (80 g) dried fruit***
- 1/4 cup (45 g) mini dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350F (176C) and line an 8×8 (20×20 cm) baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, protein powder, flax, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, syrup, almond milk, and vanilla, mixing until fully combined. Pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Finally, stir in the seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate chips.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan and use your hands to spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the centre has set and the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove the bars from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 20 minutes before cutting them into individual bars. Store them at room temperature for up to 5 days, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
* I’ve tried these with both whey and plant-based powders, and both work just fine so feel free to use whichever you have on hand. Just make sure you like the flavour because it -will- shine through in the bars. OR you can totally leave out the protein powder and replace it with an extra 1/2 cup (40 g) of oats. ** Feel free to use whichever nut/seed butter you like the most. *** I used a mix of raisins and dried cranberries, but you could really use any dried fruit that you love. Just make sure to chop bigger ones like dates or apricots into smaller pieces.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
Keywords: baking, dairy-free, gluten-free, granola bar, healthy, homemade, protein, recipe, snack, trail mix, vegan
Looking for more healthy snack bar recipes? Try one of these!
Almond Butter & Jelly Banana Bread Bars
Double Blueberry Muffin Bars
No-Bake Sweet & Salty Trail Mix Granola Bars
No-Bake Almond Fudge Protein Bars
Blueberry Almond Oat Bars
This is the recipe I was looking for. Can I freeze them before our trip? How long will they stay fresh for?
These look really good, was wondering if I could use figs in place of the raisins, and chop them up so they’re about the size of raisins?
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
That should be fine, Gwen! Any dried fruit around that size will work 🙂
If you want to make a quick and easy to make dessert for a party then macaroni salad should definitely be something that you consider. Macaroni salad is really easy to prepare and it tastes really great too. You can whip up this delicious recipe in just a short amount of time which is one of the good things about this tasty dish.
Can I use regular rolled oats or does it have to be quick cooking oats?
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Regular oats are fine, Lindsay. It’ll change the texture a tiny bit, but it shouldn’t be a problem.
I love anything that has a trail mix twist. Nuts, fruits and oats are my happy place. Speaking of which, I need to get on breakfast before the babe wakes up from her morning nap.
Arman @ thebigmansworld
Hardest part of travelling is wifi. duh.
These look delicious and I’d make them, and sub the oats for splenda granules.
Same!! Chocolate and raisins are 100% the best part of trail mix, and I love your ratio! 😜 These look like all my favorite things in a bar…I think I know tomorrow’s breakfast! 😋
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
These bars look seriously delicious. Great to have as a go to snack on the run. Thank you for the recipe. I like shredded coconut and dark chocolate chips. So good.
A must have in trail mix is chocolate, but I also am a fan of corn nuts. If you’ve never had them, that needs to change ASAP!
The hardest part about travelling for me is how much my looooooooooong legs hurt after a few hours in the car. I’m definitely a person who needs to stretch her legs!
Definitely saving this recipe! I’m a sucker for a good chewy granola bar with raisins AND chocolate chips. <3
Katie | Katie's Time Travelling Kitchen
These look so good, and so useful to take when you’re out and about! 🙂
Sara @ saralouyoga
I’ve been looking for a new granola bar recipe…thanks for this!
Meagan @ My Life as Mrs
These look so yummy and will be perfect for my hiking backpacking trip in a couple of weeks!
Hardest thing about traveling is finding a place to eat with the kids that’s not fast food, but where they can be a little wild after sitting in the car for hours on end.
Heather @ Polyglot Jot
Yum! I love chewy bars more than crunchy! I need almonds dark chocolate and dates in my bars!
I think the hardest part of traveling is getting out of your food routine. I have a lot of intolerances and issues with certain foods so it can be tough!
Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar
Yum! I love your soft & chewy protein granola bars–the idea of adding more goodies sounds awesome 🙂
I love how you made these both ‘cakey’ and ‘granolaey’… 🙂 And being on a boat sounds like fun; I think you came well prepared with snacks. I totally agree that you must have the right proportion of chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, and other good stuff. 🙂 It’s amazing how satisfying a simple granola bar is.
Katie @ Katrina's Clean Cooking
These bars look so good, Amanda! For me, the chocolate chips and oats are must-have ingredients for a trail mix – I must say I do love the flavour of oats, chocolate chips, and peanut butter together! But almond butter is just as delicious, with a more sweet & mild flavour😊
When travelling, I find the packing and unpacking annoying – also, even if you’re only going for one night, you’ve still got to take nearly the same amount of stuff as you would for a week (except the extra clothes, of course😉). There will always be room in my suitcase for snacks, though! When I went on holiday the other week, I packed plenty of healthy snacks – oat cookies, PB bars, fruit & nut bars, tortilla chips, and some of your delicious dark chocolate blueberry banana oat muffins!! They kept us going for the 4 days, haha!😄
mmm these bars have a little bit of something for everyone! Love it. Chocolate and raisins are definitely a necesssity for me in trail mix – but so are dried cranberries!! I love that tarness that they bring 🙂
Shashi at RunninSrilankan
Oh heck yeah – chocolate and raisins are a must in a granola mix – though I’d be content with chocolate covered raisins in there too – and speaking of trail mix – wow, Amanda these bars are loaded up with all sorts of goodness indeed! I think I’d be happy to snack on them – no matter the circumstances! Hope your relaxing soon, my friend!
Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe with us. it looks amazing and yummy, i can’t wait to try it out with my kids. awesome post with fascinating pix.
michele @ paleorunningmomma
For me the hardest part of traveling is finding things to eat that won’t make me sick and also won’t bore me to tears, lol! These look like real-deal granola bars – total perfection!
Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It
Omg YUM! These are a stick-to-your-ribs kind of bar! I think for me the hardest part about traveling is all of the SITTING while traveling. As a dancer, I go stir-crazy when I sit for too long and then my body doesn’t like me! Haha!