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Sourdough discard granola bars stacked on top of eachother.

Chewy Sourdough Granola Bars

These chewy sourdough granola bars are the perfect treat or grab and go breakfast. They are sweet, chewy, sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, and made with sourdough discard for a touch of fermented goodness.

Chewy sourdough discard granola bars spread out.

Why I Love This Recipe

I seriously can’t get over these sourdough granola bars! They are crispy, chewy, sweet, and slightly tangy. Such a delicious, fun and unique way to use up leftover sourdough discard!

I love how quick and easy these bars are to make. Whipping them up is a breeze, plus there is no baking involved. It takes about 15 minutes to make up a whole batch of these sourdough granola bars. Then they chill in the fridge and can be eaten in just an hour and a half.

These granola bars also make the perfect grab and go breakfast for the kids on those mornings when we are racing against the clock. The kids love them and I love how easy they are!

What is Sourdough Discard?

Sourdough discard refers to a portion of starter that is removed or discarded during the regular feeding and maintenance of a sourdough starter. The term “discard” doesn’t mean that the removed portion needs to be wasted though.

Many bakers save this discard and use it in various recipes, like sourdough granola bars, instead of throwing it away. Sourdough discard can add a tangy flavor to recipes and is often used in pancakes, waffles, muffins, crackers, or other baked goods. It’s a way to minimize waste and make use of the excess starter that would otherwise be discarded during the feeding process.

Why Use Sourdough Discard in Granola Bars?

Why would you use sourdough discard in granola bars? There isn’t one good reason for it, but many!

To Add Flavor

Sourdough discard can add depth and so much flavor to your granola bars. The tanginess from the sourdough discard adds to the overall taste, giving you bars with a interesting sweet yet tangy flavor profile.

Tangy sourdough notes pair perfectly with the brown sugar and honey in this recipe. Balancing the flavor and making your granola bars not too sweet or sour. I find the flavor of sourdough discard granola bars so much more appealing than just regular granola bars.

To Reduce Waste

Incorporating sourdough discard into discard recipes is a sustainable practice that helps reduce food waste. Rather than discarding the excess starter during the regular feeding process, you can repurpose it in various recipes, such as sourdough granola bars, to make delicious treats without wasting the flour used to make sourdough starter.

For the Health Benefits

Sourdough has many health benefits and can be a great alternative for those with mild gluten sensitivities. The long fermentation and beneficial bacteria break down much of the gluten a phytic acid. This makes sourdough much easier to digest and more nutrient and antioxidant rich.

Sourdough also acts as a prebiotic and can be great for improving digestive issues and overall gut health. Using it to make granola bars could potentially make them easier to digest and increase the availability of certain nutrients.

Sourdough granola bars with mini chocolate chips on them.

Tips and Tools

Tools I Recommend

For this recipe I find the following tools quite handy (Amazon affiliate links):

  • 9″ x 13″ Baking Pan
  • Rubber Spatula

Tips for Making Sourdough Granola Bars

  • Use the Right Oats – Choose either old-fashioned oats for a slightly chewier texture or quick oats for a softer texture, depending on your preference. Avoid using steel-cut oats in this recipe.
  • Add the Discard Before Heating. – When adding the discard to the coating mixture before bringing it to a boil. If added after the sugar has heated, the discard will cook on contact and you will end up with discard chunks in your granola bars instead of it being evenly distributed through out.
  • Don’t Undercook – Cook the filling mixture fully to ensure the discard is cooked and you aren’t adding raw sourdough to your granola bars, which can cause bloating and GI issues. To do this boil the filling mixture on medium low heat for two minutes or until it heats above 140°F(60°C).
  • Fully Chill Before Serving – Allow the bars to fully set by chilling them for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving. If you try to cut the bars sooner they may not hold together.
Sourdough discard granola bars.

More Sourdough Discard Recipes

Chewy Sourdough Granola Bars

4.1 from 107 votes
Recipe by Samantha Citro
Course: Sourdough Discard Recipes, Sourdough Recipes, Sweet RecipesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

16

servings
Cooking time

2

minutes
Total time

15

minutes

These chewy sourdough granola bars are the perfect treat or grab and go breakfast. They are sweet, chewy, sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, and made with sourdough discard for a touch of fermented goodness.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal

  • 4 tbs unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1/3 cup sourdough discard

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Directions

  • Lightly grease, or line with parchment paper, a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
  • Add the rolled oats and crispy rice cereal to a large mixing bowl. Stir until both ingredients are well combined and evenly distributed. Set the bowl aside.
  • In a small sauce pan heat the butter over medium-low heat until just melted.
  • Once the butter is melted remove it from the heat and fully stir in the dark brown sugar, honey, and sourdough discard.
  • Return the sauce pan to the heat and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook stirring continuously for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla extract.
  • Add this mixture to the bowl with the rolled oats and crispy rice cereal. Use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together until everything is well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to your 9″ x 13″ baking pan and spread it out with a rubber spatula.
  • Sprinkle the miniature chocolate chips evenly over the top, and use your rubber spatula to firmly press all the ingredients down until everything is tightly compacted in the pan.
  • Place your bars in the refrigerator and allow them to chill for at least an hour and a half before cutting and serving.

Notes

  • Storing Sourdough Granola Bars: Store leftover granola bard in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week of in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Mix it Up: Try replacing the chocolate chips called for in this recipe with fun add-ins like dried fruit and nuts. If using dried fruit and nuts mix them in with all the other ingredients instead of adding them to the top.

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14 Comments

  1. Holly Allen

    what is the recipe for sourdough discard?

  2. Hi! Thanks for the recipe! I made these and they’re super tasty but won’t hold together super well. Any suggestions so my kids don’t eat it with a bowl and spoon 🤣

  3. I haven’t made these yet, but can I use maple syrup instead of the honey? Either way they are getting made.

    • Hey Sarahanna! Maple syrup won’t give these granola bars quite the same ‘hold’ and you may end up with bars that are crumbly. I would suggest replacing only a portion of the honey with maple syrup to see how they turn out and adjusting as necessary.

  4. Jennifer Huzyak

    Can you sub honey with maple syrup? We don’t like honey 😂

    • Hey Jennifer! You could if you prefer, but the bars might not hold together quite as well so I would suggest chilling them longer and pressing them into the pan a second time after chilling.

  5. Is it ok to consume raw discard? I was surprised to read these didn’t get baked..

    • Hey Lisa! It is best not to consume raw discard as it could cause bloating and GI issues. For this recipe be sure to boil the filling mixture on medium low heat for two minutes or until it heats above 140°F(60°C) to ensure the discard cooks fully.

  6. Catherine White

    Hi! What size pan did you use? Recipe says 1×13 inches?

  7. Yummy! Absolutely loved these. As I always do, I changed it just a bit by swapping out the brown sugar for coconut sugar and the honey for molasses, and I added flax seeds. Very good! Thank you!

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