The best substitute for coconut oil in granola bars is actually a combination of peanut butter, vegetable shortening, and honey. This combination of oils will give you the same texture and taste, but it will provide the benefit of not making your granola bars fall apart when you go to eat them.
Here’s a secret: coconut oil is not the best thing to use in granola bars.
We’re not saying it’s bad.
It just doesn’t have much flavor, and you can get a lot more bang for your buck when you’re trying to add yummy goodness to your homemade granola bars.
So if you want your bars to be the best they can be, try these eleven substitutes for coconut oil next time.
11 Substitutes for Coconut Oil in Granola Bars
Whether you’re allergic to coconut, don’t want to spend $12 on a jar of oil, or want to experiment with more ingredients in your kitchen, here are 11 substitutes for coconut oil in granola bars:
1. A Combination of Peanut Butter, Vegetable Shortening, and Honey
The combination of peanut butter and vegetable shortening gives you a rich, creamy texture that’s solid at room temperature but melts in your mouth.
The honey adds a touch of sweetness to balance out the other two ingredients, and helps the texture reach just the right consistency when mixed with the dry ingredients like oats and raisins.
The resulting taste is sweet and nutty—and definitely not like coconut!
Butter is a great substitute for coconut oil in granola bars. It’s more stable than coconut oil, so you don’t need to worry about it going rancid.
And it’s cheaper than coconuts—and we can always use more butter!
We recommend whipping up some buttery granola bars and sprinkling them with some shredded coconut for a delicious snack that just won’t quit.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a popular substitute for coconut oil in many vegan and vegetarian recipes because it has a similar consistency, but it also adds an additional layer of flavor.
You can use olive oil as a replacement in any recipe at a 1:1 ratio, so don’t worry about having to do math along the way.
4. Cashew Butter
Cashew butter is an amazing substitute for coconut oil in delicious homemade bars.
I love using cashew butter because it’s creamy, delicious and it’s easy to spread over a pan.
Also, cashew butter has a bunch of good vitamins.
These include iron and Vitamin K,.
Cashew nuts are also high in calories, which is good if you’re trying to gain weight.
You might be thinking, “Lard? Really? That’s disgusting. It’s also bad for you, right?”
Well, kind of.
Lard is fat—which is why it makes a great substitute for coconut oil—but it’s not the best for you.
However, if you’re thinking about using lard in your granola bars, it’s probably because you don’t want to use coconut oil and are looking for an alternative that’s just as high in fat.
If that’s the case, lard is a good option because it has a similar fatty acid profile as coconut oil.
I recommend mixing lard with other ingredients to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your granola bars, but if you’re using this ingredient for purely cosmetic reasons—say, because there are a lot of people allergic to coconuts on your team—then keep in mind that lard will add a greasy texture to your bars.
6. Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is a great substitute for coconut oil because it has a similar consistency and flavor.
It’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which offer health benefits like lowering triglycerides and maintaining healthy skin.
The only downside is that hemp oil can have a slightly nutty flavor, which might not work for everyone’s taste buds.
7. Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin puree has a soft texture, just like coconut oil.
It also has a lovely flavor that blends perfectly with other ingredients like honey, nuts, chocolate chips and dried fruit.
And while it’s not as firm as solid coconut oil, when it’s baked into a granola bar in combination with the other ingredients—especially the rolled oats—it’ll still give your granola bars enough structure to hold them together.
Plus, pumpkin has so many amazing health benefits!
It’s full of vitamin C and antioxidants and is low in calories.
It’s also got plenty of immune-boosting vitamin A to help keep you healthy all year round.
8. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is another great substitute.
It’s sweet, it’s sticky and it helps the granola bar to bind together.
A lot of recipes call for melted butter and maple syrup as a substitute for coconut oil.
You can also make your own maple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar over the stove until it thickens.
Applesauce has a great consistency and flavor that makes it unique but not overpowering, so it won’t mess with the flavor profile of your granola bars too much.
It’s also great for baking because it keeps everything moist and light.
10. Peanut Butter
To use peanut butter as a substitute for coconut, first make sure that you’re using creamy peanut butter instead of chunky.
The chunks will make your granola bars lumpy and a little weird-looking.
Mixing peanut butter into your granola bar recipe is a lot like mixing in coconut oil.
You can do either at the beginning when you’re preparing all the ingredients to go into the oven, or after they’ve baked and are cooling so they can be cut into bars once they’ve solidified.
Some people prefer their granola bars not to have clumps of peanut butter in them, so if this is you, then try mixing your peanut butter with brown sugar before adding it to your recipe.
This will evenly distribute the sweetness throughout the entire recipe.
11. Almond butter
Almond butter is a great substitute for coconut oil if you’re looking to make your granola bars even healthier.
It’s loaded with protein and the same amount of healthy fat as coconut oil, so you get all the benefits of coconut oil with an added boost of amino acids!
If you want to make your granola bars with almond butter instead of coconut oil, just swap it in at a 1:1 ratio.
You’ll also need to add three tablespoons of water to account for the moisture that’s not in almond butter.
The only thing you have to watch out for is nut allergies.
If anyone in your family has a peanut or tree nut allergy, then almond butter is obviously not the right ingredient choice.
11 Substitutes for Coconut Oil in Granola Bars
- A combination of peanut butter, vegetable shortening, and honey
- Olive Oil
- Cashew Butter
- Hemp Oil
- Pumpkin Puree
- Maple Syrup
- Peanut Butter
- Almond butter
- Pick an alternative from this list to use in your tasty bars.
- Prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Be ready to munch in no time!