Simply Fruit and Nut Bars - Eating Bird Food

Simply Fruit and Nut Bars

The yogurt and kefir making class was awesome! I wasn’t able to take any photos but I learned quite a bit and plan to do a post on making homemade yogurt as soon as I perfect the process. I made a batch yesterday evening that didn’t turn out but I know what I did wrong so I’m trying again tonight. If it’s a success, I’ll definitely share the details.

So yogurt was a no-go but I did have one fortunate venture in the kitchen this weekend…

Simple Fruit and Nut Bars

You might remember that Jesse made some healthy fruit and nut bars last week at the Whole Food’s cooking demo and jokingly said they were “Bird Food” bars. I agreed and knew right away I wanted to make a batch of my own. This weekend I had some free time to bake so I grabbed the ingredients and got to work.

Simply Fruit and Nut Bars
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup dates or pitted prunes (around 11 prunes)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
  • ⅓ cup water + 1-2 Tablespoons
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Cover an 8-inch x 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place prunes, raisins and apricots in a mini-chopper or food processor and pulse until well chopped.
  3. Combine flour, oats, chopped fruit mixture, nuts, cacao nibs and ⅓ cup water in a large bowl and knead with your hands until a ball of dough forms. (Add more water if the mixture is too dry.)
  4. Press dough firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. Cut into squares with a sharp knife before placing in the oven.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, until baked through but still soft (don’t over-bake them or the bars will be dry and tough).
  6. Store leftover bars in the refrigerator.

Simple Fruit and Nut Bars-2

I love that these bars are oil free and contain no added sweeteners yet still taste incredible! Isaac said they were the best bars I’ve ever made! I’ll take that as a compliment because I think my chewy oat squares were quite good!

If you decide to try out the recipe, remember that they aren’t super sweet but they are super versatile – I’m sure different dried fruits like cranberries, figs, dates, currants, cherries or blueberries would work great if you wanted to substitute ingredients. And, I liked the cacao nib addition, but I bet they were would be spectacular with a few chocolate chips in the mix.

That’s all I have for you tonight. Time to get ready for the work week!

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  1. I really want to make these, but I don’t have a food processor – grrr.

  2. Yum! Those look great and I love how you can substitute different dried fruits to make a variety of flavors. I am definitely trying these soon! 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for the recipe! I can’t wait to try them out! I’ve been in a bet of a complex situation with college (6 hours in the class room with only a 5 minute break in between) so I’ve been needing something healthy and filling to make sure my tummy doesn’t go crazy in class!

  4. These bars look so cute and yummy! I can’t wait to make them!

  5. those look awesome! I make no-bake granola bars that are the same concept.

    i love making my own bars…that way i can put in extra choc chips and whatever else i want 🙂

  6. Ahh these look so good — every time I try to make bars they fall apart. Do these stick well?

  7. those look delish! do you think I could sub dates for prunes?

  8. I make yogurt on a regular basis (I have a yogurt maker) and I LOVE it!!! It’s heaps cheaper than buying it in the store and I love that it’s so pure.

    Besides, in Canada we don’t have Oikos so until then I’ll make my own! 😛

  9. These sound delicious!!

  10. Can’t wait to see your homemade yogurt! I had so much fun making it this summer in my crockpot – I should do it again soon.

    These bars look great! Nick likes having stuff like this on hand – I should make them at home more often.

  11. while I was reading the ingredients I immediately thought to myself that it was great/interesting that there weren’t any oils or added sugar! This sounds like a pretty easy recipe so I definitely will try it out. Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Home-made granola bars has been on my list for so long now, I need to get to it! I love having the control over the ingredients (and omitting things like sugar, oils, preservatives, etc.)

  13. i am going to make this recipe this week with some different dried fruits. i have been trying to find something to replace my luna bars, which i think contain too many ingredients. thanks!

  14. Those sounds so good for you. I love finding snacks that let fruit shine without a lot of added sugar.

  15. Homemade granola bars are sooo much better than store-bought! And I love how there’s no oil in these. I’ll have to try them next time!

  16. Awesome recipe, looks so tasty, and wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing!

  17. These look soooooo amazing! I made a rendition of my own granola bars this past weekend – have you tried dried apricot and cardamom? My recipe has honey in it, so it plays nicely with the other ingredients 🙂

  18. Stephanie says:

    I made these last night because they looked soooo delicious and i’m always looking for no-sugar added treats for my office (theres a few diabetics and i try to bring in good for you treats for them)- but when I baked them they were still not really incorporated. I am wondering if the (very) small amount of water is a typo? I added 1/3 plus 2 T and it was not nearly enough to incorporate them all…but I am excited to try about because the baked bar that was falling apart WAS DELICIOUS!

    • Oh noooo Stephanie. I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out! The 1/3 cup of water is correct, however you really have to knead the dough with your hands for a good while to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated and the bars stick. If they are way too dry, you could try adding more water, but they turned out perfectly for me with the 1/3 cup + 2 T of water.

  19. These are a perfect snack for those sprints between classes, thank you! I’m jealous of your class. It sounds like so much fun! I’m always looking to learn new techniques, especially if it means cutting back on buying processed foods and making my own goodies.

  20. Ever since I got a food processor for Christmas I have been seeing a lot more recipes that require food processors! Thank goodness! I’m definitely adding this to my list of things to make! 😀

  21. I love the simplicity of the ingredients! And most bars have almonds in them, which my bf has an allergy to so these are a great alternative! Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks for sharing, and I love the print option =)

  22. These look wonderful, great ingredient list.

  23. I have been wanting to make homemade granola bars for a long time, my dad loves them. I will definitely be trying yours out first, they look fabulous! Thanks you for sharing them with us.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    This sounds delicious! I think I will try it. It would be great if you could add the nutrition facts as well though. Like the amount of calories, carbs, and sugar, per serving!

    • Hey Elizabeth, here are the nutrition facts if you make 8 bars:

      Calories 303
      Total Fat 11.38g
      Total Carbohydrate 46g
      Dietary Fiber 7.26g
      Sugars 21.53g
      Protein 4.4g

      Remember the fat is a healthy fat and all the sugar is from fruit. 🙂

  25. My family is gluten intolerant but I was dying to try this recipe so I used a gluten free flour mix from
    1 1/4 C (170g) brown rice flour
    1 1/4 C (205g) white rice flour
    1 C (120g) tapioca flour
    1 C (165g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
    2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
    (you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour.

    Gluten free flour mixes tend to be a bit drier than regular flour’s so I had to use a little extra water but so far so good. I’m trying them with a little agave syrup just as an experiment. I’ve got some picky kid eaters and I think this is a brilliant way to sneak things like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and other super nutrient rich foods in.

  26. Has anyone made these yet. (Besides EBF) I made them with whole wheat and they were really “wrong” i could taste it was meant to be good. All the ing. sound fabulous to me but they DEFINATELY didn’t look like the photo. They actually looked greyish and uncooked instead of the nice color on your photo. Help, I have a bar that I buy that I would like to replace with these but I have to “fix” whatever went wrong.

  27. I made these today and they turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Thanks for this recipe! I’ve been searching for a granola bar recipe that’s not full of sugar and oil. This is just what I wanted. I made them last night (with whole wheat flour) and they turned out great. I’m sure I’ll be making these regularly to keep in my purse for emergency snacking.

  29. These rock. Used dried pineapple instead of apricots and wheat flour instead of spelt flour

  30. Delicious. Not too sweet, I loved them. Next time I will try with some dried figs! Thank you for a great recipe.

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