These tasty fruit and nut bars are oil-free and contain no added sugar. They’re nutty, chewy, slightly sweet and make for a perfect grab-n-go snack!

Did anyone else grow up on fruit and nut granola bars? I won’t mention names but they are filled with so many crappy ingredients! Thankfully, I’ve created a homemade version that are just as tasty, super simple to make and muchhhh healthier!

Square pan with fruit and nut bars cut into 9 slices.

Just like my bird food bites, these fruit and nut bars are basically “Bird Food” in bar form. I love that they’re 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 tahini fig bars are quite good!

Mixing bowl with the ingredients to make fruit and nut bars.

Ingredients Needed

  • oat flour – you can buy this or make your own by blending oats! You can also use whole wheat or regular all-purpose flour if needed.
  • old fashioned rolled oats
  • medjool dates or prunes
  • raisins
  • dried apricots
  • walnuts 
  • cacao nibs – these are small pieces of crushed unroasted cacao beans. They’re unsweetened and have a bitter, chocolatey flavor. If you’re not sure about using these, you can always sub in chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Ingredients to make fruit and nut bars in measuring cups, including oats, walnuts, and dried fruit.

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 like that the cacao nibs don’t add any sugar, but I bet they would be spectacular with a few chocolate chips in the mix.

Side by side image with dried fruit in a food processor. The first image shows fruit whole and then second shows fruit processed.

How To Make Fruit & Nut Bars

While you do need to bake these bars, they’re super simple to make!

You’ll start by chopping your prunes, raisins and apricots in a food processor until well chopped. Then in a large bowl, you mix the flour, oats, fruit mixture, nuts, cacao nibs and water – kneading together until a dough forms. If needed you can add more water to accomplish this!

Lastly, press into a pan lined with parchment paper and then cut into squares before baking (a trick to easier cutting after baking!). Bake the bars for 25 minutes and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Stack of fruit and nut bars.

Fruit & Nut Bar Stats

Like I mentioned, these granola bars are much healthier than packaged alternatives! But let’s break down the facts.

  • Oats – Studies have shown that oats may help lower cholesterol, may prevent type 2 diabetes and help control blood sugar levels. They have a good amount of protein and fiber and are a great addition to your diet. (Source)
  • Dates – Dates are a great natural sweetener! They are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals and are high in antioxidants. (Source)
  • Raisins – While I wouldn’t suggest living off of dried fruit, they are by no means “off limits”! They are a good source of fiber, iron and calcium as well as an amazing source of antioxidants. (Source)
  • Apricots – Apricots are great sources of vitamin A and C and another great source of antioxidants! (Should I have called these “Antioxidant Bars”?!) They have been linked to improve eye, skin and gut health. A winning little superfood! (Source)
  • Walnuts – Walnuts look like little brains which always reminds me how amazing they are for my brain! These nuts are high in omega-3 fats and have a crazy amount of antioxidants. They have been linked to heart disease prevention and cancer prevention. (Source)
  • Cacao Nibs – Cacao nibs are a great way to get a hint of chocolate flavor without the added sugar. They are packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and… you guessed it: antioxidants! (Source)

More Bar Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Stack of three fruit and nut bars.

If you make these fruit and nuts bars, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

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Square pan with fruit and nut bars cut into 9 slices. The middle square is sitting on top of the surrounding square pieces. The pan is sitting on a cooling rack.

Fruit and Nut Bars

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan


This versatile fruit and nut bar recipe is oil-free and contains no added sugar. These nutty, chewy bars are just slightly sweet and make for a perfect grab-n-go snack! 


  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates or prunes
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped*
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 2/3 cup water


  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 2/3 cup water in a large bowl and knead with your hands until a ball of dough forms.
  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 20-25 minutes, until baked through but still soft (don’t over-bake them or the bars will be dry and tough).
  6. Leftover bars should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for 1-2 weeks.


  • Whole wheat, spelt or all-purpose flour will also work.
  • To save time on chopping your nuts, you can place them in your food processor or mini-chopper and pulse until well chopped.
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 323
  • Sugar: 21g
  • Sodium: 4mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 49g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: fruit and nut bars

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Recipe rating

    1. Jenna Curtis
      September 16, 2020 AT 12:54 pm

      The flavor of this recipe is awesome! Unfortunately, mine also didn’t stick together well and crumbled after baking. I did oats, oat flour (made by putting oats the food processor), walnuts, dates and dried cranberries, I added coconut, mini chocolate chips… and I did about 1/3 cup of water plus an additional tablespoon.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 16, 2020 AT 8:32 pm

        Hey Jenna – so sorry to hear that. I’m wondering why that’s the case for some people! Did your dates seem dry and since you only used two dried fruits did you use 1.5 cups combined or just 1 cup? Also, how long did you cook them for? If they get baked too long the bars end up being dry.

    2. Lauren
      September 5, 2020 AT 9:29 am

      Hi Brittany! These look amazing and I can’t wait to make them. One question: do you think they’d freeze well? I’m an expectant mama and would love to have some of these on hand once the baby comes!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 6, 2020 AT 8:35 pm

        Hey Lauren! Yes, these should freeze well. 🙂

    3. Jordan Sharp
      July 11, 2020 AT 11:04 am

      Made these and they were great in taste, except they didn’t stick together and all fell apart! I used the 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons…baked for 25 mins…any suggestions as to what I may have done wrong & how I can fix this? Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 13, 2020 AT 12:48 pm

        Hey Jordan – Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that they fell apart. What flour did you end up using and did you change anything about the recipe?

      2. Jessica
        July 13, 2020 AT 12:27 pm

        I had this same problem. The taste was great and they were simple and quick to make but they came out very crumbly. What can I adjust to make them stick together better in bar form? Am hoping this is Something my toddler can eat Independently without crumbling all over!

        1. Brittany Mullins
          July 13, 2020 AT 1:45 pm

          Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that, Jessica. What flour did you end up using and did you change anything about the recipe?

    4. A.Rrajani Photographer
      July 11, 2020 AT 12:39 am


    5. Peyton
      July 10, 2020 AT 7:31 pm

      So yummy!!! I used dried mango instead of apricot and added chocolate chips and chia seeds!! So so good:)

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 10, 2020 AT 8:12 pm

        Yay!! So glad you enjoyed these bars, Peyton. Thanks for making them and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    6. Kathryn
      July 10, 2020 AT 1:17 pm

      Do you think I could substitute seeds for the walnuts to make these bars school friendly? What would you suggest? 1c of pumpkin or sunflower? Maybe less since they are smaller? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 10, 2020 AT 8:03 pm

        Yes, I think that would work just fine! And I think either seed option would work well. 🙂 Let me know how they turn out if you make them.

    7. Ariane
      December 6, 2012 AT 12:34 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 6, 2012 AT 8:53 pm

        So glad you liked them Ariane!

    8. Matthew
      October 3, 2012 AT 3:05 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 3, 2012 AT 10:32 pm

        Woo-hoo! Glad you enjoyed them Matthew.

    9. Joanna
      June 10, 2012 AT 11:37 am

      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.

      1. Eating Bird Food
        June 10, 2012 AT 1:32 pm

        So glad you like them Joanna! They are great for emergency snack situations. 🙂

    10. Karen
      March 13, 2011 AT 10:54 pm

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

      1. Eating Bird Food
        March 13, 2011 AT 11:00 pm

        So glad you enjoyed this recipe Karen! Did you use spelt flour or whole wheat?

        1. Karen
          March 14, 2011 AT 9:19 am

          I used Spelt Flour. It was my first time trying that flour and it worked out great! Can’t wait to try and make the Chewy Oat Squares next weekend!

          1. Eating Bird Food
            March 14, 2011 AT 9:20 am

            Okay great! Thanks for responding!!!

    11. Lena
      February 5, 2011 AT 10:26 am

      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.

    12. Rachel
      February 4, 2011 AT 3:23 pm

      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.

    13. Elizabeth
      January 27, 2011 AT 3:11 pm

      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!

      1. Eating Bird Food
        January 27, 2011 AT 9:47 pm

        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. 🙂

    14. redkathy
      January 25, 2011 AT 8:50 pm

      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.

    15. Christine (The Raw Project)
      January 25, 2011 AT 6:52 pm

      These look wonderful, great ingredient list.

    16. Jenna @ Healthy. Happy. Well.
      January 25, 2011 AT 5:44 pm

      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 =)

    17. Erika @ FoodFitnessFun
      January 25, 2011 AT 1:24 pm

      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! 😀

    18. Natalia – a side of simple
      January 25, 2011 AT 12:09 pm

      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.

    19. Stephanie
      January 25, 2011 AT 9:57 am

      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!

      1. Eating Bird Food
        January 25, 2011 AT 11:26 am

        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.

    20. Sheila
      January 24, 2011 AT 8:57 pm

      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 🙂

    21. Sandra
      January 24, 2011 AT 7:06 pm

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

    22. Kori
      January 24, 2011 AT 1:54 pm

      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!

    23. Kristen
      January 24, 2011 AT 1:47 pm

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

    24. emily
      January 24, 2011 AT 1:45 pm

      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!

    25. emily (a nutritionist eats)
      January 24, 2011 AT 11:46 am

      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.)

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Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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