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!
Just like my granola 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!
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.
cacao nibs – cacao nibs 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
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.
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.
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)