Fruit and Nut Bars

DF V VG

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 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!

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 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
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.

More Fruity Recipes

Fruit and Nut Bars

3 from 13 votes
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! 
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.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Cover an 8-inch x 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
  • Place prunes, raisins and apricots in a mini-chopper or food processor and pulse until well chopped.
  • 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.
  • Press dough firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. Cut into squares with a sharp knife before placing in the oven.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until baked through but still soft (don’t over-bake them or the bars will be dry and tough).
  • Leftover bars should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for 1-2 weeks.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar Calories: 323kcal Carbohydrates: 49g Protein: 4g Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g Sodium: 4mg Fiber: 5g Sugar: 21g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fruit and nut bars

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!
This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




    59 comments
    1. Hiral
      April 21, 2021 AT 9:03 pm

      5 stars
      Tried it and came out very delicious. Just made few changes for my toddler. Added only oats flour, dates, figs, prunes, little chic chips and powdered almond.
      Thank you for this recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 22, 2021 AT 10:59 am

        Yay! So glad these fruit and nut bars worked out for you, Hiral! Thanks for making them and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

    2. Jade
      April 17, 2021 AT 1:50 pm

      5 stars
      Hi could you use almond flour instead of oat flour?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 19, 2021 AT 9:58 am

        Hey Jade – I haven’t tried almond flour instead of oat flour, so I’m not too sure how the bars will turn out. I would assume subbing almond flour for the oat flour would work, but again I haven’t tried it. Let me know if you decide to try it and how the bars turn out!

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

      4 stars
      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.

    4. 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. 🙂

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

      5 stars
      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

        5 stars
        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?

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

5 SECRETS TO
HEALTHY SNACKING

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

GET A 3 DAY CLEAN EATING MEAL PLAN

Subscribe to our list and get your free printable PDF of the 3 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan and Shopping List!

X