No-Bake 5-Ingredient Granola Bars
These no-bake granola bars contain only five ingredients, no added sugar, and are infinitely customizable… A perfect lunchbox snack!
Since Joseph was diagnosed with his food allergies (soy, egg and peanuts), it’s definitely been difficult to find packaged snacks to keep in the pantry and in the diaper bag for him. We’ve been defaulting to Crispy Fruit – he loves the apples! – so that there’s something easy to grab if we’ll be out during snack time. However, I wanted to add some variety to his snack options, and went on a quest to find healthier granola bars.
While I love the previous granola bars I’ve made, they include quite a bit of sugar, oil, peanut butter, etc… not exactly what I had in mind. After searching the Internets for something simpler and healthier, I found a minimal recipe with only a few ingredients that I could easily adapt for Joseph’s needs. Hurray!
The binder for these granola bars is pureed dates, and the bars include oats, honey, sunflower seed butter, and dried cranberries.
We have been using Sunbutter pretty much exclusively since Joseph’s peanut allergy, which is what I used in these granola bars, but you could obviously use any type of nut butter that you like! In lieu of chopped nuts, I chose to include dried cranberries, since Joseph likes to snack on a few when I put them in my salad. You could use any combination of add-ins in their place.
It took a few tries with my now-picky toddler (a lot of staring at them and shaking his head vehemently), but once he actually took a bite (I feel like this is the biggest hurdle!), he loved them! I keep a batch in the freezer for an easy snack that’s a nice change of pace.
One year ago: Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart
Four years ago: Peach Strudel
Five years ago: Honey Fig Scones
Six years ago: Lemon Bars
Seven years ago: Potato-Bacon Torte
No-Bake 5-Ingredient Granola Bars
- 1 cup (147 g) dates, pitted
- 1½ cups (121.5 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup (121.21 g) dried cranberries (or other dried fruit or chopped nuts of your choice)
- ¼ cup (84.75 g) honey
- ¼ cup (62.5 g) sunflower seed butter (or nut butter of your choice)
- Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Process the dates in a food processor until it forms a ball, is a dough-like consistency, and only small bits remain, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Place the pureed dates, oats and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
- Place the honey and peanut butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir briefly, then pour over the date and oat mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine, breaking up the pureed dates to ensure that they are evenly incorporated throughout the mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press into an even, compact layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove from the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and slice into bars. The granola bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or wrapped individually in plastic wrapped, placed in a freezer bag, and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I what received from the brown eyed Baker because I just down load the heath bars please send me lots of receipts thank you
Lucious Recipe! I would also like to try it in my shop. Thank You for sharing this wonderful recipe!
I find it curious that you say “no added sugar” in these granola bars. Perhaps you aren’t aware that honey is sugar…so is maple syrup, molasses, agave syrup, and none of them are any “better” for us than the plain, old white granulated sugar our grandmothers baked with. Seriously.
The other added sugar in your recipe is in the dried cranberries. In 1/4 cup of commercially dried cranberries, there are 29 grams of added, refined sugar!
Perhaps you should consider omitting the phrase “no added sugar” on this recipe. I have no doubt that these bars would be delicious, but in fact, they contain a lot of added sugar.
AHa!! Finally a recipe that doesn’t have nuts!!
My daughter has a soy and tree nut allergy that we are learning how to adjust to.
Thankfully I have been making most of our meals from scratch, forever, so it hasn’t been too much of a struggle.
Granola and granola bars are impossible to find, premade.
Thank you for your help!!
I use prunes instead of dates and these are delicious. I also substitute 1/2 cup of the oats with hemp hearts.
I highly recompensed trying this,is a little dry but i could have messed something up.
Very quick and easy!
well done! These are a hit with everyone.
I made these and added a little cinnamon. I also added a little vanilla extract with the honey and cashew butter. It was delicious!! My husband who doesn’t typically like healthy food, loves these and asked me to make sure I have them on hand often.
I also made these and added cacao chips and raw cashews.
Curious, is the honey added to hold the bars together or to add sweetness? I assume they’d be plenty sweet enough with just dates, but I don’t want to try without the honey for fear they’ll fall apart!
Hi Jenn, It helps a little with the binding, but mostly as a sweetener.
it looks good and I know it will taste even better, I’m definitely gonna try it, keep posting such recipes. for best customized cakes online visit – https://bulbandkey.com/ for best customized cakes online
Made this one, following your recipe at 2 times quantity – used peanut butter. Absolutely lovely, easy to make and great texture. Will try with maple syrup instead of honey next time. Was wondering if I could substitute some or all of the dates with dried apricots to bind the mix?
I work in a school kitchen . Would like to use this recipe. What could i use in place of the nutbutter. As we have a no nuts policy in school .
Hi Fiona, The recipe calls for sunflower seed butter (i.e. sunbutter) – it’s nut free and made in a completely nut-free facility. That’s all we use at home because my oldest son has peanut and tree nut allergies.
Can I make the following substitutions without compromising the ability of the mixture to hold together?
one 7 oun package of black mission figs for the dates, minute oats and rice crispies for the old fashioned oats (I love the combination
from your chewy chocolate chip granola bar recipe); if the substitution can be made, than what would be the right proportion of minute oats to rice crispies for this recipe.
you for sharing this simple no sugar added recipe.
These look really delicious..thanks for sharing
These look really delecious.. My grandson is allergic to so many things and this one looks like he could have it instead of cookies which are much harder to use substitutes in. Thanks
Honey is sugar.
honey contains more health benefits than table sugar from its potential antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Both honey and refined white sugar contain calories however and need to be used in moderation however honey is more easily digested as the bee incorporates enzymes into the honey so your body can break down it’s nutritional components more easily whereas sugar requires the body to use it’s own enzymes in the digestive process. Sugar also is higher on the glycemic index (GI) than honey, meaning it raises bloodsugar levels more quickly.This is due to higher fructose content, and the absence of trace minerals. Honey can be helpful in combating allergies especially if it’s made locally as pollen found locally will be in trace amounts in the honey which has been known to increase the body’s own response against environmental allergies. So YES honey is a form of a sugar, though being a naturally occurring one, I would hardly consider them the same provided that you use it in moderation as with all things.
Thanks a lot for providing the nice info is visible in this blog and using the nice info is visible in this blog.
I made granola want to know if anyone has a recipe to make bars with the granola I have If not I’ll just have to experiment.
These are so delicious. I have been making them during my meal prep for the past two weeks now. I let someone at work try them and they’re hooked as well. Thanks so much for sharing. I think that I will add a little more nut butter or less honey to make them less sweet. Other than that they’re great!
Why do you recommend only a week at room temperature? Thanks
Hi Rebekah, That’s the point at which I feel they start to lose their freshness. I recommend the refrigerator or freezer for longer term storage.
Hi Michelle, going to make these this week, just wondering if I could toast the oats before mixing with the rest of the ingredients? Thought it would give more flavour or is an unnecessary extra step.
Hi Faye, Sure, you could totally toast the oats!
I have to comment on how great these are. I’ve made a lot of variations of granola bars and these are a nice consistency with a great flavor. I used natural peanut butter and added some chocolate chips. So good!!!
I love these bars, I made them for my family and they all raved. Now I have to get busy making another batch. Thanks so much. And I love your pics by the way. Good luck with the baby and kiss Joseph for me he is such a sweetie. God Bless.
These look great! I’ll definitely be making these for my son. He also is allergic to eggs and peanuts. I love when I find great snack ideas for him that are safe and nutritious! Thanks!
These look delicious. Can you suggest a substitution for the dates? I just can’t get myself to like them; it’s a texture thing. I love your blog! I make the slow cooker mac and cheese at least once a month. I’ve pretty much gotten it memorized.
Hi Traci, The dates act as the binder, so they’re pureed down to a paste and mixed with the other ingredients. Not sure if that would make a difference for you? I haven’t experienced with other binders for this particular recipe.
I think I’m going to make these with cranberries – they’re my favorite!
Unfortunately, adding honey definitely counts as “added sugar,” so you can’t really claim this recipe has no added sugar. It doesn’t have any refined sugar, though!
“Naturally occurring sugar is the sugar found in whole, unprocessed foods, such as milk, fruit, vegetables, and some grains. One of the most common natural sugars is fructose, which is found in fruit. Another common natural sugar is lactose, which is found in milk.
Added sugar is the sugar that is added to processed foods and drinks while they are being made. Food manufacturers may add both natural sugars (for example, fructose) and processed sugars (for example, high-fructose corn syrup) to processed foods and drinks. The sugar you add to your food at home is also added sugar.”
HAVING SAID THAT, this looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!
Actually this is a really great article you’ve linked. Even though the honey may be an “added sugar”, it’s a natural sugar. And only a 1/4 cup at that which means total calories from the honey is approximately 240 for the entire recipe. If, as in Michelle’s pictures, you cut 10 bars from the recipe, each one contains 24 calories from the honey which is roughly only 1/3 of a tablespoon. Not bad at all! So, yes, to these as a healthy snack!
Thanks for the nutrition article and a big thanks to Michelle for sharing this recipe. I can not wait to get some dates and give this a try!
Yes! And to clarify to all, I WAS IN NO WAY SAYING YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE THESE OR YOU MIGHT AS WELL EAT BROWNIES OR SOMETHING. I just think there’s a lot of confusion out there about what is or is not sugar. :)
True true, I guess I should have clarified it as refined sugar. In my (not exactly clean-eating world), if I keep granulated, brown or powdered sugar out of a recipe I feel like a super hero lol.
Not to mention that all the sugars have such unique flavor profiles that it’s fun to experiment!
HI Michelle! These bars look great and very simple. Although nobody in my home has a peanut allergy, I am always on the lookout for recipes that are nut/peanut free, since my niece has those allergies. I make all of the fancy cakes for my side of the family, so I can ensure there are no peanuts/treenuts for my niece to worry about. Having said that, can you tell my what brand of dates you used, please? I have checked ingredients on several brands of dates in the past, when preparing to make Christmas cookies, but they all seem to have the peanut/treenut warning on them. Thanks!
Hi Sharon, It was just a tub from my local grocery store, and they didn’t have such a warning.
I am going to have to give these a try. Have you tired the homemade Kind bars. They are a fraction of the cost my coworkers, husband and I love them.
I LOVE KIND bars!!! What recipe are you using??
Love Kind bars! But they all have nuts, and I’m trying to avoid doing anything with nuts at home since Joseph’s allergy diagnosis.
Hi, are the dates fresh or dried that you used?
Hi Judy, Fresh. If you use dried, just plump them up in some hot water first (then drain).
We substitute and use prunes instead of dates. Super good and not as high of a glycemic index. In fact, my son prefers the prunes over the dates. Yummy.
Nice Bake !! Surely Kids will like this Most. Wanna try to make it !