Chewy, no-bake granola bars loaded with dried fruit and nuts. Fill them with whatever mix-ins you choose.
These granola bars are not going to win any beauty contests. To be honest, we jokingly call them bird seed bars for their slight resemblance to bird seed. Yum, right?! 😉 But trust me, they are very tasty. Please know that I wouldn’t share a recipe with you that looks and tastes like bird seed. These are sweet, chewy, crunchy and nutritious. Even my super-picky, sweets-loving toddler devoured them. These bars come together quickly, but you will need to plan ahead because they need a few hours in the fridge to set before they can be cut. In addition to eating these in bar form, they are also great crumbled into a bowl of yogurt.
You can go in a lot of different directions with this recipe. Use whatever nuts you like best and whatever dried fruit you have on hand. You can even add shredded coconut or chocolate chips. I made this batch with almonds, dried cherries and dried apricots. The important thing to keep in mind is that you need to maintain the dry ingredient to wet ingredient ratio as it is below so that the bars will hold together. For example, if you want to mix in something that’s not included in the original recipe, like chocolate chips, you’ll need to reduce the amount of dried fruit or nuts to compensate for the amount of chocolate chips you’re adding.
Here are a few flavor combinations that I hope to try:
-Oatmeal raisin cookie: 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, 1 cup raisins and a dash of cinnamon
-Pistachio, apricot and dark chocolate: 1 cup pistachios, 1 cup dried apricots, 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
-Almond, cranberry and white chocolate: 1 cup almonds, 1 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1½ cups nuts (I used whole raw almonds)
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup chopped dried fruit (I used cherries and apricots)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add half a cup of nuts and one cup of oats to a food processor. Process until fine and all pieces are smaller than a pea. Dump into a large bowl. Roughly chop the remaining cup of nuts and add to the bowl. Add the remaining cup of oats, dried fruit, chia seeds and salt to the bowl and mix well.
- In a small saucepan, heat the honey and coconut oil over medium heat. After several minutes the mixture will begin to foam. Simmer for an additional 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and pour the liquid over the dry mixture. Mix thoroughly until all the oats/nuts have been evenly coated. If you need to, get in with your hands and make sure it is mixed really well.
- Line an 8x8 pan with plastic wrap, leaving a couple inches of overhang on two sides. Dump the mixture into the pan and evenly spread it out. Using the back of a spatula or measuring cup, press the mixture down very, very firmly. This will help the bars stay together. Cover the top with more plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
- Cut into bars and store in the fridge.