Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars

Healthy 5 Ingredient Granola Bars!

John and I kind of have a thing for granola bars. It started when we discovered the glory that is Trader Joe’s Apple (Pie) Bars. Then, we got into more basic versions with rolled oats. But somewhere along the line we got suspicious of the ingredients – namely high fructose corn devil – and strayed away from them altogether.

However, sometimes you really just need a snack that has some serious staying power. And being that this is Minimalist Baker, you know I wanted something simple. Enter: The 5-Ingredient (No Bake) Granola Bar. Things are getting seriously minimalist right now.

Date and Oat Granola BarsRolled Oats

The base for these bars is dates – the natural sweetener supah powah. Then we add almonds, oats, peanut butter and honey (or maple syrup) and mix it all together!

That’s it. Just 5 ingredients, no baking involved (unless you want to toast the oats and almonds) and they’ll keep in the freezer for-ever (that is, if you can resist them for that long).

5 Ingredient Granola Bars5 Ingredient Granola Bars!

If you can’t jive with peanut butter simply swap in almond, sunflower or another nut/seed butter. To keep these vegan, stick with maple syrup or agave instead of honey. And to keep them gluten free, use GF oats. Simple, customizable, delicious.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars5 Ingredient Granola Bars | Minimalist Baker

Speaking of delicious, these little guys are dreamy.

Simple flavors, wholesome ingredients, salty-sweet and lots of crunch. I made a batch last week and am already down to one-quarter of ONE bar. How I exercised the self control to save one quarter of a bar is beyond me. But by tomorrow it likely won’t be there, if I know myself at all.

Healthy Easy Granola Bars | JUST FIVE INGREDIENTS

These really are the perfect bar for a hearty snack because they keep you full for hours and don’t provide a sugar overload. Plus, they pack in plenty of healthy fats from the almonds and peanut butter, and lots of fiber from the oats. Afternoon and mid-morning snack, solved.

5 Ingredient Granola Bars! MinimalistBaker.com5 Ingredient Granola Bars | GF VEGAN optional

4.9 from 103 reviews
Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Healthy, no bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and honey complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 10 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)*
  • 1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
  • 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
  • optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.
Instructions
  1. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a "dough" like consistency. (mine rolled into a ball)
  2. Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw - I just prefer the toasted flavor.
  3. Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl - set aside.
  4. Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8x8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
  6. Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
  7. Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn't necessary.
Notes
*If your dates don't feel sticky and moist, soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will ultimately help hold the bars together better.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 217 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 31 g Sugar: 19 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 6 g

 

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Comments

  1. sk says

    They were amazing!!! The only thing I changed was instead of using a whole cup of almonds, I added 1/4 cup almonds, then mixed in some chopped walnuts, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds. I definitely recommend roasting the almonds, it gives it a very nice crunch. The chia seeds add a different texture to these and also provides the nutritional value. I’ll be making more of these very soon for my whole family! I wish I had known about this recipe years ago, can’t believe I have been buying the crappy garnola bars from stores and wasting my money. These taste way better than any store bought garnola bar. I am trying to lose weight at the moment, otherwise I think chocolate chips would have been a great addition.

  2. Audrey says

    Delicious, mine isn’t holding together too well, I used a little less honey, not sure if that’s why. It doesn’t matter, still very moreish, let’s see how long it lasts.

  3. Janice says

    Oh my…just made these and they are FANTASTIC. I didn’t have enough dates on hand so I did a 50/50 mix of dates and dried medjool figs, which turned out perfectly. I added some sunflower seed kernels, a handful of dried cranberries, and some M&Ms because….well, chocolate. Great for someone who’s trying to stay GF!

  4. Chi says

    Dana,

    Thank you SO much for such a simple yet healthy & delicious recipe. It’s truly what keeps me coming back to your website because you do live up to the name of minimalist in your recipes. I find it hard to spend a lot of time in the kitchen creating something, only to devour it in minutes, and your recipes streamline that process for me.

    I’ve made this recipe twice for my family and it’s fabulous– I use half the recommended amount of dates, double the peanut butter/almond butter + large coconut flakes. My husband truly can’t believe how easy & tasty it is to make our own granola bar.

    Thanks once again for the inspiration ; )

  5. Cela says

    I just discovered your site, and love it (and the amazing photography). Just made these granola bars. They are delicious. I didn’t have dates, so substituted them with figs (Turkish Smyrna from Trader Joe’s). I used raw almonds, but mixed in some salted cashews to add back a little sodium. They held together nicely, although will crumble if handled too much (I will try soaking the figs for a little while before processing next time). Even without soaking, the figs turned into a nice ball of stickiness, which worked very well, and there is just a hint of fig taste. I shaved some 72% dark chocolate on top for an added treat and antioxidants. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe. I am on to try out the black bean brownies.

    • Dana Shultz says

      Glad you enjoyed these, Cela! And super glad you found us : ) Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your experience with these bars. Still one of my favorite recipes to date! Cheers.

  6. Taylt says

    I made these tonight with prunes (all I could find…) and they turned out delicious! None of the flavors are overwhelming (mainly I was concerned that peanut butter can be a really strong flavor in granola bars) and it turned out amazing! I would suggest, like others, putting some oats in the food processor with the dried fruit (dates/prunes/raisins) to help blend it up…I put a few almonds in there too and I like how it affected the texture of the granola. Yum. Can’t wait to try it with other dried fruit!

  7. Katie says

    I’ve found that I can make 32 bars for about 4 dollars which is about the price of a package of 6-8 granola bars at the grocery store. And they taste fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

    Does anyone know how long these last if left in a ziplock bag or airtight container at room temperature? I like to have different containers with mixed snacks ready at hand for me to pick and choose before I have to run out the door and I really don’t want to waste these. I don’t see why these shouldn’t be shelf safe but soaking the dates is what makes me wonder.

    • Dana Shultz says

      Katie, thanks so much for sharing the cost analysis on these! I had no idea they were such a great deal. As for storage, I’d think they would be fine stored at room temp for at least a week. I personally liked to keep mine in the freezer for optimum freshness, that way none go to waste. Hope that helps!

  8. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I never imagined that the first granola bar I’ll ever eat will be made by yours truly. And it’s so yummy! Thanks again! =)

  9. wk says

    I din really follow the recipe. Can’t find packed dates so I just replace with dried cranberry and apricot. use normal butter instead of almond butter or peanut butter. The end result is the bars crumble apart while cutting. Can I just remix everything and go bake in oven to salvage it?

  10. Sara M. says

    I just wanted to tell you how great this recipe is! My kids love them (in spite of the dates). I also found a place to get date paste from, so instead of 1 cup of pitted dates, processed, I use 2/3 cup of the paste. (I figured it out by measuring how much date “paste” was after processing.) I also appreciate the fact that you don’t have to bake them, and that there’s no junk in them. Thanks again!

  11. says

    Hello!
    This is a great and easy recipe to follow. I made these with my husband today and couldnt wait to taste them. They are delicious. It also makes us happy to be able to make these at home using our favorite ingredients. I only used one cup of oats and a little extra honey and peanut butter and the bars still came out yumm. Thank you! ;)

  12. Rebecca says

    These are fantastic! I have made several homemade granola bars over the years that are always just mediocre. Not this recipe! These are fantastic, and much more whole food based than store bought bars. These will be a staple in our house for years to come. I individually wrapped them and am storing them in the freezer for easy grab and go snacks. Thanks!!

  13. Carolina says

    Hi! These bars look great, but I don’t really like dates. Can I swap them for something else??

    • Dana Shultz says

      Carolina, I don’t like dates on their own either but in this and other raw dessert recipes they’re fantastic! If you’re still hesitant, try another dried sweet fruit, such as cherries, prunes or raisins.

  14. Dale says

    Hey Dana and John!
    I’m living in Turkey and looking for a granola bar recipe since they’re not available here to buy. Pretty cool that my old college group friend’s wife had the #1 Google hit for “homemade granola bars”!

    • John Shultz says

      Aww – thanks Dale! And it’s amazing that you’re living in Turkey! Let us know how they turn out!

  15. Erisha says

    Hi Dana,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. Would really love to try but I wanted to ask your advice on whether I can replace the honey with raw cane sugar? Would that affect the overall result in binding? Also, does it affect the method (as it is granulated and not syrup-y or liquid). Kindly advice because I can’t use honey/maple or agave. Thanks.

    • Dana Shultz says

      Honey makes it stick together, so I don’t think cane sugar would work! But, you can use more dates and hopefully that will help. Can you use brown rice syrup? Hope that helps!

  16. Lee says

    These are so good! I could gobble up the whole pan.
    I didn’t use a food processor. It worked just chopping the dates.
    Yum!

  17. Waynette says

    Dana, do you think bananas would work instead of dates? The recipe sounds great and can’t wait to try it.
    Just found your blog and will definitely be back.

  18. Dawn M Davis says

    I just made these for the first time and they are so simple and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Em says

    I made these for my lunch! They are so delish! I used less honey and rather when melting the homemade peanut butter I added some cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. I then cut up a small bar of 85% dark choc and stirred it when the mix was still warm. Heaven!! I am never ever buying any form of lunch bar from the supermarket again :).

  20. PatrickGSR94 says

    Love this recipe! My wife and I watched the Forks Over Knives film last weekend and now we’re looking for all kinds of healthy, natural food choices. This one fits the bill!

    Instead of almonds I used cashews, which I chopped up pretty finely. I also added some dried apples and cranberries, and added 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder. Now I’m having trouble keeping the bars together. I had to put the glass dish in the freezer for like 2 hours just to be able to cut them, and they still crumbled a bit when cutting. We’re keeping the pieces in the fridge, and they definitely fall apart awhile after being removed from the fridge.

    My dates were moist out of the bag so I didn’t soak them in water or anything. Could the protein powder have made the mix too dry or something?

    • Dana Shultz says

      Lovely! So glad you enjoyed it. Publishing another naturally-sweetened, simple granola bar recipe next week, so stay tuned!

  21. Poonam says

    Hey, I will try these out asap, but one question, how would cornflakes, sweetened or not taste in here, or some museli?

  22. Sara H. says

    I used to love granola bars, but stopped buying them because of the number of ingredients and high sugar content, etc. So I was excited to find and try this recipe. These granola bars are excellent! Very tasty, and very easy to make. I add 1 Tbsp or so of Chia seed for some omega 3, but other than that have made it as posted. My 3 and 5 year old enjoy them too, which is a major plus. Thanks for this recipe!

  23. Anika says

    @Dana These sound wonderful, but what are your recommendations for substitutes for all of the sugar? 19g of sugar is too high for me and I hope there are some substitutes cus I really want to make these!! Thanks a ton!

  24. Jaime says

    Made these tonight and they turned out great! Thanks! I did make a few modifications… I pulsed 1/4 cup of oats with the dates in the food processor (not sure if it did any good because I still got a ball). I subbed 1/4 cup of the oats with 1/4 cup ground flax meal. Then, instead of mixing by hand, I put everything back in the food processor and pulsed until fully combined. The oats were chopped up, but they bars held together perfectly and were delicious! I used maple syrup instead of honey and didn’t add any almonds. There are so many possibilities with these bars! I might try using undentured grass-fed whey protein powder in my next batch. Also, since coconut oil is naturally a little sweet, you might be able to use 2 tbsp of coconut oil and 2 tbsp of sweetener to cut down on the sugar content. Thanks again!

  25. says

    Hi Dana! I made the granola bars last night and they were AMAZING, but they refuse to stick together and keep falling apart!! Am I not putting enough peanut butter or dates????

    • Dana Shultz says

      It is likely that your dates weren’t sticky enough or you didn’t use enough. Next time, soak your dates in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain before processing. A little extra PB never hurts either. Oh, one last tip – put something flat on them and press down REALLY hard so they compress and hold together! Hope that helps!

  26. M says

    What are your rules for publishing your recipes, along with corresponding photos, in magazines? My magazine would like to use your 5 Ingredient Granola Bar recipe and photo in a healthful eating spread, and, of course, we would give you credit.

    Thanks.

  27. Helena says

    I made these today. They tasted absolutely incredible. The bars included: toasted almonds, banana chips and coconut. Here are some tips that I thought would be of help to the recipe.

    1. Not everyone has a food processor. And to save washing extra bowls and dishes from the food processor, you can simmer the dates in a little bit of water to soften them so they become a paste. Stir frequently, adding water as needed. I added vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Then I stirred in the peanut butter and honey.

    2. I mixed the oats with the dried fruit and nuts, and then added the liquid mixture.

    Next time I will make these, I will take out the honey and add coconut butter or coconut oil. I found these bars to be sweet enough with the dates. Having another stabilizer (coconut) will hold these bars together a little better. I found that, even after pressing them down firmly, they were slightly on the crumbly side.

  28. says

    I made these awesome granola bars on the weekend. They were huge hit with my husband too. I love that they dont require baking (though I did toast the oats). I didn’t have almonds on hand so subbed in some trail mix (seeds + raisins mainly) and they still hold together perfectly!

  29. Eliza says

    Made these the other day and was so impressed with the results. My bars tasted so yummy and have now disappeared within a couple of days. Two of my friends have since tried the recipe and fallen in love also so thank-you for introducing me to food-heaven once again!

  30. Damon says

    I made these this morning, with the addition of a tablespoon each of chia seeds and ground flaxseed, and about 1/4 cup dried cranberries. I also lightly toasted the oats and nuts. I enjoyed them, but they were good, not great.

    The bars held together well for me without refrigeration. I simmered the honey for about a minute or two to evaporate a little liquid before adding the peanut butter. I let it cool on the counter for 5 min before cutting. Not crumbly at all.

    Tip: add the date paste to the pot after the peanut butter has melted, and heat together until it’s pliable. This makes it easier to combine the wet and dry teams.

  31. Michele says

    These granola bars are absolutely amazing. I have made them several times and each time have been asked for the recipe. With the last batch I made, I topped them with melted 70% dark chocolate and they were awesome.

    • Michele says

      Forgot to mention, that one batch I made I was out of almonds so substituted raw peanuts (skin on) which I roasted with the oats and that was probably the most successful batch yet!

  32. Sarah Graves says

    These are great! Made them with raisins, had no dates. I think I would like to try figs next time? Everyone loved them.
    I toasted the oats and almonds and rough chopped the almonds and threw in a handful of oats with the raisins while processing. Great recipe, fully customizable.

  33. Margie says

    These are so great, but you totally don’t need the dates! They make the bars so unbearably sweet. I made them again without any dates and they’re perfect. Make sure you use enough honey or they won’t stick together. Any ideas on a second ingredient to make them stick together so that you don’t have to use so much honey? (I had to use almost half a cup.)

  34. Joel M says

    I’m definitely going to have to try these! Although I’d also be interested in a more energy packed bar to take when cycling, what extra ingredients would you recommend? Just more honey?

  35. May says

    I’m from Malaysia. I have been purchasing commercial bar for my kids which are very expensive in this part of the world. I found your recipe and was amazed with the result after first try! They are so easy to make and my kids who do not like dates love them! They thought the black sticky stuff is chocolate!! Thank you so much for sharing! This is definitely a keeper for me.

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