Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars

GFVGVDFNS
Jump to Recipe
Batch of Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars on a parchment-lined cutting board

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.

Spoonful of oats and bowl of dates
Toasting rolled oats on a baking sheet

How to Make Granola Bars

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

Oats, almonds, and peanut butter for making healthy granola bars
Pouring warm peanut butter honey mixture into dry ingredients

Substitutions

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!

Stirring together ingredients for homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Baking pan and stack of simple healthy homemade granola bars

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.

Cutting board with a batch of our Healthy Granola Bars recipe

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.

Tall stack of our healthy granola bars

More Granola Bar Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Stack of homemade Granola Bars for delicious gluten-free vegan snacks

September 23, 2016: Video added and recipe updated to include slightly more dates so the bars stick together more easily. 

Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars

Healthy, no-bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and maple syrup complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Cascading stack of Vegan Granola Bars made with almonds and oats
4.82 from 635 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 (bars)
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup packed dates (pitted // deglet noor or medjool)*
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds (loosely chopped // see instructions for roasting nuts)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF eaters)
  • Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc. (optional additions)

Instructions

  • 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.)
  • Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I prefer the toasted flavor.
  • Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
  • Warm maple syrup (or agave or 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.
  • Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking 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 // adjust size of pan if altering batch size).
  • Press down firmly until uniformly flattened – I use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.
  • Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares // as original recipe is written). 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.

Video

Notes

*Although not ideal, if your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, you can soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. But ideally, you can find fresh, sticky moist dates.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with maple syrup and unsalted peanut butter.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 bar Calories: 231 Carbohydrates: 33.9 g Protein: 5.8 g Fat: 9.7 g Saturated Fat: 1.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.47 g Monounsaturated Fat: 5.45 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 30 mg Potassium: 332 mg Fiber: 4.4 g Sugar: 20.7 g Vitamin A: 33 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 61.72 mg Iron: 1.25 mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!

If you love this recipe...

Get Our Fan Favorites eBook Here!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating!

Have a question? Use ctrl+f or ⌘+f on your computer or the "find on page" function on your phone browser to search existing comments! Need help? Check out this tutorial!

My Rating:




  1. Steph says

    Hello, these look great. I’m wondering how they do outside of the fridge / freezer. I was thinking of making some to take on a long hall flight to keep me satisfied but if they become a gooey mess then they won’t be suitable. Excited to try them either way!

  2. Michelle Saunders says

    Tastes divine, sadly did not bind together… will have to use it as a cereal or overnight oats…. Gutted

  3. Kathy says

    I made a few modifications. I soaked the dates in boiling water for 15 minutes to soften and drained them. I also cut the almonds to 1/2 C and added one cup total of mixed hemp kernels, ground flax seed, pepitas and sunflower seeds. I rolled them into 1 1/2″ balls using some coconut oil on my hands to make that task easier. so delicious and filling!

  4. Mary says

    I’ve been looking for a granola bar recipe and this turned out great! I did add a little of the maple syrup to the dates in the processor to get them to blend. I also added chopped dried cherries and soaked and dried pumpkin seeds ( more crunch), and a couple tablespoons of melted cacao butter for richness and “glue”. And vanilla.
    Altogether a wonderful recipe – many thanks!

  5. lisa says

    These are so good! I made them last night with a few twists. I followed most of your recipe with the following changes… I added 1/4 c of golden raisins, 1/4c of dried cranberries, 1/4c of Pepitas, 1/2c of almonds, 1/2 c of hazelnuts, 1/4 c of coconut flakes and 1 tsp of vanilla. They turned out amazing! I cut them into snack sized bites and placed them in the freezer. They will make great snacks during Pickleball, after my weight workouts or anytime for that matter. Love your site. Cheers, Lisa

  6. Lynn says

    These turned out great! I made them as stated. Next time I’ll try adding other ingredients. I can always trust your recipes to turn out :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you have success with our recipes, Lynn! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  7. Amanda says

    These are amazing! I’ve made them a bunch of times now. My boyfriend can’t get enough of them. They last him around 5 minutes!! So delicious and such a nice protein boost for a mid morning snack.
    Yum! I’m going to try a nutless version for my bf’s sons who have nut allergy. Using tahini and various seeds instead of the nuts. Hope it comes out as delicious.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Amanda. We are so glad you both enjoy them! Tahini and raw pumpkin/sunflower seeds should work :) Keep us posted!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Robin, perhaps another sweet, sticky dried fruit like apricots or prunes. They may not hold together quite as well though. Let us know if you try it!

  8. Aerin says

    Wow these are good. For the optional add ins I did banana chips crushed up, coconut flakes (toasted with the oats) and chocolate chips. They cut and held together well and are hearty. This whole blog has been really helpful for me navigating my daughters food allergies, it’s our go to site for baking recipes and never disappoints so I figure I should finally comment!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad it’s been helpful, Aerin! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! xoxo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mary, sorry they fell apart! Is it possible your dates weren’t sticky and moist? Did you try soaking them (see the notes section)? One other idea is to make sure you’re pressing them very firmly in step 6!