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
4.83 from 603 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. tkaz says

    I’ve got my first attempt in the fridge. The test will be when my kiddos have them for snack after school. Like the easy ingredients, no bake, whole foods, natural sweeteners. I added 1T of flax seed for boost.

  2. Emmanuelle says

    They are absolutely delicious! I did the recipe with half almonds/hald cashew, and next time I will try a vegan version with agave instead of honey! Thanks again for sharing the recipe :-)

  3. Elise says

    I’ve made these twice. The first time I used sugar free maple syrup and I could only find chopped dates. I also did not toast the oats. They were super delicious, but very chewy and easily fell apart. I just tried them again, following the recipe exactly, using deglet noor dates, honey and toasted oats. After reading some reviews, I pressed very hard when putting them into the baking dish. When I brought them out of the freezer, they definitely held together better than the first batch… but were still lacking the “crunch” factor I’ve been looking for. I decided to bake them a bit to see if that would help. Now they are even softer than before putting them in the oven! But overall….these bars taste amazing and I will continue making them!

    • Elise says

      *** Update: I let the bars cool on a cooling rack after baking. After a few minutes they were CRUNCHY!!! If you are seeking Nature Valley-style crunchy bars, I would recommend baking these!

  4. Keri says

    When I made these, they turned out more like chunky granola than actual bars. The dates were extremely hard to break up. I think maybe next time I will add more pb and maple syrup so that it sticks together better…

  5. Jeanette Nyberg says

    These may be the most delightful little thingies I’ve ever tasted. I’m having trouble not eating it all before I get it into the pan….

  6. Patty says

    I made them last nite and boy are these delicious! Instead of using dates I had dried cranberries and cherries… And I used my blender to process them… It was a success and even my boyfriend who is not into healthy eating loved them. Thank you for the great pictures and even better photos!

  7. rachel says

    You mentioned they last in the freezer forever….Any idea of how long they are good on the counter top? Or should they be kept in fridge?

  8. Tamara says

    Ever since finding this post, I make granola bars weekly now! I used your basic recipe and changed it a bit using a few different ingredients, and they have come out perfect every time! I love how easy and inexpensive they are, and my boyfriend just loves them. He takes one to work almost every day for a snack and I love knowing that he is eating something so good for him! Thanks again and again for your inspiration :)

  9. Germaine says

    I just made these. I roasted the oatmeal and almonds together in the oven. I used creamy peanut butter and honey and I only had 2 dates so I filled in with apricots, figs and prunes. I chopped the fruit up nicely in my blender, took about 2-3 minutes but great consistency, like a fine dice. Mixed it all together, covered with plastic wrap, then pressed down HARD to push it all together, refrigerated for 20 minutes, worked like a charm. Delicious!

  10. Robyn says

    OMG! Just made these for my brother in law who is celiac- so good! I tried another gluten-free/5 ingredient one right before I made these and they were not good. Not good at all. So I was really happy with the way these turned out. I stood on mine, that’s how hard I pressed, and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be mixing them up. I thought with that doughy date ball it was going to be impossible, but it wasn’t. Thanks so much!

  11. Roni Yonka says

    These are super easy and delicious. Any way to keep the chocolate chips from melting in the mix? I’m assuming my peanut butter and honey was too hot!

  12. London says

    I made this today and can’t wait for my daughter to try them. Very very tasty and will continue to make it. I notice lots of people say it won’t stay together…I did not know how hard to press the mix into the dish so i took a chance of pressing the mix very hard into the dish. Maybe the people having problems need to press it down a bit before they put it in refrigerator. Just a thought!

  13. Megan says

    Oh my goodness, I just made these and I am never buying granola bars again. I used maple syrup instead of honey (we make our own syrup so have plenty on hand…. plus I just like the taste better!) and I absolutely loved them. Thanks for sharing something so tasty and ridiculously simple :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      haha! Love to hear this, megan! I know. That’s exactly what I thought when I made these. I used to buy John and I those Quaker chocolate chip bars but they are too sweet and have questionable ingredients. These are WAY better and healthier – never buying storebought again!

  14. Ashley Urke | Domestic Fashionista says

    This is a great recipe! I was looking for a simple and easy recipe to use up some leftover ingredients! I replaced dates with prunes and granola for the almonds to use up what I had! A great adaptable recipe I will be keeping! It came out delicious!

  15. Raena says

    I made these yesterday and added some milk chocolate chips……AMAZING!! I can’t believe how easy they are and how delicious! They taste like cookies, and there is no sugar in them!! I am so happy to have an alternative to the chemical-packed processed granola bars found in the grocery store!! Thank you :-)

  16. Amanda says

    I was so excited about this recipe, which was absolutely delicious, but definitely ended up with more of a granola in cereal form than a granola bar. I wonder what made mine fall apart? I feel like we followed the recipe pretty exactly!

  17. mayon says

    Delicious bars ! I am a new vegan and your website makes the transition so easy with all these wondefful recipes ! Thank you ! :)

  18. Caro says

    I made these EXACTLY as per your recipe and they were PERFECT! Really delicious AND they stayed together. I couldn’t fault them and can’t wait to make again. I used half quick oats and half large flake oats (old fashioned) which probably helps hold them together if people are having trouble with that. I toasted the oats at the same time as the almonds, it really brought out the flavours. I also wrapped each bar individually in wax paper and stored in the fridge so that they are grab and go. They still stay together even when they’ve been out of the fridge for days though. I don’t have a food processor so just chopped the dates by hand, only takes 5 minutes and a bit of elbow grease. Love this recipe, just what I’ve been looking for as a healthy snack at work or to take out on the trail. Thanks!

  19. Kate says

    For those who are allergic to nuts (or just out!) I substituted sunflower butter for the peanut butter, and pumpkin seeds for the almonds. They were delicious! I’m going to add some more dried fruit next time, as it was bit too oat-y for my tastes. But this recipe is a keeper.

  20. Raj says

    Amazing recipe. I loved making and eating these bars. Not a big fan of peanut butter so used cookie butter that I bought from Costco. Thank you for this great recipe.

    • Sam says

      Using cookie butter totally defeats the point of making these healthier than store bought processed bars though, LOL

  21. Biya says

    i just finish making these… I added All brans cereal flakes …. instead of honey and roll of oats, i added Maple syrup and oatmeal flakes :D … they turned awesome …

    I also really appreciate your open options to add other ingredients :) Thank you so much for this easy peaasy recipe :D

  22. Pnina says

    When I found this recipe today, it was the first time that I stumbled upon your website. Hooray for your wonderful offerings and those of the other great internet chefs that help us to feed ourselves and our loved ones well. So, I ended up putting in everything but the kitchen sink :) and there goes the simplicity of just 5 ingredients, ha ha. I used ground flax seeds, toasted pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, tamari almonds and walnuts in pieces, a mix of almond butter, peanut butter and tahini with honey, 2 tablespoons of water and 2 teaspoons of coconut oil as binder, I used raisins and mixed dried berries with 1/4 cup date sugar for the fruit, and lastly I added some pure vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup chopped up chocolate chips! They are delicious, they hold together well (even out of fridge for hours), and have a nice texture. Please just tell me if you also have a hard time mixing all the dry ingredients with the sticky binders?? It was so hard to get everything evenly mixed that I ended up using my hands, but so much stuck to them that it was also a nuisance to scrape all that back into the bowl ( more fun to lick the rest off ) Help please I want to make these again with greater ease :)

    • Pnina says

      oh, I forgot to say that for saltiness and daily dose of iodine I added ground dulse, which is great cuz you can’t taste it at all :) I just learnt that if you are a vegan like myself who only uses grey unrefined sea salt and does not enjoy seaweed then there is a good chance you are not getting enough iodine in your diet : O

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Pnina, it is a little difficult to mix being that the “wet” ingredients really aren’t all that wet and the dry ingredients are SUPER dry. BUT, with a little patience and strong arm stirring, it all comes together!

  23. Amy says

    Just made these tonight. Mine are pretty moist, and didn’t really set up in the freezer. Maybe I need to add more oats? Yours look much more dry than mine. Mine are kind of shiny. They taste delicious though!

  24. Jacquie says

    These are delicious! Stumbled across this recipe. Perfect for the gluten free people in my life, and I get two thumbs up from my other half that usually frowns at these healthy recipes! Only made these for the first time a few days ago, and already needed to make my second batch. Thank you!

  25. Jenny says

    So I made these last night and they TASTE wonderful but they wont stay together:/ I think I know what I need to adjust, however, I didn’t want to waste the ingredients again before I got some input:) I left them in the fridge longer than 20 minutes since they were falling apart when I cut them initially, but they still are not staying together. I think I did not chop up the dates enough so the chunks are too big and aren’t dispersed enough to hold everything together. Do you think this might be it? Let me know any thoughts! I love the taste so I just might eat it like granola if I can’t get it right;) Also, I put them in the freeze and that didn’t work either…. Also, I used agave instead of honey.

  26. Leena says

    Hi,
    Thank you for this recipe I will try it very soon.
    I am a student and I’m looking for healthy snacks with no oven/blender required and this looks amazing. Only one question: can I add a vegan protein powder to the mix or it will just be strange because of the no baking.
    Thanks again

    A reader from France :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think that would work, depending on the texture. If it’s too grainy, use less next time. Hope that helps!

  27. Rochelle Hutchinson says

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious but instead of using chopped dates, I blitzed them up as I don’t like the texture of dates and it was perfect.

  28. Laura says

    These are amazing! I used 1/2 cup dates 1/2 cup raisins (didn’t have enough dates) and needed to add more honey and peanut butter to get things to hold together and they taste fabulous!

    • Donna says

      @ Bridget….ABSOLUTELY….I do this swap every time …and it works like a charm….I actually like the taste of fig more…and it’s lower on the glycemic index…I have a sneaking suspicion that figs will become the “new Medjool date!

  29. Mel S. says

    I just made this with my 6 year old and I had to comment ASAP. These are amazing! I stopped buying granola once I started educating myself on processed food, so we missed eating granola bars as I couldn’t find a recipe that didn’t used corn syrup. My son, the picky eater loved these! We used pecans instead of almonds because he doesn’t like them. I also added a few vanilla chips, and pressed a few on the top. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!!

  30. Giulia says

    I can’t wait to make these, they look amazing!! Just wondering if I could use crunchy pb instead of smooth because its the only kind I eat and it seems wasteful to buy a new jar. Keep up the great work!

  31. Stephanie says

    I have made these twice now, and while they truly are great tasting, mine are always a soggy mess. Any chance you could do a YouTube video? I don’t know what I’m doing wrong :-(

      • Stephanie says

        I have to keep them in the freezer – if I eat them around ten minutes, they are a great consistency, but once thawed (like when you take it to work and it is 5 hours later), you could just roll it up in a ball. What am I doing wrong? Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious, but not easy to eat.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hmm, that’s so weird! Maybe add more oats or nuts? Are you using enough dates? I don’t know!

          • Stephanie says

            Just had a thought…. I read somewhere to soak the dates for an hour before blending….. but maybe I’m picking up too much liquid – The first time I added the date water to the blender to allow it to blend easily, second time I just added a tbsp of liquid – otherwise it just doesn’t blend. Third time might be the charm – I’m going to just cut the dates in pieces….. will report back. I also have my son making a batch and a coworker – so if theirs turns out, I’ll know what I must do – ask others to make them for me! But, I really can’t stress how absolutely delicious they are. Why would anyone buy granola bars again??!

  32. Erica says

    Soooo delicious! I used chocolate almond butter and added flaxseed. My son and I are going to have a hard time saving any for dad when he gets home. Thanks!

  33. Lesley says

    AMAZING! Saw this recipe and I was thinking about my whole kayaking tour! Bought the ingredients as soon as I was done. Made it with 1/4 cup peanuts, 1/4 cup cashews, 1/4 cup almonds, and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. So good it brought tears to my eyes. I will never buy another granola bar again! Thank you so much!

  34. Michelle says

    Made these tonight and the taste is great but having a challenge of making them stick together. They seem sticky enough but… They are not staying. Any thoughts on why? We used almond butter instead of peanut because we are allergic to peanuts. We also used a cheap brand dates, wondering if they were not moist enough. Never really got the dough consistency but they are sticky. Going to try again because we love the taste but with different dates. Thanks!!

    • Jenny says

      Had the same problem! I wonder if you reconstitute the dates next time, that might help? (Aka: soak them in water for a bit to plump them up).

  35. Josh says

    I’ve made this a few times, and absolute love it. As an athlete on a pretty strict diet plan, this works perfectly for my carb portion of a meal, and is a HUGE carb booster before games or matches.

    One question though – is there something I’d be able to add to this to increase the protein content a little? I don’t want to increase nuts because it throws the fat ratio off for my plan. If I have to reduce a bit of one of the staples to add a more protein rich source, I’m ok with that. Thanks!

    • Kayla says

      Maybe you could sub hemp hearts for the almonds, or reduce the almonds and add a few scoops of protein powder. :) You could also sub part or all of the oats with quinoa flakes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, well you could cut back on oats and/or nuts and compensate with hemp seeds! They’re an excellent protein source. You could also consider chia seeds and flax seeds. Hope that helps!

      • Lyn says

        Wow, so many comments and ideas to read – this is January 2015! I substituted the peanut butter for half almond butter and half a spread which is made up of brazil nuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnut, sesame seeds and chia seeds, which is an Australian product. This is delicious. I soaked the dates for a few minutes in hot water before processing and I used quick oats, which I roasted.

  36. Craig says

    Made a batch with dedicated coconut and some chopped dried apples – they were delicious! Have just made a batch with flaked rather than whole almonds, looking forward to seeing if they’re chewier than with whole almonds. Great recipe though! They’ll be forming part of my healthy diet staples!

  37. Sarah says

    Thank you for this recipe! I hosted a play date with 15 kiddos and we all had a great time making your easy granola recipe.

  38. Sats says

    Sounds delicious! I found they didn’t hold together too well even though they were yum. Can I bake them? How long and what temp?
    Thanks!

    • elisha says

      Mine were not stable either. They looked gorgeous, tasted gorgeous, and cut into nice looking rectangles….but when we pick them up to eat they bend and break.

      I’m wondering if I need to add more dry ingredients as I added turkish apricots to the recipe so maybe it was too moist?

      The next time I make it I think I will add cocoa nibs :-)

  39. erica says

    made these today with agave nectar, powdered peanut butter, & dark chocolate chips as a bonus. they are delicious!!!!!!!

  40. Gabrielle says

    What’s better than a granola bar that saves money, tastes delicious, and is health conscious. I made some subs that I thought I would share. I have a nut allergy, so I used sun nut butter, which is out of this world, and I subbed dried cranberries for the almonds. This is really a limitless recipe with all the swaps you can make to it. Thanks so much! Now I can enjoy granola bars without worrying about nuts!

    • Robin says

      Thanks for the tip! My friend is peanut-sensitive so I’m always on the lookout for alternatives for when we get together.

      This looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try it.

  41. Miss unknown says

    I love these! I substitute dates with dried apricots and it works perfectly! Thnk you so much for the recipe!

  42. shakti says

    Lovely bar.
    For those unable to massage…….the mincing or whizzing with little water is perfect. I would not waste the liquid but use it to stir in yoghurt smoothies, soak fruit for puree to eat, make dried fruit rolls, or add to cake mix. It also softens peanut butter to make bars or dips!
    My very old dog likes his treat. He loves fruit juice stirred into his porridge a few times per week and so does not get actual sugar stirred in.

  43. allison1998 says

    I just bought a container of Medjool dates at Costco over the weekend and was searching Pinterest for a granola recipe that included them in it. This recipe popped up and I am so glad that it did!

    I just finished making a double batch of these and I cant wait for them to cool completely so that I can cut them. We have been nibbling the edges and it tastes great. Thanks so much for this recipe. It will become a staple in my household.

  44. Sophie says

    I think this recipe looks amazing, I’m definetly making these tomorrow! I’m not raw vegan, so has anybody tried baking these to give them a crunch?
    And any alternatives for dates? My stomach can’t tolerate them, as much as I love them.

  45. Rae says

    I’ve been looking for a great granola bar recipe and this really seems to fit the bill. My only concern is a comment on “crunchy”. We need a soft one, so I’m wondering if it is really necessary to freeze these? Would rather keep them easy to bite and not crunchy.

    Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      not necessary to freeze, it just helps them set up. But for a softer bar just leave them at room temp : )

  46. Amalia says

    Hey there!

    First off, I am in love with this blog you guys have put together a really amazing website..

    For these I have a question, is there an alternative ingredient I could use to replace the dates? Or reduce the sugar? I am a dancer so grab and go granola bars are a must, but sugar catches up with me during class..

    Thanks! ~Malia

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amalia, thanks! As for the dates, you could replace a dried fruit with slightly less sugar, such as unsweetened cranberries or cherries?

  47. Dana says

    OMG making these asap! (with almond butter) They are similar to my not very healthy but very delicious chocolate dream bars :)
    -Dana

  48. Freya says

    Hello! These look great, I am hoping to make some to bring camping this summer, so I have a question for you! Do they get all melty and messy if they have been out of the fridge for a while because of the peanut butter?

    Thanks!

  49. Janelle says

    These turned out just as I wanted and were delicious! I actually double baked mine so they were crunchy. I have been doing a lot of the ‘raw’ date/ cacao recipes and wanted a different consistency! Perfect thank you! Next I will try your brownies. I love your bog, especially the unique way you have both introduced yourselves

  50. Sheri says

    It’s was delicious, but they fell apart, I didn’t use dates or any other dry fruit could that be why?

    • kekopean says

      I made them and my dough was a bit too soft butcuz i read all comments beforehand, i put them in an oblong glass baking dish and baked in oven to dry out the dough and it worked out great they were chewy instead of crunchy which was fine for me and everyone at my house loved the wonderful taste, will make them again with other nut butter as i made without peanut butter this time

  51. N says

    I just made this for the second time, and will be making it again – these taste and look great!

    However, I’ve found that they fall apart if I take them out of the freezer for very long, and when I’m making them, there isn’t enough liquid to really bind it together. This time around I increased the maple syrup/peanut butter mixture, but would prefer something a little less calorie dense – any advice?

    • T says

      Add some water, ground flax seeds (maybe 2-3 tbs, you should experiment) before mixing. The water draws out some of the starch from the oats, and forms a gum-like consistency with the flax seeds, both of which will make it hold together better. If you end up adding too much water, add some more oats or cocoa.

      I highly suggest adding 1/4 cup raw cocoa to this recipe (it doesn’t have to be ‘raw’, just not chocolate). Add more water if the mixture becomes too stiff.

      If you want a slightly healthier alternative to the peanut butter, try going 1/2 peanut butter and half tahini (ground sesame seed paste) – it will change the taste a little, but once you have it often enough, you don’t notice.

  52. Roar Sweetly says

    Discovered your blog through Make Great, who posted her efforts with this granola bar. I made it yesterday with beautiful, organic ingredients. I have experimented a lot with different muesli bars in the past and I have to say…this is, hands down, the best. The dates really give it a sweetness. It’s nice and chewy…not too hard. Thank you, will definitely be checking out your other recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! dried cherries, raisins, dried cranberries, or just sub additional peanut butter and honey til it all sticks together! Hope that helps :D

    • Donna says

      @Emily….You could also do this GEM of a recipe with soft, dried fig…..I love the flavor and it lowers the IG factor as well!…I often sub soft fig for dates to great effect!

      My…this recipe is a go-to “classic” in our household….I come for the EXQUISITE photography and witty prose…but always leave with a recipe “find”…such as THIS one.

    • Colin says

      Tried figs instead of dates, worked well for as out dates were ‘out of date’! I also mixed in some sultanas and cranberries to the gooey blend, added a little water as well, toasted all the dry ingredients and tossed in sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nice.
      Great recipe thanks!

  53. Darby says

    I toasted everything for crunch and flavor. I love PB and honey and had to lick this out of the bowl! I skipped the step of food processing the dates (barely had a cup left because I ate so many from the package). I quartered them lengthwise and then chopped so that I would have date pieces throughout.

  54. Candice says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I saw the post the day before we were to leave on a long road trip. I had all the ingredients (plus I added organic dried cranberries and a touch of vanilla) and made them to take with us (I hate trying to find decent food on the road). They were fabulous!!! My husband loved them! I just made them again and added mini-choc chips – wonderful! I also love your black bean brownies (I listed these on my blog with full credit to you, of course). Such great recipes you share! You truly outshine the majority of “whole”, natural and minimalist foodie blogs on the web! I told my adult daughter about you and she loves your smoothies. Thanks again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      What a sweet thing to say! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello, Candice! It’s always lovely to hear how people enjoy the site and our recipes. Thanks again for the encouragement! It means a lot :D

  55. Ryan says

    How long do they need to thaw after removing them from the freezer?

    Can they just be refrigerated?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! They can. They don’t take long to thaw. I’d grab one out of the freezer and eat it right away, although it is a bit stiff, still tasty! I’d let them out for 30 minutes, just to be safe.

      • Mari says

        Mine crumbled completely. I followed the recipe…not sure where I went wrong. They taste great but don’t stay together. Advise?

        • Shay says

          Mine are also falling apart! It looked like mine had far more PB, but I also followed the recipe. A little stumped. They taste great though!

          • Stacia says

            I am having the same issue. Mine are falling apart. Taste delicious though. Looking for away to make them stick together and get more of the granola bar consistency. Right now I feel like I have some really good granola. I might have heated up my peanut butter/agave/honey a little too long or let it cool too much.

  56. Danielle says

    Absolutely amazing. Made them last night with honey, and between myself my husband and my coworkers they are all gone! I’m definitely making them tonight with maple syrup to see how those flavors work out, and which I prefer :)

  57. Arissa says

    These were incredible! Every person I gave one to asked for the recipe. These will definitely be a staple in my house.

    • Danielle says

      They are simple enough if you blend the dates. I have a basic Oster blender. It might take some patience (and scraping the sides a little) but it works and they still taste fantastic!

  58. annie says

    These are perfect! Delicious, healthy, and simple to put together. I will be making these on a weekly basis for our family of 5. Thank you!

  59. Charissa says

    They’re in the fridge right now :) I used walnuts instead of almonds as I didn’t have any on hand but the ‘dough’ tasted delicious for sure. In a bit I’ll know whether or not they’re husband-approved, can’t wait!

  60. Heather says

    These look perfect. I’ve got a big ol’ tub of peanut butter that’s screaming to be used up. I love homemade granola bars.

  61. Elle says

    These look really good. They remind me of Kind bars. My kids have been bugging me to make granola bars and I can’t wait to try these out and pack into summer camp lunches.

  62. Mimi @ Culinary Couture says

    Dates are a staple in my Arab household! I love how so many of your recipe use them :) It’s great that they’re a healthy alternative.

  63. Jess says

    Oh for the love do I ever miss Trader Joe’s granola bars. Fortunately we get them on a frequent basis in care packages, but making them myself is a much better proposition. Hooray for 5-ingredient cooking!

  64. dixya| Food, Pleasure, and Health says

    i made something very similar and I have been eating them for every meal pretty much..

  65. Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic says

    I am always on the look out for easy, wholesome granola bars. Like you, I’ve been turned off by some of the ingredients in store-bought ones. These look like they’ll be a new favorite!

  66. Olga says

    I love it, it’s very basic and looks awesome (last two pictures are just out of this world!). As you you mentioned sweet&salty taste I guess adding a bit of salt wouldn’t hurt? Thanks for a great recipe for my on-go breakfasts :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ah! Yes, I almost forgot to note I use salted PB – always have always do. I made that update and it’s now included in the recipe. BUT if you have unsalted definitely add a pinch of salt!

        • Mint says

          I’m not the maker of the recipe (Dana), but if you don’t have a food processor, you could always get soft medjool dates and form a dough by hand. To do this, just grab the right amount of dates and add a little peanut butter (or whatever other butter you like) and dump them in a bowl. Then, just massage them together until you form a uniform dough. If you can’t find soft dates, just soak your dates in water until they soften (make sure you only use enough water for them to soften, so you won’t have to throw the delicious date water away!

          • De says

            This recipe is very crumbly; does not hold together well at all.Total disappointment. Huge waste of my time and money. Also pictures are not a good representation of the final product. Would not recommend this recipe to anyone. Aldo tried to rate this item and when I clicked on “one” star all 5 stars were highlighted. Why is thin

          • Marissa Mcclure says

            Below this comment someone commented that they didnt stick together. I made them and put extra honey on top to make them stick better. they are so delicious….I’m in love.

      • Nelly says

        THANK YOU for this recipe! This is what I was looking for! I made it with almond butter and added craisins, absolutely delicious and easy.

  67. Alexis @ Hummusapien says

    Gorgeous! I love that they’re mostly sweetened with dates. Granola bar perfection right here. Gotta love that simple ingredient list, too!

  68. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says

    I’ve never seen a granola bar recipe that uses date but I like it! Love that this is no bake too

      • Suzyq says

        The dates act as the binding agent. Comparable to forgetting to put eggs in a cookie recipe I would suspect. Their flavor is masked by the pb and all the other goodness!!

        • Justine says

          Well, I just wanted to say that the sultana raisins take the place of dates very well. They are perfect for the binding! I wanted to make these nut free so I could send them to school with my daughter. I used “wowbutter” instead of peanut butter, then I put chocolate chips and dried cranberries in it as well. They were a HUGE hit! Thank you for this recipe! I have been searching for an easy and flexible one for a long time.

        • Justine says

          YES! They did work out. Mind you they do HAVE to be SULTANA raisins since the other ones tend to be too dry. I haven’t made them in a while but my family still begs for them. Even the nut free ones!
          The best thing I think is that I can take my daughter to the bulk barn and let her pick out whatever she wants to put in them.

  69. Joy // For the Love of Leaves says

    These sound fantastic! And so easy to switch up the flavors to keep it exciting.

  70. Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen says

    I’ve been looking for a peanut butter/date snack. This will be perfect!

      • Michael says

        I wish I had read this comment earlier. I’ll try blending a lil oatmeal with the dates next time. These bars are awesome. I got my parents hooked too.

      • Tynan says

        Is there a way to pulverize the dates if I don’t have a food processor? …or a blender? This recipe looks amazing and I want to try it tonight!!

        • Fakira says

          I was desperate for these, so I used a mortal and pestle, adding about 1/4 cup packed dates at a time. It took a while, but they came out fine. Perhaps not as good as with a blender/food processor, but they tasted awesome!

        • franks says

          Just put them in hot water and simmer them until smooth. Then let cool a bit and add them to mixture. Will be easy to incorporate

        • Annie Hubbard says

          I soaked them in very hot water for about 20 minutes and then chopped them finely with a big chef’s knife, adding a tiny bit of the soaking liquid periodically to emulsify.
          I used 1/8 cup agave and 1/8 cup honey, toasted the almonds and oats, and added dried cherries and sunflower seeds. The nut butter was from Trader Joes – a combination of nuts and seeds. It came out very well – good luck.

        • Jenn says

          I used my Magic Bullet (Single Shot+) to chop my dates. I also use my Magic Bullet for just about everything!

          I just made these bars, added some chocolate chips to make them more appealing to my hubby.. They’re awesome!

          I was spending huge amounts of money each month of ‘lunch snack’ items from the grocery store. Since we now eat nearly entirely gluten-free, this was getting expensive. This month, I’ve cut my snack bill by at least 50% by making all my own snacks: apple sauce, rice pudding, granola bars, energy balls, chocolate coconut energy bars, breakfast granola, and more!

          He’s eating smaller portions now, which are densely packed with the nutrients needed to get through 15 hour construction days! Minus all of the ‘commercial garbage’!

          <3 Love baking at home <3

          • Sherri Herrell says

            5-Ingredient granola bars. Found this recipe last night, was so excited I ran out and got stuff to make several versions. However I need to know if you use the old fashioned ( long cooking) or the instant( 1 min. cook) rolled oats? Bought both, but don’t want to make any and waste anything until I know. .Thanks for the recipe, Sherri

        • Terri says

          I’m late to this post.
          I use raisins but, the granola doesn’t stick together for bars. I eat it straight up and it’s a great topping.

    • Jamie says

      My granola bars have been in the fridge for 20 min and are still soft. Will they ever harden if they haven’t already? I made the recipe to a t- I thought they taste good but are soft.

    • saman asif says

      thanks for the recipe! i added some of what i had in the house, i.e. chia and poppy seeds and some others whose names i’m not sure about, so a bit less oats. didn’t need honey and used half dates, half figs…..pretty delicious and rich, so i assume a little will go a long way.