Baked Nut-Free Granola Bars
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These chewy, Baked Nut-Free Granola Bars are a perfect, wholesome lunchbox or afternoon snack for kids and adults alike. They’re a delicious oat and honey flavor that require no chilling, are free from nuts, gluten, soy, and can be customized to any allergen needs!
When I originally created this nut-free granola bar recipe it was so I could send my son to preschool with a healthy, wholesome snack that wasn’t packed with sugar like store-bought granola bars.
As it turned out I had a BIG need for them this year when my second son was born and I had to eliminate ALL the major allergens from my diet in order to nurse him.
Yes, these can be made without any of the major allergens! But aside from being awesomely lunchbox-safe, they’re also a deliciously chewy snack or breakfast with just the right amount of sweetness.
Ingredients & Substitutions
My preferred ingredient list will make these nut-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, with no coconut oil, legumes, or corn. If you need/want to, it’s also entirely possible to make them egg-free, dairy free, and vegan.
We love them as a simple oat and honey granola bar, but you can also customize them with add-ins like dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, or allergen free chocolate chips.
- Oats – I used a mixture of gluten free quick cook and rolled oats. You can make them with just one or the other if you prefer.
- SunButter – I LOVE this stuff. Sunbutter was my saving grace when I eliminated so many foods. It’s got protein, it’s creamy, and works perfectly to bind the bars together. You can use any variety you like (yum chocolate!), but the sweetened kind will make these bars even more sweet.
- Egg – I used one egg to help bind everything together.
- Honey – I like the natural sweetness of honey, and local honey can help reduce allergies in kids, bonus!
- Butter – Unsalted please, it’s always better to add your own so you can control the levels.
- Salt – read above!
If you want or need to remove the eggs or butter, or want to make this vegan, use these swaps to do it.
- Swap egg for flax seed – Mix 1 tablespoon of finely ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Swap butter with… – I love this soy-free vegan butter from Earth Balance, and it works awesome in my baking recipes. You can also use coconut oil, applesauce, or mashed banana.
- Swap honey with another unrefined liquid sugar – maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or date syrup will all work beautifully, though date syrup will affect flavor slightly.
- Swap SunButter with another nut-free spread – if the flavor is too strong for you, use any nut-free option you like. There are so many choices now! I’ve seen it made with pumpkin seeds, legumes, or go for tahini.
Recipe Tips for How to Make Them
I think you’ll love these BAKED nut-free granola bars for a few reasons…
- There’s no 2 hour chill time. Mix, bake, enjoy.
- They can stay on the counter! No refrigeration required, and they’ll last for a week or more.
- The texture of baked oats and SunButter is DELICIOUS. Crunchy bottom, chewy bite, and roasted flavor. Yum.
They’re super easy to make, baking included.
- Melt the honey, sunflower seed butter, and butter together first, and mix it well. This just allows for everything to mix more smoothly.
- Mix it all up! It’ll be a sticky, paste-like concoction. (I know, it doesn’t sound yummy…but it will be!)
- Use my 2 step method! I make my pecan nut granola bars this way and it works wonders for the texture! Bake it first in a big square, then cut them into snack size rectangles. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to get the edges a little crisp.
I’ve heard mention of sunbutter turning green when baked, this only should happen when mixed with baking soda, which this recipe doesn’t contain. Enjoy your non-green granola bars :).
How to Store
They’re so easy to store! Just let them cool, then pop them into an airtight container. They won’t stick together, and they’ll stay nice and chewy for at least 7 days. We leave ours right on the counter so we can grab and go whenever we need a snack.
They’re also perfectly easy to freeze! Just slide them into a freezer safe bag and keep them there for up to 6 months. Thaw and enjoy. I usually pop them back into the oven for a few minutes after freezing to return the chewy texture.
So whether you need an allergen friendly lunchbox snack for school, or have an allergic kiddo who needs a safe treat to enjoy, then whip up a batch of these nut-free granola bars. Heck, just make them because they’re good! Let me know how it goes, and as always Happy Eating!
Other healthy snacks to enjoy
Baked Nut-Free Granola Bars
- 100 grams rolled oats 1 cup
- 100 grams quick cook oats 1 cup
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 65 grams sunflower seed butter 1/4 cup
- 125 grams honey 5 tablespoons
- 28 grams butter, unsalted 2 tablespoons
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Combine the oats and salt in a bowl and mix to combine.
- Combine the sunflower seed butter, butter, and honey in a microwave safe container and melt. 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir to combine.
- Add the melted honey sunflower butter mixture into the oats with the egg and mix well until the oats are coated completely.
- Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Spread and pat down until 1/2" thick across.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, then remove from the oven and let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes. Turn the oven up to 350°F.
- After 5 minutes, gently cut them into bars. I usually yield about 15 snack sized bars. Separate gently so there's some room between them.
- Return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and let cool completely on the pan.
- Store in an airtight container once completely cool for 7-10 days.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.
Made this for healthy snacks to have on hand at home. It turned out delicious. It was so easy to make. Much better than the boxed store stuff!
Thanks Katie, I love making healthier snacks and an easy recipe is a huge plus. I’m so glad you are enjoying them.
These baked granola bars are so simple and delicious. These came together quickly and so much healthier than store bought bars. I will be making these again and again.
I love knowing you liked them so much that you will make them over & over again!
These are perfect! Most store-bought granola bars have nuts so it’s always a struggle to find allergy-friendly ones. We’ll definitely make these again!
Exactly, it is so hard finding snack foods meant for those with allergies. I’m so glad you liked them and will whip up a batch again!
I loved making these granola bars to snack on this week. They’re so so simple to make and came together perfectly in minutes.
Thank you LaKita, I too love a tasty yet simple recipe.
Saving this recipe to make with my Home Ec students…been looking for a safe nut free bar that bakes up quickly. Can’t wait for them to try!
Heather, what a great idea. I would love to hear how they turn out and what your students think of them!
These granola bars came out so good! The honey added such the right touch of sweetness, and they definitely kept me feeling satisfied in the afternoon. Would make for a great quick and easy breakfast too!
I’m so happy you loved the touch of sweet from the honey and that you found the bars not only tasty but satisfying. Yes they do make a great quick breakfast as well!