Healthy Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars with Almond & Cranberry

These chewy no-bake almond and cranberry granola bars make a healthy, satisfying snack made all in one pot with with NO butter,  have no REFINED SUGAR added, and are VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE with certified gluten free oats.

Healthy Almond Cranberry Granola Bars by ---- @LifeMadeSweeter.jpg

 

Granola bars are one of my favorite easy snacks I turn to when I want to fuel up quickly after a workout. I make a  different batch every week depending on what I have on hand and for the longest time, I’ve been trying to come up with a healthier no-bake version that still tastes great with that perfect chewy texture.

Plus, it was important that this would remain an easy recipe that you can make all in ONE POT and without having to use a FOOD PROCESSOR because my least favorite thing is having to wash 5 bowls just to make granola bars.

 

Healthy Almond Cranberry Granola Bars by -- @LifeMadeSweeter.jpg

 

These Healthy Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars with Almond & Cranberry were one of the batches that met all of those criteria the best!

They come together easily in ONE POT and are sort of a cross between a Lara, Kind and Cliff bar combined in one.

They only contain a few ingredients that you can find easily with:

NO white flour

NO added butter

and NO added refined sugar.

Feel free to use the ingredients and brands you love and have on hand.  I am only sharing what I used to show that granola bars can be made healthier.

  • rolled oats (I used certified gluten free oats)
  • oat flour – (I  made my own from certified gluten free oats)
  • unsweetened shredded coconut (I used unsweetened organic coconut flakes)
  • pitted dates – mixed with water to create a paste (I used medjool dates)
  • coconut oil (I used organic extra virgin coconut oil)
  • peanut butter  (feel free to sub in your favorite nut or seed butter) (I used natural organic smooth peanut butter)
  • almonds (again feel free to sub in your favorite nuts)
  • sunflower seeds (feel free to sub in your favorite seeds or leave out entirely)
  • dried cranberries (I used organic dried cranberries,refined sugar free)  (optional – you may choose to leave these out or use your favorite dried fruit)
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground flaxseeds
Healthy-Almond-Cranberry-Granola-Bars-via-----@LifeMadeSweeter.jpg

 

These bars are soft and chewy with crunchy almonds in every bite.

The peanut butter gives these that nutty flavor as well as protein to give you energy to start the day.  You can also easily sub in almond butter or any other nut or seed butter if you don’t want to use peanut butter.

They are also gluten free depending on the brand of oats you buy.  Like many other granola bar recipes, you can swap out the add-ins for the ingredients that you like or have on hand.

The cranberry and almond flavor work extremely well together in here but you can leave out the dried cranberries if you prefer.

Toss in some dark chopped chocolate or even add cocoa powder and cashews to mix them up if you’d like.

These bars are sweet enough for me and my husband who has a big sweet tooth.  I wanted to keep my bars sugar-free but if you prefer your granola bars on the sweeter sude, you can definitely add in the sweetener of your choice.

These bars give you that energy boost you need for a pre/post workout snack and make a healthy and hearty grab-and-go breakfast/snack that the entire family will love!

 

Healthy Almond Cranberry Granola Bars by @LifeMadeSweeter.jpg

 

Yields 12

No-Bake Almond and Cranberry Granola Bars {gf} {sugar free}

These chewy no-bake almond and cranberry granola bars make a healthy, satisfying snack made all in one pot with with NO butter, have no REFINED SUGAR added, and are VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE with certified gluten free oats.

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • *Homemade Date Paste
  • 2 cups of pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup of water

  • Granola Bars
  • Homemade date paste from amounts above (equals to about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter or nut butter of your choice (preferably creamy and unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (you can also make your own by blending rolled oats in a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt ***(leave out the salt if your nut butter is salted)
  • 2 tablespoons of raw almonds, divided
  • 1 tablespoons of dried cranberries, divided (use organic if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds

  • Optional add-ins(All add-ins should add up to a maximum of 1/3 - 1/2 cup or else bars may not hold up very well)
  • Dried organic fruit of your choice
  • Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Dark Chocolate, chopped finely
  • Unsweetened all natural cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x9 square pan (for thicker bars like in the pictures) or a 9x13 rectangular pan for thinner bars with parchment paper or foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray leaving an overhang over the pan for easy removal of bars.
  2. Add dates and water to a medium pot on medium low heat. Mash down with a fork and continue stirring and mashing while the mixture heats up. The dates should soften after about 3-5 minutes. Continue mashing and stirring until paste becomes smoother and uniform. It is okay to see some chunks still - as long as it is a uniform paste then it is ready to use.
  3. Make the granola bars
  4. Once the date paste is smooth and softened, add peanut butter and coconut oil to the pot. Stir constantly to combine and remove from heat once the mixture is smooth and the coconut oil has melted (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Pour in the oat flour, shredded coconut, ground cinnamon and salt (if using) and mix in gently.
  6. Toss in the rolled oats and flaxseeds and combine gently with a spatula or large spoon. Fold in the sunflower seeds and half of the almonds and cranberries.
  7. Pour granola mixture into prepared pan.
  8. Spread evenly and press down firmly using a flat spatula. Sprinkle remaining almonds and dried cranberries evenly. Press down firmly again with spatula or your hands to flatten and bind together. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour or refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight to set.
  9. Remove from the freezer or fridge and use the foil overhang to transfer the uncut bars to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into even rectangles.
  10. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have to stack them, be sure to use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, otherwise they'll stick together. Bars are best enjoyed straight out of the fridge since they tend to soften up at room temperature.

Notes

**Use certified gluten free oats if needed
**Use organic or sugar free products as needed

These bars aren't super sweet, so if you prefer something sweeter you can always add a touch of sweetener.

I used a 9x9 square pan for the bars as pictured since I like them thicker. You can choose to use a 9x13 pan if you like thinner bars. I find the thicker bars hold up better.

Bars are best enjoyed straight out of the fridge since they tend to soften up at room temperature. If you have to stack them, be sure to use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, otherwise they'll stick together.

They keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or store in freezer for up to 1 month.

http://lifemadesweeter.com/2015/01/healthy-no-bake-almond-cranberry-granola-bars/

Nutrition

Calories: 246 cal
Fat: 19 g

 

Looking for more healthy snacks?

EASY No Bake 5 Ingredient Granola Bars

5 Ingredient Granola Bars with almond butter are sweet, chewy and super easy to make in only ONE pot

No-Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips Granola Bars

{healthy}{no-bake} Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips Granola Bars These chewy no-bake peanut butter and chocolate chips granola bars make a healthy, satisfying snack made all in one pot with with NO butter, and are GLUTEN FREE with certified gluten free oats. from @LIfeMadeSweeter

Stuffed Almond Joy Energy Bites

Stuffed Almond Joy Energy Bites by @LifeMadeSweeter

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites make the perfect snack on the go

No Bake Cranberry Coconut Energy Bites

No Bake Cranberry Coconut Energy Bites make the perfect healthy snack on the go.

 

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Lovely comments

  1. Marion - Make This Dish says:

    We love making granola bars too! Your cranberry almond ones look SO good and I like that there is no sugar or butter added! Must try out this recipe soon!

  2. I love homemade granola bars! Can’t wait to try the recipe. Sharing now.

  3. These seem to me like a mixture between granola bars and larabars! Which is really the perfect snack/energy bar combo in my opinion. Love em!
    Joanne recently posted…Lemon Caper Parmesan Potato Salad Bites

  4. Happy Monday, Kelly!! I wish I had these granola bars to snack on right now :) Date paste works wonders in granola bars and baked goods – I need to bake with it more! These looks absolutely delicious!! Pinned and hope your week is off to a wonderful start :)
    Ceara @ Ceara’s Kitchen recently posted…Fancy Sauteed Snap Peas

  5. These look wonderful! I’m planning on making them today to get us through the week. Real quick question – how much oar flour do you use?

    Thanks!

  6. Homemade granola bars are the best! Love the cranberry almond combo!
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction recently posted…White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

  7. You are killing it with granola bars, Kelly! These look filling and quite tasty. Have a wonderful week!

  8. Love these! I have the day off, so I’ll be spending it making new snacks to bring to work later in the week. This one is on the list, for sure! Beautiful pictures, as always :)
    Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture recently posted…Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Your Acupuncture Practice Name

  9. I wish I could reach right into my screen and grab a bar, or two! Can you mail me a box??!! These look so good, Kelly!!
    annie@ciaochowbambina recently posted…Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Cake

  10. These granola bars look like absolute perfection, Kelly, and I love all of the wholesome ingredients going on in them! Your photos are so pretty! Pinned. :)
    marcie recently posted…Brown Butter Maple Beer Bread

  11. These granola bars look fantastic, Kelly! I love the big chunks of almond in here. Such a great snack to grab ‘n go. Pinned!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Slow Cooker Hearty No-Bean Chili

  12. Kelly, love these granola bars!! just the healthy and sweet kinda snacks I want to munch on!! love!!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Korean Steamed Eggs for #SundaySupper

  13. These bars look picture perfect! I can’t believe they don’t have any refined sugar in them either. They’d be the perfect snack for Little Man :)

    • Haha I made these specifically for my little man because too much sugar and he gets waaaay too hyper haha :) Thanks Azmina, hope you’re doing well!

  14. I love homemade granola bars, and these sound amazing. Love that they are free of refined sugars, what a great healthy treat these are.

  15. These granola bars look amazing Kelley! I love that you used dates instead of sugar to sweeten them, I’m totally trying that in the next batch I make! These sound like the perfect combo of chewy bars and crunchy almonds!
    Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

    • Thanks Stacey! So glad you like them. I’m trying to eliminate some sugar since my three year gets too hyper when he has too much haha. Hope you get to try these out :)

  16. I love your healthy granola bar recipes! They are so pretty and I’m sure equally delicious!
    Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! recently posted…Tropical Green Smoothie + Blendtec Giveaway!

  17. I love homemade granola bars when you can cram a bunch of stuff in and they taste delicious and fill you up! It’s been a while since I’ve used oat flour, I definitely need to make some of that soon and I bet the coconut in these bars pairs perfectly with the cranberries…delicious!
    Katy recently posted…Citrus Brûlée

    • I’m with you, granola bars are perfect to cram a whole bunch of ingredients in especially whenever I’m trying to clean out the pantry. Thanks Katy!:)

  18. These granola bars look perfect Kelly! i have to try the recipe out as they are the perfect healthy treat for when I crave a fast sugar hit.
    Thalia @ butter and brioche recently posted…Pink Pomelo and Rose Tarts with Honey Meringue

  19. Love the cranberry, almond combination! The addition of pumpkin seeds sounds great! To be honest, I’ve never made granola bars at home and it feels like I’m really missing out! Pinned of course!
    Mira recently posted…Condensed Milk Cookies

  20. I love making homemade granola bars! I love the combination of the almonds for crunch and the sweet and chewy dried cranberries — the perfect snack!
    Ashley | The Recipe Rebel recently posted…Light Chocolate Cheesecakes

  21. Homemade granola bars are a staple at our house! These look fantastic Kelly! I hope that you had a great weekend friend!
    Ashley recently posted…Mediterranean Chicken Sausage and Veggie Bake

  22. Clearly, you are the granola expert to defer to, Kelly! I love that you make a different batch every week. It’s smart to have healthy snacks on hand. I love hearing your process with these. You know I love oats as well and using oat flour is something I need to do more of. The only times I really use it is for oatmeal cookies and they always make the cookies extra-good. I’m also loving the one pot method and the healthy ingredients all through. If we were neighbors, I would be coming by and asking for a few every week! : )

    • Haha, you’re too sweet Monica. I’m definitely no granola bar expert! I think I’ve just been making way too many batches for my own good since they’re so darn addictive! That would be so awesome if we were neighbors, we could trade and sample everything we make :)

  23. These look phenomenal! Love that you cooked the dates and coconut oil together, that’s so smart! Also totally obsessed with the picture of the raw ingredients :)

  24. Another delicious no bake granola bar recipe! I love this one too, so many healthy ingredients packed into one bar. Pinned!
    Danielle recently posted…Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

  25. All of my favorite flavors in one amazing snack, love these Kelly!
    Emily @ It Bakes Me Happy recently posted…Black Cherry Streusel Muffins

  26. These look great Kelly! I love sweetening things with dates- I feel like it’s so much healthier with all that added fiber and nutrients. And cranberries and almonds go so well together! Awesome breakfast or snack 😉
    Allie | Baking a Moment recently posted…Persimmon Cheesecake

    • I wasn’t always a fan of dates but they’re perfect when I don’t want to add any extra sugar for my three year old. He gets waaay too “energetic” if he has to much sugar haha. Thanks for the sweet comment Allie :)

  27. My husband keeps dropping not-so-subtle hints that I need to make more granola bars. I love how healthy these are and that the add-ins are totally customizable! I should keep a few of these at work for some mid-morning and afternoon snacks!

    • Thanks Eva :) They’re perfect for packing into lunch bags, I make a big batch for my husband to take to work too. He usually keeps them in the fridge at work since they can soften up a little at room temperature.

  28. These granola bars are absolutely stunning, Kelly! I can’t believe that they’re no-bake and gluten-free! Sooo that totally means I can have 5 for my mid-morning snack right?! 😉 Love how chock-full they are of all kinds of goodies!
    Sarah@Whole and Heavenly Oven recently posted…Lemon-Rosemary Marinated Chicken

    • Haha, totally 😉 I always have to stop myself from having 5 in a row whenever I make granola bars. Thanks so much for the granola bar love girly :)

  29. I am obsessed with almond granola bars. I buy the Kind bars for easy snacking while at work and they are like candy. I definitely need to try to make these at home, especially with the cranberry flavor!
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor recently posted…Stitch Fix January 2015 Review

  30. Your granola bars look so professionally done! I’m thoroughly impressed! These make perfect gifts!
    Sammie recently posted…Eggnog Scones with Orange Peel

  31. I love the ingredients you used for these granola bars, just the way I like them.

  32. Wow, these granola bars look beautiful. Love the presentation on them. I’ll definitely have to try making them one of these days, they seem like yummy and healthy homemade snack!

  33. Granola bars are one of those things that I could eat way to many of them. I just love them.
    This is actually really similar to how we make ours. great recipe :)
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Egg and Avocado Breakfast Pizza by Dannii

  34. I love this idea of starting these bars with the date paste, Kelly! I am a huge fan of homemade bars myself and have gotta try this method! Thanks so very much for sharing this! Your photos are absolutely GORGEOUS!

    • You’re too sweet, thanks so much Shashi :) You always have the best healthy ideas – especially love when you hide beets and beans – so creative!

  35. I love that these don’t contain butter or sugar. I usually take Larabars to class as a portable snack but I have been a bit disappointed with them as of late. These look like a good substitute (with almond butter subbed for the peanut butter. . .since I am an almond butter fanatic). I love how you styled these – they look so cute (and tasty).
    Lynn | The Road to Honey recently posted…Sriracha and Lime Popcorn

  36. These are my kind of snack, amazing!!!
    Amanda recently posted…peanut butter brownie caramelitas

  37. Love the date paste in this , so gonna start trying that little trick ..genius! I eat a granola bar like this by kashi, can’t wait to make it myself at home. Love the pics Kelly1

  38. Oh my gosh, your granola bars look so amazing. I could est these any time, any day. Wonderful recipe

  39. Yum! I love those big whole almonds on top. I bet these are so good!

  40. Dates work so well in granola bars! love this Kelly. Pinned.
    Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Bombay Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  41. WOW – I am really liking these healthy, no-bake bars. I feel healthier just reading the recipe. Pinned!
    Connie @ Sprig and Flours recently posted…Chinese Chicken Soup with Bok Choy

  42. What’s not to love??? These are marvelous granola bars!

  43. I have never made bars…I like the idea of no sugar added…great for a quick breakfast or as a snack…they sure look great Kelly!
    Enjoy your week :)
    Juliana recently posted…Black Forest Swiss Roll

  44. Homemade granola is the BEST! They look divine, Kelly.

  45. These look so delicious and healthy, Kelly! I have been looking for a good granola bar recipe and I think I finally found one!
    Tori@Gringalicious.com recently posted…Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Mini Meatball Cheeseburgers

  46. These look so delicious! I will definitely try them out!
    Amber recently posted…3-Bean Slow Cooker Chili

  47. These bars sound absolutely incredible. What a great combination of ingredients, and no sugar or butter? I need these so I’ll eat healthier!
    Aimee @ Like mother like daughter recently posted…White Chocolate Valentine Pretzels

  48. Oh, Kelly…these are happening in my kitchen, pronto! YUM. I have everything on hand…even the pepitas. Thank you for sharing!

  49. Oh my Kelly – just ask me how much I love these! They are not only gorgeous, but they look delicious, and would make such a great gift. I absolutely adore them!
    Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen recently posted…Top 20 Superbowl Appetizers

  50. I love all the healthy in there!! So perfect.
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Single Serve Monkey Bread

  51. These homemade granola bars look so much better than store bought and much healthier!

  52. Yay I just saved this! I also just happened to eat a Cranberry Almond KIND bar, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy :) guess I’ll be making more of your granola recipes this weekend, Kelly.
    Ala recently posted…Coconut Oil Cranberry Hootycreeks {guest post for Brunch with Joy}

  53. Lovely granola bars. I love the variety of mix-ins you used for texture and flavor. Pinned!
    Jolena @TheRubyKitchen recently posted…Adventures of Bed Rest (and a Chocolate, Date & Almond Smoothie)

  54. I am finishing off another one of these bars as start to type. Because looking at your photos made me want to taste a bite again! They are delicious! Thanks for a great recipe, Kelly! I’ve not made granola bars for a long time, but these were calling to me!
    Julia recently posted…Very Vanilla Pear Bread

    • Thanks so much for letting me know you made these, Julia! I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying them :) I have the opposite problem and can’t stop making them since they can be quite addictive :)

  55. Awesome energy bars :) made them over and over again! became quite a staple in our house :)
    sorry to be such a pain, but could you identify the fat, protein, carbs and sugar content in these bars? I know no refined sugar is used, but as dates contain quite a substantial amount of sugar (though natural) I was wondering how much they have?
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!! :) love them :)

    • Hi Steph, so glad to hear that. These are my favorite energy bars that we make a lot.
      Yup, they are 246 per bar if you cut them up into 12 bars. I’ve updated the post to show all that info, thanks so much for letting me know u love them :)

      Have a great rest of the weekend!
      http://lifemadesweeter.com/2015/01/healthy-no-bake-almond-cranberry-granola-bars/

      • Thanks alot Kelly to increase their protein content, without using whey protein powder as i hate that stuff, do u have any recommendations as I’m eating them as a pre-workout snack and found that they’re helping me alot i ‘ve been thinking i may add like 2 tbsps of hemp heart or quinoa flakes. what do u think? or it won’t make that much difference?
        Thanks again

        • Hi Steph! I like adding in chia or flax seeds but hemp hearts or quinoa flakes would make a great addition. If you add 2 tablespoons, then just be sure to remove some of the shredded coconut or oat flour to make up for the addition. Hope that helps and good luck :)

          Kelly

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