Nut-Free Granola Bars

How To Make Nut-Free Granola Bars—An Easy Recipe

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Updated on April 1, 2024

Granola bars are a portable and convenient snack option loved by people of all ages. They come in a vast array of flavours and textures, from chewy and oat-based to crispy and chocolate-dipped. Packed with ingredients like rolled oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and honey, granola bars can provide a good dose of fibre, healthy fats, and protein, making them a perfect choice for breakfast on the go, a midday pick-me-up or a post-workout refuel.

Yet, for those with nut allergies or simply looking for alternative ingredients, finding a tasty and satisfying granola bar can be a challenge. Fear not, snack enthusiasts! This article dives into the delightful world of nut-free granola bars, proving that deliciousness and allergen awareness can go hand-in-hand. We will explore a variety of recipes packed with flavour and wholesome ingredients, from seed-based wonders to chewy, fruit-filled creations.

So ditch the nuts, not the flavour, and be prepared to discover your new favourite granola bar.

Let’s dive in!

Nut-Free Granola Bars: Main Ingredients

Basically, granola, which has a long story for why it was called so, is a breakfast and snack food mainly comprising rolled oats, nuts, honey, and other additions, all of which are mixed and then either toasted or baked to achieve a crunchy texture. It is often considered a healthy option due to its high fibre and nutrient content, yet its healthiness varies depending on the ingredients used.

While it can be enjoyed by itself as a crunchy snack, granola also pairs well with a variety of foods. For instance, it is often served with yoghurt or like cereal by adding milk. Some like to top their granola with fresh fruits or sprinkle the granola itself on top of smoothie bowls and oatmeal for added texture and flavour.

Granola can also be incorporated into baked goods such as muffins, cookies, or bars or itself made into bars, cookies, or muffins.

So, yes. This nicely-named snack is pretty versatile, and because it is so versatile, it can be made to suit different dietary restrictions and preferences only by applying a few modifications here and there. In the following sections, we are going to demonstrate the main ingredients and recipe for nut-free granola bars, and then we will give some ideas to make a couple of new varieties.

Here are the ingredients for your tasty nut-free granola bars.

1. Unsweetened Coconut

Nut-Free Granola Bars

One of the main additions to our tasty nut-free granola bar is unsweetened coconut, shredded please, which provides a natural sweetness and a rich, nutty taste that complements the other ingredients. Coconut also contains healthy fats, fibre, and essential nutrients like manganese, copper, and selenium, all of which make the bars even more nutritious. The fibre content, in particular, can aid digestion and promote a feeling of fullness.

Whether you are making your bars at home or buying them, just make sure they have unsweetened coconut.

2. Quick Oats

Nut-Free Granola Bars

Cakes without flour are anything but cakes, and so granola bars cannot but have mild nutty oats. They are the star that all other flavourful ingredients revolve around.

Now, there are different types of oats, just like there are 334 species of monkeys, so which of those, the oats, not the monkeys, are used to make nut-free granola bars? Let’s have a quick look at them.

There are five types of oats available out there, each with its own characteristics and uses. The first is whole oats or groats. These are the least processed, whole oat kernels with just the outer hull removed, and they take the longest to cook. When groats are chopped into smaller pieces using steel blades, they are called steel-cut oats, and they have a chewy texture and take a long time to cook as well.

Rolled oats are also groats but they have been steamed and then rolled flat to create flakes. If they are rolled thinner and steamed for a longer period, they become quick oats. Both rolled oats and quick oats cook faster and are commonly used in oatmeal, granola, and baking.

The quickest to cook oats are the aptly-named instant oats. These are pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled thin, and they cook very quickly, often just by adding hot water.

Since our nut-free granola bars have to take so little time to make, we are using quick oats to make them. They also give the bars a firm yet chewy base, so you will love how they taste.

3. Pepitas

Nut-Free Granola Bars

We are not adding nuts; yet, we still want to make nutritious granola bars, so we will add pepitas instead, or as many like to call them, peeled pumpkin seeds. 

Pumpkin seeds are abdundant with protein, healthy fats, fibre, and other essential nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and iron. They contribute to the satisfying crunch of granola, offer additional texture and visual appeal, and help create a well-balanced and delicious snack.

4. Cinnamon

What spice could be better than cinnamon to add to your nut-free granola bars? None.

Cinnamon brings life to our nut-free granola bars. It adds a warm, spicy and a little sweet hint that levels up the overall flavour profile of the bars. Cinnamon is also renowned for its potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Thus, incorporating it into the recipe not only improves the taste of the bars but also offers potential health advantages.

5. Honey

Nut-Free Granola Bars

For the sweetener, we are using honey. Yet, it is not only the sweetness of Honey that we are after, there are a few other qualities of this ingredient that make it a great addition to our nut-free granola bars.

Because it is so viscous, honey is sticky, a natural glue, if we can say that. It helps bind the ingredients together, contributing to the cohesive texture of the bars. It contains various antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which together make it a healthier alternative to refined sugars. Its natural sweetness adds depth to the flavour profile of the granola bars without overpowering other ingredients.

If, for some reason, honey is not accessible to you, you can use maple syrup instead. This is another natural sweetener derived from the sap of maple trees that works well with this recipe. Yet, be sure to pick pure maple syrup and stay clear from fake versions or overly sugared ones for the best results.

6. Sunflower Butter

While regular granola bars, for the most part, do not incorporate any butter, those which do often use nut butter and not dairy butter. Since we are ditching all things nuts today, we are going to use sunflower butter in our nut-free recipe

As the name suggests, sunflower butter is made from roasted sunflower seeds and has a creamy texture and nutty flavour similar to peanut butter or almond butter. Like honey, it serves as an excellent binding agent in granola bars, helping to hold the ingredients together while providing a rich, nutty taste. Additionally, sunflower butter is a good source of healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients.

7. Chocolate Chips

Nut-Free Granola Bars

Last but not least, we have chocolate chips, and who would not like to add chocolate to their granola bars? OK, maybe a few of you, but do you know that nine out of every ten people love chocolate? Chocolate is unarguably a crowd-pleaser, and we, of course, would not miss adding it to our recipe.

Adding chocolate chips to your granola bars provides a delightful burst of sweetness and richness and makes them more indulgent, satisfying, and appealing to children in particular. Additionally, chocolate contains antioxidants and flavonoids, which may offer potential health benefits.

We assure you. You will not be disappointed.

How to Make Nut-Free Granola Bars


Now that we have looked into the ingredients of our recipe, it is time to bake some tasty, crunchy granola bars.

Yet, before we officially get into the recipe, we need to prepare the baking dish. So, line a square or rectangular pan or tray with parchment paper to prevent the bars from sticking and make it easier to remove them later. If you do not have parchment paper, you can also lightly grease the pan with some cooking oil or butter.

Set the pan aside and then preheat your oven to 170°C. This temperature allows the bars to bake evenly without burning while ensuring that they hold together well. Keep in mind that lower temperatures may result in chewier bars, while higher temperatures may yield crunchier bars, so adjust the temperature according to your desired texture preferences.

Now, let’s get to the real work.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut, oats, pepitas, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Stir everything together until well combined. Then, add the honey and sunflower butter to the bowl. Mix them together with a spoon or your hands until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

For the extra sweetness or texture in your granola bars, go ahead and throw in a handful of chocolate chips or any other healthy add-ins you prefer. Give it one final stir to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Use a spatula or your hands to press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.

Bake the granola in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. When the edges are golden brown, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely. Once cooled, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the granola slab out of the pan. Place it on a cutting board and slice it into bars of your desired size.

Gluten-Free Alternative

Nut-Free Granola Bars

Granola bars are, by default, vegan, whether they have nuts or not. Yet, because they are versatile, they can also be made to cater to gluten sensitivity. 

Do not know what that is? Well, gluten sensitivity is a condition where individuals experience adverse symptoms after consuming foods containing the gluten protein, typically found in wheat, barley, and rye. These symptoms can include digestive issues like bloating, abdominal pain, and maybe diarrhoea, as well as fatigue, headache, and joint pain.

So, yes. Gluten sensitivity is kind of a big deal.

The thing is, oats are naturally gluten-free. They do incorporate a similar protein called avenin, which is OK to be consumed by those with gluten sensitivity. However, if oats were processed using the same tools or machinery that process wheat or rye, for instance, they would be contaminated and may potentially have gluten.

However, that does not mean you should avoid oats altogether. There are some oat brands out there that are certified gluten-free. So, look for those and use them. 

If you cannot find gluten-free oats or if you want to avoid them completely, you can still use some oat alternatives to make your nut-free granola bars. For instance, you can use sunflower, pumpkin, chia or any other seeds you like. You can also use quinoa or millet flakes, rice crisps, or buckwheat groats. All of those are gluten-free and have a nutty flavour and a nice crunch to your nut-free granola bars.

Other Healthy Add-Ins

That said, those oat alternatives are not necessarily confined to their roles as oat alternatives. You can still add any kind of seeds to the regular nut-free granola recipe we demonstrated earlier to add a boost of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Toasted quinoa adds a satisfying crunch, while dried figs and raisins provide natural sweetness and fibre.

These superfood ingredients not only enhance the nutritional value of your granola bars but also add interesting flavour variations.

So get creative with your granola bar recipe by experimenting with these cost-effective options or basically whatever add-ins you like.

Storing and Freezing

After making the nut-free granola bars, it is important to store them properly to keep them fresh and delicious. You can keep them right on your counter at room temperature for up to a week. Yet, make sure you keep them in an airtight container. You can also refrigerate the bars for up to 10 days. This will help sustain their freshness and ensure they stay moist. 

If you like to make nut-free granola bars in batches, you can move them to airtight containers and keep them in the freezer for future use. They can stay frozen for up to six months. When you are ready to enjoy them, just take the bars out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature.


Nut-free granola bars are a delicious and convenient option for anyone with nut allergies or preferences. Packed with fibre and healthy fats, and customisable with a variety of seeds, dried fruits, and chocolate, they can be a satisfying grab-and-go snack or a part of a balanced breakfast.

So, next time you are looking for a wholesome and nut-free treat, consider whipping up a batch of homemade bars or checking out the selection of store-bought options that are increasingly catering to nut allergies. With a little creativity, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious granola bar that fits your dietary needs.

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