Oat & Fruit Breakfast Bars: Dairy, Egg, Sugar, Flour, Nut & Gluten- Free


HAVE you ever intended to make one recipe and then it didn’t turn out at all like you planned, but in fact it worked better?

That’s what happened with this recipe. I made it first to be more like a breakfast cookie and they tasted fantastic, but they looked downright hideous!

I mean they were ugly as ugly comes. So the second time I made them I spread out the batter I worked with and……

…….low and behold they became the best oatmeal and fruit bar I have ever had.


You can feel really good about letting your kids have this for breakfast. Full of healthy oatmeal and dried fruit. Its a perfect on the run breakfast or easy snack to take anywhere.

My oldest hates oatmeal so by sneaking it in this recipe he doesn’t even notice he’s having it.

You can really get even a little more versatile with them and add some nuts if you and family aren’t allergic. You can change the dried fruit as well. But this is what worked for us and I’m sticking with it. If you do make variations with it I’d love to hear from you.

Additional Notes:

  • Spread some nut-butter on top for more protein.
  • If you are gluten free, make sure you are using gluten free oats.
  • You could change the tahini to any nut butter of your choice.
  • Replace sunflower seeds with nuts if you like.
  • If you don’t have tahini you can sub it with sunbutter.
  • I do NOT recommend any other substitutions except for the tahini, sunflower seeds and dried fruit.
  • Do NOT eliminate the dates in this recipe. They are what add the awesome sweetness to the whole bar.



Recipe adapted from Eat Better America.



Oat & Fruit Breakfast Bars: Dairy, Egg, Sugar, Flour, Nut & Gluten- Free
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12
  • Serving size: 1
  • Calories: 225
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 4g
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed, ground
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • optional: 1 teaspoon liquid stevia, vanilla creme
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, add the coconut, banana, flaxseed, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda and tahini. If using stevia, add it now. Process until smooth.
  3. Add chopped dates a little at a time until smooth.
  4. Remove mixture from processor and place in a bowl.
  5. To the bowl add chopped apricots, cherries, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (save 1/4 cup seeds for top), and old fashioned oats and mix well.
  6. Line a 9 by 13 casserole dish with parchment paper. Spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Pour the batter onto the parchment paper and spread out touching edges of dish all around as best you can.
  8. Sprinkle the top with 1/4 of reserved sunflower seeds.
  9. Bake 15-18 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out fairly clean.
  10. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into bars.
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4*







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  1. We would LOVE these! So glad you shared…check out my blog post today…you have a couple of awards waiting for you there…=) http://thebetterbaker.blogspot.com/2012/03/blog-awards-hurrah.html

  2. Hi there! I was wondering if you would recommend substituting some of the dried fruits for other types? For instance, instead of using apricots, double the amount of cherries? These look so healthy and delicious. Thank you for sharing your “ugly” turned awesome.

    • I wouldn’t change the dates, I should specify that. That is what adds sweetness to the whole recipe. But you could change the apricots and cherries to whatever dried fruit you like as long as you stick with one cup of it. Dried cranberries, blueberries, raisins.

  3. Barbara says:

    Am I missing it or is there a “print” form?

  4. Charlotte Moore says:

    These look so good. This would be a good snack for the bike riders in my family.

  5. Im visiting from Women Living Well and I am so glad I found you. I have recently decided that we need to live more sugar free. Help is what I found!!! Yeah!!! I can not wait to try these! They look delicious!!! So glad to find you, I’m off to subscribe to your blog! Blessings, Tirzah

  6. I’ve always been scared of making my own granola/snack bars. But these look easy & delicious, I’m going to do them today. Also, thanks to you, we’re trying to live more sugar free, and it’s been great. :)

  7. These look so yummy – looks like I need to put dates on the shopping list!

  8. I made these yesterday and they are delicious! However . . . they fell apart!

    Here are my substitutions, because I couldn’t wait to make them :-)
    * peanut butter for tahini
    * currants instead of apricots
    * thawed frozen bananas because I didn’t have fresh

    Any ideas?! I want to make them again and again!!

  9. Wow, look at THOSE! Nice picture! Thanks for sharing on Allergy-Free Wednesday. Hope you’ll join us again this week with another great recipe!


  10. Hi Brenda,

    I just wanted to let you know that I featured your recipe this week. You can see it here:http://www.realfoodallergyfree.com/2012/03/allergy-free-wednesday-314/#more-6005 I hope you’ll share more goodies with us this week.


  11. I made a variation of these and absolutely love them. I replaced the bananas with pumpkin (b/c I can’t eat bananas), swapped the oatmeal for protein powder (b/c I can’t have oats), removed the dates, and swapped the tahini for almond butter. I also added chopped nuts to mine. They are so yummy! Great idea!

    • sounds fabulous! If my boys weren’t allergic to nuts that’s what I would have done too! Great job! Did you have to add sweetener since you removed the banana and dates?

  12. Can these be frozen?

    • I haven’t tried it, we ate them up within a day or two. I will make them soon again and try freezing them.

      • Katlyn S. says:

        This is actually kinda what I was looking for also! I work at a Drop-In Daycare that we just opened and I got excited about this recipe along with my boss who really would like to try making these up for the kids. Our quesiton was, since we probably won’t be using it all up right away, do you recommend refrigerating these or just leave them out? Also, we are in a small town and wonder if we can’t find the Tahini locally, where you would recommend looking for or ordering it from? Thank you for posting, we are looking forward to trying these!

        • If you think you will use them up within a week you don’t have to refrigerate. Otherwise I would say to individually wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze, then thaw them the night before you want them. I usually buy through iherb.com, but you could probably purchase through amazon as well for the tahini.

  13. These sound fantastic! Do you think soy butter would work in these? My son is allergic to nuts but loves soy butter. I know it is slightly thinner than peanut butter. I’ve never used tahini and know nothing about it.

  14. were you able to find sunflower seeds that we not made on equipment shared with nuts? I found 3 brands at my grocery store, but they were all made on equipment shared with tree nuts. My son has a tree nut allergy and we avoid it all. Could I skip the sunflower seeds completely?
    Looking forward to trying these!

    • Mine were found at Job Lot a local discount place and were made in a facility that makes those other products but not on the same equipment. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it out altogether but to find a substitution. Maybe a nut free granola, or maybe shredded coconut?

      • thanks! I used some nut free granola. They taste great. How do you store them and for how long? freezable?
        Thank you!

  15. Brenda, These bars look fabulous! I found your site on Allergy Free Wednesdays. I will post them on my Pinterest board. I look forward to trying more of your tasty recipes. :)

  16. I can’t wait to try these! Thank you! :-)

  17. michelle says:

    I printed this recipe and it was 10 pages long with 4 incredibly large pictures.You should really make your printer friendly recipes more concise.

    • Brenda says:

      I am not sure if you noticed when you went to the printer friendly button above on the right, there was an option to completely remove anything in writing, even images, before you print. You can make it a PDF or even email to yourself.

  18. I hate nasty comments from stupid people. Thanks for all the work that goes into your blog and recipes!!!

  19. siewlingchaw says:

    can i use pitted prunes instead of dates ? :)

  20. Amy Gray says:


  21. Breeanna says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I am allergic to peanuts and am always on the go! I’ve had a lot of trouble finding breakfast bars that don’t have nuts. I won’t be drinking or skipping breakfast anymore!

  22. OOps just did this recipe and omitted the dates as i didn’t have them. I added in extra apricots, i hope they are edible!! lol! Thanks for the recipe anyway, i guess the real judge is my daughter…hope it’s thumbs up tomorrow ;)

  23. Catherine says:

    I would like to substitute the tahini for something else.
    Tahini and soy can trigger a bit of asthma and peanut butter is out of the question because of allergy along with other nut butters. Is anyone able to offer ideas for other substitutions?
    Either way, I will find a way to make them as one of my kids is going on a 12 day trip; I will pack them in her luggage and she can put them if the fridge when she gets to her hotel.

    • Both of my boys have nuts allergies and my oldest 12 yr old boy scout is also allergic to soy. They have eaten these without trouble.

      • Catherine says:

        Thanks for the comment Brenda.
        I will go ahead and make it with the tahini, there is very little in relation to the other ingredients, so like your kids, it should be tolerated. Either way, it won’t make her sick and if it does make her a bit asthmatic, I have time to find another substitution, such as sun butter that another person mentioned above.
        Thank you for your wonderful recipes.

  24. What would be a good substitute for the bananas? Would applesauce possibly work? Sounds great

    • That’s a tough question because applesauce is really not as thick as a mashed banana. Pumpkin may work. I haven’t tried any substitutions as this recipe took many takes before it became a bar so I haven’t wanted to mess with the ingredients if you know what I mean.

  25. Is a food processor required? I don’t own one.

  26. Wondering if i have to grind the flax seed or if I can leave whole??

    • You’re body can’t digest it whole,won’t receive the benefits of it, it needs to be ground.

      • Oh, ok! Didn’t know that. Thanks for the info! I wonder why it’s whole flaxseed in some oatmeals and muffins and stuff?
        Again, thanks!

        • I’ve never seen it whole in recipes but if that’s the case it shouldn’t be. Always grind it yourself or buy it ground and store in the refrigerator.

          • Even more nutrient dense than flax is chia (which also must be opened for us to receive most of the nutritional benefits, which include tons of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids). I get my chia from NorCal Superfoods. It’s grown organically in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

            Additional benefit — chia’s shelf life is 2 years, while flax’s shelf life is 2 months. This is due to MORE antioxidants in chia, which preserve it naturally.


  27. What do you think about avocado in place of the banana? My husband hates bananas (weird, yes, I know). I first thought applesauce too, but saw your comment about watery so I thought avocado would have the closest consistency to banana with just a little applesauce added.

  28. The avocado worked very well in place of the banana. I did add 2 TBS of applesauce and 1 banty egg for some extra protein. They were very soft and chewy but the taste was great. I only needed 1/8 tsp stevia powder. I use the straight stevia. Not sure it that is what you are using since you used a tsp. Next time I plan to add a bit more oatmeal.

  29. Do you have any suggestions for subbing out the coconut? We don’t care for shredded coconut.

  30. I don’t have a food processor. Any way around that? These sound good and I am looking for something to make for a quick on the go breakfast. I plan to try your oatmeal cups as well. Thanks. :)

  31. This recipe sounds awesome! Do you think it would be ok to skip the flax seed? My son is allergic to both flax and sesame (in addition to wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts). Idealy I’d like to make the bars without the flax and use sun butter.

  32. I used diced figs instead of dates, and pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. For dried fruit, I used dried bing cherries and blueberries. Instead of coconut, I added some chopped pistachios. I also used some raw honey. My husband loved them!

  33. Help! I want to,try this for my picky eater son but in your nutritional work up at the end, I didn’t see how many grams of sugar and he’s borderline diabetic and I know that dates are super duper sweet. I was hoping to find/invent if I need to a breakfast bar cookie that has xylitol as a sweetener. It’s good for teeth and gums with no bad mood swing effects like aspartame… The dates seem like it would be many grams of sugar? Do you think I could skip the dates and add some xylitol? Do you have thoughts on xylitol and organic z sweet? Both granulated sugar substitutes ,with no bad aftertaste… Lissa

  34. Tricia O. says:

    Do you think these would freeze well?

    • I’m sorry we have never froze it because it gets eaten pretty quickly. If you do pleas let me know how it holds up.


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