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.
- 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.
- ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dates, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon flax seed, ground
- ½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 bananas, mashed
- nonstick cooking spray
- optional: 1 teaspoon[url href="http://www.iherb.com/p/11070?at=0&rcode=yaj035" target="_blank"] liquid stevia, vanilla creme[/url]
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor, add the coconut, banana, flaxseed, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda and tahini. If using stevia, add it now. Process until smooth.
- Add chopped dates a little at a time until smooth.
- Remove mixture from processor and place in a bowl.
- To the bowl add chopped apricots, cherries, ¼ cup sunflower seeds (save ¼ cup seeds for top), and old fashioned oats and mix well.
- Line a 9 by 13 casserole dish with parchment paper. Spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour the batter onto the parchment paper and spread out touching edges of dish all around as best you can.
- Sprinkle the top with ¼ of reserved sunflower seeds.
- Bake 15-18 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out fairly clean.
- Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into bars.
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!
Glad you liked them, thanks for sharing!
can i use pitted prunes instead of dates ? 🙂
I haven't tried but it might work, let me know if you do.
I hate nasty comments from stupid people. Thanks for all the work that goes into your blog and recipes!!!
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.
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.
I just printed it myself, removing all images and text except the ingredients and directions and mine was only 2 pages.
Courtney @ Whole and Free
I can't wait to try these! Thank you! 🙂
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. 🙂
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?
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.
I used sun butter since my son is allergic to nuts too and they turned out great!
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.
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.
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?
Nancy @Real Food Allergy Free
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.
Janelle (Gluten Freely Frugal)
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!
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!!
Try cooking them a bit longer.
Also thawed banana will have a lot more moisture to it, try using fresh next time.
Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy
These look so yummy - looks like I need to put dates on the shopping list!
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. 🙂
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
These look so good. This would be a good snack for the bike riders in my family.
Am I missing it or is there a "print" form?
thanks for pointing that out! I didn't even realize it IS missing! Thanks!
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.
The Better Baker
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
thank you so much!