No-Bake Apricot Granola Bars
These vegan and gluten-free no-bake apricot granola bars are made with wholesome ingredients and make a wonderful snack or healthy dessert.
- vegan and gluten-free – great for those with dietary restrictions, they can be nut-free too!
- travel well – make a batch to take hiking, camping or road tripping
- quick and easy – easy to make, no baking required!
- almonds – plain, raw almonds with no added oil or salt are perfect, however, you can use dry roasted if that’s what you have
- oats – rolled oats are best but quick oats are fine too
- dates – pitted medjool, sayer or deglect noor dates all work, as long as they’re nice and soft
- almond butter – can be replaced with any other nut or seed butter, just, make sure it’s not too dry – the drippier the better!
- maple syrup – can be substituted with agave, brown rice syrup, or honey if not vegan
- dried apricots – dried apricots add a fun fruity twist but they can be replaced with extra dates if you don’t have any on hand
- chocolate – dark chocolate is recommended but chocolate chips also work
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Add the almonds to a food processor and process into a grainy flour. It’s ok if there are a few larger chunks left behind.
Step 2. Add the dates and apricots and process again until you have a crumbly, sticky mixture.
Step 3. Add the chocolate and pulse a few times to break down and mix throughout.
Step 3. In a small saucepan, gently heat the maple syrup and almond butter on low for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.
Quick Tip: Do not boil or overheat the almond butter maple syrup mixture or it will melt the chocolate when you add it to the bowl. Warm it just enough to stir it into a smooth, creamy mixture.
Step 4. Add everything to a mixing bowl and stir well to mix. Mix until all of the oats have been wetted.
Step 5. Press the mixture into a lined baking pan and pop in the freezer for an hour to firm.
Quick Tip: Take a few minutes to really press the bars firmly into the pan. This will help them hold together better once sliced.
Once firm, lift the bars out of the pan, slice and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Line the pan. Make sure you line the baking pan with parchment paper so you can easily lift the bars out to slice. Saran wrap also works.
- No almonds? Walnuts, cashews, and pecans all work in place of the almonds.
- Serving size. Cut into 8 large bars or 16 smaller squares. I do 16 squares for a smaller serving size. You can always have two if you want!
Can I make these nut-free?
Yes. To make these nut-free, replace the almonds with raw sunflower seeds or additional oats, and use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter.
Do I have to use dried apricots?
No. The dried apricot can be replaced by dates. So instead of using 1/2 cup of dates, use 1 cup dates and omit the apricots.
Can I make these without a food processor?
Yes. Instead of using a food processor, you can use a knife to finely chop the dates, almonds, apricots and chocolate. It’s just a lot quicker and easier to use a food processor.
How should I store these?
Store the bars in a sealed container fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 2 months. I like them best stored in the freezer. They don’t freeze solid so you can enjoy them straight from the freezer.
You might like these too:
- Sweet and Salty No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
- Chocolate Chip No-Bake Granola Bars
- No-Bake Oatmeal Bars
- Paleo Energy Bars with Cashew and Coconut
- Sunflower Sesame Homemade Energy Bars
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- 1/2 cup (85 g) raw almonds
- 1.5 cups (100 g) rolled oats
- 1/2 cup packed (110 g), pitted dates
- 1/4 cup (60 g) drippy almond butter
- 1/3 cup (113 g) maple syrup
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup packed (115 g) dried apricots
- 1/2 cup (90 g) dark chocolate broken into small chunks, or 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Pulse the almonds in a food processor until broken down into a crumbly consistency. It should resemble a coarse flour but a few large chunks are totally fine.
- Add the dates and apricots and process into a sticky, crumbly dough. Add the pieces of dark chocolate and pulse a few times until it’s further broken down and the chocolate is distributed.
- Remove the mixture from the food processor and place in a large mixing bowl with the rolled oats and salt.
- In a saucepan, gently heat the almond butter and maple syrup over low heat for a few minutes while stirring. Warm it just enough to stir into a smooth, creamy mixture. Don’t boil or overheat or it will melt the chocolate when you add it to the mixing bowl.
- Pour almond butter mixture into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- Line a 7-8 inch square baking pan with two overlapping strips of parchment paper long enough to stick out either side of the pan. Take a few minutes to firmly press the dough into the pan, really flattening and working into each corner.
- Place in the freezer for an hour to firm.
- Lift out of the pan and slice into 8 bars or 16 squares.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. I recommend storing them in the freezer. They don’t freeze solid so you can enjoy them straight from the freezer.
To make these nut-free, replace the almonds with raw sunflower seeds or additional oats, and use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter.
The dried apricot can be replaced by dates. So instead of using 1/2 cup of dates, use 1 cup (220 g) dates and omit the apricots.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a knife to finely chop the dates, almonds, apricots and chocolate. It’s just a lot quicker and easier to use a food processor. Make sure they’re finely chopped or the bars will be a bit crumbly.
The almonds can be subbed with walnuts, cashews or pecans.
Cut into 8 large bars or 16 smaller squares. I do 16 squares for a smaller serving size. You can always have two if you want!
Keywords: homemade granola bars, apricot granola bars
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on November 1, 2013. It was updated with new photos and text on May 11, 2020.