Granola Bars

by Maggie on May 16, 2010

These are a healthy treat worthy of any lunchbox.

I think you’ll really like these granola bars.  You can basically add any ingredients your gluten-free heart desires – which is the great thing about Granola Bars.

Want raisins?  Throw ’em in.  Want chocolate chips?  Throw ’em in.

I wanted dates.  I’m on a bit of a date kick.  I get this 3pm sugar craving thing (please tell me I’m not the only one) and I’ve been trying to curb it with something a little healthier.  So when it gets to be that time (the voices in my head tell me to go get something sugary), I’ve been eating a date or two instead.  And it’s actually been working!  For five whole days now.

So when I was working on this recipe, I decided to add dates!

The other key ingredient is honey.  It’s the only sweetener in this recipe and that makes me very excited.  You could add agave or maple syrup if you’re not feeling the honey love.

Gluten-Free Granola Bars

2 cups quinoa flakes (certified gluten-free oats would work too)

1 cup blanched almond meal

3/4 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup ground walnuts/cashews

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans (any type of nuts would work)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil (sunflower oil or another oil would work here too)

1/2 cup honey (good honey, local honey if possible)

3 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

2 tsp vanilla

sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and oil the aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, stir together the quinoa flakes, almond meal, dates, ground walnuts, sea salt, cinnamon, and chopped nuts.

In a smaller bowl, combine the coconut oil, honey, apple sauce and vanilla.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.  Use a wet spatula to press the mixture into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle granola bars with desired amount of sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool in the pan.  Once cooled, remove the granola bars (still in foil) and cut into desired sizes.  Refrigerate granola bars in an air-tight container or wrapped in saran wrap.  These can easily be stored in the freezer for future use.

I’ve entered these in The Secret Ingredient Challenge hosted by Jenn Cuisine. It’s a weekly recipe roundup which features an ingredient of the week. The hosting blogger posts the ingredient on Monday and participating bloggers have the week to create a recipe using the secret ingredient! Have you checked out Jenn’s blog? Oh my goodness, she knows what she’s doing!

You can also find this recipe and many more ‘slightly indulgent’ recipes at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerri May 17, 2010 at 8:04 am

These sound fabulous! I need to try them (the chocolate chips are winning over the dates in my mind though:) I do need some clarification: what is almond meal?


Maggie May 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

Hi Kerri – Almond meal is simply almond flour which is simply finely ground almonds. You can make your own, however I buy mine for fear of ruining my food processor’s blade. This time I bought Bob’s Red Mill. I’m sure you’d be able to get it at your nearest biggest grocery store or health food store.


mom May 17, 2010 at 9:05 am

These are yummy! I just finished a round of golf and had half of one. (that’s all that was left ….hint hint) I’m not really a fan of dates but they add a nice texture and moistness to the bar!! I am a bit of a granola bar snacker and I now consider these to be at the top of my list!


Maggie May 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Thanks Mom! I’ll consider that a standing order.


Alisa May 17, 2010 at 10:36 am

Yum! Those look delicious! I love homemade granola bars, so much better than store bought.


Shirley @ gfe May 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I’ve been eating dates a lot, even one or two in my green smoothies. Sometimes my smoothie combinations are too green 😉 and a date or two provides just enough sweetness. Those granola bars certainly look and sound delish. I love all recipes where we can use our bees’ honey. Just made my “bran” muffins using honey today. Oh, almost forget … yes, I have the afternoon sweet craving. Sometimes I quelch it with good fat instead of anything actually sweet … for example, with a few nuts or some avocado.

Thanks for sharing this one, Maggie!



Maggie May 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I like the idea of putting dates into your smoothies! Thanks Shirley. One day the handful of almonds might work for me, for now I have to work on killing that sweet tooth!


Aubree Cherie May 19, 2010 at 10:42 am

Love it love it love! I always struggle with the sweet cravings actually. I also do ‘the date thing’; I keep a little baggy in the fridge for when I’m just too out of control 🙂

I love this recipe though, only honey as a sweetener is definitely a bonus! I’ve added it to my favorite recipes from the last two weeks post 🙂

~Aubree Cherie


Sophie August 31, 2010 at 6:35 am

Waw!! Your GF granola bars look so fantastic & so tasty & easy to maketoo!



Janice January 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

Maggie, you rock!! We are moving to another state and I was trying to figure out what in the world we would eat for two days in the car with all of our special diets. I’m so happy I found your recipe for these granola bars! They are in the oven right now! My family will be so happy! THANK YOU!!!!!


Maggie January 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Hey Janice – Moving to another state! WOW! I’m so glad you found this recipe. Keep coming back! I have lots of recipes with quinoa and you can replace any of the flours with buckwheat. Just make sure you keep the starches (tapioca, arrowroot, potato) starches. Know what I mean? Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Safe travels!


Brianne February 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

These do sound yummy and easy to make. Just wish there wasn’t oil? Can it be substituted for something else?


Maggie February 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Hi Brianne – I’ve never tried them without oil. Coconut oil is so good for you though! It’s one of those fats that we need. I suppose you could try applesauce instead, I think that’s what people do to make a baked good low-fat. I am a believer in healthy fats so I don’t usually try to eliminate oil. Maybe try reducing it a bit at a time. Know what I mean?


Angela April 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

This looks fantastic but I was wondering how you would adapt it for a nut-free environment? This recipe has a full cup of nuts plus the almond meal which is a lot to replace – any ideas? Thanks for the great website, it’s helpful to find people like you as we start down this road.


Maggie April 5, 2012 at 5:09 am

Hi Angela – I recently posted a nut-free version of these babies. Check it out here. I hope they fit your allergies.


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