Nut-Free Granola Bars

by Maggie on March 21, 2012

It’s maple syrup season in these parts and I am making the most of it.  How can we not when the stuff is flowing from the trees, begging us to use it!

As you know, I’m in love with pumpkin seed flour so naturally I had to try my hand at a nut-free granola bar recipe.

Pumpkin seeds feature prominently in this recipe, and why not?  They’re naturally high in iron, magnesium, and zinc; all are essential minerals for women’s health and wellness.

Honestly, you’d never know these were nut-free granola bars.  They’re so filling and so nutritious.  All of my testers were in love with them.

If nuts aren’t an issue for you (Callum goes to a nut-free school), you could use almond flour to replace the pumpkin seed flour.  But seriously?  Pumpkin seeds and maple syrup were made for each other.

Delicious Nut-Free Granola Bars

2 cups certified gluten-free oats
1 cup pumpkin seed flour (ground raw pumpkin seeds)
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
6-8 chopped and pitted medjool dates, depending on sweet preference
½ cup coconut oil, liquefied
1 tbsp psyllium husks
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp ground chia combined with ¼ cup water
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper (put a little oil under the parchment to make it stick to the pan).

In a large bowl stir together the oats, pumpkin seed flour, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sea salt, cinnamon, and dates.

In a smaller bowl, combine the coconut oil, psyllium husks, maple syrup, chia and water mixture and vanilla.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.  Use a wet spatula to press the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (watch them).  Cool in the pan.  Once cooled, remove the granola bars (still in parchment) and cut into desired sizes.  Refrigerate granola bars in an air-tight container or wrapped in saran.  These can easily be stored in the freezer for future use.


  • I use an old coffee grinder to grind my pumpkin seeds.
  • I buy psyllium husks at my local health food store.
  • If dates aren’t your thing, try raisins or cranberries.
  • Can’t tolerate gluten-free oats?  Try quinoa flakes, just use about 1/4 cup more.

Did you see my post at Lexie’s Kitchen? I shared my recipe for Flax Crackers.


{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Savage March 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

Mags these look great – can’t wait to try them. Idea for substitue if I can’t find the p. husks?
Did you make these nut free so you could send them to school? They are on my to do list – will let you know!


Maggie March 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Thanks Carolyn. Try another 1 tbsp of ground chia or ground flax instead of the psyllium husks. I did make them nut-free so they could go to our schools! Let me know!


glutenfreeforgood March 21, 2012 at 11:11 am


You really are a woman after my own heart. Everything you make appeals to me and all of your ingredients are things I use as well. I haven’t made pumpkin seed flour though, but I’ve just put it on my “to-do” list. I have a flour-grinder attachment for my VitaMix and 2 pounds of pumpkin seeds in my pantry. I suppose I should give this a try. It sounds like a nice change from almond or coconut flour.

Thanks for the inspiration!


Maggie March 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Ahhh Melissa. Thanks! The feeling is mutual, as you know!


Hallie @ Daily Bites March 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

LOVE! You are a granola bar genius, Maggie. So great that these are not only nut-free but also egg-free and vegan for those that need it. 🙂


Maggie March 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Thanks Hallie! I consider you a genius too 🙂


Heather March 21, 2012 at 11:40 am

I LOVE pumpkin seed flour too! Such a different flavor and so good for you! Also makes me feel less guilty when I drink an entire batch of homemade pumpkin seed milk heehee. These look great I will have to try your version!


Maggie March 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Do you know Heather, I’ve never tried pumpkin seed milk! Do you soak your seeds first? For a couple of hours? I’d love to try it!


Jacqui March 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm

These look awesome! And something we can all have in our house (egg, gluten, peanut allergies).. if we can find the seeds that aren’t cross contaminated.

Do you know of a shelled pumpkin seed and/or sunflower seed that isn’t a risk of cross contamination with peanuts? Every one I have come across has a may contain label. My daughter has a severe peanut allergy.. but I really want to make something like this for her that is so much healthier than the granola bars (processed sugar bombs) they sell in the stores that are peanut free.


Maggie March 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Thanks Jacqui. Unfortunately I don’t know of a brand that is safe, I wish I could help! I would try calling your health food store and asking them. If they don’t know, ask for the number of their pumpkin seed suppliers. Just keep digging! Let me know how it goes.


Deidre Houston May 10, 2012 at 9:08 am

I think that the GO Raw brand is nut free.


Alta March 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm

These look so tasty. I have some pumpkin seeds coming in my Azure Standard order because I have been so inspired by your pumpkinseed flour craze!


Maggie March 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Hehe Alta, I love that you called it a craze. It definitely it. I know it’s more expensive, but I see it as an investment in our health!


Denise Biencourt March 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

thank you so much for this recipe! my daughter was recently diagnosed with nut and soy allergies. we are currently on a two week elimination diet but she can eat everything in these granola bars. I am inspired by your use of pumpkin flour. I’m going to try to replace the almond flour in many of my recipes with this.


Maggie March 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

Yay Denise! I’m so happy to help and I’m so happy this recipe works for her. I hope she loves them.


Cara March 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

it’s official, I need a sack of pumpkinseeds. And, a bigger coffee grinder.


Michelle March 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Along with nut allergies, I am also allergic to coconut. Any suggestions on a replacement for the coconut oil?
I keep finding all these great recipes but coconut oil has gotten to be the go-to.


Maggie March 23, 2012 at 5:53 am

Hi Michelle – I think you could use a light tasting oil – maybe sunflower oil? Let me know how it goes!


Amber March 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Oh Maggie, these are so cleaver and so fun! I love how they are nut free for folks who can’t have those tree nuts. I think this group gets sort of lost. 🙂

Thanks for a great recipe!



Maggie March 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

Thanks Amber! You’re right, this group has gotten lost in the army of gluten-free bloggers 🙂 Now that my son is in school (it’s a nut-free school), I’m trying hard to create recipes that work for him and his classmates.


Grandma Kat @ Easy Recipes Land March 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

This looks like a recipe I have to try soon. I’ll give it a try and I look forward to trying it out.

Grandma Kat


Maggie March 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

Thanks Grandma Kat, you’re sweet! Let me know what you think when you try it out!


Em (Wine and Butter) March 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I’d never even considered making pumpkin seed flour – that sounds so tasty! I’m not nut free but I still love the idea of a seeded granola bar – In my nutrition course we were always taught how seeds are EVEN more nutritious than nuts 🙂 – Have a great weekend!


Maggie March 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

Thanks Em! It’s a delicious flour, I think you’ll love it!


Carly March 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I’m sad to be missing the GF talk you’re hosting.

Also, can you please just open a GF bakery/restaurant in town? That’d be perfect! I’d love to make some of these bars, they look delicious, but as I mentioned, unfortunately I’m not much of a cook


Maggie March 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Hi Carly. I would love to open a GF bakery in town. Will you run it for me though?!


Kim - Cook It Allergy Free March 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

I am slowly catching up on all that I missed last week, and I must say that these look absolutely amazing! They would be perfect to send to school since ours is nut-free!! Love this one, Maggie!! xo


Maggie March 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Thanks so much Kim! I’m sure they’ll be a hit for you guys.


Miachel @ Spiced Curiosity March 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Sounds so good. Just bought a fresh pack of pumpkin seeds, so this is definitely next on my list…!


Maggie March 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

You will love pumpkin seed flour Miachel!


Tessa Domestic Diva March 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm

These are a must try for me Maggie! Pinned!


Emerald April 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Love the recipe, and they look so yummy and delicious in the photos… I made them on the weekend and the cooking time was WAY too long. I set my timer for 35 minutes and I took them out 15 minutes earlier and I wish I had taken them out even earlier than that! They were a bit dry and extra crispy at the edges. Next time I make them I will also reduce the salt. Friends have tried them and said they don’t taste it, but to me they taste really salty, maybe it just clumped, I don’t know. I added cacao nibs and goji berries to mine, just for fun! I recommend soaking the goji berries in water (or apple juice or something) before hand.


Maggie April 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Thanks for your feedback Emerald. Did you make any substitutions or adjustments to the recipe? Perhaps your oven needs a thermometer as that’s a BIG time difference. I like the sounds of cacao nibs! I use goji berries in my smoothies but I just can’t get into them in baked goods, not yet anyway! I might have to try your version 🙂


Jenn April 13, 2012 at 4:40 am

Hey Maggie,

These looked so good I tired to make them last night. I subbed Raisins for the dates, I didn’t see until after that the pumpkin seeds should be raw and I used roasted. Other than that I followed your directions and they came out crumbly and dry, Did I maybe cook them to long? They still taste great but are not really bars per say, Your picture makes them look moist and bar like. Just wondering if you have any idea’s that I could try for another batch?

Thanks Maggie


Maggie April 13, 2012 at 5:21 am

Hi Jenn – I hope they can still be eaten – maybe used as a tasty granola!
I’m thinking the problem might be in the pumpkin seeds. There would be more oil in the raw form and I think that would come out while baking – in both the flour and the seed. To be on the safe side, you could add another tablespoon of syrup and perhaps a half tablespoon of psyllium husks to help bind them more. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Thanks Jenn,


shelley April 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

these look great, cant’ wait to try, Question – can I substitue honey for the maple syrup?


Maggie April 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Hi Shelley – Sorry for the delay! Yes, try honey. I think it will work well. Let us know please!


Tara April 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

This looks super yummy 🙂 I have a little one with egg, dairy, chocolate & nut allergies…its so hard to find anything for her. Birthday parties are the worse as she wants to join in the fun when it comes to cake time…Any suggestions would be welcome


Maggie April 17, 2012 at 11:20 am

Hi Tara – Hhhhmmm, you need a vanilla cupcake recipe. I have one in the works, it’s just too dry so I’m still playing with it. Stay tuned!


Cathy April 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Hi Maggie,

These looked great to take hiking tomorrow. My first attempt are in the oven now. I burnt out the motor on a brand new coffee grinder tryng to make the pumpkin flour. The raw unroasted seeds seemed to have too much moisture. Maybe next time I’ll try roasted. I had to finish making the flour in the food processor. This doesn’t truly make a “flour”, more like a “meal”. Is the texture of the flour you use fine or corse? I know in this recipe it won’t make much difference, but if I try any of your other recipes, it might make a difference.


Maggie April 29, 2012 at 6:25 am

Hi Cathy – That’s so disappointing about your brand new coffee grinder, I’m sorry to hear that. I use a Cuisinart one and it is amazing – it grinds sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia, flax, walnut etc… for me. I can’t imagine it burning out! Ground pumpkin seeds have a similar texture to almond flour. Have you worked with almond flour before? They sell almond flour in the health food store, or I’m sure you could find a pic of it online to see the texture. I’ll take a pic of my pumpkin seed flour and add it to this post – thank you for the idea! Let me know if you have any more questions.
Have a great hike!


Cathy May 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thanks for the answer Maggie. Unfortunately it was a Cuisinart coffee grinder! Fortunately, they allowed me to return it. I can’t use almond flour. I am allergic to all tree nuts and peanuts (and many other items) which is why I must make my own granola bars. Your recipe didn’t need any substitutions, which was a great plus for me! The flavor received a thumbs up from me and other hikers. I have a Cuisinart food processor and can use that to grind the seeds, but the texture will be more like a ‘meal’ than a flour. I will make them regardless, since I will be going on many more hikes! 🙂


Maggie May 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Hi Cathy – I am so glad to hear that they let you return it! That’s great customer service, even if it wasn’t coffee beans that broke it 🙂 That’s great that you’re going to be able to make them for your hikes. Thanks so much for coming back to let me know, it means a lot as I do want all of my readers to have positive experiences with my recipes!
Happy hiking Cathy,


Wanda@ Baking and Pastry Schools May 10, 2012 at 1:45 am

I think it sounds delicious just the way it is! Fantastic combination of coconut oil and maple syrup…I can almost taste it now.


Nook March 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm

These are great i make them once a week for kids school lunch boxes
But can i use whey protein powder instead of pumpkin flour to make protein granola bars? do you think that would work? im in new zealand


Maggie March 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Hey Nook – That’s awesome! Lucky kids 🙂
I think you could definitely try it, I’ve never made it that way though. Maybe start with subbing 1/4 cup at a time just to make sure.
Let me know how it goes!


Nook March 10, 2013 at 1:30 am

I used 1/4 heap cup of protein powder, 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed 2 tbsp of wheatgerm and bit of honey. Work out great.
Thank you so much for the best granola bar recipe , you are wonderful for sharing.


Beth Strand June 30, 2013 at 9:43 am

These sound lovely! In addition to gluten, dairy and soy problems, I was just diagnosed as allergic to almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews so a nut-free, almond-flour-free recipe was just what I needed. Do you think this same recipe could be used to make granola?


Maggie July 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Hi Beth – I think you could definitely use it to make granola, what a great idea! If I were doing it I would just spread it loosely on a baking sheet and adjust my baking time. Let me know how it goes!


Hazel Adamson July 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I just made these, because I loved the recipe and wanted some healthy bars to take on our upcoming 30 hour road trip to Florida. I don’t know what happened, but they didn’t stick together as a bar. I now have a very tasty granola to take on our trip. Just wondering what you think I did wrong, so I know what to adjust next time I make them. My son just had some granola on top of his greek yogurt and fruit, and loved it. Thanks.


Maggie July 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Hi Hazel – That’s too bad that they didn’t turn out at bars for you. However I am happy your son had some granola! Hopefully you can still take it on your road trip. I’m not sure where the recipe went wrong – there was someone else who had this problem. I suggested trying a bit more maple syrup and perhaps some more psyllium. It also depends on the pumpkin seeds too. Were they raw?
Have a great holiday. Thanks for your feedback Hazel!


Michelle Bell May 11, 2014 at 11:50 am

Would you be hosting another workshop any time soon??


Maggie May 12, 2014 at 8:01 am

Hi Michelle – I don’t have one planned, but I am working on a webinar for June so stay tuned. Thanks for your interest! Let me know what kind of info you’re looking for.
Have a great day,


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