With just 5 simple and nutritious ingredients and no baking, these Fruit and Nut Bars taste like store-bought Larabars but for less cost. You can customize the flavors, adjust for allergies, and store them in the fridge or freezer for weeks.
Fruit and Nut Bars
Larabars have forever been one of my go-to toddler snacks, but since they stopped making the mini ones that were a perfect size for kids (and because they can be expensive), I started making this recipe. And while I don’t exclusively make homemade snacks—we still do buy store-bought bars!—this has been an easy option to have in the mix. I love that I can buy the ingredients and stash the bars in the fridge for filling snacks for weeks.
(When you buy the ingredients, know that they will make at least two batches of these, so keep them in the pantry until you’re ready to make the recipe again. Or you can make these No-Bake Chocolate Balls, which have similar ingredients.)
These are a great preschool snack (there’s a nut-free option if needed), a great after school snack, and are also wonderful as a pregnancy snack. My whole family enjoys them!
Contents hide 1 Fruit and Nut Bars 2 Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here! 3 Ingredients You Need 4 Step-by-Step Instructions 5 How to Store 6 Best Tips for Success 7 Related Recipes 8 Fruit and Nut Bars (Copycat Larabar)
Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here!
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Ingredients You Need
Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to have on hand to make this easy snack recipe to share with the kids.
- Cashews or almonds: You can use either of these as the base of the bars. Either raw or roasted and unsalted work. If you want or need to make them nut-free, use roasted sunflower seeds.
- Pitted dates: Fresh dates, either the Medjool or Deglet Noir variety, work here to help hold the bars together. They are typically sold in the refrigerated aisle near the produce.
- Dried fruit: Dried cherries, dried apples, dried apricots, raisins, or prunes all work here as flavor options. Do one flavor or a combination.
- Shredded unsweetened coconut: A little bit of coconut adds flavor and helps the bars have a little structure.
- Rolled oats: Old-fashioned oats helps the bars have a little structure so they are easy to slice and pick up to eat.
Below is an overview of this recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll to the end of the post for the details on amounts and timing.
- Place the cashews into a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit to soften. Drain. (This helps the nuts soften enough to grind into the batter.)
- Add the drained nuts to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
- Grind into a batter, starting on low and working up to high. (You will likely need to let the machine run for about a minute until the batter starts to hold together like cookie dough.) Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed to help the mixture move thoroughly.
- Press into a silicone mold (I use a 1 cup Souper Cube) or an 8×8-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate briefly, then slice into bars.
How to Store
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month, either wrapped individually in plastic wrap or separated with parchment paper. You can also freeze for up to 6 months. These are best if stored in the fridge but hold up fine at room temperature to take them on the go. (I usually pack with an ice pack if we’ll be out for many hours in the heat, though.)
Best Tips for Success
- When you start the mixture in the food processor, it will seem like it’s not going to work. Let the machine keep running, as it can take about a minute before the mixture will start to naturally hold together like cookie dough.
- Use all coconut or all oatmeal, as you like.
- Use roasted sunflower seeds instead of the nuts to make these a nut-free snack. You can skip the soaking step, or soak for just 5 minutes.
- Use one dried fruit or a mix of them.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder to make a chocolate version of these.