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Nut Free Chewy Homemade Granola Bars

111 Comments

These Nut Free Homemade Granola Bars are delicious and chewy with just the right amount of sweet. Perfect for kids with nut allergies or kids who want a yummy snack!

Chewy Nut Free Granola Bars

If your child has a food allergy, specifically a nut allergy, the immune system response can be incredibly scary and not one you want to deal with twice. A lot of schools are completely nut free, or have a nut free section in the lunchroom.

If your child has a nut allergy or you are just wanting to send your kids to school with a nut free granola bar, this is your recipe!

It’s chewy, super delicious and packed with nutritious ingredients!

How to Make Nut Free Granola Bars (No Baking)

  1. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In small saucepan, combine honey and coconut oil. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour honey mixture into the oats and stir until well combined.
  5. Stir in pepitas and dried cranberries if adding. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add in chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon mixture into your parchment lined pan and spread evenly. Spray a small amount of cooking spray onto your hands and press the mixture firmly into the pan so that it stays together.
  7. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the bars with the parchment paper and cut into 12 even bars. Enjoy!

Ingredients You Will Need for Nut Free Granola Bars

There are only 5 main ingredients in this granola bar recipe! You can play around with add-ins until you find the right combination that your kids love. I have found that mini chocolate chips and craisins are definitely a winner at our house.

Oats – Oats make a great whole grain base for granola bar recipes. They are mild, slightly sweet, have a great texture and are packed with fiber and vitamins.

Honey – I love honey in this recipe because it acts as a binder while providing sweetness. Because honey is so intensely sweet, you don’t need very much to go a long way. It also doesn’t harden completely which is why these granola bars can stay chewy!

Coconut Oil – The mild hint of coconut flavor from the oil in these granola bars is so delicious! If your child is allergic to coconut, you can always substitute another oil its place.

Pepitas – These little green crunchy seeds are actually pumpkin seeds……but they only come from specific types of pumpkins. They provide a yummy crunch, but aren’t nuts and so are a great alternative if your child has a nut allergy.

Cinnamon – Cinnamon gives these granola bars a warming, spice flavor and adds depth to the overall taste of these yummy bars!

Commonly Asked Questions About Making Nut Free Granola Bars

Question: What type of oats should I use? I recommend using rolled oats for the best texture. Quick oats will work, but I would not use steel cut oats.

Question: My child is allergic to coconut. What can I use instead of coconut oil? You can use a neutral flavored oil like avocado or canola. You can also try using butter.

Question: How should I store these granola bars? We have found that they hold up best when refrigerated, but you can store them in an airtight container in your pantry or counter.

Question: Can I substitute sunflower seeds for the pepitas? Yes! This would just be a taste preference for which one you use. The recipe won’t change.

Question: Does this recipe call for roasted or raw pepitas? Roasted – the flavor and crunch are better for these granola bars when you use roasted.

Question: Can I substitute the honey for rice syrup or maple syrup? You can use either of these syrups in place of honey – it may change the flavor a bit and taste sweeter.

When Your Child Has a Nut Allergy

A child who is allergic to peanuts, does not necessarily have an allergy to tree-nuts (almonds, cashews, or walnuts). However about 25-40% of them are allergic to both, and many physicians will recommend avoiding both.  The best practice as a parent you can be in is to read your labels.  Checking labels for the allergen itself, as well as cross contamination of the allergen is vital for allergy management.

Then, if your child is in school, inform the teacher, as well as the front office about your child’s allergy.  From my experience, teachers are great about protecting your child and informing the rest of the parents that may bring food into the class about the allergy.  This helps to control their environment for contamination they may not see or even ingest.   Secondly, it’s very important as well to teach your kids to be their own advocates and know what foods are safe for them.  From a very young age, they can question  the source of their food when other safety barriers have broken down.

For a complete list of what to check for on a label, whether you have a peanut or tree-nut allergy, print this document! from Food Allergy.org  It’s very simple and comprehensive, plus it contains helpful label reading information for other allergies.

More Favorite Nut Free Recipes

Nut Free Trail Mix – a mix of salty and sweet, this trail mix is perfect if your kids have a nut allergy!

Homemade Animal Crackers (Nut Free) – Crackers can be a great snack for kids- especially, crackers that are homemade, full of nutrients, and tastes great.

Flax Carrot Apple Muffins – These muffins load up kids on nutritious ingredients like whole grains, fruits, veggies and seeds. Make these muffins ahead for a quick weekday morning breakfast or school-safe packed lunch option.

Resources

*Note – we have updated this recipe! If you are looking for the original, see the notes section in the recipe card*

chewy nut free granola bars

Nut Free Chewy Granola Bars

These nut free homemade granola bars are delicious and chewy with just the right amount of sweet. Perfect for kids with nut allergies!
3.87 from 112 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chewy, dairy free, granola bars, homemade, nut free, Oats
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Refrigerate: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 135kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats quick or rolled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds pepitas
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries optional
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips optional

Instructions

  • Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine oats, salt and cinnamon.
  • In small saucepan, combine honey and coconut oil. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla.
  • Pour honey mixture into the oats and stir until well combined.
  • Stir in pepitas and dried cranberries if adding. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add in chocolate chips.
  • Spoon mixture into your parchment lined pan and spread evenly. Spray a small amount of cooking spray onto your hands and press the mixture firmly into the pan so that it stays together.
  • Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the bars with the parchment paper and cut into 12 even bars. Enjoy!

Notes

Original Nut-Free Granola Bar Recipe (Baked)
  • 2 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, raw
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

 

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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111 Comments

Jessica- You could try oat flour! just take some extra oats and put them in a blender until you have 1 cup of oat flour. Let me know if you try it!!

Could we throw some sunflower seed butter in these to moisten them up a bit? My son has nut allergies (among many others), and I tend to replace peanut butter with sunflower butter in recipes. Maybe in place of the coconut oil?

@Kendra- you can use any sugar.. I make it with brown sugar all the time.

@nicole- it’s actually pretty moist to begin with! You can leave out the coconut oil altogether and it won’t be a problem. I’ve done it many times.

That is actually not true. Coconut is not a botanical nut but a fruit. Most people can safely tolerate as long I. There is not cross contamination.

It is true. When my daughter was first diagnosed, we were told it was severe enough that we should stay away from coconut. That was ten years ago. Two years ago, she wanted to be tested to confirm. Sure enough, she is allergic to coconut. It is heavily debated whether it is a nut or not…allergist are also concerned about the bucket effect when it comes to coconut.

our allergist said to avoid coconut as he considers it a nut and my daughter does react to it

Making items like this for my peanut allergic child is a huge challenge, because it’s proven impossible to find things like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds that are processed in a peanut free environment, and we obviously can’t buy them in bulk stores either due to cross contamination issues there. Can you provide a brand name for these? The most popular US brand (gerb’s) isn’t available in my country (Canada). Even finding raw tree nuts that are peanut safe is impossible. Also, Coconut is not a nut, botanically, so just fine for children who aren’t allergic to it specifically. I find that most adults understand not to give my child peanuts but give no thought to cross contamination or the supply chain for ingredients.

Here is my issue. My daughter has a TREE NUT allergy & a COCONUT allergy. . .which I am told are two unrelated allergies, but in any case I can’t use coconut anything. I struggle to find healthy recipes which she can eat along with my other girls? I also struggle to find any information on suitable substitutes when these types of ingredients are called for that won’t change the recipe?

I will be making a lot of these for my boys, but I am on a tight budget. Is there a substitute for the honey or at lease some of it? Raw organic honey is a bit pricey here.

My allergist said that coconut is a separate reaction, as they are not technically nuts (they are seeds). The nutritionist at Stanford University that I consulted agreed.

Please consult with your allergist first, every child is different. If they a nut allergy they may also have a coconut allergy as well. It’s best just to be safe, after all consider the consequences

This recipe looks great. Thank you for providing the alternative and the resource sheet/website. Can you give an estimate of the shelf life for these? Thanks again!

What can I substitute the oats and the wheat flour for? My daughter can’t have gluten and oats are not gluten free here in australia. Thx.

I used oat flour instead of whole wheat flour and they didnt hold. Turned out more like a crumble. Great on yogurt. Would the wheat flour hold it together better? The flavor is great though.

Your recipe is NOT NUT FREE because you are using coconut products (oil & sugar) which are considered tree nuts.

A great little story book that can help children and their friends learn about food allergies is called “Marty’s Nut Free Party” by Katrina Roe. It’s about a little monkey named Marty who is allergic to peanuts and how his friends help him to not miss out on the fun.

Could Stevia replace the coconut sugar (I don’t buy)… How about olive oil instead of coconut oil? Thanks!!! Recipe sounds yummy!!!

Rebecca,
I haven’t tried those, but if I were to make changes, I would really just use regular sugar to replace the coconut sugar and grapeseed oil to replace the coconut oil.

In the oven! Modified: no seeds, added chocolate chips and chia. Wish me luck! I have 2 picky eaters that only like to eat from packages!

Do you use raw sunflowers seeds and raw pumpkin seeds, or roasted? Just want to be sure so it’s not over-salted. Thanks!

Hi,
Just thought I’d let you know, I’ve just made these, replacing honey with rice syrup (cheaper) and they are delicious! A little sweeter than I want to give my toddler, so will try cutting back on the sugar next time I think. But yum!

Just tried these tonight and love them. I followed the original recipe except I cut back on the sugar and added some sesame seeds as well. I have a question about the raw honey part: aren’t the enzymes of raw honey destroyed by baking, making it not much better than processed honey? Cuz if this is the case, it would probably make more sense to use regular honey since it’s not as expensive. I did use raw honey cuz I didn’t have another kind in the house, but just wondering, for the next time I make these. And there will surely be a next time.

Honestly Iuliana- I actually use regular honey because of the price. Some people however like the fact that raw honey is less processed and not pasteurized.

This was way too sweet. Next time I will leave out the coconut sugar altogether and just use the honey.

I made these gluten-free by using quinoa flakes instead of oats and used mostly sorghum flour and a bit of tapioca flour in place of the wheat flour. They were yummy! I did find them a little too sweet for my tastes. I would reduce or eliminate the coconut sugar next time. Thanks for the recipe, I’m sending them for school lunches today!!

68g of sugar per serving? 19g of fat? 676 cal? Is this for real? This is an anything-but-healthy kid snack! Tell me this is a mistake, please!

Hi Laura! Thanks for bringing this to our attention! We failed to put in the correct number of servings for this recipe, so the numbers were based on our system’s default. I have fixed it and the numbers should be a little more appealing. Have a great day!

This recipe is like a mean joke. The end product is powder dry. After baking, I had to literally add wet ingredients to revive and bake it over again.

Don’t make this. It’s a waste of perfectly good food and time.

I wish I scrolled down further to see this comment. I knew this recipe was going to be dry so I added 1/4 cup of butter and tried to trust the warning that dry is fine. Well it’s not, it’s falling apart. Too much salt too. Disappointed. I should of trusted my instincts and add some water and less salt.

me again, I’ve come back to use this recipe again because it made the best crumble topping for yoghurt.

Please be careful with this recipe. The Center for Diesease Control lists coconut as a tree nut, so this is NOT a nut free recipe. Your allergist can advise you if your child should stay away from coconut as well as other tree nuts.

Thanks for the heads up Nan! For sure, check with your physician. Although the FDA has labeled it as a nut, botanically, a coconut is a fruit so, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut.

5 stars
SO good. I thought it would need a little chocolate on the top, but it is plenty sweet as it is. Made my house smell like apple pie when I was baking!

Way way way too sweet! Sweeter than chocolate chip cookies ! I make them using honey and only 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Next batch I will try no sweetener except for the honey. I use flax seed instead of the seeds. These are great for the kids once nearly all of the coconut sugar is removed!!! I am happy I found it!

5 stars
I just finished making these. I doubled the recipe and yes, they were very dry and crumbly before baking, I had my doubts. They turned out amazing! I don’t think they are going to last more than a day.

5 stars
Excellent recipe!! I had tried a no bake recipe before and it fell apart, so I had low expectations, but they taste great and the texture is great. Will make again for sure!

5 stars
These are great! Very tasty and I love that they are safe for school! I freeze them as soon as they are completely cool, and they last for weeks!

I’m sorry they didn’t stick for you! Granola bars can be finicky. The crumbles would probably still be delicious as granola with milk or yogurt.

4 stars
These worked great!
I’m on a health kick, logging all my food, I was wondering if you had the nutrition information? Thank you so much!

4 stars
Very delicious but way too sweet. We put less sugar in but i actually think with the honey and the vanilla it needs none at all.
I added a little extra coconut oil as it seemed to dry and we have some fairly robust crumble bar now, but great for lunchboxes… will try again and not add the extra oil and see what we get.
Also added chopped apricots and flaxseed.
Thank you!!

Hi Liz, we’re actually having some technical issues with the way our nutrition facts are displaying right now. I’m not sure if that’s correct. But it looks a little high to me!

I’ve made a lot of your recipes and have loved them! I want to love this one- but i couldn’t cut them into bars- they just crumbled (looks like we’ll have parfaits for breakfast! ?) but what am I missing?? Besides honey, and the bit of coconut oil, there’s not much binder. I saw your comment that you sometimes leave the oil out… how?! What sticks it together?
Thanks!!

Sorry they didn’t hold together for you! I would increase the oil to 1/4 a cup- looks like yours just needed a bit more binding. It is a very dry mixture!

4 stars
I am surprised at how much sugar is in these – 22g! – esp since it uses coconut sugar. I think next time i will use half the sugar, as they are plenty sweet. But they taste great!

5 stars
I love this recipe so much!
It’s perfect and I make it every week, my kids love it and so do I!
Thank you very much for this recipe!

Josephine from Sweden

5 stars
I make this every sunday for the family. It is nut free so I can pack it for school. It is delicious. I do replace coconut sugar with monk fruit sweetener and I use ground flax instead of flour for extra fiber . They rurn out amazing! I love this recipe!

My kids love these. I used one cup of rice crispies instead of one of the cups of oats. Also I add 1/4 cup raisins or some other dried fruit.

2 stars
I made the bars,using all the ingredients said but my bars turn out too dried and just crumpled everywhere.
What could I add to make then better cause they are all broken up.
Would more coconut oil be good and how much more.
Do long more do bake them for?
I think when you say use cup you need to give exact measurements not cup size.
Please tell me your recipe in g not cup.
Thank you.

Sorry to hear that! We use our crumbled bars as granola. 🙂 You need 120 grams of flour, and 160 grams of the oats. And yes, you can double the coconut oil to help it hold together better!

Just an FYI – heating up honey is very unhealthy, it turns into a carcinogen, you shouldnt even put a spoon of it in hot tea, let alone bake

Hello! Wanting to make these to send to school. I am really trying to get away from the waste of pre-packaged food (easier said than done!) I was wondering about shelf life and freezing so I can make a double batch at a time. Thanks!

Hi. I feel like I remember a different recipe to this one that used to have wholemeal flour and coconut sugar in it-I’ve just returned to this page after a while and don’t recognise this one. Is this correct? Just curious 🙂

Yep – you are correct 🙂 We updated the recipe but put the original in the notes section of the recipe card for you 🙂

I’m confused – I’m sure this recipe used to be for a baked granola bar (comments are referencing coconut sugar and flour etc) and I used to make it a lot but recipe now seems to be for just mixing oil and honey and put into the fridge. Is there another nut free baked recipe?

I am pregnant and wondering if my brain has completely checked out. 😂

Ha – your brain is working great! We updated the recipe. The original is in the notes section of the recipe card for you 🙂

Something’s weird I pinned this recipe and have made it many times, but the recipe I’ve made has whole wheat flour and brown sugar in it and they are baked. Why can’t I see that recipe?

We updated the recipe because it wasn’t working out for some people. The original recipe is in the notes section of the recipe card for you!

5 stars
Hey, I absolutely love this recipe but it’s been a while since I made it. The kids are asking for it but I see the recipe has changed?

It used to have flour in the recipe and I was baked, but I can’t see it in the ingredients or in the steps with making times.

Could you please remind me what the original recipe was?

4 stars
Absolutely delicious but did not firm up as expected. My daughter ate it with a spoon and loved the taste. I just popped the rest in freezer to see if that does the trick. Thanks for posting!!

Yes, you can freeze these. If you use an airtight container they should stay good for 3 months.