Fudgy Trail Mix Bars are an amazing no-bake treat. These oat-free granola bars are packed with lots of flavor and chocolate goodness, with no refined sugar.
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My friend who originally gave me this recipe called them “super fudge”. As in, they’re super fudgy and rich, but full of good crunchy hippie food too.
These trail mix bars are one of those recipes that are extremely forgiving. You can leave out what you don’t like, double what you do, and adapt to what you have in your pantry. Make these snack bars your own!
It’s hard to find a homemade granola bar without oats, but these fudgy little bars are so good you won’t even miss the oats! But if you have your heart set on a snack packed with oats, check out my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.
What Do You Put in Oat-Free Granola Bars?
- The binders – honey, dates, and peanut butter
- Seeds – chia, sunflower, and sesame
- Cocoa powder – unsweetened, please and thank you
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
We’re going to toast those sesame seeds to bring out an amazing flavor. You can leave raw if you’d like, but you’re missing out on a trip to flavor town!
Can I Make Them Vegan?
Yep! Use maple syrup in place of the honey and you’re good to go. That being said, honey has a thicker viscosity than maple syrup which helps all the ingredients stick together.
You can increase the amount of chopped dates by 2 tbsp – OR – use more peanut butter.
To figure out if they’re “sticky” enough with the substitutions, grab a pinch of the mixture and roll it into a ball. If it sticks together, you’re set to jet! If it seems crumbly, add a bit more maple syrup or peanut butter and retest.
Can I Make Them Without Peanut Butter?
How to Store Trail Mix Bars
This recipe can be stored at room temperature but the texture will become softer. They are less messy when kept cold.
These oat-free granola bars will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks. I keep them in a glass air-tight container and just take out what I need.
You can store them in the freezer for up to six months. For freezer storage, I would wrap the bars in the leftover parchment and then transfer to a freezer-proof Ziploc-style bag. Try these reusable silicone storage bags for a low-waste option.
Here’s How to Make Them
*A detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of the post.
Preheat a skillet (I used my beloved cast iron) over medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Shake the pan often, to prevent burning.
Toast for 5 minutes, or until you can smell the sesame (trust me, it’s a thing and you’ll know it when it’s time).
Add the sesame seeds and other ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine.
Add a piece of parchment with some overhang to an 8×8 baking dish. Pro tip: sprinkle some water in the bottom of the dish before adding the parchment. This will help the parchment stick to the dish and will keep you from swearing as you try to pour in the warm trail mix bar batter.
Press the mixture firmly into the pan (I used a silicone spatula), and refrigerate for two hours to harden. Using the parchment overhang, lift the bars out of the baking dish and onto a safe cutting surface. Cut into small (2×2) squares.
Sustainability tip: set aside the parchment to use as wrapping for the bars.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes
- If you don’t have parchment, try waxed paper or even just grease the baking dish with coconut oil. You need some sort of non-stick surface between the pan and the warm bar mixture.
- Cut these oat free granola bars into small servings. They are full of good stuff but are very calorically dense.
Trail Mix Bars
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Shake the pan often, to prevent burning. Toast for 5 minutes, or until the seeds are lightly browned.1/2 cup sesame seeds
- Heat peanut butter and honey on medium-low in a medium saucepan. You can also use the microwave, heating in 30-second bursts until the mixture is stirrable.1 cup honey, 1 cup peanut butter
- Add the sesame seeds and other ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine.1/2 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup dates
- Add a piece of parchment with some overhang to an 8×8 baking dish.
- Press the mixture firmly into the pan, and refrigerate for two hours to harden.
- Using the parchment overhang, lift the bars out of the baking dish and onto a safe cutting surface. Cut into small (2×2) squares.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, and up to 6 months in the freezer.
- To make these vegan, use maple syrup + 2 tbsp more chopped dates in place of honey.
- Sub in almond or SunButter if you have peanut allergies.