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Trail Mix Bars {No Bake Granola Bars}

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. Naturally gluten-free, you’ll love that they come together in under 10 minutes and have a surprising ingredient that you’ll flip over!

Four trail mix bars stacked on a plate

My friend who originally gave me this recipe, along with a batch of these bars, 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 back with oats, check out my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bars.

What Do You Put in Trail Mix 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!

Peanut butter, honey, and other ingredients for making trail mix bars

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? Yo, Lady I Got Peanut Allergies!

Heck yes, you can! Sub in your favorite nut butter like my Homemade Cinnamon Almond Butter, or whatever you love to use. If you have nut allergies, try something like SunButter.

Here’s How to Make Trail Mix Bars

*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).
 
Sesame seeds in a cast iron skillet
 
Heat your 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.
 
Add the sesame seeds and other ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine.
 
two photos of pans with melted peanut butter and other ingredients for making gluten-free granola bars
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.
 
trail mix bars batter pressed into a baking dish with parchment
 
Sustainability tip: set aside the parchment to use as wrapping for the bars.

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.

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.

a plate with trail mix bars, cocoa powder, and sunflower seeds

More Healthy Snack Recipes Like This

Trail Mix Bars WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS

One serving of Trail Mix Bars has 11 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

Making this recipe or others?

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Four trail mix bars stacked on a plate
Print
5 from 3 votes
Trail Mix Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Cooling Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 10 mins
 

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.

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free granola bars, trail mix bars, oatfree granola bars
Servings: 16
Calories: 299 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. 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.

  2. Heat your 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. 

  3. Add the sesame seeds and other ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine.

  4. Add a piece of parchment with some overhang to an 8x8 baking dish. Pro tip: sprinkle some water in the bottom of the dish before adding the parchment.

  5. Press the mixture firmly into the pan, and refrigerate for two hours to harden.

  6. Using the parchment overhang, lift the bars out of the baking dish and onto a safe cutting surface. Cut into small (2x2) squares.

Recipe Notes

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.

Nutrition Facts
Trail Mix Bars
Amount Per Serving (2 inch square)
Calories 299 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Sodium 79mg3%
Potassium 300mg9%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 5IU0%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 100mg10%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This recipe was originally published in March 2013. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos have been added and the recipe has been made printable. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

 

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17 comments on “Trail Mix Bars {No Bake Granola Bars}”

  1. These sound great (you had me at super fudge!). But I’m not a coconut fan. How well is it hidden in the finished product? And do you have any substitutes to recommend?

    • I don’t love coconut either. I would say the sesame flavor is much more apparent than the coconut. If you want to leave it out, just add in more sunflower seeds, or try pumpkin seeds (pepitas), dried fruit, pistachios, cashews, etc.

  2. Are the dates integral to the stick-together-ness like other bars? I’m not a fan so do you think raisins would work? I can handle the dates pureed, I just don’t like biting into them. (A texture thing.)

    • Hi Mar, the dates melt into the mixture and you won’t be able to distinguish a single date when you eat them. If you look at the photo you won’t be able to even see them.

      That being said, I suppose you could use raisins!

  3. This looks freaking delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Sounds super yummy! I love “ninja treats” that masquerade as desserts, but are secretly full of nutritious goodness. 🙂

  5. Hi!
    Is this the crunchy/hard kind of fudge, or soft fudge that definitely that won’t break your teeth?
    It looks yummy but my teeth don’t stand hard food.
    Thanks!
    Fanny

    • Fanny – The bars I make that are very similar to this (the comment above yours) turn out very soft. Basically the consistency of very crunchy peanut butter.

    • It’s like a soft fudge, with a few little crunchy parts. But not very crunchy. If you tolerate small seeds, this would be fine.

    • Great!
      Gillian and Sarah, thank you both for your answers, I’ll be trying these next week!
      Fanny

  6. I make something very similar for my son. (I would love to eat them too, but I’m allergic to peanuts.) I use brown rice syrup instead of honey because it’s a bit more viscous so I need less to hold the bars together. I throw in sesame seeds, ground flax, chia seeds, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds that I gently pulse in the food processor. He loves them!

    • I wonder if sunseed butter would work for you?

    • I’ve tried sunflower seed butter and thought it was totally revolting. Maybe it would be better mixed with all these other ingredients, but I don’t want to buy a bottle and risk it. I normally eat No Nuts!, which is peanut, tree nut, soy and dairy free.

  7. That looks yummy! I am going to have to try that!

  8. I have to make a healthy dessert for my daughter’s ringette team, this sounds perfect. Thanks.
    Patricia

    • I gotta know, what is ringette?

    • “Girl hockey”, but ringette players would kill me for saying that. It’s played on ice, but with a ring instead of a puck and a stick without a blade. I’ve only seen it a few times but those girls are vicious!