Apricot Walnut Granola Bars

Apricot Walnut Granola Bars

Apricot walnut granola bars are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Made with wholesome ingredients and less sugar than a traditional granola bar, you can feel good about eating these homemade granola bars every day. 

Apricot walnut granola bars. Healthy, homemade granola bars. Refined sugar free. Easy snack. No bake snack.

Can you believe that Easter has already come and gone? Burken and I spent Easter with my family back in Iowa, and on the way home we were talking about how fast the last three months have gone. It’s especially hard to believe when the weather keeps dipping back into the 30’s.

Thankfully, this week I will be going to Houston for a work trip. 70 degree weather, here I come! Any time I fly I always need to bring a healthy snack with me. As much as I am tempted by the sweet cinnamon smell wafting all the way down the corridor from Cinnabon, I know I’m not going to feel well after a giant cinnamon roll.

Apricot walnut granola bars. Healthy, homemade granola bars. Refined sugar free. Easy snack. No bake snack.

So instead, on this trip, I’m bringing these healthy apricot walnut granola bars. They’re the perfect balance of sweet and salty. They’re soft and chewy, with a little crunch of walnuts in there too.

Sweet and salty fix

The first time I made these, I actually made them into protein bites. They were just the sweet and salty fix I was looking for. I ate them on the plane in the morning, and then in the afternoon as a quick snack to hold me over before dinner.

Old fashioned oats, sunflower seeds, dried apricots, walnuts

This time, I stirred the entire mixture together and then thought, “you know what, these would be awesome as granola bars!”. And so the granola bar was born!

Super simple granola bars

Much like a traditional protein or energy bite, these granola bars start with the same base: oats. Using old fashioned oats creates a chewy texture, and are high in fiber, to keep you full longer.

I’ve included chia seeds {which are guaranteed to get stuck in your teeth ??} and are full of Omega-3’s. Sunflower seeds and walnuts provide the salty and good for you fats. Dried apricots {make sure to look for apricots that have no added sugar} provide the perfect sweet.

I think my favorite part about these apricot walnut granola bars is the walnut paste. Typically protein/energy bites include peanut butter to hold them all together. But I didn’t want the peanut butter flavor to overtake these bars.

So similar to making your own peanut butter at home, I decided to make a ‘walnut butter’ of sorts. All this requires is throwing a cup of walnuts in a small food processor or blender, adding 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt, and blending until it’s super thick. Like the photo below.

Walnut paste or walnut butter

The walnut paste is stirred together with honey {for additional stickiness and natural sweetness}. Along with a small amount of peanut butter and vanilla.

Press, chill, wait

Now all you have to do is press the mixture into a loaf pan {9x5x3 inches}. I like to spray my loaf pan, then line it with cling wrap. Spraying the pan will actually help to keep the cling wrap from moving around when you press the mixture in.

cling wrap lined loaf pan with apricot walnut granola bar mixture in a bowl

Then spray the cling wrap {no sticking allowed here} and press the mixture flat into the pan. Wrap it with the remaining cling wrap and pop it in the fridge.

Now if you’ve tasted the batter at all, this is going to be the most difficult part: chilling and waiting. I would suggest chilling the bars anywhere from 3-5 hours.

apricot walnut granola bars in lined loaf pan

Snacking heaven

Now that your granola bars are chilled and holding together, pull them out of the loaf pan. Use a serrated knife {that big knife that’s used to cut bread} and slice the apricot walnut granola bars.

Apricot walnut granola bars. Healthy, homemade granola bars. Refined sugar free. Easy snack. No bake snack.

I wrapped mine individually in Ziploc bags. The sandwich size is actually the perfect length. Then just popped them back in the fridge to eat any time a sweet and salty craving strikes.

You will definitely be in snacking heaven after one bite of these easy, homemade granola bars.

Apricot walnut granola bars. Healthy, homemade granola bars. Refined sugar free. Easy snack. No bake snack.

Apricot Walnut Granola Bars
Prep Time
15 mins
Chill time
3 hrs
Total Time
15 mins
 
Apricot walnut granola bars are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Made with wholesome ingredients and less sugar than a traditional granola bar, you can feel good about eating these homemade granola bars every day.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Servings: 8
Ingredients
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 4 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped {no sugar added}
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp. apple pie spice
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup walnut paste*
*Walnut paste Ingredients:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Directions
Directions:
  1. In the jar of a blender or small food processor, make the walnut paste by adding all ingredients to the blender. Blend on low speed until combined, scraping the sides as needed. It will be very thick.
    Walnut paste or walnut butter
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients the oats, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, apricots and walnuts.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the walnut paste, honey, peanut butter and vanilla.
  4. Stir the walnut paste mixture into the dry ingredients. You may need to use your hands to get it to all combine.
  5. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and line with cling wrap. Spray the cling wrap and press the granola bar mixture into the bottom in an even layer.
    cling wrap lined loaf pan with apricot walnut granola bar mixture in a bowl
  6. Wrap the bars with the remaining cling wrap and refrigerate for 3-5 hours.
  7. Cut with a serrated knife and either individually wrap in Ziploc bags, or place in an airtight container.
    Apricot walnut granola bars. Healthy, homemade granola bars. Refined sugar free. Easy snack. No bake snack.

 

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