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Dried-Fruit and Nut Health Bars

Oats bring a pleasant chewiness and an old-fashioned goodness to these nutrient-dense bars. Pureed dates lend just enough sweetness to this convenient breakfast or snack. Nuts, ground flax, and dried fruits add antioxidants, vitamins, good fats, and flavor.

  • Yield: Makes 8
Dried-Fruit and Nut Health Bars

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2008


  • 1 cup (9 ounces) pitted dates
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, finely ground, or 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 4 1/2 ounces (1 cup) pecans, toasted, 1/2 finely ground and 1/2 coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted macadamia nuts, toasted, 1/2 finely ground and 1/2 coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/4 ounces (1/3 cup) dried papaya, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 ounces (1/3 cup) dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 ounces (1/3 cup) dried blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons oat bran
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons brown-rice syrup or honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dates in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Drain. Puree in a food processor until smooth.

  2. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Mix oats or quinoa flakes, nuts, papaya, cherries, blueberries, bran, flaxseed, wheat germ, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix in date puree and brown-rice syrup or honey. Press mixture into pan.

  3. Bake until center is firm and edges are golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 8 bars.

Cook's Note

Protein-rich quinoa flakes, which have a nutty flavor, also work well in this recipe.


Reviews (31)

  • sally2k 8 Jan, 2015

    I made this recipe and feel like some ingredient must be missing. It made a very tasty granola but was in no way a bar. Not sure what to add. More honey? Egg white? Maybe the liquid from the date?

  • BostonFoodie 5 May, 2014

    I just made these bars. They are so yummy. Made a few tweaks. Used dried apricots and cranberries, instead of papaya and blueberries.
    Also, just used almonds for the nuts.
    I don't know what all the complaining is about. It's a great recipe. If you don't like an ingredient, because of your dietary choices, simply change it up.

  • ChefRx 21 May, 2013

    I actually have not made them but they're healthy and sure to be delish but just by calculating calories per bar, which gave me 418cal and 19gm of good fat, has anyone got any suggestion on substituting some of those calories to make them more of a snack and not a meal?

  • BlueJay21 20 Mar, 2013

    I don't know if this recipe has been amended since it was first presented, but I don't see anywhere that it says it is vegan. Martha actually gives an alternate for honey. I haven't made these bars yet, but I will keep the recipe. It sounds good an healthy for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans.

  • Vermonter01 13 Mar, 2013

    This is about good food to keep us healthy. Let's keep the interactions happy and healthy as well. Nobody needs to stick to other peoples strict guidelines, may we live and post in harmony. Yummy sounding recipe! Sending joy from my Vermont kitchen to yours. Happy cooking. Peace!

  • KRN26K 13 Mar, 2013

    Did I miss where it says "vegan" -- isn't the substitution (as shown) of rice syrup ok for a vegan? Stop commenting and be proud and be creative as to how you can make it vegan for just you.

  • scarlettohara66 30 Mar, 2012

    I agree with Dinnerfortwo. Inikolic, I'm sure you think you're so superior to us all because you're vegan, but you're not. You're just another self-righteous health snob who doesn't deserve to know how delicious honey is and how good it is for you! :-P MORE FOR US!

  • dinnerfortwo 22 Mar, 2012

    this is for 'inikolic' and her scolding remarks to martha...LIGHTEN UP HONEY! life is just too short to worry about your agrument about what is truly vegan and what's not...those veggies you eat are depriving 'wild animals' of their rightful habitat to graze on the flowers that the BEES pollinate! stop judging the world based on your views only...a proud foodie

  • inikolic 1 Feb, 2012

    Honey is NOT vegan! Come on Martha get it right :) Since you're such a perfectionist you really should remove honey from this recipe. As a vegan for over a decade I can tell you that honey has never been part of my diet nor should it be part of any other true vegan's diet.

  • mvkirby 11 Dec, 2011

    I don't have the info on the flaxseed, but without it, here's the nutritional info:

    Per Serving: 357 Calories; 17g Fat (41.1% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 50g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 121mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 Fruit; 3 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

    I've made them before for my son, the recipe worked well and we liked them.

  • cookiesgalore 25 Sep, 2011

    OOPS!!!! At the end of the video, Martha lines the pan with Saran wrap (??), and then says to bake it for 25 min. (??). Obviously a mistake, since you DON'T use plastic wrap in the oven. it would melt into the baked item, ha ha...OOPS!

    Otherwise, wonderfully tasty bars...I highly recommend!

  • kevshas 14 Apr, 2011

    While 'honey' is still being debated you can't really say it is not vegan, that is a choice for the individual. That being said if you want to avoid honey you can use Agave syrup, maple syrup, golden syrup, or date syrup depending what taste you like.

    I haven't made them yet so I hope they do not fall apart, you might need more honey/syrup or maybe chill them more.

  • scar 6 Apr, 2011

    I made these, and they taste really good, but they were really crumbly and fell apart when trying to cut them. Did anyone else have this problem?

  • jlrhodes24 5 Apr, 2011

    This recipe is not vegan if honey is used. Why honey is not vegan:

  • te518 18 Mar, 2011

    Would it be possible to have a link to put the measurements in Kilos and Grammes? It would be very helpful!

  • dragonswitch 7 May, 2010

    why can't i copy

  • cerine 1 May, 2010

    I always use buckwheat flour or rice flour to replace regular flours in gluten free baking ,as for the oats they must be pure uncontaminated.

  • susankellen 25 Apr, 2010

    I always appreciate nutritional analysis.

  • kengin 25 Apr, 2010

    has anyone turned the ingredients into gluten free bars

  • yummyCarolyn 24 Apr, 2010

    For 12 servings of the above, (not 8 as th erecipe states) there are approximately 300 calories, with 12 grams of fat, 4 grams of protien, and 36 g of carbs.

  • yummyCarolyn 24 Apr, 2010

    There are websites such as the Dietician's of Canada website that allow you to analyze recipes. However, I agree with the other commenters that nutritional analysis would be helpful. Most websites now provide this.

  • missstubby 24 Apr, 2010

    The oats and other cereals can be finely ground in a food processor or blender. Nuts can also be ground in a food processor, but if you grind too fine you will end up with an oily paste. Other dried fruits could be substituted (I will use cranberries in place of cherries because I am allergic) keeping the same proportions. I think subbing whole soy flour would make this similar to Soyjoy bars.

  • JDMM 24 Apr, 2010

    How do you "finely grind" oats? I know how to pulverize the nuts, but I'm clueless how to prepare the oats. Would I use a mortar and pestle?

  • bossraines 24 Apr, 2010

    These look delicious, but it would be convenient if I knew nutritional values.

  • bossraines 24 Apr, 2010

    These look delicious, but it would be convenient if I knew nutritional values.

  • christalee 24 Apr, 2010

    yes, please! I need to know how much sugar is in this. it sounds delicious!

  • opals 24 Apr, 2010

    I would also like the nutritional info on all recipes. Especially the healthy ones.

  • bianca123 24 Apr, 2010

    Make that three out of three. Would like nutritional info on all recipes

  • bianca123 24 Apr, 2010

    Make that three out of three. Would like nutritional info on all recipes

  • sunbaybe 24 Apr, 2010

    Ditto to hooterpetunia...would really appreciate nutritional info on all recipes. Thanks!

  • hooterpetunia 24 Apr, 2010

    What are the nutritional and caloric numbers on this recipe, i.e., the fat, sodium, cholesterol, carbs, etc.?

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