Dried-Fruit-and-Nut Health Bars


These nutrient-dense oat bars are packed with dried fruit, cherries, blueberries, and papaya, as well as nuts, and flaxseed. And there's no refined sugar, they're sweetened with pureed dates and honey -- and just right for a snack or breakfast on the go.


  • 1 cup (5 ounces) pitted dates

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray

  • 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats, finely ground; or 1 cup quinoa flakes

  • 1 cup (4 ½ ounces) pecans, toasted, half finely ground and half coarsely chopped

  • ½ cup unsalted macadamia nuts, toasted, half finely ground and half coarsely chopped

  • cup dried papaya, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • cup (2 ounces) dried cherries, chopped

  • cup (1 ½ ounces) dried blueberries

  • 2 tablespoons oat bran

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dates in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Drain reserving cooking water. Puree dates in a food processor with honey and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water until smooth.

  2. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Mix oats or quinoa flakes, nuts, papaya, cherries, blueberries, bran, flaxseed, wheat germ, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix in date puree. The mixture should be moist enough to hold together. If necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more cooking water. Press mixture into pan.

  3. Bake until center is firm and edges are golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 bars.

    Bryan Gardner

Cook's Notes

Use brown-rice syrup to make these bars vegan.


Substitute 1 cup quinoa flakes for the old-fashioned oats if you prefer.

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