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Sweet and chewy Trail Mix Bars are filled with dried fruit, whole grain oats, seeds, and even a little chocolate. These nut- and gluten-free granola bars are so easy to make. And they are an allergy-friendly snack perfect to pack in a lunch box or for trips to the park, long car rides, and to power the kids (and yourself) through busy days.
Originally published on October 7, 2014. Updated with new photos and more useful information.
Chewy Gluten Free Granola Bars
Chewy Trail Mix Bars have been satisfying my boys’ munchies lately. Sweet and chewy with just a bit of crunch, and a touch of chocolate to make them happy campers, but packed full of wholesome ingredients. They are healthy gluten free snacks that kids and parents love!
And speaking of campers, these bars have no nuts or peanuts or peanut butter, so you can pack them for camp or school, or a trip to the playground!
If you’ve got eating machines, kids with allergies, kids that require you to have a snack packed no matter where you go, or you just like to make a big batch of stuff ahead of time during your weekend meal prep, these easy granola are for you!
As I mentioned, these trail mix bars don’t have any nut or peanut ingredients. They also do not contain eggs. So they are definitely allergy-friendly. To make them completely allergy-safe, you’ll need to read the labels on your ingredients to ensure they aren’t cross-contaminated. You can make additional substitutions if needed or preferred.
- Old-fashioned oats: NOT quick or instant oats. Use certified gluten free oats, if needed (see my post about Are Oats Gluten Free? to learn why you need to check this).
- Honey: You can use agave if you are making these vegan.
- Raw seeds: I use sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas), but you can substitute with nuts if you prefer.
- Chia seeds
- Dried fruit. The recipe calls for a combination of dried apricots, cranberries, and raisins. Use your favorite. You’ll need to cut the dried apricots into pieces. For a quick tip, spray your knife with a little cooking spray to keep them from sticking
- Chocolate chips. Feel free to omit, replace with white chocolate chips, or use vegan chocolate chips.
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Trail Mix Bars
Preparations. Preheat oven to 325°F and line pan with parchment paper.
Make the mixture. Place all the ingredients except the water in a food processor. Pulse until combined and slightly chopped. Add the water and pulse until thoroughly mixed.
Bake the bars. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and press down firmly with a spatula. Packing it in tightly is important to make bars that hold together. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm, but still chewy and slightly moist on the bottom.
Cool and cut. Transfer pan to a rack to cool completely. Cut into bars about 1 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long.
Storing Granola Bars
Place the trail mix granola bars in an airtight container or in plastic storage bags.
These bars can be kept at room temperature for a short time. Bt since they are moist, keep them in the refrigerator to prevent them from getting moldy too quickly. They will last for about a week.
Can you freeze granola bars?
If you want to stock up on nut free and gluten free snacks, since this recipe makes about 30 granola bars, you can definitely store some in the freezer. I like to wrap several together in plastic wrap. Then place them all in an airtight container before freezing. This will prevent moisture from collecting on the bars when you open the container to take some out. You can also wrap them individually if you prefer.
Things You’ll Need
BAKING SHEET: You’ll need a 10×15 inch baking sheet or pan.
PARCHMENT PAPER: Lining the pan with parchment paper makes it much easier to remove the bars from the pan. Make sure it goes up the sides so you can lift the bars out easily.
FOOD PROCESSOR: This recipe comes together quickly in a food processor. I like my Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor.
SPATULA: Pressing the granola bar mixture down firmly in the pan is important. So I always have a selection of silicone spatulas on hand.
Chewy Trail Mix Gluten Free Granola Bars
- 3 cups old fashioned oats (certified gluten free, if necessary)
- 2 Tablespoons honey (can use agave syrup for vegan)
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips (dairy free, if desired)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 10×15 in. baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place all the ingredients except the water in a food processor and pulse until combined and slightly chopped.
- Add the water and pulse until thoroughly mixed.
- Spread evenly into the prepared pan and press down firmly with a spatula.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm, but still chewy and slightly moist on the bottom.
- Transfer pan to a rack to cool completely.
- Cut into bars about 1 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long.
- Store in the refrigerator.