Inspired by my affinity for KIND Fruit & Nut Bars, this honey-sweetened, grain-free version is less expensive to make than purchasing its namesake. And even better, you can customize the recipe to make a wide variety of flavor-combinations based on your own personal taste preferences (and your kids too)!
These fruit & nut grain-free bars make a great health lunchbox addition for kids and adults alike, and are also the perfect snack bar for healthy eating on-the-go or anytime you need a quick energy boost!
Looking for more great bars? Check out these:
• Nut-Free “KIND” Bar – perfect for those with nut-allergies
• Cherry-Chocolate Chip Bar – chocolate chips, need I say more?
• Apricot-Almond Crunch Bar – mildly sweet, tangy & delicious!
This delightful recipe is just one of more than 100 irresistible grain-free, dairy-free recipes in my new cookbook – Everyday Grain-Free Baking!
From breads, biscuits and muffins to savory snacks and decadent treats, you’ll find step-by-step instructions, beautiful color photographs and helpful tips & tidbits to make all of your GF baking adventures a delicious success!
Click here to get a SNEAK PEEK of the book!
- 1/3 cup pure honey (mild honey such as clover is best)
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon *all-natural almond butter
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/3 cups chopped whole *nuts
- 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (not finely shredded coconut)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Trim parchment paper to line an 8×8-inch baking dish, leaving parchment paper to hang over two sides of the dish.
- In a large bowl, add the honey, coconut flour, all-natural nut butter and salt. Use a spoon to stir until well combined.
- On a large cutting board, coarse-chop a couple of large handfuls of assorted whole nuts (see note below). Measure out 1 1/3 cup of the chopped nuts and add them to the honey mixture.
- Next, chop the dried fruit and measure out 1/2 cup and add to the honey mixture.
- Finally, measure 1 cup of coconut flakes (not shredded coconut). Place coconut flakes on the cutting board and coarse-chop. Add chopped coconut flakes to honey mixture.
- Using a spoon, mix ingredients together making sure they are thoroughly combined.
- Place the bar mixture into the parchment-lined baking dish. Fold overlapping flaps down and evenly press the top of the bar mixture firmly to pack-in the ingredients so they hold together better after baking. Then, peel back the parchments flaps from top of bars. (Do not trim, as the flaps make it easier to remove the bars after baking.)
- Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven and allow to completely cool on stovetop for approximately one hour (or until bottom of baking dish is room temp).
- Place in fridge to continue cooling. (Do not freeze as it makes it impossible to cut the bars without them crumbling.) Once cold, remove dish from refrigerator. Then, run a knife along the two edges without parchment. Using the parchment paper ends, lift the bars from the baking dish and place on a cutting board.
- Cut into 8 bars and individually wrap and store in the fridge or freezer. Then you can easily take out what you need and place directly into your child’s lunchbox (or yours) – no need to thaw. However, for best results, bars should be kept cold so they do not become over-sticky. Simply include an ice pack, if placing them in a lunchbox, or taking them on the go.
*You can use any combination of nuts, such almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, etc. Just be sure to rough-chop the nuts first and then measure out 1 1/3 cups. (Soaked and dehydrated nuts are best, especially for those with digestive issues.)
What nuts do I use? The bars in the photo are made by using 1/2 cup rough-chopped almonds, 1/2 cup rough-chopped cashews and 1/3 cup rough-chopped pistachios.
The same goes for dried fruit – rough-chop any combination of dried fruit you choose and then measure out 1/2 cup. (I use a combination of dried cranberries and dried wild blueberries.)
And finally, you can use any all-natural nut butter you choose, just be sure it’s simply ground nuts (without additives) for best results and nutrition. I use all-natural creamy almond butter.
What if I don't care for coconut? You can omit the coconut flakes and replace with additional chopped nuts and dried fruit. Substitute 1/3 to 1/2 cup of chopped nuts and 1/3 cup of chopped dried fruit. (Please note: If you substitute with an additional whole cup of nuts the bars will be too dry). Also, you can omit the coconut flour as well and replace it with ground flaxseed. Enjoy!
I noticed you don’t mention anything about soaking the nuts here. (Other sites do, as far as I can remember.) Do you not worry about it for nuts? Having just recently become aware of the need for soaking, and barely managing to soak our brown rice now, it would be lovely not to worry about it for nuts, but aren’t at least some of them fairly high in phytates as well?
Thanks for the informative blog and your efforts in this regard,
Hi, Kristina. You are correct. I talk about soaking a lot on this site, yet neglected to mention it in this recipe. So I added a note in the ‘recipe notes’ section.
So yes, I do advocate soaking based on phytic acid research discussed by WAPF. You can read an overview I wrote of Rami Nagel’s white paper here: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/
However, I will say that it’s all about balance and what your health issues are. Over-comsumption of nuts (even soaked) is probably not a good idea. Striving for a well balanced nutrient-dense real food diet is always best. But my goal here is to not pursue healthy eating to the point of it becoming a completely restrictive lifestyle where we stress out over everything we’re eating. That leads to food becoming an idol that we’re serving rather than food serving us. Hopefully that makes sense.
So as much as my family strives to make good choices about what we eat, I do believe in balance and grace and trusting in the Lord first and foremost for our health. Thanks for taking the time to point out my oversight. I do appreciate it! 🙂
Blessings to you, Kelly
Thanks for the reply, Kelly! The last thing I meant to do is to point out an oversight on your part. Sorry if it came across that way. And thanks for the reminder about keeping it in perspective. 🙂
Being a newcomer to soaking, I am a bit overwhelmed by it all, and trying to find ways to integrate all this new information into my kitchen practices. I have tried soaking a few seeds and almonds so far, but they do seem to lose some crunch and appeal in the process. 🙁
I’ll reread your summary of the white paper. It’s already been a few weeks and I may have forgotten parts of it already. Thanks for pointing me back to the basics, Kristina
Oh no worries, I was serious about thanking you. I appreciate it when readers point out errors or things I’ve missed. I welcome it! And hopefully, I didn’t sound too preachy. My point is only exactly what you said – not to allow our desire to eat healthier to become overwhelming or a burden. 🙂 Blessings to you, Kelly
I’m about to try your recipe and saw this comment string. I actually had to chuckle.
My motto has become “I’m not going to stress over un-soaked nuts!”. It’s a long story, but really it came down to a choice my sweet, now gone 🙁 , MIL was worried about when she had a bowl of raw, un-soaked almonds and a bowl of asian snack mix (the kind with sesame sticks and cornstarch-laden rice crackers) in front of her. At that moment I decided that stressing about un-soaked nuts would do more damage to my body than any un-soaked nut ever would. So if I have time to soak my nuts, GREAT! If not, I will happily stress free, choose nuts over many other snacks. 🙂
Couldn’t agree with you more! 🙂 If nuts are a small part of a healthy diet, there really isn’t reason to stress! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind note that reminds us that stress is just as bad for us as unhealthy foods! It’s all about balance! 🙂
Hi Kelly, I recently made this recipe. I did soak the nuts but don’t have a dehydrator. I just dried them as much as I could on paper towels for a day before using them. My bars looked and tasted great but when I tried to cut them after baking & sitting in the fridge over night they fell apart. I used all the quantities you suggested. I also replaced the coconut flour with flax as one of your suggestions. What do you think went wrong? Maybe less honey would help? Was 20 min enough baking time? Or do I need a dehydrator to dry the nuts out first if I’m gonna soak them? I also loved your reply on the to soak or not to soak question. I also am just learning all this stuff too and it can become too much of a pain and obsession to get caught up in all the details of healthy eating that you lose the joy and simplicity. Thanks for your help!
Hi, Mary. Yes, you are correct, you must be sure to use dry nuts or the bars will not hold together properly because moisture from soaking will leech out as they sit making the bars fall apart. So if you want to use soaked nuts, it’s important to be sure to either roast them in the oven afterward until crispy – you can use your oven as a dehydrator by setting it at it’s lowest setting (which is 200 degrees for most ovens) and baking the soaked nuts for several hours, turning them about every hour until they are completely crispy/dry. Personally, as I noted in the recipe, because we are only eating these as a snack and nuts are not a large portion of our daily diets, I don’t bother with soaking. I just use unsalted roasted nuts. So these recipes should work beautifully with either raw nuts or roasted nuts. So if you want to soak, then it’s important to ensure you oven roast or dehydrate the soaked nuts until they are completely crispy. I hope your next batch is a winner! Blessings to you, Kelly 🙂
Donna Read says
Hi Kelly, can I use Coconut oil instead of almond butter, in the bars.
Hi, Donna. Coconut oil will not enable the bars to hold together. If you cannot do some type of nut butter, you can use sunflower seed butter instead. 🙂
We dont have coconut flour. What can I replace the flour for?
Hi, Camille. I think you probably already figured this out based on your other comment on the Apricot-Almond KIND Bars … but you can use ground flax instead of coconut flour to act as a binding agent so the honey is more stablized when baking. 🙂 But let me know if you have any other question? Enjoy! 🙂
Hi – do you have the calorie count per bar?
Hi, Caitlin. I don’t count calories, but you could easily get that information as well as a complete nutritional breakdown on any recipe you’d like by using an online nutrition calculator like this one: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator Hope this helps! 🙂
This may have been asked already but I’m unable to see any comments using mobile. I am allergic to coconut and wonder what you suggest in place of the flour.
Hi, Julie. No worries. You can use ground flax seed in place of the coconut flour since the flour is used to help bind the honey to the nuts. Enjoy! These are super easy and tasty!
I made these a few days ago and they turned out GREAT! Absolutely beautiful, no crumble-age, and a perfect firm and chewy texture despite the fact that I used shredded coconut instead of flaked.
My only qualm was that I found them a bit too sweet for my palate. Maybe I’m also just not a big enough honey fan. I’m all for natural and unrefined sweeteners and I appreciate honey’s ability to bing these bars together, but I was hoping you might have a suggestion for decreasing the sweetness.
Hi, Zoe. Thanks for your kind note. So glad you’re enjoying this recipe. I do have a suggestion. First, the type of honey used can impact the sweetness factor. I use clover or sage honey for that reason, because they are milder in flavor. But you can reduce the honey in the recipe to 3-4 tbsp instead and add an extra tbsp of nut butter (so that would be 2 tbsp of nut butter instead). This should help the bars to maintain the right balance of moisture and yet reduce their sweetness. I haven’t tried this, but believe it should work just fine. If you give it try, please let us know how it turns out. Thanks again! Blessings, Kelly 🙂
Hi Kelly! I’m interested in making Fruit and Nut Grain-Free Bars for my husband to take with him to work. However, he does not care for the texture of coconut flakes. I noticed the recipes for your varieties of bars all contain 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes. Can you suggest a substitute to replace the coconut flakes (other than oatmeal which he also does not care for)? Could I just leave out the1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes and replace by increasing the amount of the other fruit and/or nuts? TIA
Hi, Kathy. Yes, you are exactly right, you can replace the coconut with a combination of nuts and fruits. They will have a different texture and may be a little crumblier, but should still be delicious! 🙂
Hi! I am really interested in your recipe as this looks really great! May I know what is the purpose of adding sea salt? can I leave out the salt? Also, what is the size of the cup that you used to measure the ingredients (or do you have the approximate weights for each ingredients)? Million thanks!
Hi, Yen. My pleasure to help. The sea salt is optional. It’s there to enhance the flavor. As far as the cup, I’m using U.S. measurements which are based on 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, etc. measuring cups. If you do not have measuring cups available in your area, this conversion tool may be helpful: http://convert-to.com/594/almonds-amounts-measures-and-nutritional-facts-table-for-almonds.html I cannot give you the weight, since I don’t use a scale for measuring. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Blessings, Kelly 🙂
Mantlo M. says
I love the bars. I’ve done them a few time playing with different fruits, nuts and seeds. Great everytime. My family can’t get enough of them.
Thanks for your “kind” note! 🙂 Seriously, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a sweet note. I’m so happy to hear that you and your family are enjoying this recipe! 🙂
I just made a double batch on the first go- around as I knew they would be delicious! And they were! Thank you for such a great recipe!
Thanks so much for your kind words, Laura! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the recipe. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a kind note! With blessings, Kelly
Wow, this recipe is awesome! Have made it three times now, and i’ve mixed it up each time: pine nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cashews, dates, apricots, raisins, sunflower seed butter, almond butter–always delicious. Definitely double this recipe–I put them in a 13×9 inch foil pain, and flattened them out with a potato masher over the parchment paper, added 7 minutes to the cooking time, and it was perfect–they go very quickly. I am thinking that these would be a nice holiday teacher gift/hostess gift.
I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Jen. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a kind note! God bless you! 🙂
Hello, can I make this into a protein bar by adding pea protein for example? Also can I add steelcut oats and sesame seeds? One batch is cooling now :-)))
Thanks plenty for the recipies
Hi, Yulia. You can of course add to this recipe, but you’ll be experimenting so I cannot guarantee the results. The key will be making sure that you have enough binding with the wet ingredients to compensate for the dry ingredients you’re adding (especially if adding oats). I wish you the best in your bar making adventures! 🙂 Kelly
Can I substitute Agave for the honey?
Hi, Dawn, I haven’t tried it with Agave, but if you use a thick variety, I imagine it should work just fine. 🙂