Delicious Honey Nut Bars (dairy, sugar, gluten, and grain free)

ng_honeynutsFirst, I grind nuts and seeds together to form a hearty, coarse nut “flour”. To this I stir in some whole seeds, raisins, salt and a touch of cinnamon. Honey and melted coconut oil are poured over it, and the mixture is then baked in the oven. Once cooled and cut, these delicious nut bars are devoured quickly if you aren’t careful! They are in that “almost too good” category, where it’s hard to eat just one.

My husband has been traveling this summer just a bit, so I have been trying to come up with some new portable recipes. I think this one fits the bill nicely! I think it will also work great for the school year. It’s the perfect bar to replace those mostly nasty granola bars (full of bad ingredients) or those super expensive health food bars.

And thanks everyone, for participating in another week of Pennywise Platter Thursday! I’ve just been loving the great ideas and tips!


Delicious Honey Nut Bars

You will need a food processor for this recipe (or a powerful blender). I am sure that you can play around with what nuts you use, though the following combination is delicious! I started with raw nuts, as toasting nuts is supposed to remove enzyme inhibitors in nuts and I hoped that they would be toasted enough to accomplish the job. Though you are welcome to start with soaked and dehydrated nuts!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease (with coconut oil) a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Grind the following nuts into a coarse nut flour. Don’t let it turn into nut butter!

    1/2 cup cashews
    1 cup of pumpkin seeds
    1 cup of almonds

Put into a medium size bowl and stir in the following.

    1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
    1/2 cup pf pumpkin seeds
    1 cup of raisins
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt in a small saucepan:

    1/2 cup of honey
    1/4 cup high quality coconut oil

Pour honey/oil over the nut mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated with it. Press evenly into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until it is lightly browned on top.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then very gently cut and remove bars and allow to cool on a plate. They will be crumbly at this stage, but I found that if they started to fall apart, I could gently mold them back together (the honey acts like a glue). As they cool they will harden. Once cool, place in an airtight container and enjoy!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. Jordan says

    I am new to your blog and I just have to comment because I am so excited about the wonderful information/recipes that you share here! I would love to read through every post you have, but I am having trouble finding a way to easily navigate through them. Is there any way to go through each post, by date or category, without always having to hit the back button and click on the next link? Like I said, I am so excited to have found this wealth of information, and want to soak it all up! Thanks for the the great writing 🙂

    KH: Jordan, That’s one of the problems with blogging….old posts get lost so quickly! I haven’t come up with great solutions yet, though the recipe index and other pages help me. Sorry it’s not easier to navigate. Thanks for the sweet comment!

  2. says

    Oh these look heavenly! I am of course sitting here wondering if I could make them without the honey though….perhaps Yacon? Hmmmm

    KH: I haven’t worked with Yacon, but I bet if it has a honey like sticky consistency it would work.

  3. Amy says

    I am so glad I found your site! When I saw today’s post, I immediately made the bars. They are terrific. I made a few substitutions. I added in raisins, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, and chopped dried apricots. My 4 y/o loves dried fruits and nuts, and these bars will be great snacks. I enjoy your recipes so much. Thank you!

    KH; So glad they turned out well for you! I love how you added in some other fruit! Yummy. 🙂

  4. says

    this sound yummy
    i have been making a similar granola bar, but i love the idea of the nut flour
    the ones i have been making are also “almost too good”, i think i could eat the whole pan in one sitting.
    look forward to trying your recipe.
    leslie

  5. Leesie says

    I will surely be giving these a try – seems simple and easy enough for me!
    I hope you are enjoying your summer with your daughter and you are feeling well and more energetic again…

    Thanks Kimi!

  6. says

    These look so good. I’ll need to use soaked nuts and seeds in the recipe, though, or my tummy would be in knots. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing, Kimi. 🙂

    Kelly

    KH: I experience that with unsoaked, untoasted raw nuts too. But if they are toasted or “cooked” like this recipe, they haven’t bothered me. But I think it’s probably better to soak them, I’ve just been to lazy to get to it lately! 😉

  7. says

    these sound delicious! what brand of powerful blender do you recommend?

    KH: I have just an old, not very nice blender, which would be very hard to blend nuts in. I haven’t really looked into blenders yet for our next purchase, but I know that vita-mixers are very powerful (they also cost a lot!). But if anyone has one, it would work well for projects like this. Does anyone have any blender recommendations?

    • Suzanne says

      I have a Vita-mix blender, with the dry ingredient blade/container, and used it yesterday to grind/chop the nuts for this recipe. It works fabulous, although, you have to be careful with powerful blenders not to over-process. I put all the nuts in at once and chopped on a medium speed and it took barely 20 seconds. I do recommend that if you use/buy a high-powered blender to get one that you have easy control over switching the speeds.

  8. michelle says

    I hate to be the berrer of bad tidings, and this is a bad one as I see these in so many healthy recipes and I guess no one else is going to say it….women shouldn’t eat pumpkin seeds. Too much tostesterone, testostrome, you know, male hormone. I know they do taste good but they are “for men only”. Girls, give some to your husbands and boyfriends every day. Guys, eat some everyday.

    KH: Michelle, I’ve heard that pumpkin seeds are wonderful for men because of the zinc content, but hadn’t heard of your concern before. Interesting. I think that everything is fine in moderation, but will look into your concern. But, if anyone would rather use other nuts or seeds, it would be easy to substitute for sure. 🙂

    • says

      I have never heard of this and I am a student of food. So I looked into this statement and can find no information or evidence that pumpkin seeds can be hormonally harmful for women.

      They are even specifically recommended for pregnant women because of their zinc content, which many of us are deficient in.

      Some foods such as soy and lavender are known to affect hormone production, but this is not one that I have ever read about. If someone has information to support this, I would be very interested in reading it.

      Thanks!
      Kris

  9. KimiHarris says

    Hey Everyone,

    Thanks for the feedback and questions! I’ve answered some of your questions above.

  10. Elisabeth says

    I’m not a big fan of granola bars, clif bars, etc. purely from a taste standpoint, but these look yummy. The only bar that I have found that I do like are the Bumble Bars that have sesame seeds as a base. Have you ever had one? Do you think that I could use sesame seeds instead of the pumpkin seeds? I haven’t baked much with sesame seeds, so I just thought that I’d ask. I love the flavor of cinnamon in nut bars.

  11. Laura King says

    Just a comment re: testosterone. Pumpkin seeds contain absolutely no testosterone at all. They are high in zinc which has an important role in hormone synthesis and metabolism. There is some evidence to suggest that they can improve benign prostatic hyperplasia, likely through altering the form of testosterone in the body to a less active form. They are absolutely safe for women to eat.

  12. Kika says

    You can send these to school? All the schools around here are nut-free so I have to alter some of my baking to send with my husband (teacher); kids are homeschooled. This recipe looks interesting. I only have a blender but will probably experiment anyways minus almonds b/c I’m allergic.

  13. says

    These sound delicious! My son is gfcfsf so excited to try these. They sound like an excellent lunch box snack. Love your site!

    Michelle
    twitter.com/bhlocavore

  14. Mary P. says

    Hi there,

    I think it is a common misperception that plants possess or make human hormones such as testosterone but the fact is that they do not. However they do contain plant hormones (phytosterols) that, depending on the plant, can have an affect upon or convert human hormones under certain conditions. All edible seeds, grains, legumes and nuts are known to be particularly rich in phytosterols and pumpkin seeds have also been found to have an inhibiting effect upon an enzyme which has been known to trigger the conversion of testosterone into estradiol and dihydrotestosterone – perhaps this is where the idea that they have testosterone stems from??? And maybe also the fact that pumpkin seeds are rich in certain nutrients such as zinc and essential fatty acids that contribute to and may enhance men’s sexual health and performance? But rest assured they are not only beneficial for men and/or detrimental for women. So no matter if you are a girl or a guy, please feel free to enjoy them :))

  15. says

    Looks like a wonderful snack for kids! Much better than processed bars. They look rather professional, too. Are they crispy like those Nature Valley bars?

  16. virginia says

    Hi, love your site, it has been a help to me in getting back to basics.
    I have a great Bosch mixer that has a blender that comes with it….. it is the best. It will grind wheat and everything. About 3-400 dollars.
    But my food processor is a Hamilton beach that came from walmart for about 50 dollars. It works great.

  17. D says

    Coarse nut flour – is it the same as nut “meal” consistency?

    This is my kind of snack! Thanks for the post.

  18. Katie says

    Thank you! These look so awesome. I really love a peanut buttery taste so I was thinking that I could use some peanuts and also add melted peanut butter to the honey and coconut oil mixture! I can’t wait to try this~
    Katie

  19. D says

    As I’m reading through the recipe, try lining the pan with overhanging parchment paper (or waxed paper) so you can lift the bars out of the pan after cooling completely. Then take a chef knife to cut the individual bars. This will give you more even cuts without having to spend time to mold crumbly pieces back together.

  20. Jeannie says

    I also have a Bosch. It is a blender, food processor, flour mill…you can purchase attachments to cover a multitude of tasks. The food processor is a bit small but I just do batches. The motor is powerful! On another note, Pumpkin Seeds; I try to incorporate a few different guides in the way I eat and feed my family. Blood Typing is interesting. For instance a Type O Blood Type has Pumpkin Seeds listed as “Highly Beneficial”. The idea is that though some things are best avoided for some blood types, they are highly beneficial for others. Any thoughts?

  21. says

    Hi! I have a Vita-Mix and while I love it, I don’t love it for chopping nuts. It is inconsistent in how it sizes them and too quickly turns them into nut butter. A food processor is much better for chopping nuts. That’s my opinion, for what it’s worth.

    I did not know that toasting nuts would neutralize the enzyme inhibitors. Interesting! Thanks for that. I usually have soaked nuts on hand, but now I know in a pinch, I could toast them. That may come in handy!

    I’ll try these for sure. 🙂 Thanks!

  22. HPG says

    I’m a random lurker! I agree with Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS about using a food processor being better for nuts than a blender. I have a Blendtec (a seemingly less-popular super powerful blender, but made, I think, by the Bosch people??) and I find what she describes to be true with mine also.
    Thanks for the recipe. And I like how you composed your picture.

  23. judy k says

    I have a Braun 4″ mini processor attachment for the Braun wand – works perfect for nuts, etc.
    I handed the above recipe for Honey Nut Bars to my 14 and 15 year old daughters, and they made it up in a jiffy. Excellent! Thanks so much for sharing.

  24. says

    I’ve been looking for a nut free option if you ever come across one. My dd has a nut allergy but I haven’t found a healthy sprouted option, yet.

  25. says

    These are such lovely bars: healhy too! I have made these this moring & they were very tasteful & yummie too!

    Thanks for this great recipe!

    When I ate 1, I wans’t hunfry for 3.5 hours!

  26. Bayleigh says

    These looked SO good I had to make them…so I just did! I only used pumpkin seeds and used half walnuts/half pecans instead of cashews because I didn’t have any on hand. I threw in some orange flavored craisins from TJs. I bet these would be amazing with some unsweetened shredded coconut.

    They are so delicous I can hardly take it! Move over larabar. This is my new favorite snack and will be a staple when I have kids.

    Kimi you are so very talented! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    KH: So glad you liked them! I actually added coconut flakes to this recipe, but forgot to mention it! I will put it in the recipe for those who want it. 🙂

  27. says

    Great! Matthew said he tried some of your husband’s bars last weekend and he asked me if I could make him something similar for the next trip. Thank you for posting the recipe.

    KH: Glad I put them up for you and glad that he liked them. 🙂

  28. Lanise says

    Ok, I have a really dumb question. I’m really confused about nuts. The roasted, salted ones are bad, right? So we are supposed to buy raw and then toast them ourselves, right? But how is that different from the roasted ones they sale. Does toasting them yourself take place of soaking and dehydrating? Also, I read that the best kind of nuts are once that still have the shell on them and are kept refrigerated at the store. I’ve never seen nuts at any store refrigerated. Have you ever heard this? Thanks so much for your time.

  29. Carrie says

    I just popped some of these in oven to bake. They will make a great portable snack to take to the homeschool convention I am attending tomorrow. I have really enjoyed the recipes you post.

  30. michelle says

    Thank you for helping me with that misconception. I have believed that for years. I may never be able to eat a pumpkin seed though. But at least I may be able to if it is in something else, like these wonderful bars of yours.

  31. says

    Okay… so I made these, and… you were right. They’re gone.

    I was running low on honey and so I subbed brown rice syrup (has a lower GI anyway – yay for less sugar for kids! 😉 ) instead. They turned out ABSOLUTELY delicious… and I was a little worried they wouldn’t be “sweet” enough… um, yeah…

    Like I said… ALL GONE! 🙂 Thanks Kimi!

    • KimiHarris says

      Thanks Meg, for letting me know that your substitution worked well! Brown rice syrup, great idea.

  32. says

    These are wonderful, I found you on Wardeh’s site, Such treasures.

    I soaked my oatmeal in rice milk last night for morning, [learned from Wardeh, sweet Wardeh, and this morning i crumbled up a bar of this into it, and that and a banana was breakfast..wow! I will do this agin, I love your site and will be coming back again and again, thank you!
    warm hugs from Vermont

  33. June Smith says

    Quote: “I started with raw nuts, as toasting nuts is supposed to remove enzyme inhibitors in nuts and I hoped that they would be toasted enough to accomplish the job.”

    Toasted enough?? So, I have the raw nuts and I should toast them myself?

    I am so excited to have found your site!! I am new to the coconut oil world and my research has led me to you!! I am severely hypoglycemic and it is so hard to purchase items that are not processed and full of “junk”. This recipe is so exciting…I cannot wait to make this! I just need to know if I can grind raw or toast them first. Thank you Kimiharris! I WILL be a regular visitor!

  34. says

    Hi – I saw someone was asking for a blender recommendation & the blog author said she knew vitamix was good, but I see this recipe really works better with a food processor. So listen! If you are in a town with a craigslist.com page, then just cruise daily for the appliance of your choice. Lots of people are given fancy appliances for weddings, for example, & never use them. Or they go thru a phase of cooking enthusiasm & then it fades. Just today I picked up a $170 Cuisinart food processor for $65. Last year I got a brand new ice cream maker (unused wedding present.) With some patience & attention to craigs list, you can get a good appliance, you can get a deal, & you can re-use.

  35. Dan says

    Tip for keeping these excellent bars from being too crumbly: Add a ripe banana when mixing the ingredients, and these bars will hold together much, much better than without the banana.

  36. SokeyDokey says

    Will definitely try this recipe over the weekend to prepare for all the running around we do with school. (who said homeschooling happens at home?)

    Just read through all the comments and came away a little confused. Do I toast the raw nuts before I blend or not?

    Thanks. Love the blog.

  37. Colleen says

    How long do you keep these? I usually use granola bars for after work exercise, so I don’t go through them daily (and it’s just me)

  38. Rachelle Bleak says

    Man these are a little taste of heaven! You have to wrap them up and they fall apart pretty easily, but these are the bomb. My husband likes these everyday for work, so I make them a lot. Thanks for the great recipe, even my 2 year old is asking for more!

  39. cdnskmom says

    Tried these today and they are AWESOME! You’re right, I couldn’t have just one. I made a few changes though… I used the nut “flour” recipe exactly as called for, but in the whole seed mixture I used GF slow oats instead of the whole pumpkin seeds, and instead of the raisins I used half dehydrated goji berries and half frozen saskatoon berries. I also threw in a couple tablespoons of ground flax. Heavenly!

  40. says

    Hi, this looks great.
    I am on a Anti-Candida diet and cannot have honey (any sugar- except stevia).
    Could I substitue the honey for something else? I dont know what would bond it all together… I can have a small amount of Agave nector but would rather have none… Any recomendations ?

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