One of the all-time most popular posts on this blog is the Homemade Granola Bar Recipe. But for over a year now, I’ve been avoiding grains in favor of more nutrient-dense foods. An oat-filled granola bar isn’t going to do me any favors now that I’m grain-free.

Enter: The grain-free granola bar. I took my original recipe and changed it up to reflect my current diet — less sugar, more nuts, no grains. Here you go! (And don’t worry — I’m putting the whole recipe at the bottom, in case you just want to print the recipe.)

Start with 2.5 cups of assorted nuts and seeds. I used what I had — pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), almonds, walnuts, and pecans.


Scoop out 1 cup of the nuts, and give them a rough chop.


Dump the other 1.5 cups of nuts into your food processor, and pulse until they’re chopped much, much smaller. Be careful not to pulse too much or you might end up with nut butter! We’re just aiming for a variety of sizes of nut pieces. The smaller bits help make the bars more dense and help them stick together better.


Stir to combine with the larger chunks of nuts and seeds.


Add 1 cup of dried fruit. Again, I’m just using what I had — only raisins. You can use dried cranberries, cherries, dates, pineapple, or any combination of your favorites.


Add 2 cups of shredded coconut. This is NOT the sticky sweet coconut you can buy in most grocery store baking aisles. This is only shredded and dried — pure coconut. I’ll be doing another post on this soon, so look out for that!


In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup honey, a splash of vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Then some more cinnamon. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble like this. Then remove the pot from the burner.


Pour your honey mixture over your fruit and nuts, and stir to coat it all. At this stage it reminds me of wet playground sand.


Dump your fruit and nuts into a parchment-paper-lined baking dish (This one is 9×13”). Mine has curved edges, which I’ll talk about later… if you have one with straight edges, like a bar pan, that might be better. Next time I’ll be using my bar pan for sure.

I’ve also thought about using mini-muffin tins to make granola bar “bites” instead of bars.


With another sheet of parchment (just so you don’t get your hands sticky), press FIRMLY all over the granola. A lot. You really need to pack the ingredients tightly so that your bars will stick together. When you think you’ve pressed enough, keep pressing.


When you’re finally done squishing everything, it’ll look something like this. Now you have to wait. Wait at least 2-3 hours for it to cool at room temperature, or if you’re more impatient, you could put it in the fridge or freezer. (I froze mine while we ate dinner.)


When it’s cool, lift the whole shebang out of the pan and put it on a large cutting board. See what happened here because of the curved edges of my pan? My bar is thinner on the edges than in the middle… this makes the edges crumble when I cut them. Not a huge deal, but I’d prefer if that didn’t happen… so next time I’ll either try my bar pan or muffin tins.


Cut the whole thing lengthwise with a sharp knife. I find that pressing straight down with the knife works better than sawing or rocking with the knife. It gives less trauma to the granola, so the bars can stay intact!

After you cut it lengthwise, cut each rectangle horizontally into as many bars as you’d like.


And here they are! Packed full of coconut, nuts, and raisins. Nicely sweet (but not super-sweet like the other recipe), satisfying, chewy… so delicious!

Note: If you want your bars to be crunchier, cook your honey mixture a bit longer before mixing it into your fruit and nuts.


Grain-Free Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Granola Bar Recipe

You will need:

  • 2.5 cups assorted nuts and seeds
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • some more cinnamon

Roughly chop 1 cup of the nuts and seeds. Place in a bowl.

Use your food processor to pulse the other 1.5 cups of nuts and seeds into a finer “chop.” Add to the bowl.

Add your fruit.

Stir in the dried coconut.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine oil, honey, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Cook until the mixture bubbles, then pour over the fruit/nut mixture.

Stir to combine completely.

Press your mixture into a parchment-lined pan of some sort. Press HARD.

Cool 2-3 hours, then remove from the pan and cut into bars.


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  1. Just Made these, were rather sweet I did use A few dried fruits. My daughter is diabetic So we Reduce sugars where possible. Couldn’t get them into balls though but small finger bars, awesome for after working out or feeling like I need a sweet kick without the guilt.

  2. I made these and I have to say they were AWESOME………BUT, if they are left out of the refrigerator too long, they just fall apart. Did anyone else have this problem? I packed them down super tight. Im wondering if baking them will make them stick together more.

  3. […] So here I am, sharing for those who just want a healthier snack, or even for those looking to heal, but want something other than chicken and broccoli to snack on. This recipe was inspired by Joyful Abode. […]

  4. I made these and they were FAB!!! I don’t eat honey so I melted a couple of ounces of butter with two tablespoons of xylitol. Bubbled it up until it just started to thicken then mixed in.

    When I had put the mixture in the tray I put another tray on top and stood on it!!! This really compressed it and they held together beautifully even when out of the fridge for a day!

    Thanks 🙂

  5. Wonderful recipe! I used a half sheet pan, so I couldn’t compress the mixture enough for them to be bars, but the outcome is incredibly tasty and even better on top of a little Greek yogurt. Love the name of your blog, too. 🙂

  6. For those with a sensitivity to corn, they may want to stay clear of vanilla as most extracts are derived from that, be they pure or imitation.

    • You can make your own vanilla extract – its just vanilla beans and vodka or bourbon, left to steep for 6+ weeks. One of the easier DIY kitchen staples 🙂

  7. These are so good and easy to make. My 16yr old said they are better than chocolate when she tried them. Now I know when they ask for chocolate your granola bars are what they want. Thankyou

  8. […] cashew salad meatballs with crunchy sweet potato chips are some of the over 300 Paleo diet meals. People on the Paleo diet claim to have greater energy a stronger immune system clearer skin physically fit body Everyday […]

  9. I’m sure someone referenced this in the above message, but what are the nutrition facts. All I Need to is grams of fat, carbs, fiber and protien. Thanks!!

  10. Is there anything to substitute the coconut oil and shredded coconut?? I am very allergic!!

  11. I loved these they are so delicious but like many of the others mine didn’t stick together very well… I want them to be like your bars so I can travel with them but mine are just mush… could I melt more coconut oil and add it? (I know it’s really healthy) Or should I bake them to make them a lil harder? Help Please! I didn’t see many answers to that question asked by a few people.

    • You probably didn’t cook your “glue” enough. They also hold together best when cold.

      • mine also didn’t hold together very well. I did eveything the way the recipe said and it’s still kind of mush. Any suggestions?

        • not sure, Bethany, if you followed the recipe exactly… so sorry to hear it. Maybe you have more humidity than I have or something? 🙁 I hope you at least enjoyed your mush.

  12. Made these last night because it’s about time for another semester to start, and I would like an egg-free breakfast option to change up my meals. Unfortunately in the Texas heat, these did not firm up overnight because of my coconut oil staying melted at room temp. So, I crumbled them with a fork and divided the mixture between two foil-lined baking trays and dried them in a low (250 F) oven for 50 minutes, tossing them every 10 min, turning the pans at 20 and 40 min, and halfway through, rotating the pans between the top and bottom rack to make sure they would toast evenly. I let them cool then crumbled them. Now I have a tasty grain-free cereal to mix with Greek yogurt or almond milk! Thanks!…I will try again when it’s cooler outside 😛

  13. […] the best (all were pretty similar, but this was about letting them have a say).  Their choice was this one over at Joyful Abode- with the addition of chocolate chips, of […]

  14. Do you think sugar free pancake syrup would be ok instead of honey?

  15. […] of the snacks I make frequently is Gluten and Grain Free Granola Bars. I got this from the Joyful Abode. We sometimes break these up and put them in plain yogurt. Check out the video if you need a little […]

  16. I just made this, its actually cooling on the counter. However, as I was heating the honey, etc. I thought, “hmmm, how would the dry ingreedients taste just with some milk?” Well, I have to say ITS FANTASTIC!! Grain Free cereal option here!!

    • My batch is cooling on the counter and if they don’t stick, that is exactly what we are doing.

  17. OK So I LOVE the flavor, but mine never make BARS they fall apart even when refrigerated… Which is fine for eating at the house, but a pain for taking them to go… Any suggestions…

    But they TASTE AMAZING… Like heaven… even my hubby who claims to hate all the nuts I put in there loves it!

  18. I would like to make the bars without honey or coconut oil. What would I use to make them hold together. I’m looking for sugar-free and grain-free recipes. Thank you

    • Did you ever get them to stay together with out honey? I’d really like to know if you did and what you used instead.

      • Replace the honey with egg whites and then bake the bars instead. That’s what I would try anyways.

        • Thanks you so much! I’ll try that!

  19. Wow, I made these tonight, and they are DIVINE! I used cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, raisins and prunes (wanted to use dried cranberry but didn’t want the added sugar…). They are surprisingly sweet. I’m glad I added more cinnamon when I thought I had enough; it truly makes a difference. Thank you for this recipe 🙂 I just started the Paleo diet, and this will be great go-to snack when I’m craving something sweet. Thanks again!

  20. Just a quick question. I really want to make these. However I cannot find the none sticky coconut. I live in Germany and the fact that I can even find some organic products at our grocery store on base is a miracle! Is there anything I can use instead of coconut? Or perhaps i dont need the coconut at all? Thanks!

    • We just left Germany. You should really try the German stores. They love all things organic natural and tropical. 🙂 If you have Wasgau where you are, they’re a little pricey, but carry the unsweetened coconut

  21. These bars came out great. I upped this to 3/4 cup of coconut oil and the bars stick together perfectly!

  22. I’ve been trying to eat grain free for the last couple of months, and I have to say that this is the first recipe I’ve tried that not only didn’t disappoint, but also far surpasses anything I could buy! I doubled it so I could put it in a jelly roll pan and I probably would have liked it just as well without doubling the honey all the way! Thank you!!

    • P.S. I used regular honey and they are kinda sticky … I think raw honey is the answer to that!

  23. Yum! Sweeter than I’d imagined they would be, but probably not surprising given the majority of my dried fruit was dates. I was hoping my 6yo would like them, but she doesn’t, so more for me! I’ve posted this recipe on FB, much to the delight of a friend of mine who’s family follows GAPS. I had no problem getting them to hold together, but I think I’ll keep them in the fridge because I like the chewier texture when they’re cold. Thanks for the recipe! 😀

  24. […] I actually had two different recipes for energy bars pinned, the one from MDA and also this one from Joyful Abode. So I went back and forth between the two as I was making mine, played around a […]

  25. These are very delicious. Kudos to you. This was very helpful for me on my new diet. I found the last of the coconut oil on the shelf, and I decided to use peanut butter this time in its place as a lot of people did not seem to have it, and it turned out great. The coconut oil just gives it a buttery taste; I think someone mentioned using butter as well. Either way it is great. I am going to try baking it this time though, ad it is hard to mash down well.

  26. Is there an alternative to the coconut oil used in this recipe…I don’t have any and other than online not sure where’s I buy in the Highlands of Scotland!

    • Sonia,
      I bet The Health Shop on Baron Taylor St in Inverness has it. You might ring them first and check (01463-233104). If not, you can always order through Amazon UK.

  27. […] are based on the article here  I used only sunflower seeds, raisins, honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. […]

  28. I love granola bars so much but whenever i try to make or follow a recipe, I can not get them stay and shape. I dont undersand why they dont shape. Any tips for me?

  29. I have found that after pressing, if you score granola bars before drying/cooling, they are much easier to break apart into a nice Bar-Like shape rather than break into hunks. If that matters to you- I mean, either way they are delicious!

  30. […] were all slightly similar, also slightly different, and all quite good, but this one – mostly dried fruit, nuts, and seeds – was the best of the bunch. (not sure if the […]

  31. Hi! My kids loves these bars. but one thing is I could not get them to stay together. I ended up freezing them and they stay together until they thaw back out. any suggestions on what i should try to keep them more like a bar so my kiddos don’t have to tug a spoon along to school to eat these 🙂 thanks!

    • I dehydrated the bars and they became hard and crunchy. Now perfect for school snacks. I also used only seeds so they can go to school.

  32. Just made these granola bars and your cucumber tomato salad today! I am also a grain free (GAPS diet), baby wearing, ECing, bed-sharing, tandem nursing mama, so I definitely love your blog!

  33. First off, congratulations on your #2!! Sending ((((sticky vibes)))) your way. 🙂 Thank you so much for the inspiring recipe!! We are just starting a primal lifestyle and our children have been a little resistant. These granola bars were incredibly well-received!! 🙂 Four out of five people in our family also have a peanut/treenut allergy, which has proven to make altering of recipes quite challenging. This recipe was awesome and easily modified, though! I used 1c each of raw pepitas & raw sunflower seeds, plus 1/2c raw hulled sesame seeds. I do not have coconut oil in our pantry yet, so I used unsalted butter. I also cleared out all of our dried fruit, so I used a cup of 85% chopped dark chocolate…fantastic with the coconut & vanilla (and cinnamon)! I really wanted them to look cute and appealing since they weren’t colorful (other than chocolate brown), so I molded them into mini muffin tins. It was a little difficult to unmold 48 mini’s but it was sooo worth it to see 2 out of 3 kids hovering!! The leftovers are going into whole fat Greek yogurt for bfast. 🙂 Thank you!!!!

  34. Hi.

    I really like this recipe.. Just a question. If I were to substitute sugar instead of honey, how much would I need for a not-so cloyingly sweet bar. And do I have to look for any syrup consistency before pouring the liquid on the dry nut mixture??Grateful if you could reply.

  35. Okay I’ve been meaning to make these for a while and I finally did. They are awesome! I did do a little different in that I just melted the liquid ingredients together, mixed it all together, pressed into my pan and then I baked them at 350 for 15 minutes. They came out a little brown, though my oven does run hot. Very good!

  36. […] (Grain Free) Granola Bars from Joyful Abode’s […]

  37. Hi, love this recipe, however, my bars fall apart at room tempature. How do you fix this or is there something I did wrong. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks, Linda

  38. I made these exactly how you suggested and they were WONDERFUL! My 2 year old ate a few and loved them. My husband LOVES them also- and of course I find them to be such a sweet, satisfying snack. I love it that they are mostly protein 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this!

  39. I found this recipe a while ago and my husband really liked. I ate it all except his little bar! So I had to wait a while to make again and then I couldn’t find where I wrote it down. I’ve been searching and such finally googled and SO glad I found!

  40. So I just made this recipe, with what I have on hand. I had to substitute olive oil for the coconut oil. I didn’t have coconut flakes. I used unsalted unroasted, peanuts, walnuts & almond. And dried apricots. I had the honey, cinnamon & vanilla. You’re right LOTS of cinnamon!! I skipped the salt.
    Seriously these COULD NOT be easier to put together. And heavenly!! I want to eat all the gooey granola dough!! LOL
    I don’t have a bar pan so I used your idea of mini muffins. Here’s a little tip, fill less than half way & go ahead and suck it up and use a second paper muffin cup to squish it down, it’s the easiest way. This recipe made two pans of mini granola bites 😉 I can’t wait for my husband to try these. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

  41. Hi Emily,

    So admire you for so many things, Navy wife, new mom, caring mom and awesome recipes…thank you for sharing your joyful abode.

    Blessings to you & your family.


  42. Oh my goodness. Seriously the best tasting granola bar I have EVER had. I didn’t have any coconut, so I just left it out. They turned out so super great!! The only fruit I had were prunes and apricots! They were so yummy and any fruit can be substituted! 🙂 thank you! I have made 2 big batches. I am going to make a new batch on monday. I am going to soak and dehydrate my nuts though…had some trouble digesting them last time.

    Best granola recipe ever!! Thank you!!

  43. Wonderful…very tasty!! Thanks

  44. […] Grain-free Granola from Joyful Abode […]

  45. Thanks for these, Joy! They are delicious! My niece is GF. For the past 2 years, we’ve been doing a GF “test kitchen” with my daughters, niece, and 3 of their pre-K friends. It’s nice to find a GF bar that is nutritious, easy and kid-friendly!

  46. Love, love, love this! You are wonderful. I have been looking for a recipe that would taste as wonderful as it looked. Thanks for all your “time” in the kitchen… Can’t wait to try it, I live on nuts and seeds, so this will be a keeper!

  47. Just wondering if yours tend to fall apart at room temperature? I made these this weekend and are great right out of the fridge, but when we take them on the go, we end up having to scoop up the pieces from the bag.

    They taste great and my picky 22-month old LOVE them. I didn’t have dried fruit, so I chopped up some super dark chocolate and put that in there. Makes a great flavor!

    • sometimes, sometimes not… i find that when i cook the honey mixture a bit longer they stay together better at room temp. I hope that helps.

      (If they fall apart they’re really good sprinkled in some full-fat yogurt, btw).

  48. Not only do I have a batch of these in the freezer, but I had to instantly make a second batch because my children demanded some as just granola to eat on their homemade yogurt. I’m in heaven – this is so delicious and easy! I can see some ingredients I will now need to be buying in bulk. Thank you so much!!

  49. I make primal granola bars all the time, but NEVER thought about pulsing the nuts a few times to get them to an “oat-like” texture before making them into bars. Kudos on the great idea – I will be trying this SOON.

  50. Hey! : ) I was wondering if you ever sub the coconut and what you might sub it with as I am not a fan (I only like the milk of the nut).
    Also, I was curious (and haven’t seen otherwise written on your site) as to why you decided to go grain free? (If you don’t mind me asking that is.) : )

    I am a new (stay-at-home) mom as well. Like you, I also breastfeed, baby wear, and love to decorate on a budget and cook healthy for my family. Sounds like we have a lot in common. : ) I am trying to find quick to make, healthy, and budget friendly organic and levitical diet based recipes. Thanks for the granola bar recipe! Blessings….

    • Jessica – I don’t see a reply to your question. The better nutritionists and MDs have been doing research for years on the effect of grains in our diets, and the results are not good. Anthropologist find that paleolithic man ate primarily lean meat, nuts, and seasonal fruits and vegetables and they were very healthy, build like our modern-day athletes. Once neolithic man began farming grain and dairy products many physiological maladies began to appear. Today most cases of obesity, diabetes and other diseases can be tied to extremely high calorie, low nutrient density diets, esp. grain/gluten products. Run a search for “The Paleo Solution” – and take a look at the info. on Robb Wolf’s website.

  51. These look great. I do hope you plan on doing a cookbook one day!

  52. […] This is one of those things where I think to myself “These things are not that good for me…. look at that ingredient list!” but I just can’t make myself care.  I was on the verge of caving and getting the stuff to bake cookies (since I’ve tried gluten-free mixes and it just wasn’t the same). But as I was looking at recipes in multiple sites, trying to get a starting point for baking with coconut flour (see here to understand why) , I came across the recipe for Grain-Free Granola Bars on Joyful Abode. […]

  53. I just made these last night with a few alterations. I cooked down some apples and made applesauce and subbed that for some of the honey. I also baked it. I love them! They are so delicious. Already ate a ton of them.

  54. I love your recipe and I love coconut, but my daughter does not like it. How do you think it will turn out if I omit it, or what else could I use in it’s place?


  55. THESE ARE SO GOOD!!!! Thank you!!!!!

  56. I made these to take camping over the weekend…..ummm…YUM! Used macadamia, almonds, and pecans for nuts and cranberries for fruit. They were a bit crumbly, next time I will try a different pan so I can press them a bit harder and maybe cook the honey mixture down a bit more. We are keeping them in the fridge and they stay together well when cool. Hubby LOVES them, cinnamon really pulls it together. Thanks for the great recipe!

  57. I have an idea…you could drizzle melted dark chocolate over them too. Wow, I can hardly wait to make these too. I just made the other recipe last night.

  58. I made these today after finding your site through Mark’s Daily Apple. They taste DELICIOUS, but they are really crumbly. Did I not cook the honey/oil mixture enough or did I not press it enough into the pan? I really want these to work out because I want something healthy for my kids and me as we run from hockey to Cub Scouts, etc….

  59. Looks awesome!
    Can’t wait to try these!
    Where is a good place to look for the coconut?
    And the oil as well.

    newly gluten-free Me

    • oh yay! you’ve gone gluten-free? nifty.

      The coconut oil is available in all the grocery stores around here … with the other cooking oils. Usually on the top shelf, and it’s in a jar, not a bottle.

      The coconut – best place is Tropical Traditions online. Check out my coconut review/giveaway post for buying info and a chance to win … I’m “drawing” the winner TOMORROW so get in your entries now!

      • I Found the Ground coconut BUT I still have not been able to buy the Coconut Oil.
        Is there anything else that you think I can sub for it in this recipe? I’d like to try & make these today.
        Hubby special requested I do some with dried cherries & raisins & then some others with dark chocolate chips! 🙂

    • I found unsweetened coconut at our Kroger…

  60. These look delicious! I’ll definitely try them. I tried your grain free chocolate muffins last week and loved them, thanks for all the great recipes. 🙂

  61. Love this recipe, anxious to try it next weekend. Perfect for Primal/Paleo diets, love the fact that I can have a sweet treat without the sugar or grains and have it high in fat, which is what makes me burn the fat!

    I think I might make mine in the little mini muffin tins and tap it down with some kind of tool……THEN for some of them I might drizzle some organic extra dark chocolate over them! Sounds like a great afternoon snack at the office

    Thanks so much for your great blog, so happy I stumbled upon it today, let me know when you need my shipping address for my special deliver! LOL

  62. I’m excited to try these! With a toddler allergic to corn, it is difficult to find a granola bar that he can have. (your granola bars with oats look great, as well!).

  63. Since I used to be a HUGE fan of true granola bars I would LOVE to try these… I just might do so soon! So far your recipes have been super!

  64. I think I will make these for the Grand Kids tomorrow !

  65. Can’t wait to try this!! I was just thinking about a good homemade granola recipe the morning before you posted this. I just tried an organic one that tasted so easy to make!! Hope I like it! 🙂

  66. These sound so good! Nice to have something healthy to grab and go.

  67. I am definitely going to be trying these! Triathlon and paleo don’t really go together very well on the nutrition side of things… these look great for long run/ride fueling!

  68. I’m not grain-free, but I will definitely try there. I’ve been wanting a granola bar recipe for my kids that will stick to their bones a little more than what I’ve been trying.

  69. I really want to try these when I get around to buying more nuts (can’t keep them around the house or I eat them all :p)

  70. These look delish! I make grain-free granola all the time but now I have to try it in bar form. Thanks!

  71. This is a great idea, though raw nuts are not the best, especially in these quantities. They should be soaked and dehydrated to rid them of enzyme inhibitors and anti-nutrients, especially phytic acid – which almonds for example, contain a lot of.

  72. You always have the best recipes! I’m going to make these this week. They will be perfect for my kindergartener’s lunch and snack box and to throw into the diaper bag for my toddler (and me :-)) Thanks for all your hard work!

    • Aw, I hope your family loves them! I’m definitely making them again when we run out (looks like that’ll be tomorrow. haha).

  73. Great recipe! I hope MDA links to this one.

  74. Thanks you, thank you! We just started the SCD for my daughter's Aspergers and this recipe looks great!

  75. How exciting to see a gluten free granola bar recipe. Thanks! Cannot wait to try it!

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