Dried Fruit Bars Recipe:
Healthy Homemade Energy Bars

Dried Fruit Bars Recipe:
Healthy Homemade
Energy Bars

People are drawn to dried fruit bars, and for good reason. They taste great! This date, nut, apricot, and honey dried fruit bars recipe is quick and easy to make.

A food processor makes short work of chopping the assorted nuts into similar-sized pieces so they bind easily with the honey - or leave them as they are like you see in the image below:

Cutting into bars

Enjoy them as breakfast bars - or a great snack any time of day - when you need a quick energy boost without added sugar. Think of them as being like an ooey-gooey trail mix, but shaped into bite-able bars.

My dried fruit bars are a healthy alternative to store-bought sugary snacks. I use natural, wholesome ingredients like dried dates and apricots, along with mixed salted nuts, and honey.

First things first: dehydrate 20 apricots and 20 to 25 dates... or buy the apricots and dates pre-dried at your local grocery store.

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

The dried fruit bars recipe top question is not surprising, I had the same question myself when I made my first batch:

How do I make dried fruit bars stick together without falling apart?

This is a very common issue people face when making fruit bars at home. The key is to use ingredients that help bind the mixture together, such as:

  • Sticky dried fruits like dates, figs, or raisins
  • Nut butters like almond butter or peanut butter (see bottom of post for almond butter)
  • Liquid sweeteners like honey or agave syrup
  • Oils like coconut oil, which solidifies when chilled

Pressing the mixture very firmly into the pan before baking also helps the bars hold their shape. Some recipes may also suggest pulsing some of the ingredients in a food processor to create a paste that helps hold everything together. I suggest you chill in the freezer (after letting it cool down a bit from the quick bake in the oven!)

What's the best way to store homemade dried fruit bars?

Proper storage is crucial to maintain the freshness and quality of fruit bars. Most people recommend storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they can last for several weeks.

You can also wrap them individually in parchment paper or plastic wrap before placing them in the container, which makes them easy to grab for a quick snack. I also suggest using a food vacuum sealer and storing your bags in vacuum sealer bags! See my images further down the page.

If you want to keep them for a longer time, you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just make sure to thaw them in the fridge before eating!

Can I make this dried fruit bars recipe without nuts?

Many people have nut allergies or prefer not to use nuts in their recipes. The good news is that you can definitely make fruit bars without nuts. Here are some alternatives:

  • Use seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or chia seeds for crunch and healthy fats
  • Increase the amount of dried fruit for more chewiness and binding
  • Add some puffed rice, quinoa, or oats for texture
  • Use seed butters like sunflower seed butter or tahini instead of nut butters

Some recipes also use ingredients like chocolate chips, coconut flakes, or even chopped pretzels for added flavor and texture without the need for nuts.

These are just a few of the many questions people ask about dried fruit bars. Other common queries revolve around creative flavor combinations. The key is to experiment and find what works best for your preferences and needs! See our suggestions further down the page.

Dried Fruit Bars Recipe with Dates,
Apricots, Nuts, & Honey - Easy!

Ingredients:

  • 20 - 25 dried dates (half of a 10 oz. canister)
  • 20 dehydrated apricots (or store bought)
  • 4 oz assorted salted nuts
  • honey to combine (between 1-2 fluid oz)

Instructions:

When your ingredients are mixed, we'll bake the fruit bars in an oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  2. Prepare your fruit and nut mixture by chopping the dates and apricots into similar-sized pieces.
  3. Pulse the assorted nuts in a food processor to break them up a bit (or leave whole).
  4. Place in a glass bowl, and add honey until they combine well.
  5. Line an 8" square baking pan with parchment paper and spread the mix evenly on top.
  6. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the fruit mixture is dry to the touch, and holds together when pressed.
  7. The exact time will depend on the thickness of your mixture.
  8. Once done, remove the pan from the oven, and allow the dried fruit bars to cool completely to room temperature.
  9. Cut into bars.

Keep a close eye on your bars while they bake in the oven so you can prevent them from burning.

After allowing them to cool, store the dried fruit bars in an airtight container for a longer shelf life. Your taste buds will thank you for this delicious snack!

Out of the oven in 20 minutes

NOTE: My bars didn't stiffen up as much as I would like (that's why that's the number 1 FAQ!) I put the cooled-down pan "as is" in the freezer for an hour. That helped!

I then cut the bars into strips and vacuum sealed them.

Use a Food Vacuum Sealer

After your dried fruit bars have been chilled in the fridge AFTER vacuum-sealing, they come out like this:

Dried fruit bar with ground-up nuts

CHECK THIS Vacuum Sealer SURPRISE!

To keep your fruit bars at peak tastiness, consider using a FoodSaver food vacuum sealer. Doing so makes it easy to write the date on the package. Read more about food vacuum sealers here, and vacuum sealer bags here.

Place the edge of the bag here
Vacuuming out the air
Sealing the dried fruit bar bag

FoodSaver Food Vacuum Sealer Machines at Amazon

The FoodSaver machines remove air, one of the main causes of mold and food spoilage - and they create an airtight seal to lock in freshness.

FoodSaver V2244

Helps keep food fresh longer.

Comes complete with a starter kit that includes an 11" x 10' heat seal roll, (3) quart heat seal bags, (2) gallon heat seal bags, and an accessory hose, so you'll soon be on your way to keeping your food fresh, eliminating waste, and saving money.

FoodSaver 4800 Series

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One FoodSaver 2-in-1 appliance does it all: automatic bag detection and vacuum sealing mean two quick and easy steps to seal and save, and the built-in handheld sealer eliminates the need for additional attachments when sealing zipper bags and containers.

FoodSaver 8" x 20' rolls, 6-pk

FoodSaver GameSaver 8" x 20' Vacuum Seal Long Roll with BPA-Free Multilayer Construction

  • Keep game and fish fresh up to 5x Longer with FoodSaver GameSaver 8-inch rolls.
  • Create custom-sized bags - simply cut a piece to your desired length, seal one end, fill, and then vacuum seal.
  • 8" x 20' rolls
  • BPA-free
  • Pack of six rolls

FoodSaver 1-quart Food Storage Sealer bags

  • Constructed of durable yet pliable material that creates an airtight barrier around foods, extending freshness and locking in flavors
  • Quickly and easily portion food from bulk shopping or when storing leftovers.
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  • 1-quart size precut bags, 44-count

FoodSaver pint-size Food Storage Sealer bags

  • Constructed of durable yet pliable material that creates an airtight barrier around foods, extending freshness and locking in flavors
  • Quickly and easily portion food from bulk shopping or when storing leftovers.
  • BPA-FREE MATERIAL: Safe for storing raw and cooked foods, it's also freezer, refrigerator, microwave, and boil-safe
  • 1-pint size precut bags, 28-count

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

If you want to save money, try these Weston brand food vacuum sealer bags for a 100-count pack. Note that they are 3 mil thick! These are the ones I use.

Weston Vacuum Sealer Bags

2 Ply 3mm Thick, for NutriFresh, FoodSaver & Other Heat-Seal Systems, for Meal Prep and Sous Vide, BPA Free, 6" x 10" (Pint), 100 count, Clear

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

A Sweet Treat the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Dried Fruit Bar ideas

Our dried fruit bars recipe is a delicious treat without the added sugars in commercial fruit and nut bars. They're a perfect choice for nutritionally-minded people because they contain natural sugars and the nuts contain healthy fats.

Make a dried fruit combo you love by using different types of fruit and nuts. Many fruit bar lovers add chocolate chips to their recipe combo!

Here are three popular and delicious fruit combinations often used in a dried fruit bars recipe:

Tropical Delight dried fruit bar
Tropical Delight dried fruit bar

Tropical Delight

  • Dried mango
  • Dried pineapple
  • Dried coconut flakes
  • Brazil nuts or macadamia nuts

This combination offers a burst of tropical flavors. The sweetness of mango and pineapple is balanced by the nutty, buttery taste of Brazil nuts or macadamia nuts, while the coconut flakes add a nice texture and subtle sweetness.

Berry Bliss dried fruit bar
Berry Bliss dried fruit bar

Berry Bliss

This berry-filled bar is packed with antioxidants. The tartness of cranberries contrasts nicely with the mild sweetness of blueberries and the slight tanginess of goji berries. Almonds or pecans provide a crunchy texture and nutty flavor that complements the berries.

Orchard Harvest dried fruit bar
Orchard Harvest dried fruit bar

Orchard Harvest

This fruity combination is reminiscent of a walk through an orchard! The chewy sweetness of dried apples and apricots is balanced by the rich, honeyed taste of dried figs. Walnuts or pistachios add a nice crunch and a slightly bitter note that keeps the bar from being overly sweet.

Remember, these are just a few examples. You can mix and match dried fruits and nuts based on your personal preferences and what's available to you. Other popular ingredients include dried cherries, raisins, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Feel free to experiment with different combinations and ratios until you find your perfect blend. You can add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger for extra flavor depth. The possibilities are endless!

Check out my easy NO-BAKE version here!

Using Coconut Oil to Help Bind Your Ingredients

Use coconut oil in dried fruit bars! Coconut oil can be a great addition for several reasons:

  • Binding: Coconut oil can help bind the ingredients together, making the bars hold their shape better. When chilled, coconut oil solidifies, acting as a natural glue to keep the fruits and nuts stuck together.
  • Texture: Adding coconut oil can enhance the texture of the bars, making them slightly firmer and less sticky. This can make them easier to cut and handle.
  • Flavor: Coconut oil has a subtle, sweet, nutty flavor that can complement the taste of dried fruits and nuts. It can add a tropical twist to your bars.
  • Nutrition: Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat that is believed to boost energy and support metabolism. It also contains lauric acid of which coconut oil has the highest natural source with antimicrobial properties.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

When using coconut oil in your fruit bars, remember that a little goes a long way. You usually only need a tablespoon to get the binding and textural benefits. Too much coconut oil can make the bars look and taste greasy.

To incorporate coconut oil, simply mix it with your dried fruit and nut mixture before shaping it into bars.

Coconut oil can be a tasty and functional addition to your dried fruit bars, enhancing both the flavor and the structure of this wholesome snack.

How About Almond Butter?

Almond butter is a great ingredient to add to your dried fruit bars recipe. Like coconut oil, it can serve several purposes:

  • Binding: Almond butter can help hold the ingredients together, acting as a glue for the dried fruits and nuts.
  • Texture: It can make the bars more chewy and less crumbly. The fats in almond butter can also help make the bars more moist.
  • Flavor: Almond butter has a rich, nutty flavor that can enhance the taste of your fruit bars, especially if you're already using almonds in your mix.
  • Nutrition: Almond butter is a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Variety: Using almond butter can add a different flavor profile and texture compared to using just whole or chopped almonds.

To incorporate almond butter into your fruit bars, mix it in with your dried fruit and nut mixture. If your almond butter is particularly thick or hard, you may want to soften it a bit in the microwave or use a double boiler before mixing. This will make it easier to incorporate evenly.

You can use almond butter in addition to or instead of coconut oil, depending on your recipe and preferences. Both can help bind the ingredients and add healthy fats, but they will contribute different flavors.

A Little Goes a Long Way...

One thing to keep in mind is that almond butter can be quite calorie-dense, so a little goes a long way. Start with a small amount (perhaps a few tablespoons per batch) and add more if needed to get the texture and flavor you want.

Also, if you're using almond butter, make sure to choose a brand that's 100% almonds with no added sugars or oils for the most natural, wholesome option. Or, you can even make your own almond butter at home using a food processor.

How to Make Almond Butter

Making almond butter

Making almond butter at home is quite simple! All you need is one ingredient - almonds - and a food processor or high-speed blender. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds (unsalted, unroasted)

Instructions:

  1. If you prefer a roasted flavor, you can roast your almonds first. Preheat your oven to 350°F, spread the almonds on a baking sheet, and roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they're slightly golden and fragrant. Let them cool completely before proceeding.
  2. Place the almonds (roasted or raw) into your food processor or high-speed blender.
  3. Start processing the almonds. They'll first turn into a fine meal, then a thick paste, and finally a smooth, creamy butter. This process can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on the power of your machine.
  4. Scrape the sides down in the processor/blender as needed to keep the butter at the bottom.
  5. Continue processing until the almond butter reaches your desired consistency. For a smoother, more runny butter, process longer. For a thicker, more textured butter, stop processing sooner.
  6. If you find your almond butter is too thick, you can add a little bit of neutral oil (like coconut or avocado oil) to help it become smoother.
  7. Once your almond butter is ready, transfer it to a jar or airtight container.
  8. If desired, you can add a pinch of salt, a touch of honey, or some vanilla extract for extra flavor. Mix these in thoroughly.
  9. Store your homemade almond butter in the refrigerator. It should keep for several weeks.

Some tips:

  • Be patient! It can take a while for the almonds to release their oils and turn into a smooth butter.
  • If your food processor or blender is overheating, take a break and let it cool down before continuing.
  • For an even creamier butter, you can remove the skins of the almonds after roasting (if you roast them). Let them cool, then rub them between your hands - the skins should come off easily.

Check out: https://www.loveandlemons.com/almond-butter-recipe/ for more tips!

Making your own almond butter allows you to control the ingredients and texture, plus it can be more economical than buying it from the store. It's a fun and satisfying (but somewhat noisy) kitchen project!

What is YOUR Favorite Dried Fruit Bar Combo?

Did you come up with an awesome mix? Share it!

Simply type in (a brief) name of the recipe you created in the box below.

Then click on the link directly below that box to add your comments!

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