These Trail Mix Bars are the most simple granola bars with a chewy texture and packed with 5 grams of protein and only 9 grams of unrefined sugar.
Plus, these bars are perfect if you like to meal prep a week of healthy or post-workout snacks.
But these trail mix bars are the new favorite recipe in my home. They are chewy, crunchy, and packed with all the nutrients you need to fuel up in the morning or refuel after a cardio workout.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
They are also a perfect plant-based recipe for a kid’s lunchbox, as they contain 2.3 mg of iron from the dried apricots and dark chocolate.
Plus they are also naturally:
- Gluten-Free if using gluten-free certified oats
- Refined Sugar-Free
What’s A Trail Mix Bar?
Homemade trail mix bars are breakfast bars made from the most classic trail mix ingredients: nuts and dried fruits.
They are perfect for eating during a long cardio workout to keep your energy level steady as they are packed with slow-release carbohydrates from oats and nuts.
You can also eat trail mix bars as an on-the-go breakfast or snack for kid’s lunchboxes.
Are Trail Mix Bars Healthy?
Not all the trail mix bars from the grocery store are healthy.
Most of them contain glucose syrup, sugar, or milk solids. Most of the time, store-bought trail mix bars are not vegan and also contain around 15g of added sugar.
How To Make A Trail Mix Bar
So trail mix is a thing, but it can be a little bland and boring so let’s turn it into a trail mix bar instead.
All you need to make chewy oat bars trail-mix style are:
- Almonds – You can use raw almonds or roasted almonds.
- Cashews – or macadamia or even more almonds.
- Pecans – or hazelnuts or walnuts.
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats or quick oats – Make sure you pick gluten-free certified oats if needed.
- Dried Apricots – or dried dates but dried apricot are higher in iron which is great for reaching plant-based kid’s iron levels in a snack. In fact, 100 grams of dried apricot contain 2.3mg of iron compared to 0.9g for dates. Plus, apricots have a lower GI as well which makes them perfect as a post-workout bar. It won’t raise your blood sugar as fast as dates
- Almond Butter or sunflower seed butter for a boost of protein and healthy fats.
- Brown Rice Syrup – or maple syrup.
To make the bars, all you need is a food processor.
Blending The Ingredients
Place all the ingredients: almonds, cashews, pecans, oats, dried apricots, almond butter, and sweetener in the bowl of a food processor.
Using the S blade attachment of the food processor, blend the ingredients together on the high-speed setting until the dough comes together into a sticky batter with bits and pieces of nuts.
Packing In A Pan
Prepare an 8-inch x 8-inch square pan covered with parchment paper. Slightly oil the paper with coconut oil and set it aside.
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°F).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and using the back of a measuring cup press firmly the batter onto the pan into an even single layer.
Baking The Trail Mix Bars
Bake in the center rack of the oven until the sides are golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool down the trail mix bar on a cooling rack for about 3 hours or overnight until the bar firm up and harden.
Chocolate-Dipped Trail Mix Bars
If you like, in a microwave safe bowl melt chocolate and coconut oil.
Flip over the bar onto a chopping board and pour the melted chocolate on top. Spread the melted chocolate over the bar with a silicone spatula.
Freeze the whole bar for 10 to 12 minutes or until the chocolate shell sets.
After that time, use a sharp knife to cut the bar into 12 trail mix bars.
Of course, you can play with flavors and make these trail mix bars in so many different flavors.
For example, you can change the nuts, swapping pecans for hazelnut, and stir in some of the below – about 1/2 cup – ingredients after blending:
- Dark Chocolate Chips
- Shredded Coconut
- Seeds – chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.
- Other fruits like freeze dried blueberries or raspberries.
Store your homemade trail mix bar in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
Below are some alternatives ingredients to make these trail mix bars suitable for anyone with food allergies:
- Nut-Free – You can replace all the nuts with seeds. For example, swap almonds for pumpkin seeds, swap pecans for sunflower seeds, and replace the cashews with hemp or sesame seeds. For the almond butter, replace it with sunflower seed butter.
- Low-Sugar – Dried apricots are the dried fruit with the lowest GI, but they still contain a good amount of fructose. However, you can cut down the sugar of the bars by replacing the syrup with a sugar-free Monk fruit syrup.
- Gluten-Free – use gluten-free certified oat brands or use quinoa flakes instead of oats. Note that quinoa flakes can be bitter and you may like to roast the flakes and cool them down before adding them to this recipe to remove the bitterness of the quinoa flakes.
- Apricot-Free – If you don’t like dried apricots, you can use any other dried fruits like pitted Medjool dates or dried prunes, or dried raisins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the answers to your most frequent questions about this recipe:
Can I Add Proteins?
You can boost the proteins of your trail mix bars by adding high-protein seeds like hemp seeds or chia seeds.
After blending the ingredients together, add 1/4 cup of chia seeds or hemp seeds, or flaxseed. Close the lid of the food processor and pulse a few times to just incorporate.
Can I Add Protein Powder?
No, I don’t recommend that option it will dry out the bars. Try my protein cereal bars recipe or protein bars for a high-protein snack made out of protein powder.
Can I Make The Recipe Without A Food Processor?
No, you really need a food processor for this recipe.
A blender has a narrow jug, and the ingredients won’t come together as well in it.
Can I Freeze The Trail Mix Bar?
Absolutely, you can freeze the bars in zip-lock bags for up to 3 months. Thaw the bar the day before at room temperature and enjoy.
More Breakfast Bar Recipes
You may want to try more of my healthy breakfast bars recipes below:
Did you try these trail mix bars? Share a review or comment below to connect with me.
Did You Like This Recipe?
Trail Mix Bar
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line an 8-inch x 8-inch squares pan with parchment paper. Oil the paper with coconut oil. Set aside.
- In a food processor, place all the ingredients and blend on high speed for about 30 seconds – I like to keep bites and pieces of nuts and stop the food processor when it just sticks together.
- Pour the sticky batter into the prepared pan and press with the back of a measuring cup to pack the batter into the pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the sides are golden brown.
- Cool down for 3 hours on a cooling rack to firm up at room temperature.
Chocolate shell – optional
- If you like, flip the bar over onto a chopping board. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil then pour melted dark chocolate all over the bar.
- Freeze the bar for 10-12 minutes or until the chocolate shell hardens.
- Cut the bar into 12 small trail mix bars.
- Store the trail mix bars in the fridge in an airtight box for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.