+ Well Nourished | Healthy No Bake Muesli Bars

No bake, nut free muesli bar

These fast treats came about one morning when I opened the freezer and alas, no lunch box fillers.  No time to bake, what could I do but invent a nut-free, healthy no bake muesli bars?  QUICKLY!

Why are they so healthy?
Well, the oats are a nourishing, high fibre, nerve supporting food.  The seeds and coconut provide good fats, protein, and energy (of the slow release kind).  The cinnamon further stabilises blood sugars.  If you use brown rice syrup, they are also fructose friendly.  These simple treats will sustain, satisfy and nourish your body – they are the perfect healthy snack.

Why these are SO much better than any supermarket breakfast or muesli bar…
Here I go, getting on my high horse again.  But the health claims on these bars just make me shudder.  A warning would be more appropriate in many cases.  Many commercial bars have almost as much sugar as a chocolate bar, alarming amounts of polyunsaturated fats (find out why you need to avoid these here) and ‘fruit’ that is more a product of chemistry than nature.  My simple invention is whole and nourishing in ways that any supermarket or even health food brands could never be.  For my detailed analysis of why there’s nothing good or healthy about processed muesli bars, click here.

They are just too easy to make, so no excuses for processed bars anymore!

Makes 15 squares

Ingredients
100gram (1 cup) rolled oats
60gram (½ cup) sesame seeds
60gram (½ cup) pepitas
60gram (½ cup) sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon of chia seeds or flax seeds, ground is best
60grams (1 cup) desiccated or shredded coconut
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
125grams of butter
170grams (½ cup) of raw honey or brown rice syrup
 
Optional
Dried fruit or cacao nibs

Method

  1. In a small pot, combine the butter, sweetener and cinnamon over a low heat, stirring until combined (TMX 2mins, temp 90, speed 3).
  2. You have a couple of options here.  For a tastier slice, throw the oats, seeds, and coconut into a large pan and toast over a low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often (the coconut will colour and the pepitas will start to pop).
  3. OR
  4. Combine the dried ingredients raw.
  5. Add the dried mix to the butter / sweetener mix, (plus dried fruit or cacao nibs if using) and mix until combined (TMX 30sec, reverse, speed 3 – you may need to scrape the sides). See my lunch box tip below.
  6. Press into a small slice tin lined with baking paper (I use a wet stainless steel serving spoon).  Put it in the freezer for 10 minutes or until set.
  7. Remove from the tin and cut into squares.
  8. It is best to keep refrigerated or frozen.

LUNCHBOX TIP
For a slice that holds together better, use  butter or ghee (coconut oil melts more rapidly) and process the mixture so it is fine and sticks together better (TMX 10sec, speed 5). Use the back of a big wet spoon to really compact it into the tray. My kids prefer this to a chunky consistency and it is definitely better for holding together in the lunch box. Also, store it in the freezer and pack from frozen in an insulated lunch box (with a cold pack). It will be defrosted and ready to eat come morning tea.

There are over 50 delicious, easy to make nut-free recipes in my best selling ebook “The Well Nourished Lunchbox” – more details and a video of what’s inside HERE.

Variations
Dairy-free
Use coconut oil or ghee instead of butter.  If using coconut oil, you will just need to make sure it is kept cold or it will fall apart more quickly than the butter version.

Gluten and grain-free
Use quinoa flakes (may just need to increase the quantity slightly).

Low-fructose
Use brown rice syrup instead of honey.

Do kids fuss over the seeds or consistency?
Either leave the ones they dislike out and increase those they do like, or grind them up.  You can even process the whole mix of dried ingredients to make a finer, less chunky slice.

 

Have a play with this recipe.  Please let me know if you discover any interesting variations and I’d love to receive your comments below.

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No bake Muesli bar

  • Edina

    Love this, thanks. We’re always looking for lunch box fillers so will definitely be making these x

    • Great, it’s so simple. Just remember the ice pack in the lunch boxes as the weather warms up or they’ll melt. G x

  • Rosanne O’Brien

    Hi Georgia this recipe is similar to one I make. Will try your version though as mine has brown sugar in as well. Interested to see the taste difference using just butter and rice syrup. Thx

    • Rosie the rice syrup (being fructose free) is a lot less sweet than sugar or honey. If you have a sweet palate, either use honey or extra rice syrup (or a mixture) and taste the mixture before setting it into the tin. If it’s not sweet enough, add more until it is. I use only the bare minimum when it comes to sweeteners, so my measurements may not be sweet enough for some. G x

  • Nat

    Yum. I’ll make this for Nik today. He’s a seed freak.

  • Sally

    Just made these, delicious! And so quick and easy, I just substituted the coconut for rice puffs and threw in a handful of chopped raw cashews, the rice syrup gave them a lovely flavour, I found about 4 tbsps plenty sweet enough. Kids will be very please when they get home from school 🙂 – Sally

    • Your improvisations are great. I also love hearing how much sweetener is enough. I’m always cautious that I may be under doing it as I don’t like really sweet things. Thanks Sally. G x

  • Tracey

    Made these tonight for the kids lunch boxes tomorrow, quick, easy and delicious

    • They are aren’t they Tracey. Thanks for trying them out. G x

  • Elizabeth

    These are very delicious!! Thanks for the recipe but do you know if there is any other way to stop them from melting? Mine seem to fall apart after about 10 mins.

    I’ve made mine gluten and fructose free as I am allergic to fructose and my partner is a celiac. I put in rice puffs instead of oats and used rice malt syrup 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth. As I mentioned in the recipe, butter and coconut oil both melt at room temp (especially on warm days) and there’s simply no avoiding this in raw slices. I personally keep mine in the freezer (or fridge) and eat immediately. If packing in a lunch box, I pack it up against an ice brick. Try quinoa flakes instead of rice puffs (or a mix) as they offer much more nourishment than a puffed grain (I’ll post on why shortly) and will hold together better I should think. Hope this helps. G x

      • Ali

        Maybe you could pop them in a patty pan? Just a thought 🙂

  • Joanne

    Very tasty. I made mine gluten free and used rice malt syrup as i have coeliac and I also added a handful of chopped dates and craisins. So easy to make too.

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  • Jules

    Thanks so much for this recipe! Made these today in my Thermomix, so simple, quick, nutritious and delicious. Most importantly, my fussy Miss Five loved them! I’m so pleased to find another healthy ‘lunch box friendly’ snack.

  • Just wondering about the brown rice syrup – I often use stevia or maple syrup, but really am unsure about what sweetener is the best? What do you recommend?

    • I prefer to avoid fructose which means my preference is brown rice syrup (or stevia, but I do prefer the taste of the rice syrup). For more on sugar you can read this post, or this post. G x

  • Justine Wilcox

    I made this today and like everyone says, so easy and quick! I didn’t have enough coconut oil so I used a bit of coconut butter which was really nice, and some dried mulberries. It’s so great that you can improvise and just throw in what you have (to an extent), that’s something raw “baking” has over regular baking, I reckon. I’m so glad I found your site – I’m going to try your Dahl and later the almond slice. Such good recipes for kids!

    • Thanks for your feedback Justine and I love your improvisations, thanks for sharing. I agree, raw ‘baking’ is much more forgiving. I’m just getting started and just love the endless possibilities of food creation – I’ve many more recipes to come. G x

  • Nat

    Deeeelish! Made this on the weekend to replace supermarket nut bars. Definitely a keeper, thanks G x

  • Ami Rogers

    Hi Georgia,
    They look great, will try some tomorrow. Just wondering how long they last in the fridge / freezer (assuming the kids don’t eat them all immediately 🙂 )
    Ami

    • At least a week in the fridge or freeze for a few months. Don’t think they’ll last that long though! G x

  • Fiona

    Love these!! Just wondering if you have a nutritional analysis on these, i.e.: saturdated fat, carbs, kj’s etc? Happy to work it out myself but just wondered.

    • Thanks Fiona, pleased you enjoy them. Sorry no nutritional analysis. I believe that whole, nourishing foods can not be assessed as a sum of their parts. Many wholesome foods don’t fare well on paper and many processed foods look good, but provide absolutely no nourishment. Furthermore all calories are not created equal. This bar has only whole food ingredients, though I would highly recommend the fructose free version as the healthiest choice. G x

      • Fiona

        These were soooo delicious that I have almost polished them off in a week. Hard to stop at 1! Might use less butter or coconut oil ext time as I thought they were quite buttery but soooo delicious. Also added some raisins and chopped up dried apricots. Yummmm

  • Tracey

    Made this on the weekend and I LOVE it! Held together suprisingly well, I added some raisins so my partner would eat it and he loved it! Thanks for putting this recipe up 🙂

    • Thanks for your feedback, so pleased it was a hit. Always good to have an easy to make treat! Gx

  • Ceska

    Outstanding – by far my favourite and now a freezer staple! A quick breaky on the run and awesome lunch box filler – Thanks x

  • Judy

    Yes….. Nnneearrrllly had the fussy one eating it….(sigh!!)…fell apart between being out of freezer and lunch time at school ….(that was the excuse anyway!). Not giving up… will try processing a bit to make stick together next time. I used linseeds (cldn’t find chia seeds on a desperate Sunday shop) and cranberries.

  • Oh no – tell her that it still tastes good though (and perhaps to eat it in first break)! Better luck next time! G x

  • Jane McNaughton

    Hi Georgia. I think these look great but I’m just a little concerned about the phytic acid content. Would soaking the grains/seeds change the consistency too much? Have you tried the bars with soaked ingredients at all?

    • Jane, to reduce the phytic acid you can certainly activate the seeds and grain (soak and dehydrate). As long as they are completely dried, I can’t see why it won’t work. I often use activated nuts/seed/grain G x

  • jenny

    Hi Georgia I love this recipe. I added some almonds and dried cranberries and apricots…yum! Any idea what the calorie count per serve may be (b4 additions)?

    • Hi Jenny, thanks and sorry I have no idea how many calories. I tend to count nutrients rather than calories, G x

  • Fiona

    Hi. Thanks for this recipe, so delicious. I’ve made a number of different museli bars in the past but this is by far the best and I’m pretty sure will quickly become a staple in our house. I’ve recently stumbled upon your website looking for some new vegetarian recipes for my family as my baby starts solids. Thanks for such a wonderful site and giving me inspiration and motivation to provide nutritious meals for my family x

    • Thanks Fiona, I’m glad you found me and that you find my site useful. Yes this is a great recipe. Just a tip if you are a vegetarian- also look at some of the meat based meals. Many of my meat based recipes (for e.g. lamb shanks) also include a vegetarian variation at the bottom of the recipe. I try to cater for vegetarians where ever I can. G x

  • Lauren

    so easy in my thermomix.. melted stirred all on reverse then pressed into a tin, in the freezer as we speak. added cacao nibs and cranberries. hoping this will help me get through night shifts when the hunger for sweet treats sets in!! your in my paprika app!! thanks very much 🙂 Lauren From Sydney

  • Meg

    Georgia, I love the way you gently and kindly educate us all on real food eating. I loved reading your responses on calories and breakdown of nutritional facts. You rock!

    • Oh thanks so much Meg. Lots of living an learning to get to where I am now – a good place I think. Love sharing my health and food philosophy. G x

  • Jess

    This is brilliant! Thankyou. Love the fructose free option. So quick and easy in the Thermomix!

  • Bee

    Hi, i just made these last night and omg how divine! I used rice malt syrup to make fructose free. I found them quite sweet so i was wondering if i could half the RMS or if that amount was needed to help combine the ingredients? Thanks

    • Definitely have a play Bee – I agree, I find them very sweet too. I put this together so long ago, I think the reason it kept up (generally I try to limit to 85g in most recipes), was for binding and to balance the fat. I’d start with dropping down to about 100g or 1/3 cup and go from there. I’ll try it with my next batch, G x

  • Sarah Smith

    These are great! I made them gluten free by using 2 cups puffed brown rice instead of the oats. I toasted it all then blitzed it in the thermomix as suggested to make a less chunky bar. It’s a great tip, they really hold together much better than chunky bars. Thanks!

  • Sarah

    Absolute hit with the family. Thanks so much! So great to find nut-free recipes for school too

    • You’re welcome Sarah – my upcoming lunch-box ebook has over 50 nut-free sweet and savoury recipes. Until then, plenty more NF on the site, G x

  • Samster

    Your website has been a fantastic find this week, lots of ideas for the future! I made these bars last night, with 3 tablespoons of honey and a little under 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. A tad crumbly, yet my children and I found them delicious.

    • Hi Samster, oh interesting that they are okay with oil. I assumed they wouldn’t hold up without a solid fat – learn something every day! Great to know, thanks so much for your input. G x

  • Haleigh

    i’m curious to make these, just wondering when out of the freezer for a period of time (like till snack break at kindy) would they crumble apart by then? have made other no bake ones that fall apart as soon as out of the freezer for a bit. thanks

    • Okay I make the butter version and as long as I process the mix (finer texture), press into the tin firmly with the back of a big metal spoon and then pack from frozen in a stainless steel lunchbox in a insulated bag (with a ice brick), they are fine. Had one myself this week at my daughters swim carnival. Packed at 7am, ate 3-4 hrs later (outside on a hot QLD day) and it was just fine. Coconut oil has a lower melt point so will not hold together for as long G x

  • Veronica Wells

    I love this recipe and bang it out for an in-the-car breakfast a few times a month. I have some buckwheat grouts that I want to use up, do you think I could just throw those in, too?

    • Thanks Veronica. Yes, I often add buckwheat to mine – throw it in for sure G x

  • Lynette Haig

    Found this recipe when my oven spontaniously combusted. I used mix of oats and quinoa flakes and walnuts( no sunflower seeds on cupboard!) also added cranberries, preserved ginger with syrup rinsed off, and allspice. Turned out fabulous, no crumble and just the right chewiness, my new favourite, thanks?

    • Yay, glad you found it. Love the sound of your combo. It’s such a versatile recipe, thanks for sharing G x

  • kirstie

    Can I leave the brown rice syrup out as I’m on the I quit sugar plan so no sweetness allowed!

  • Katie J

    Love these – great lunchbox treat

  • Just the recipe for me to put together tomorrow when it is too hot to bake …. Thank you.
    https:/garnetfleuri.wordpress.com

  • Sally Clouting

    Hi Georgia, I made this yesterday using the recommendations to toast and process the ingredients and it worked really well. I did find it very sweet though. Would it work as well using half the amount of rice malt syrup?

    • Hi Sally, yes you can play with reducing the sweetener for sure, as long as it holds firm when you press it into the tin, it will be fine G x

      • Sally Clouting

        Having finally got around to making this again I thought I’d let you know that I tried it with half the quantity of Rice Malt Syrup (ie. 1/4cup) and the sweetness was just right for us. I also threw in a small handful of dried Goji berries which was nice It’s been perfect for my 3.5yr olds kinder snack cut into bite size pieces. Thx again for such a fab recipe.

        • That’s great to know – I’ll update the recipe, thanks for sharing and thrilled you enjoy them G x

  • Mahité

    Hi Georgia! Do they hold well if not kept cold? If so, how long will they keep good? I’m looking for a recipe I could take along for 2 weeks of camping in a national park, and only a cooler that will be packed with veggies, cheese etc. Any idea? I tried the Chocolate Protein Bar which we absolutely love, but they don’t hold well if not frozen.

  • Hi Mahite
    Raw snacks are probably not the best choice for camping, they do fall apart more easily if not kept cool. This will be the same as the protein bar unfortunately. I generally stick with baked biscuits for camping goodies (they are tougher than cakes and slices for storing). Enjoy your trip G x

  • Francesca

    Even the better quality muesli bars on the supermarket shelf are giving me digestion ‘issues’ so I have turned to Well Nourished for some inspiration. I’ve just made a batch of these – they are delicious, hold together beautifully and I look forward to taking a couple with me when I’m on the run between uni and work. May I also add your cacao rough slice is divine when I’m needing a chocolatey hit (which is often!) I’ve made it more than a couple of times. I’ve just ordered your lunch e-book to support your fantastic work. Thank you. 🙂

    • Yay – thrilled you like it and my personal favourite chocolate treat too Francesca. Thanks so much for supporting my work. I know you’ll love The Well Nourished Lunchbox ebook. G x

  • Matthew Semmens

    I make this all the time….my kids love it…thank you.xx

  • Your’e very welcome – thrilled they like it G x

  • Georgie Friday

    I just made a batch of these and the whole family loves them! So easy and quick to make. I have been reluctantly buying supermarket muesli bars for my kid’s lunches and finally fed up, did a quick web search for alternatives – so glad your site came up. My kids are scoffing these down as I write ! Thank you.

  • Hi Nancy, thrilled you almost all enjoyed them. Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated G x

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