Lunchbox Apple Oat Bars (nut free)

Desserts & Baking, Gluten-Free, Kids, Vegan

Apple Oat Bars that are nut free, no bake, gluten free and taste amazing! Made out of wholesome foods including dried apples, oats and sunflower seeds, they are perfect for school lunches!

These Lunchbox Apple Oat Bars are nut-free and whipped up in only 2 minutes in a food processor, no baking required!  I promise they will be a new household staple.

I remember lunches as a kid. Put up your hand if you had peanut butter sandwiches ALL the time!?  I did. Of course, fast forward to present day and nuts aren’t allowed in school lunches, and for a legitimate reason. I know that if my child had a nut allergy I would be incredibly grateful for this policy, right!?

apples

So here we are, us moms trying to find healthy snacks that our kids will actually eat (there’s little more frustrating than packing a lunch for your kids only to have it returned half eaten, if lucky, at the end of the day).  My kids love apples, so I thought I would create something healthy and delicious based on their favourite flavours that makes everyone happy. Here’s why I love these bars:

  • they are nut-free, gluten-free and vegan
  • no baking is required
  • they are made in a food processor in ONE STEP
  • they taste amazing and freeze beautifully!

As always, when making anything for someone who can’t tolerate gluten, be sure to use certified gluten free ingredients like oats and oat flour.  I don’t purposely omit gluten from our family’s diet as nobody has tolerance issues, but these simple wholesome ingredients all happened to be gluten free which is a big bonus for anyone who requires such a diet.

A note about the sweetener used: brown rice syrup is super sticky and really helps bind the bars together. I always get asked about ingredient substitutions, but I haven’t tried these bars with another type of sweetener (ie: maple syrup) … would love to hear if you try!

If you like the idea of these bars try out my Sneaky Mommy Muffins (loaded with veggies!), my Lunchbox Cookies (same thing, packed with veggies for unsuspecting kids), or my Chocolate Tahini Energy Bars.

Apple Oat Bars that are nut free, no bake, gluten free and taste amazing! Made out of wholesome foods including dried apples, oats and sunflower seeds, they are perfect for school lunches!

Apple Oat Bars that are nut free, no bake, gluten free and taste amazing! Made out of wholesome foods including dried apples, oats and sunflower seeds, they are perfect for school lunches!
5 from 3 votes
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Lunchbox Apple Oat Bars (nut free)

Totally nut-free and loaded with fibre, healthy fats, plant protein and yummy dried apples, these bars freeze beautifully and are whipped up in a food processor in 2 minutes.  

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Apple
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 20 bars
Author Fraîche Nutrition

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups chopped dried apple, packed (5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds (also labelled milled flax)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 10 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13" metal baking pan with parchment paper hanging over two sides (spray the pan first with cooking spray to help the parchment stick).  This will make the bars easier to remove.

  2. Place all of the ingredients in a large capacity food processor (minimum 8 cup) and process until it is fine and sticks together (about 2 minutes), stopping the processor and scraping down the sides a couple of times.

  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press the mixture down very firmly and evenly using the bottom of a glass cup.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight, remove the bars from the pan using the overhanging parchement as handles, place on a large cutting board and cut into the desired number of bars with a sharp knife.  Store at room temperature in a covered container for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

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26 Comments on “Lunchbox Apple Oat Bars (nut free)”

  1. Tara-Lee

    Can’t wait to try this!! Will my vitamix work as a food processor? It’s new to me so have only done smoothies and soup ha ha.

  2. Catherine

    Is there anything else I can use that can replace the brown rice syrup?
    Ps. These sound and look amazing, can’t wait to try!!!

  3. Stephanie

    Do you have any suggestions for a great food processor that’s not too hard on the budget?
    Thank you! Love your blog

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Stephanie I have a Kitchen Aid and love it! There is a link to one on the shop page of my blog if you are in Canada that is on sale right now (just look in the Kitchen section)

  4. Caroline

    Hi Tori,
    These look delicious! Is there a substitute I could use for the rice syrup as I want to make these for my 17 month old.
    Thank you! Xx

  5. Kelly


    I made these with dried apricots instead of apple and they turned out so delish! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  6. Helen


    These are super quick to make and truly delicious- just the right amount of softness/moisture/chewiness! My 5 year old is an extremely fussy eater so I blitzed everything extra fine (so there aren’t any discernable bits) and to fool her into thinking they’re a candy bar, I dipped them in melted chocolate and covered them in tiny sprinkles! Also, I didn’t have the pan you call for so used my rimmed cookie sheet (half-size – same size as your recipe but a low rim and it worked perfectly as it was easy to smooth out!)

  7. Janine

    I’ve already made them multiple times. So yummy! We used maple syrup as substitute and it worked well! No dried apples in the house so we made one batch of apricot and one batch of cherry and dark chocolate.

  8. Jessica Pink

    Quick question – what kind of apple chips? Do the crunchy ones work (ie: Martin’s Apple Chips) or is this recipe meant for a softer dried apple that is more chewy?

  9. Kelly

    Could you us fresh apples? I have a boat load of Honey Crisp apples that are past the eating stage but would be good in something. I don’t want to waste them.

  10. Barbara Bizovie

    I have made these numerous times – I love them and so does everyone I’ve served them to. Thank you for the recipe.

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