A Grab 'N Go Breakfast With ZERO Added Sugar (and you will love it)

April 18, 2011   62 Comments

Anybody else sick of packaged cereal bars? But, they are just SO easy and fast.

Cereal Bar Recipe

The concept, a delicious bar packed with nutrients to start your day isn't a bad one. The problem is that most cereal or granola bars on the market have a ton of added sugar and they taste kinda fake.

Snack Girl to the rescue!!!

So, I have looked a perhaps 100 different granola bar/energy bar recipes and the ones that I like the best feature ingredients that I already have in the house. But, many homemade recipes also have added sugar. In fact, the recipe I used to use (Energy Bar Recipe), has 3/4 cup brown sugar in it.

What if all the ingredients were unprocessed and there was no added sugar, honey, or maple syrup? Would you get something that tasted yummy?

The problem is that we are so inundated with sugar, that at first a child (or adult) might dislike these because they aren't sweet enough. My 6 year old LOVED these "Cereal Bars" and eagerly ate one for breakfast.

I like them because (basically) this is just fruits and nuts stuck together by nut butter and mashed bananas. These are easy to make and store well in the fridge or freezer.

And did I mention that they are gluten free and vegan? Whoa!

If you like grabbing a bar for breakfast, give these a try.

Also, these could make a great snack, but I wouldn't make them as large. I would divide up the batter into 24 muffin cups and cook them a shorter length of time. This way you get a snack closer to a hundred calories - which is a more reasonable amount.

If you are gluten-free, please be sure to use gluten-free certified oats. Many oats are processed in the same plants as wheat.

Have you tried to make your own cereal bars?


Cereal Bar Recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews

makes 12 granola bites

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1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup whole nuts (choose your favorite)
1 ½ cup total of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, coconut, etc.)
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, coarsely chop nuts and dried fruits. Mix nut butter and bananas until a paste forms. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes. Can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

One granola bite is 190 calories, 8.4 g fat, 26.7 g carbohydrates, 5.4 g protein, 3.1 g fiber, 52 mg sodium, 6 Freestyle SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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These sound awesome!

SO making some of these!

giving this one a shot next week

What is nut butter??? These sound really good.

These look great! Will definitely be making some!

These look fantastic! Must try.

Will sun butter work? I have tried making my own bars before, but they were too dry AND too sweet. I'll be trying these this week-I'm always eating breakfast on the run-these look perfect!

I was hoping that by writing "nut butter" I was including all those nutty spreads that people love such as peanut butter, sun butter, almond butter, etc. Any other ideas?

This is such an awesome recipe! I'm totally going to have to try this one soon.

Thanks, Snack Girl. Sounds great as I am always looking for new breakfast ideas! Will definitely try, with addition of protein powder. Unfortunately, it's hard to find dried fruits that don't have added sugar, sometimes a LOT of added sugar. We all must remember to READ LABELS!!

These look fabbity fab.

what about a sub for bananas?

I would love to make these. Just one question, can you use a blender? I don't have a food processor. Thanks, Jen

A blender will definately not work. There is not enought moisture to keep the nuts and dried fruit from bogging down the blade. You'd be better off putting the nuts in a zip lock baggie and crushing them with a rolling pin and chopping the dried friut with a knife, mashing the banana with a fork and mixing all together. Just a suggestion.

I'll have to try these!! I love recipes without added sugar (granulated, brown, ect.), but a bonus when it doesn't contain honey or maple syrup! *Bookmark*

Hey Snack Girl, have you ever tried Vegan Overnight Oats?

It's 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 to 1.25 cups almonds milk (or milk oc choice), 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 to 1 mashed banana, and 1 tbsp chia seeds (flax seeds and meal work fine too). You stir it a bit then place it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add desired toppings and eat. Pretty quick too.

hi ms katy....... is the oats instant? can i use an ordinary low fat milk? what is chia seeds? any alternatives that can easily found in supermarket? thanks.

I'm wondering about the banana substitute as well.

@Dorie: I use rolled oats, but I'm sure old fashioned or maybe quick oats work fine too. I don't think steel cut would work though. You could use regular cow milk, it just won't be vegan. I use cow milk whenever I don't have almond or soy milk at my house. Chia seeds are pretty hard to find, I think, but are great for hydration and other goodness. The chia seeds are for thickening up the oats too. An alternative is flax seeds or flax meal. Or just add more banana to thicken it all up!

thanks a lot katy... im so excited to try this. send me some more...

@dorie: Your welcome ^^

Go to for more recipes...

I love that you just write "nut butter"! Too many people rely on peanut butter and exclude other nut butters. Walnut butter is HIGHLY underrated; as is macadamia, cashew, pecan, almond, a blend etc... great recipe! So many of my clients don't even think of other nut butters! I don't think they even realize that peanuts aren't a nut! And walnuts are so full of selenium and vitamin E. I love the addition of pumpkin seeds (more selenium)! This is turning out to be a serious 'prostate cancer fighting', healthy snack!

Have a great weekend!


Yeah I have *tried* making home made granola or cereal bars and they always turn out terrible. I get granola but never bars; they just crumble up into bits. I don't know what I do wrong as I follow the recipes pretty exactly

Hi Snack Girl, any subs for banana yet?


yummy! smelled like 24 mini-banana muffins when they were baking. i used TJ's almond butter with flaxseed, whole almonds, craisins, dates (think LARABARS), unsweetened coconut (less sugar than using 1.5cups of fruit.....but probably changes calories/PPvalue?). great snack before/after a workout when u need a little something. cheaper than LARA/CLIFF/KASHI bars. am storing in the freezer.

was thinking canned pumpkin could be a sub for bananas....similar consistency but wont be as sweet.

Awesome! I am working at reducing our sugar intake. Thanks for the recipe!

I know I'm a little late to the game on these bars, but I made them last night and loved them!! I thought they were actually better the next day chilled. I'm going to try the banana bits next!

I love almond and cashew butter. I didn't know they made walnut butter. I need to find this. It sounds so good,

Just made these for breakfast and they are delicious!

If make these in a pan like bars, what size and how long bake?



I made these but didn't like the results. I thought they were way to mooshy. I should have realized the main ingredient being banana would result in too much moosh!

This looks really yummy. A girlfriend of mine bakes little "cupcake" omelettes this way too, kind of like mini-frittatas...there's a lot of creativity to be had in a healthy kitchen with a cupcake pan. thanks for this!

I love the recipe you shared at the end. I just made granola bars last night, but like you mentioned, my recipe had a little sugar and honey in there, so I really love your idea. I'll definitely give this a go. Also, baking them in muffin tins is a fab idea. Thanks Lisa.

I found this recipe here on Snack Girl back in April, and I've been making these ever since and putting them in the freezer a dozen at a time. My whole family loves them! My husband carries one to work to eat for breakfast. By the time he's ready to eat it, it is still cool, but not frozen. They are also GREAT straight from the freezer, which is how I prefer them. Thanks, Snack Girl, for an amazingly delicious and healthy breakfast on the go! They are also great with a cup of tea as an afternoon pick-me-up around 3 pm.

thank you,breakfast is a hard meal yo find variety for me ,on the run. These sound great

I recently read an "Are you addicted to sugar?" book and well, um, let's just say I answered yes to every single flippin question in the questionnaire. I skip breakfast too often and pound a nice mint mocha instead (I told you I love them). I have been looking for some breakfast alternatives. I am so excited to have found this recipe. I can't even express it well in words. {Hooray!} Thank you.

If somebody is avoiding gluten then they can't eat oats. Just a fyi... but you can buy gluten free oats :)

I love this. Awesome. Will try it soon.

Made these last weekend, and they were a huge hit with my husband and I. (I like them best frozen.)

This weekend's batch is in the oven now. :)

Made these today and they are really tasty. I am doing a no sugar challenge and these are perfect. Would love to see more no sugar recipes.

These are delicious and super easy! (I've added in some dried orange peel with cranberries and bananas and the result gets rave reviews from friends and family.) Thanks, Snack Girl.

I just made these! SO GOOD. I'll be freezing them and sharing them with my 2-year old for the next few weeks. Thanks Snack Girl! We love your site.

This is exactly what I was looking for!! Thank you so much! They are so good - Im making my second batch right now! One note for people trying to watch their added sugar intake - almost all dried fruit has added sugar so check the labels! Dried apricots and prunes both have a low glycemic index so those are good choices.

Ok, I just made these, they taste DELIOUS but I have several questions..

-I didn't put these in a muffin pan, I literally wanted them to be "bars". Does that change cook time? They seem to be EXTREMLY soft, even after being in the freezer all day! I'm afraid if I "grab and go" with them (my main intention in making these), they will literally melt! I put the mix in a plain baking sheet, and put them in oven for atleast 20 mins, but they still are rather soft. Any suggestions??

**Also note, to everyone, I have no blender/processor of any kind & I was able to mash bananas & crumble nuts by hand and it was fine! Also, I think it is beneficial to use organic peanut butter, as it has a much more liquid-y consistency and made it easier to turn into a paste. I was originally reluctant to make these because I didn't have a blender!

**alao, I added flax seed and used no honey. Still delicious!

Have you tried these with Better N' Butter (you can get at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's)? I would be interested in the Points Plus Value for that.

Hey Lisa, I finally got around to trying these. YUM! I used raisins, craisins, and chopped Turkish apricots (the kind without sulphur) for the dried fruit, and I used 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds. For the bananas, I grabbed two of the past-ripe bananas out of the freezer and thawed them in the microwave. I also added a (not so) secret ingredient which made them extra good: chocolate chips. I know, I know. That kind of cuts down on the whole "no added sugar" thing, but I really like chocolate chips. I added less than 1/2 a cup of them for the whole batch. I probably could have gotten away with 1/4 cup. I really like them! Thanks for the recipe!

@Kamaryn - I would up the time for baking to 30 minutes. I have never tried to make bars with them - but it should work.

I'm definitely going to be trying these! My daughter starts high school this year which means super early mornings and not much time for a healthy breakfast. These will be perfect! Thanks Snack Girl! (I'm so glad I found your site. I just love it!)

Yummy, these look great! I think I'll try them in the dehydrator to keep them raw. I've been meaning to try a dehydrated muesli bar for ages...

stop to read because I saw no added sugar well after seeing the dried fruit in it i was concerned because my son is recently diagnosed being a diabetic and reading all ingredients found out dried fruit has sugar added to it so a little hesitant in trying

I made these last week after finding a link to them in one of your posts. Oh my! These are really, really good. One fills me up for breakfast and they have so much flavor. Thanks!

I've been making these for a while now... for some reason my kids didn't want to eat them. "They look funny". So I flattened the mix out in a baking sheet w/ some parchment paper on the bottom. Ended up about 3/8" think.... baked for about 20mins @ 325... smelled like cookies more than muffins this time. Used a pizza cutter while they where still warm to cut into 12 bars. They turned out great! AND the kids eat 'em. Go figure. I use my homemade peanut butter and usually put 1/4C of good semi-sweet chocolate chips in with lots of dried cranberries, raisins, and apricots. Yum!

what about Nutella? instead of peanut butter.

How long will these keep for? What is the best way to store them?

I just made these for breakfast in the morning and they're awesome!

I just made these for my two-year-old and he LOVED them. Thank you!!!

I Love these I make them on Sunday they last through the week, I really struggle with a sweet tooth, these hit the spot I also use those bananas I have frozen, always trying to find something to do with them

Just to let you know, I had pinned this EONS ago and forgotten about it. At my WW meeting this morning, because we have focused on eating healthy breakfasts this month, our meeting (8:00 AM) had a breakfast spread afterwards. I took these (as mini-muffins) and they were a HIT! For the fruit, I used a tropical mix (raisins, dates, papaya, pineapple) and just plain ol' dry roasted peanuts for the nuts. BIG BIG success! :) (And might be sending a few new readers your way!)

There are some great high value cereal coupons here:…

These were awesome! Someone mentioned using a blender instead of a food processor-- I found that the "Magic Bullet" type of small blenders works just fine for most recipes calling for a food processor. Large, standard blenders don't work.

Has anyone tried these in a 9x13 (or square) baking dish? Any tips on modifying baking time to make them into bar shaped bars? :)

I can't wait to try this! I've been looking for an option for breakfast I can make that doesn't involve a wrapper! Thanks!

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