Made with whole grain oats and chewy dates, these Easy Homemade Oatmeal Date Granola Bars are perfect for a quick and healthy snack on the go! They are definitely better than store-bought granola bars!
If you know me, you know I always have some kind of granola bar or energy ball on hand for a grab-and-go snack! We love my Chewy Popcorn Granola Bars, these Easy No-Bake Granola Bars and especially today's recipe for Oatmeal Date Granola Bars! Not only are homemade granola bars incredibly easy to make, they also often contain fewer ingredients than store-bought granola bars and are cheaper too. Like so many others who have made this recipe, you all will absolutely love this recipe!
Why I Love This Recipe!
- Seriously, what's not to love about a homemade granola bar?! I love knowing that my homemade granola bars have been made with minimal ingredients and love, two things that should fuel us well throughout our busy days.
- You'll only need 6 ingredients to make these granola bars, most of which you probably already have in your pantry.
- These granola don't crumble easily like some homemade granola bars do. They hold their shape well making them perfect for traveling and running errands!
- If you need a healthy snack or breakfast on the go, these granola bars are just what you need!
- Rolled oats - Rolled oats are inexpensive, easy to find and a great way to add fiber to your homemade granola bars.
- Shredded or desiccated coconut - Not only does the coconut in this recipe add a delicious flavor, but it also adds whole-food richness.
- Nut butter - I love cashew butter and almond butter in this recipe, but for a more inexpensive granola bar, stick with peanut butter
- Medjool dates - Medjool dates are super big and juicy, making them the perfect "glue" to hold these granola bars together. Oh, and they make these oatmeal date granola bars naturally sweet!
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
- Rolled Oats - If you don't have rolled oats on hand, use quick oats instead.
- Nut Butter - Any nut or seed butter will work for these oatmeal date granola bars. I've made these with peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, tahini and even Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter). Basically, you can't go wrong!
- Medjool Dates - Medjool dates are definitely my favorite kind of dates to make homemade granola bars with, but if you can't find them, another type of dried date should work. If your dates are soft and sticky, soak them in some hot water for a few minutes. Then drain off the water and continue with the recipe.
- Coconut Oil - I you don't like the flavor of coconut, you can omit the desiccated coconut and use melted vegan butter instead of the coconut oil. If you omit the desiccated coconut, you probably won't need as much butter.
How to Make Oatmeal Date Granola Bars
Step 1: Start by pulsing some oats, coconut and salt in a food processor until combined.
Step 2: Then you'll add in some drippy nut butter and sticky, pitted dates and process the mixture again until a crumbly dough form.
Step 3: The dough will still be a little dry, so you'll need to stream in some coconut oil while the processor is running until a sticky dough forms. You'll know the dough is ready when it sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
Step 4: Lastly, press the dough into a prepared 8x8 baking dish and let the dough sit in the fridge for about an hour until it has set.
Step 5: Cut the dough into any shape you desire and you've got a delicious, nourishing snack!
- Use Medjool Dates if you can! They are sweet, sticky and oh so delicious!
- Make sure you really pack down the granola bar mixture into your baking dish, either with your hands or the bottom of a glass. If you don't get all the ingredients to stick together, you'll end up with a crumbly mess when you go to cut the granola bars.
The trick to getting homemade granola bars to stick together is to use lots of sticky dates, nut butter AND coconut oil. If you don't the coconut oil in this recipe, these granola bars would be dry and crumbly. The oil makes them moist and hold together.
"Healthy" is such a relative term. However, for our family, when it comes to finding healthy granola bars, I care most about ingredients, that means which ones and how many. What is healthy for you may be different than what is healthy for someone else.
Homemade granola bars will keep for different amounts of time, depending on what ingredients you use and how you store them.
These oatmeal date granola bars last for about a couple weeks for us when I store them in an airtight container in the fridge!
I usually store my homemade granola bars in an airtight container in the fridge and we finish them off way before they go bad. If you don't go through yours as quickly, then you can wrap the granola bars individually in plastic wrap and store them in a bag in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
When you need a granola bar, simply remove one or two from the freezer the night before and allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge. You can also place a frozen granola bar in your backpack in the morning and it should be thawed by lunchtime.
Some granola bar recipes require no equipment or baking. Those are your no-bake granola bars (or energy bites)! Other granola bars are best made using a food processor. These kinds of bars are often made with sticky dates and/or whole nuts which need to be processed down.
More Delicious Granola Bar Recipes!
And if you like to make your own homemade version of store-bought treats, try out my homemade Clif bar recipe!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.
Easy Homemade Oatmeal Date Granola Bars
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup nut butter
- 2 ½ cups about 30 packed, pitted Medjool dates**
- 5-6 tablespoons coconut oil
- Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the oats, coconut and salt a few times until combined.
- Add in the nut butter and pitted dates and process until everything is broken down into a crumbly mixture.
- Run the food processor again and stream in the coconut oil 1 tablespoon at a time until a sticky dough forms. It should be able to hold together when pressed between your fingers. You should have to use between 4-6 tablespoons.
- Press the mixture firmly into a lined 8x8 baking dish. The mixture may feel a little oily, but the bars won't taste oily. They will just hold together really well!
- Place the pan in the fridge for about 1 hour until the dough has set. Cut the dough into rectangles or squares. I get about 24 small rectangles.
- Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Any nut or seed butter should work.
- I have only tried these bars with sticky Medjool dates!
- You can always halve this recipe for fewer bars or bars that are thinner.
Hi there just wondering if these would freeze well and how long they keep in the fridge roughly?
Faith VanderMolen says
Yes! They should freeze well and you can just thaw them overnight in the fridge. They last for us in the fridge for a couple weeks. They will just get a little dry the longer they sit.
Kathryn Wallis says
Hi! My partner is allergic to nuts is there anything I could substitute the nut butter with?
Faith VanderMolen says
Tahini or sunbutter should work fine!
How can there be only 3g carbs and 0g net carbs per bar when two of the main ingredients are medjool dates and oats?
Faith VanderMolen says
Good question! Our nutrition calculator won't always produce accurate nutritional information. We'll look into it!
Was looking for other comments about this! The calorie count is also very inaccurate. It’s closer to 140 calories per bar.
Faith VanderMolen says
Thanks for sharing Carly! No calorie calculator is completely accurate so always keep that in mind!
Just wondering how long does it last in the room temperature as i'll be travelling and love to make nutritious snacks for the trip.
Hey Losi!! I may push the limits, but since there's no egg or dairy, these usually last me two weeks while traveling!
wow that's amazing. Thanks again for the great recipes! Therefore, i just brought the ingredients yesterday, I'll definitely try it out this week.. yay!! xxx
ps. love the pictures, nice simple and clear.
Great Lori!! Let me know how they work out for you! Enjoy your travels:D
Leigha @ The Yooper Girl says
I seriously can't wait to hear about your life in China!! But hopefully not before I come to NYC:) I think I've almost got Mom convinced to go!!
These look so so so yummy and I feel so awesome that I finally made granola bars with dates 🙂 AND a healthy crust with dates, walnuts, and almonds! It's amazing how good you feel after eating things like that!
And I can't wait to share about it! It still seems surreal:)
Let me know what she says! Our summer in NYC just got shorter too because we realized we have to move overseas a couple weeks earlier than we thought. Whoops! Just keep me posted. We may be moving mid-July now...wow. So soon!
And I love crusts made with dates and nuts! I just made some mini vegan chocolate cheesecakes with that same crust that I'll be posting soon. Ah-maze-ing.
Congratulations Faith - that is so exciting! You will have a remarkable time there and grow and change in ways you cannot imagine now. It is where you are meant to be next and this is a phenomenal time in your life to take an opportunity like this.
I lived in India with my family for 6 mths....we had a wonderful experience, though it was also the most challenging thing we have ever done. My boyz were 10 and the most rewarding thing was to hear them tell their friends (after returning home) that is was the hardest thing they have ever done but that they grew from it and were glad they lived there. My guys are in high school now and would NOT be happy if we took them away from home now....hubby and I plan to go back again once we are on our own again.
It is surprising how much they do have - America has spread itself across the globe in many ways (skippy PB anyone?!)..specialty items may not be there so if there is anything you are attached to having, keep that in mind...but most necessities/or something similar can be found- esp if you are in a town with a walmart!
So enjoy the planning, the prep and know that you will learn to cope with whatever they do /don't have.
Thanks so much Suzanne!! I know I've grown so much on just the short term overseas trips I've been on, so I have know doubt living overseas for long-term will be life changing...and sanctifying haha!
That is such an encouragement to me that your boys had great experiences living in India! We're not quite ready to have kids, but we would love to raise our children overseas...but we'd want them to enjoy it too! That's awesome you and your husband want to move back after your boys are grown. My parents did the same thing, but they moved to Ireland! It's hard for them to be away from grandkids, but they love it.
I really am amazed how far American items/culture has spread! Unfortunately it's mostly American junk food like snickers and white bread that ended up in our city, but overall I'm feeling like we'll have plenty of options. Considering I eat mostly plants, I should be okay...they have markets on every street practically!
Thanks for the words of encouragement! I'm excited to share the journey with you all:)
So cool that you are moving to China!! That is going to be the best experience!!
These bars look yummy! Pinning it! 🙂
Thanks Natalie! We're excited! I hope you like these bars:)
What a great opportunity! I am excited to read about your experience and to see what interesting creations you come up with!
Thanks Salima!! I'm excited to share the journey (and food!) with you all! Thanks for saying hi...it was great hearing from you!
I can buy some soft ones. Next time I will try with soft ones or dried (rehydrated in water) and I will tell you the result..thx:)
Okay great! I hope they work out!
In thinking, I have my answer..;)I used dried dates so maybe, next time I will use soft date or soak them in water few hours and add more water in my mixture if it is too crumbly..
That's awesome you tried them so quickly! I'm sorry yours turned out crumbly. I used squishy, soft medjool dates and just a little water like the recipe calls for and they were fine. Do you have access to soft dates or just dry? I hope you try them again with soft dates cause their delicious! Thanks for the feedback! I'll make sure to clarify in the recipe which dates work best:)
I was reactive and i did the recipe yesterday, because I was looking for this kind of recipe. They taste so good. But they are crumbly. I added 2 T of coconut oil to compact them, but still crumbly. Maybe, I did them too thin? I see some other recipe where they add more cocout oil, but this ingredient that make them "solid" is replace by almond butter in your recipe, right? I will retry..:)thx
Sydni Jackson says
I know you've been off cereal for awhile now, but my number one recommendation for you, as a fellow cereal lover myself, is to bring a box or two of your absolute favorite (childhood) cereal. When you just want something to feel familiar, you can eat a bowl and remember being at home with your mom and dad 🙂 Oh and bring a favorite candle or soap with a familiar smell!
Great Advice Sydni!! And we've been told to bring candles by lots of other people too. I wouldn't have thought of those, but when I think about it, it's such good advice! Thankfully I've also been told about a website where I can order things like cereal etc, but who knows how long it would take to get to us...and when you have a craving...you have a craving!
Leah M @ love me, feed me says
Whoa!!! That is so so so soooo exciting! I look forward to following along with your move and settling in there.
And these look amazing! I'm always looking for easy delicious snacks and these are perfect!
Thanks Leah!! We're really excited about it...and I'm excited to be honest about the journey on the blog! I'm thinking my posts are going to get a lot more interesting...and vulnerable haha!
Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl says
Congratulations and bonne chance with the move! I went to college in England, so I don't know much about the Chinese visa process, but I will say even for the (one would think fairly routine) UK, the visa took a long time to get. And they were VERY specific, i.e.: my Oxford acceptance letter said it was conditioned on my graduating high school, so when I brought it to the visa office they wouldn't take my transcript as proof of graduating, they wanted my diploma in its holder! I ended up going back a second time.
Thanks Alyssa! And can I just say that you're introducing me to a lot of new vocabulary! I'm always googling words you use and I LOVE it!! Yeah, visas can definitely be super tricky. My husband is the details guys and he's been working on getting our visas this week, etc. I just had to order my college transcript and pull out my dusty diploma haha. That's good to know about the holder!! And also it's super cool that you studied in England:)
Meg Bollenback says
So first off, congrats on your new move!! I am honestly jealous of you! I think I mentioned that I studied abroad in China for a summer during college and loved it. I would happily move back there for a few years just to experience it more - it's so different in many ways, but at the same time, I think you'll find that some of the comforts you're used to in the US can be found there as well. Almond butter, maybe not so much, but other foods and just life staples I'm sure you'll find. Which city are you moving to?
Secondly - this recipe is what I needed as I have dates in my fridge to use up and wasn't sure what to do with them. Thank you for the inspiration!
Thanks Meg! You did mention that and that's encouraging to hear you loved living there. We loved the month+ that we got to spend in China last summer and the culture suits us, so I'm praying it will be a good fit. We were shocked at all the American items we could find. There's even a Walmart in our city...and it's not that large! We'll be in a small city in Southwest China.
I hope this recipe helps you with your date situation:)
Dietitan Jess says
Wow China!! That's amazing and super interesting- checking out your international cuisine tab now 🙂
Thanks Jess! Sometimes it's still surreal and not many people can relate...but we're excited!
Wow - congrats on the move and good luck!!! You are certainly off to an adventure and for that I'm somewhat jealous.
I just spent some vacation in Asia (Hong Kong, Macau) but didn't get to mainland China. Wishing you the best! (Oh and of course those bars look so good)
Thanks Melissa! That's awesome you've been to Hong Kong and Macau! We hope to travel quite a bit from China so maybe I'll get to go to those places too one day. Thanks for saying hi:)
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner says
Wow those look great! So simple too. Moving to China sounds like quite the adventure. I can't help you with the toilets but making your own hummus is super easy right?! LOl Thanks for linking up with us again today. Your pics always look so good that's my struggle
Haha yes, at least I can make hummus:) Thanks for hosting! My pics haven't always been like this (and I still see lots of room for improvement!), but it's fun when they turn out well. Thanks Deborah!
tina muir says
CHINA!!! Amazing! WOW! Faith thats amazing! My sister lived there for a few months, and she LOVED it. I am sure you will too! That is so exciting! I hope we still keep in touch though, that blog better not go ANYWHERE 😉 Thsese bars sound delicious. I am actually looking for a recipe just like this, one that actually stays together as mine always crumble and fall apart. I am pinning for when I am home, these will be on my list!
Thanks Tina! That's so cool that your sister lived there! I loved every minute (well mostly) of our visit, so I'm looking forward to settling down officially. I plan on keeping up the blog so no worries there! I hope you make these bars...there super easy and delicious!