Kick start your morning with these no-bake bars, which star a variety of good-for-you nuts and seeds (buy them in bulk to save money at the grocery store). Each hearty square is the perfect blend of chewy and crunchy, and every bite is packed with nutty flavor. Pistachios add a pop of gorgeous green color, yes, but they’re also packed with nutrients and are a good source of calcium. Quinoa lends crunch and protein, while dried goji berries are rich in antioxidants. Be sure to store the bars, which will keep for one week at room temperature and two weeks in the fridge, between layers of parchment paper to keep them from sticking.
While we’ll never say no to a granola bar with crunch, we’re also fond of the soft and chewy variety. Thanks to their comforting and nostalgic flavor combination (who doesn’t love peanut butter and banana?), these bars will satisfy every member of the family. Salty pretzels are a fun addition, and contrast the sweet notes of dates and honey. Not only do these treats make a satiating breakfast, but they’re a great after-school snack or even bedtime treat. Have a chocolate-lover in the family? These would be great with mini chocolate chips, or with chocolate-covered pretzels pressed into the top.
Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that pack the most punch. These chewy no-bake bars are filled with fresh lemon flavor, thanks to a generous amount of lemon zest and freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Chia seeds not only add crunch, but are a rich source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, and vitamins. In fact, the combination of the chia and the citrus make these bars reminiscent of a lemon poppyseed muffin (yum!). The best part? All the ingredients are tossed into the food processor, meaning the bars come together in fewer than five minutes. These are also fun made into grab-and-go energy bites: simply roll the mixture into balls, then cover in shredded coconut.
These bars consist of all our favorite breakfast treats, rolled into one—old-fashioned oats, creamy Greek yogurt, and plenty of fresh, juicy fruit. The contrast between all the delicious layers means every bite bursts with flavor and texture. While these bars are great for grabbing on your way out the door, they’d also be a tasty addition to a weekend brunch spread, served alongside a plate of eggs and potatoes. Prefer blackberries or raspberries to blueberries? Feel free to swap them in, or use a combination of all three. Store them in the refrigerator for up to three days.
5 of 9Photo: Philip Friedman; Styling: Colleen Riley
Granola Bars With Apricots, Oats, and Almonds
These might just become your new go-to granola bar. Toasting the oats, almonds, and pepitas before adding them to the mix adds an extra layer of flavor that makes these truly addictive. Almond butter binds the bars together, and don’t skip the step of warming it on the stove with the maple syrup (feel free to substitute honey, or agave nectar). Heating the two together will create a pourable mixture, which will act as a much better binder than scooping the almond butter straight from the jar. We recommend mixing these up on Sunday, then grabbing them from the fridge throughout the week.
Whether your child has a nut allergy or is friends with someone who does, you can feel good about sending them to school with these nut-free, no-bake bars. Dates, which are naturally sweet, help bind the ingredients together, while sunflower seeds add a crunch to every bite. Wheat germ, the part of the wheat plant that is left out of processed white flour, is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein, and offers a wonderfully nutty flavor when lightly toasted in the oven. As with most homemade breakfast bars, you can customize the recipe to ingredients you have on hand, such as swapping out the raisins for dried cranberries or cherries.
If you love the crumb topping on coffee cake and fruit crumbles, these nutty breakfast bars are the perfect treat for you. With a base made from oats, flour, almonds, butter, and brown sugar, these taste decadent but are packed with protein and whole grains. Jam, which is typically reserved for sandwiches, is the other star of these bars, which can (and should) be eaten for breakfast, dessert, and every time in between. Wrap the bars individually, which will make them easy to grab on busy school mornings. Oh, and make an extra batch to stick in the freezer—you’ll thank yourself later.
Roasted, salted peanuts and creamy peanut butter ensure these bars are packed full of nutty flavor. In fact, they’re the perfect grab-and-go replacement for a piece of toast with nut butter and banana slices, thanks to the banana chips stirred into the mix. A dash of ground cayenne gives these a bit of heat, but feel free to substitute a more mild spice—cinnamon would be great—if you’re serving to young kids. Thanks to nutrient-dense chia seeds and the protein-packed peanut butter, these are guaranteed to keep you full until lunch. They also make great after-school snacks!
Don’t be fooled by the word “cookie” in the recipe title. Though they bake in the oven like a traditional cookie, these wholesome bars are totally breakfast-approved, thanks to whole-wheat flour, naturally-sweet dried figs, and protein-packed tahini. Kids will be excited about the sweet morning treat, which is a healthy alternative to a store-bought granola bar. If you’re hesitant about using tahini (a sesame seed paste popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes) swap it out for natural peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter. And have the kids help with the baking process, too. They’ll have fun rolling the dough into a log.