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 and perfect for back to school!
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!?
Healthy Nut-Free School Snacks
Us moms are always 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.
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.
- 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
Line a baking pan (9x9" baking pan for thicker bars, or 9x13" baking pan for thinner bars) 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.
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.
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 minimum of 2 hours or overnight, remove the bars from the pan using the overhanging parchment 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.