Get a head start on the week by prepping these delicious dairy free granola bars. Rich peanut butter and sweet honey are combined with oats and rice cereal – and of course, there’s a little chocolate in there for ya too. You’ll love this easy recipe!
PS – If you don’t feel like cooking, I’ve also got a list of store-bought dairy free granola bars towards the bottom of this post!
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How to make dairy free granola bars
These bars are no bake, so you just mix up the ingredients, press into a pan, and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Peanut butter
- Coconut oil
- Rolled oats
- Rice Krispies Cereal (or another crispy rice cereal)
- Chia seeds
- Dairy free chocolate chips (I highly recommend Enjoy Life chocolate chips!)
I’m guessing you probably have just about everything here in your pantry already, except maybe for the dates. You can usually find dates at the grocery store in the produce section or in the dried fruit aisle. For this recipe, I used Mariani pitted dates which are always in stock at my supermarket.
Once you’ve got your dates, your going to pulse them in a food processor with a little hot water. This creates a “date paste” which will not only increase the sweetness of these bars, but also help them stick together.
Now, you’ll mix that date paste with the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla. Once that’s all combined, stir in the rest of the ingredients!
As you can see, we’re going full on peanut butter and chocolate in these bars, baby. None of that oatmeal raisin granola bar stuff here. (Who chooses that over chocolate or peanut butter?!?!?)
Alright, back to it – next, line an 8×8 pan with wax paper and pour your mixture in there. Press down on it with your hands to get it as smushed down in the pan as possible.
Then just pop them in the refrigerator for a few hours! After that you can cut them up into squares or bars and enjoy.
How to store homemade granola bars
You’ll want to keep these stored in the refrigerator. I just typically leave them in the pan and throw some plastic wrap or tin foil over the top – but you can also move them to a Tupperware container if you’d like.
You can leave them in the fridge for up to 4-5 days – but I can pretty much guarantee there won’t be any left at that point. 😉
Allergen information and modifications
This recipe is naturally dairy free, egg free, and soy free. It does contain peanuts. Depending on the cereal choice, it may contain gluten as well.
Here are some suggestions for dietary modifications based on your needs:
Gluten Free: For those of you who are gluten free, keep in mind that Rice Krispies cereal – the traditional blue box Kellogg’s brand – is not gluten free. It’s what I usually use because I’m not gluten free and I usually have it on hand. But if you are gluten free, just look for some of the other varieties of crispy rice cereal that meet your needs. At the time of publication, Nature’s Path Gluten Free Crispy Rice Cereal or Barbara’s Brown Rice Crisps Cereal would both be good options (but always double check the label).
Peanut Free: A key ingredient in these is peanut butter, but you could substitute another similar consistency nut butter (like almond butter) if you cannot eat peanuts but can eat tree nuts. I have tried making these with sunflower seed butter before and just didn’t like the taste as much, but maybe your taste buds will feel differently? 🙂
Vegan: This recipe contains honey so it’s not strictly vegan, but you can easily make it vegan-friendly by swapping that out with agave nectar.
Store Bought Dairy Free Granola Bars
Don’t feel like cooking today? No problem. Save this recipe for later and take note of these tasty store-bought (or online purchased) dairy free granola bars.
Disclaimer: I try to note potential allergens in all the bars – but as you know, manufacturers can change formulations or I may miss something. Always check labels prior to consuming if you have an allergy.
- 88 Acres Bars – The dark chocolate and sea salt variety of these bars is SO good. These were a life savor for me back when I was nursing, as they’re free of all the top 8 food allergens. I still order them on Amazon whenever I need to stock up on snacks.
- Know Allergies Bars – I just stumbled across this variety of bar at the Fancy Food Show a few weeks ago, and it’s so good. The chocolate pretzel sea salt is deeeelish. Similar to 88 Acres, it’s free of all top 8 allergens.
- Clif Carrot Cake Bar – If I’m remembering correctly, all Clif bars are free of any dairy ingredients – but check the flavors you’re looking at to be sure. I know the Clif Carrot Cake bar is, and it’s one of my favorite flavors they offer. (contains soy)
- Nature’s Valley Peanut Butter Crunchy Granola Bars – I love this option because almost every major supermarket carries this brand. The crunchy peanut butter granola bars are dairy free and delicious. (contains peanuts, soy).
- Larabars – OK, these aren’t exactly a granola bar, but they’re healthy go-to bars that are perfect to keep in your purse for when hunger strikes. Check the ingredients for each variety if you have specific allergens; I believe all the basic larabars are free from dairy/soy. For example, in the lemon and cashew varieties linked, tree nuts are the only allergen present. (contains nuts)
I hope even though these delish store bought options are out there, that you’ll give my homemade granola bars a try! If you do, be sure to leave a comment and recipe rating to let me know what you think.
No Bake Dairy Free Granola Bars
- 1/2 cup pitted dates (about 12 small)
- 2 tsp hot water
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup crispy rice cereal (check brand to ensure gluten free)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips
Place the dates and hot water in a food processor. Pulse several times until the dates start to break down into a paste-like consistency.
Mix the date paste in a large mixing bowl with the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir in the rolled oats, rice krispies cereal, chia seeds, and salt.
Fold in the chocolate chips. If desired, you can put in half the chocolate chips and then press the other half on the top – your call.
Pour the mixture into an 8x8 pan lined with wax paper. Press the mixture down firmly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, then enjoy!
This recipe makes 18 small bars, 12 medium size bars, or 9 large square granola bars.
Nutrition analysis (per bar, assumes 18 servings):
172 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 114 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 4 g protein, Vitamin A: 1%, Vitamin C: 1%, Calcium: 3%, Iron: 8%