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Healthy Tropical Oat Bars {Vegan, GF Option}

Healthy Tropical Oat Bars {Vegan, GF}Today I bring you Healthy Tropical Oat Bars because I’ve gotten a little out of control with the desserts! A quick scroll down the homepage will show you that I have been on a non-stop sugar high for over a month! Time to rein it in, Lindsey. Rein it in.

But I can promise you that, while I have cut the added sugar down to a measly 2 tablespoons of honey in these vegan bars, you won’t even notice that they are healthy. You will be too excited about the burst of tropical flavors on your tongue to give a second thought to the fact that they are only 175 calories each!

Healthy Tropical Oat Bars {Vegan, GF}

Homemade oat bars have been on my list for over a year now, but I’ve resisted because each and every one I have seen calls for dates as the base. I loathe dates. I used to pick them out of the muesli cereal my mom bought growing up. Dedicated date hater right here.

But several weeks ago late at night, which is when these experiments usually happen, I decided to forgo the hated dates altogether and use dried apricots as the base.

Best. Decision. EVER!

Healthy Tropical Oat Bars {Vegan, GF}

First you soften the apricots in simmering water to partially rehydrate them, then you puree them into a beautiful, thick paste that will act as the main adhesive for the bars, lastly you mix everything together and bake it. How easy was that?

The mild apricot flavor fades into the background and you are left with all the tropical flavors you love! Pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts! They’ll take you right back to that last beach vaca!

“If you like piña coladas…”

Now that song is stuck in your head too. #sorryimnotsorry

Healthy Tropical Oat Bars {Vegan, GF}

 

The oats and wheat bran make each bar is as filling as it is tasty! I’ve been eating these for breakfast, for a pre-workout snack, for a post-workout snack, to tide me over ‘til dinner; I stuffed some in my husband’s carryon before he left last week…you get the idea. They’re awesome! You’ll love them! Even if you’re a date-lover.

To make these happy snacks Gluten Free, simply substitute the wheat bran with oat bran and make sure that your oat bran and oatmeal are certified gluten free. Oh happy day!

Healthy Tropical Oat Bars {Vegan, GF}

Note: Each bar pictured is slightly smaller than an actual serving in this recipe because some edges had to be sacrificed in the name of beautifully enticing photography.

Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer!!!

Healthy Tropical Oat Bars {Vegan, GF Option}

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 16 square bars

Calories per serving: 175

Healthy Tropical Oat Bars {Vegan, GF Option}

These vegan Healthy Tropical Oat Bars are filling, packed with tropical flavors and are naturally sweet! Perfect for breakfast, lunch boxes or a snack on the go!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 ½ cups dried oats, ground in a food processor
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • ¾ cup toasted pecans, ground in the food processor
  • ¼ cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup dried, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup dried pineapple (no added sugar if you can find it), chopped
  • ½ cup dried yellow raisins, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoon local honey (I use wildflower)
  • ~ ¼ cup reserved apricot cooking liquid

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Place dried apricots in a small saucepan and cover with water until the water is approximately ½ inch above the fruit. Place over medium-high heat just until it comes to a low boil, turn down the heat to a low-simmer and simmer until plump. I let mine simmer for at least 30 minutes, but 20 will be okay. Because of the long simmer time, I set the apricots on before I begin measuring or chopping any other ingredient.
  3. Place all other ingredients through raisins in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place plump apricots in the bowl of a food processor, reserving the cooking liquid. Process the apricots until completely smooth, adding some reserved cooking liquid if necessary. The liquid will help them puree.
  5. Add the puree, coconut oil and honey to the large bowl and mix with a large wooden spoon. If needed add some of the reserved cooking liquid. In the 3 test batches I made, I needed about ¼ cup additional liquid. You want the “batter” to be cohesive but not extremely sticky or wet.
  6. Press into the prepared pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
  7. Let cool and then cut into bars.

Notes:

Store at room temperature for up to a week or in the freezer for several months. Wrap in wax paper and then place in a freezer bag prior to freezing. Take them out individual to thaw at room temperature!

I measured all ingredients before they were processed or chopped! My dried pineapple was in large chunks when I measured it. I did not pack any ingredients into the measuring cup.

https://cheflindseyfarr.com/2014/08/healthy-tropical-oat-bars-vegan-gf-option/

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41 Comments

  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
    August 6, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I love the looks of these oat bars, Lindsey! The tropical flavors sound delicious, such a fun treat! I think I would be snacking on these all day!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks, Gayle!! That’s why I keep them in the freezer! lol!

      Reply
  • Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen
    August 6, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Oh wow, these look great! I too get tired of finding so many recipes that call for dates – brilliant idea to try apricots instead! Apricot flavor is so much better, in my opinion. 🙂 I love the tropical flavors you’ve used! Pinned!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Soooo much better! If for no other reason than it doesn’t overpower every other flavor you put in the bar! Thanks for the pin!!

      Reply
  • David @ Spiced
    August 6, 2014 at 11:51 am

    These look delicious…and now you’ve inspired me to make something healthy! P.S. It’s ok to be a date hater…those things are strange! 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Haha! Thanks, David! I couldn’t have everyone thinking I lived on cupcakes and ice cream alone! Dates are strange…what is *up* with the constancy?

      Reply
  • Phillip
    August 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I have had to cut back on my sugar consumption and I feel your pain. I would love to try these for breakfast. I don’t really like traditional breakfast food and can never find anything satisfying in the mornings. This sounds good and healthy at the same time. Do the oats need to be ground even if you buy the ones in the can that are already very small pieces? In other words, do they need to be ground to a powder-like consistency?

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      These are delicious for breakfast! Ideally the oats should be ground into a powder-like consistency. It’s ok if there are some larger pieces but if the oats aren’t ground they might not stay together in a cohesive bar. The oat powder absorbs moisture faster and easier. I wouldn’t want you to pull them out of the oven and be eating raw oats in bar form! Yuck!

      Reply
  • Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven
    August 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Oh my goodness, these bars look FABULOUS, Lindsay! I love any oat-filled bar, especially if it’s tropical-flavored! These are SO up my alley and I can’t wait to try them for a post-workout snack! 🙂 Pinned.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Thanks for the pin, Sarah! You’ll love them! Perfect for post work-out! 🙂

      Reply
  • Sandi
    August 6, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    hmm yummy, these are some good delicious breakfast.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 6, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks, Sandi!

      Reply
  • marcie
    August 6, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I’m not a date lover either. Nope. I can tolerate them at best. I like to swap them out for dried figs…I LOVE figs…but I love dried apricots just as much! This is such a great idea, and I do like taking my taste buds to the tropics, so I’m so there. Pinning!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 6, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks for the pin, Marcie! I’ve never been able to get on board the fig-train. I want to like them because they pair so nicely with all sorts of foods I love!

      Reply
  • Thalia @ butter and brioche
    August 6, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    awesome recipe! definitely perfect for my afternoon snack, love how guilt free and healthy they are!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 7, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Thanks, Thalia! I tried to make them as healthy as possible!

      Reply
  • Jessica @ Sweet Menu
    August 7, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Wow they look yummy! Perfect treat to take to work to cure those morning munchies!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 7, 2014 at 8:51 am

      So true!! Thanks, Jessica

      Reply
  • Danielle @ TheBestDessertRecipes.com
    August 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Oooh I LOVE pina coladas (and I now totally have that song stuck in my head). These bars look delish! 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 7, 2014 at 11:14 am

      lol! thanks!

      Reply
  • Alessandra // the foodie teen
    August 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Those look absolutely STUNNING! Yum!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 8, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      Thanks, Alessandra!!!

      Reply
  • Anne
    August 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    These look amazing!!! Since I can’t go to Hawaii, perhaps I should make my home feel like Hawaii, eh? 😀

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Precisely!!!

      Reply
  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen
    August 8, 2014 at 9:39 am

    …and gettin’ caught in the rain! YES!!! I love pina coladas, and I apparently love gettin’ caught in the rain too since I live in rainy Seattle. Sigh. But, there is no raining on the parade of these bars Lindsey, because they look amazing! And healthy too! Pinned!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 8, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      lol! thanks, Kristi! And thanks for the pin!

      Reply
  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
    August 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    These bars look amazing, Lindsey! Using apricots is a great idea instead of dates and I absolutely love the tropical flavors too! The fact that they are healthy and guilt free sounds perfect to me – pinning 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks, Kelly! And thanks for the pin! They are delicious as well as healthy, which makes them a nice break from all the ice cream I’ve been eating!

      Reply
  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen
    August 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Yay for healthy sweets! These look amazing Lindsey. I totally dig tropical flavors 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      Thanks, love!

      Reply
  • Steph
    August 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    OMG! These do seem incredible healthy but also super delicious! I’m so excited to try making them! They’ll be perfect once school starts again 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      They will be perfect for lunches! I’m sure you’ll love them 🙂

      Reply
  • Kelsey Bang
    August 8, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    oh mY!! these look so amazing! I need to try these out! love healthy looking treats!

    kelseybang.com

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      I hope you do, Kelsey!

      Reply
  • Kathleen R.
    August 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Sounds delicious!!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 13, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks, Kathleen!

      Reply
  • […] Healthy Tropical Oat Bars […]

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  • Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
    January 9, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I love your recipes! And I should try this granola:)

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      January 9, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      Thanks, Ilona! You definitely should!

      Reply
  • […] American Heritage Cooking – Tropical Oat Bars […]

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  • paul s
    February 22, 2020 at 5:57 am

    Awesome recipe and thank you for it. It looks quite easy and your instructions are quite easy to understand also. looking forward to making it ASAP.

    Reply

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