Apple season is one of my favorite times of the year!  (Good lesson in staying in the present moment. . . I love fall, I don’t always love what comes after fall. . . enjoy the present moment, Angie!)

I looked for a healthier version of bars that I could make for my family and have as after-school snacks or send to school in lunch boxes.  I found this recipe, made some adjustments, and they turned out great!

These are definitely not super sweet, so if you need to, add a tablespoon or so of maple syrup or honey (or a little stevia) to the wet ingredients.  These have a lot of dates, which is my sweetener of choice, so I did not add any.

My kids loved these, so they were sweet enough for us!  This is such a great alternative to a store-bought granola bar.  And they will last a few days in the fridge – make them on a Sunday and have snacks before activities during the week.

Or, you can swap out the almond milk for rice, soy or hemp milk and you’ll have a nut-free healthy snack for the classroom.

Apple Oat Bars

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, seeds removed
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together oats, flax and cinnamon.

apple oat bar dry ingredients

Pulse dates in a food processor or blender until no big chunks remain.

dates food processor

Mix 3/4 cup applesauce (I like Trader Joe’s organic unsweetened) with the almond milk, dates and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

organic applesauce

apple oat bar wet ingredients

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

apple oat bars mix

Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and press mixture into the pan evenly.  I used my hands for this step.

Top with remaining 1/4 cup applesauce, or a bit more, to make an even, thin layer.

Add chopped apples over the applesauce.  (Don’t waste the apple peels!  My kids ate them as I made these.)

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

apple oat bars uncooked

Bake for 20 minutes.

Broil for an additional 3 minutes.

cooked apple oat bar

Remove from the pan (and parchment paper) and cool on a cooling rack.

Cut into squares (or rectangles!) and enjoy!

apple oat bar

Store these in the refrigerator.  Let me know how you like them if you make them!