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Fruit & Nut Bar Recipe with Maple Syrup

08. March 2023

I enjoy eating a quick and convenient granola or nut bar mid-day. What I don’t enjoy is all the added sugars that are in many store bought bars. They often contain added sugars in the form of syrups like tapioca, corn, barley malt, or brown rice syrup. Then there are also seed oils like palm kernel, vegetable, or sunflower oils. So while unwrapping a delectable bar treat is convenient, it’s not always healthy. And I haven’t even touched on the price! Some bars cost $1 or more each and are a little more than a few inches in size.


Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup Recipe | 

So what’s the best way to maximize your dollars AND know exactly what is in your own food? Make as much of your food and snacks yourself, of course! Granola is one of the easiest foods to make. And it is so much healthier if you make it yourself and control the added sugars. My Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Granola Recipe is loaded with healthy ingredients. If you don’t want a bowl of cereal, my No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Recipe is just as easy to make (and it’s portable). Both recipes use pure maple syrup as the sweetener.

 Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup Recipe |

Dress your “portable” nut bars up with Custom Kraft Market Blend Canning Labels. Design comes in 6 colors, so labels can be mixed and matched for different bar varieties.


But what if you want a convenient snack bar that has a little more crunch and protein? You’re gonna need some nuts for that! And what if you desire something a little sweet, but not overpowering? Ah ha, you’re gonna need a bottle of maple syrup. And not that fake stuff that has high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners in it. Ick!! PURE Maple Syrup is the way to go. Just read our blog post about Maple Syrup Health Benefits if you need convinced.


Fruit & Nut Bar Ingredients | 

So back to those nut bars! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible. You can add your own mix of nuts, seed, and fruits. Then you can add your own flavor spin with additional mix-ins like protein powder and spices. The main thing to keep in mind as you make your bars is the ratio of ingredients. As long as you keep the ratio of dry ingredients and syrup the same, the bars should turn out ok.

So what do you need to make these bars? I’ll list some options below and give you MY favorite recipe  later in the post.


PRINT THE RECIPE CARD for these tasty fruit & nut bars and read below for ingredient info.

Fruit & Nut Bars Recipe Sheet |

 Fruit & Nut Bar Recipe with Toased Nuts |


Nuts (Unsalted, raw or toasted)

You can use a variety of nuts for these bars. The nuts can be raw or toasted. I prefer the taste of toasted nuts, although I purchase raw nuts and toast them myself for recipes. To toast nuts, add them to a skillet on medium-low heat. Toss them around every few minutes so they toast evenly and do not burn. I also only buy unsalted nuts. That way I can add salt to recipes later if needed. This nut bar recipe calls for a tiny amount of salt, but you can eliminate that if you have pre-salted nuts.

Important Note: This recipe calls for 1 1/3 cups of nuts. Measure your nuts FIRST. Then chop them coarsely. If you were to chop the nuts, then measure them, you would end up with too many nuts.


Chopped Nuts for Fruit & Nut Bar Recipe | 

So which nuts to use? Dealer’s choice! Walnuts, pecans, and almonds share some of the same health benefits. Walnuts are a superstar of the nut world. They improve brain and heart health since they have high amounts of omega-3 fats. Walnuts are an anti-inflammatory food that help prevent cancer. Added bonus, they are great for weight management! Walnuts are full of fatty acids and some protein which help make you feel full, as are almonds. Two key nutrients in almonds, riboflavin and L-carnitine, help prevent cognitive decline. This makes them great for reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Pecans are also known to help reduce obesity due to their manganese, copper, and thiamine. Tree nuts can reduce blood pressure and decrease overall cardiac-related deaths. Nuts are one of the top cholesterol-lowering foods.


Seeds (Unsalted, raw or toasted)

So, are pepitas the same thing as pumpkin seeds? Technically, yes. But pepitas don't have a shell and are only found in certain pumpkin varieties (aka naked pumpkins). These crunchy green gems contain protein which is great for muscles. Their fiber supports a healthy digestive system. High in plant-based omega-3 and antioxidants, they can help lower inflammation and balance your diet. Pepitas are also packed with minerals! Phosphorus supports bone health, and zinc supports immune system health. 

Sunflower seeds are also an excellent addition to these nut bars. They are nutrient dense since they are low in calories. They are also loaded with micronutrients like vitamin E, thiamine, manganese and copper. Some studies have shown that sunflower seeds can help reduce heart disease risks, fight against cancer, support thyroid function, and balance blood sugar levels.

Sesame seeds are tiny little superstars as well! They are rich in essential nutrients, a good source of protein, fiber, and key minerals. Plus they may help lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and balance hormones. They have up to 20% protein and 60% oil. So they are a high source of essential fatty acids and amino acids. Take note, some people are allergic to sesame seeds.

There are other seeds you can add to your bars as well such as flax, chia, or hemp. I usually don’t add these seeds to my bars just because I think they can make a mess when eaten. I mean, if you want to shower yourself in flying chia seeds as you eat, go ahead and add them to your bars!


Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup Recipe |


Dried Fruit and Coconut

Important Note: This recipe calls for 1/3 cups of dried fruit (which can contain a mix of fruit and/or coconut). You’ll want to do the opposite of the nuts when measuring the fruit. Coarsely chop your dried fruits FIRST. Then measure them. 

I prefer to use unsweetened coconut chips (or flakes). Shredded coconut would also work. Sweetened coconut often has corn syrup and other additives, so I avoid it. I toast the coconut flakes along with the nuts. Since coconut is high in calories, I tend to only add a tablespoon or so to my bars. Coconut is one of the healthiest fruits around. They are nutrient rich, provide immediate energy, and aren’t readily stored as fat. Plus they have powerful antioxidants which help protect your cells from damage and disease.

Dried fruit can be a mix of cranberries, raisins, dates, apricots, cherries, apples or other options as well. Even though dried fruit can be healthy, you’ll want to make sure you choose the correct ones! Read the ingredient list! Choose dried fruits that are 100% natural without added sugar, oil, or the preservative sulphur dioxide. Added sugars may include juice, syrups, fructose, or sucrose. Or better yet, dehydrate your own fruit! Read our blog post on how to Dehydrate Fruit which is used in our DIY Instant Oatmeal Jars. Dried fruit is high in fiber, so it helps support your gut and digestion. Diets higher in fiber can also result in lower cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases. Dried fruits like cherries have many antioxidants to protect your cells from damage and disease. Raisins and dried berries are full of vitamins and minerals which help lower blood pressure among other health benefits. Apricots help support eye heart and vision health since they are high in beta-carotene.

Crisped Rice Cereal

You can use basic Rice Krispies type cereals or something fancier like whole grain brown rice crisps. I have used both plain and chocolate flavored cereal. Some store varieties are lightly sweetened or sugar free.

 Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup Recipe |

Spices and Protein Powder (optional)

The base recipe calls for 1/8 teaspoon of salt. You can eliminate this if you use salted nuts. I like to add vanilla bean paste to my bars. If you don’t have the paste, you can certainly use some vanilla extract. How much? Honestly, I never measure my vanilla or spices. I’m a vanilla dumper, no measuring spoon required! I make my own vanilla extract, so I feel less guilty if I use more than needed. You can read my blog post on How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract. It’s super easy! Almond extract is also a great option, especially if paired with dried cherries.

Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices in the world. It’s high in antioxidants, helps relieve inflammation, improves heart health, and can help lower your risk of cancer. Research shows it can also reduce blood sugar levels, therefore it is considered one of the best foods for diabetics. And hey, I guess I should mention that it pairs well with nuts and fruit! Since it has a naturally sweet taste, you can often reduce the amount of sugar in recipes if you add cinnamon.

Protein Powder is a nice option to add an extra boost of nutrition to your nut bars. I like to use a scoop of Garden of Life Powders which are plant based protein (they also have grass-fed whey). Or you can try Powdered Bone Broth. Now, don’t let the thought of bone broth in nut bars turn you off! Powdered bone broth comes in vanilla, chocolate, and even salted caramel flavors. It won’t taste like chicken soup (although you can actually get chicken soup bone broth)! This stuff is rich in collagen so it helps support healthy joints, digestion, and skin. If you ever want to make healthy LIQUID bone broth, aka “Liquid Gold”, read our blog post How to Make Chicken Bone Broth in a Slow Cooker. But you’ll want to use that for your soup bowls, not these nut bars, HA!

And last but not least, the sweetener that glues all this goodness together. Drumroll please…

PURE Maple Syrup

Not artificial syrup! Why not? Have you tasted REAL maple syrup? It's amazing! PLUS, it isn't made with high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients. A great benefit of maple syrup is that it has a less adverse effect on blood sugar levels than processed sugar. It also contains several trace minerals. Zinc fights illness and improves immunity. Manganese helps with fat and carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Maple syrup contains higher levels of antioxidants. This makes it better for digestion than refined sugar products. You can substitute Raw honey in place of maple syrup. However, I’ve found that honey is stickier and can make the bars fall apart a bit more (and bars are stickier to hold of course)!

 Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup Recipe |

Dress your “portable” nut bars up with Custom Kraft Market Blend Canning Labels. Design comes in 6 colors, so labels can be mixed and matched for different bar varieties.


Fruit & Nut Bar Recipe


You’ll need an 8 inch square baking pan, parchment paper, and ingredients below.

  • 1 1/3 cups of unsalted nuts*. I use toasted almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Measure nuts first, then coarsely chop them.
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit. I use cranberries or cherries with toasted coconut flakes. Coarsely chop dried fruit first, then measure.
  • 1/4 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup seeds. I use toasted pepitas and sunflower seeds within the mix. Then I sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the bars before baking.
  • 1/4 cup PURE Maple Syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if you use salted nuts)
  • Optional spices: Cinnamon or vanilla bean paste (or extract).
  • Optional scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder or Powdered Bone Broth. (If you add powder, you may need a tad more liquid sweetener if the mixture becomes too dry. If too dry, the bars may not stick together well).

* Nuts and coconut can be raw or toasted. Toasting the nuts tends to really punch out the flavor. It only takes a few minutes, so I highly recommend toasting the nuts, coconut, and seeds for maximum flavor, yo! 

Substitutions: You can use raw honey or other sweeteners instead of maple syrup. In my experience honey makes the bars stickier and they fall apart a bit more. 


Fruit & Nut Bars Recipe Sheet |


Fruit & Nut Bar Recipe Baking Pan with Parchment Paper |

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. Cut 2 strips of parchment paper and layer them in the pan. The paper will hang over the pan edges. You’ll be able to lift the final bars out of the pan by pulling up the parchment paper. If you don’t want to use parchment paper, you can try using a cooking spray or coconut oil on tinfoil. I have had the bars stick more if using tinfoil though.


Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup in Mixing Bowl |

Add nuts, dried fruit, and seeds to bowl.

Stir in the maple syrup, salt, optional spices & protein powders until coated.

 Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup Recipe |

Dump into prepared 8 inch square pan and press down evenly with the back of your spoon. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. 

Bake 18 minutes at 325 degrees F. The bars will not look done. They will be soft.

Cool bars in the pan for about 15 minutes.

 Fruit & Nut Bar in Baking Pan with Parchment Paper |

Once cool, fold the parchment paper overhang back onto the nut bars and press down firmly with your hands. This will help compress the bars so they hold together better.

Lift bars out of pan using the parchment paper overhang. Place on cutting board. Don’t remove parchment paper yet!

 Cutting Fruit & Nut Bars |

Cut bars into 8 equal sized pieces. Cool completely before removing from the parchment paper.

 Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup Recipe |

You can slide your knife under the bars to help scoop them off the paper more easily so they stay in one piece. If the bars are slightly falling apart, you can place them back in the pan and place in the fridge to firm up some more.

 Fruit & Nut Bar with Maple Syrup Recipe |

Store in airtight container layered with wax paper for up to 2 weeks. You can also store these in the refrigerator if you want. This may help the bars stay together more. If the weather is warm, sometimes the bars can fall apart a bit more.



Fruit & Nut Bars Recipe Sheet |


Want more Maple Syrup Recipes? See our other blog posts:

Maple Syrup Health Benefits and Recipes

Maple Roasted Carrots Recipe & Ways to Eat the Greens

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Granola Recipe

Maple Syrup Recipes |

Do you tap and harvest your own Maple Syrup? Then Shop Our Custom Maple Syrup Labels to decorate your next batch!


Follow our Maple Syrup Tapping & Recipes Pinterest Board!

Maple Syrup Pinterest Board from


Fruit & Nut Bars Recipe with PURE Maple Syrup |

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