Vegetarian and Gluten Free No Bake Granola Bars from This Runner's Recipes

Molasses and Pumpkin Seed No Bake Granola Bars

Are there better snack options than no-bake snacks? I have such a weakness for a good muffin, but all too often I just want to whip up a quick, nutritious, tasty, and portable snack so we can head out the door to run, hike, and opt outside all weekend long.

I first made Cookie and Kate’s version of these no bake granola bars a few weeks back when Ryan and I were embarking on longer hikes including Mount Washington and Greider Lakes. As happens with many recipes, I adapted the recipe from the start due to Ryan’s mild almond allergy. Now they’re a completely different bar, so I thought I’d share my recipe with you today!

Vegetarian and Gluten Free No Bake Granola Bars from This Runner's Recipes

Bars make an ideal post run or hiking snack, except that pre-packaged all-natural bars can quickly add up in price. Thankfully, no bake granola bars are incredibly simple to make at home, as this recipe takes less than 10 minutes of prep time and your refrigerator does the rest of the work. Plus, when you make them at home, you can customize the bars to your exact preferences.

What’s in these no bake granola bars? The ingredient list is flavorful and simple: rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate chunks, raisins, vanilla extract, honey, molasses, and peanut butter. You can opt for an even more concise list of ingredients, of course, but this is a winning combination (see also: the trail mix cookies I shared a few weeks ago).

The blackstrap molasses emerges as the defining ingredient in these no bake granola bars. It adds a subtle and earthy sweetness without an overly saccharine taste, similar to how a good dark chocolate or coffee tastes. These bars almost remind me of puppy chow (Muddy Buddies) from high school and college bake sales – minus the powdered sugar and with a good boost of nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and iron instead.

Since these bars can become mushy and stick together when warmed up in a backpack or car, I highly recommend storing them in your freezer. They will defrost by the time you eat them but better maintain their bar structure. Of course, they taste just as great in the form of bites as well!

No Bake Molasses and Pumpkin Seed Granola Bars

Since no bake granola bars are easy to prepare in large batches, freezing them will also make a batch last longer – not that you need to worry about that. Any issue here is one of portion control, especially if you enjoy a salty-sweet combination.

These molasses and pumpkin seed no bake granola bars are vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. 

Molasses and Pumpkin Seed No Bake Granola Bars

Laura Norris
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • Heaping ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 5 tablespoons dark chocolate chunks raisins, or a combination of both
  • ¼ teaspoon salt optional
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • cup honey
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate chips and/or raisins, and salt.
  • In a smaller separate bowl, whisk together the honey, vanilla extract, molasses, and peanut butter. If this mixture is too stiff, microwave for a couple seconds and then stir, but be sure to let cool before adding to the dry ingredients so you don’t melt the chocolate.
  • Use a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold together the peanut butter mixture and the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be stiff and thick; if too viscous, add a tablespoon or two more oats.
  • Line a large glass baking pan* with parchment paper. Use the spatula or wooden spoon to spread and press the mixture in the pan until the bars are at your desired thickness.
  • Cover with the lid or plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Cut into 12 pieces and then store in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for a few months.

Notes

Cooking time indicates refrigeration/setting time.
*I used a 15 x 10 in. Pyrex pan and the bars did not quite span the length of the pan. This yielded thin and long granola bars You can also use a 9 x 9 in pan for thicker, squared shaped bars.
Adapted from Cookie and Kate

Linking up with Foodie Friday

What was your favorite bake sale treat in college or high school?
What are your plans for the holiday weekend?

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15 Responses

    1. Thank you! Somehow my post missed scheduling even though I had it saved and set for the normal time – and of course that happens the day I sleep in. Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend and are enjoying your week!

    1. I’m the same way – I can’t have unportioned trail mix because it’s so incredibly addictive. That’s at least why bars are good..because in theory there’s portioning?

  1. did I know that ryan has a slight almond allergy? I do too, to raw almonds…anyway, these look delicious and easy!! my favorite bake sale treat was probably a cupcake or fudge brownie. I love cookies but the chocolate fudgy items on the bake sale tables were the ones I went for lol

  2. Really tasty! I’m glad those are chocolate chunks and not raisins. I was worried there for a second.

    Andrew and I are going to the island to visit a million dollar fishing lodge he just listed! It’s a LONG trip over there (ferry to Nanaimo and then a 4 hour drive up to port hardy) and the weather is supposed to be rainy and windy. But it’ll still be relaxing. Enjoy your long weekend!

    1. Thank you! It was SO rainy and windy this weekend in that whole area of the Olympics/Vancouver/all those islands. Your weekend sounded so fun no matter what the weather!

  3. Molasses is my favorite sweetener because it has more flavor than just sweet. I don’t know if I’ve ever made granola bars with it though – must remedy that soon!

  4. I love a no bake recipe. I was actually looking for a new molasses recipe and when I saw this was no bake as well it ticked all my boxes. These are delicious. My kids were ok with them too – but granola bars are not their favorite so they were just ok. I’ll have to try and keep them away from too many cookies to get them more accustomed to granola!

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