Honey Nut Bars

I am absolutely terrible at naming recipes. I can’t even tell you how many times I changed the name of this one. I can cook, bake, and code a great website, but my creativity ends when it comes to words. I stutter over adjectives like the most unpopular boy in school talking to the head cheerleader. So you get ‘Honey Nut Bars’, because these are made with, well, honey and nuts.

I am the grocery shopper in the house. I mean, obviously, since I’m the one who cooks and I know exactly what I need. On occasion, Rob will get some stuff for me if he’s out, and when he comes to the store with me, he’s the kid-wrangler/cart-pusher (which is awesome, by the way). But when he does shop, he usually gets treats. In the past year, the treats he picks up have shifted from Oreos and chips to Larabars and GT’s Kombucha, so I’m not complaining.

Let’s take the other day, for instance. He ran out to go to the bank and grab the mail. He came back with a box of Kombucha and some nutty bar from the health food store. He refused to let me look at the package and demanded that I try a bite (but not too big because it was his). It was good, really good. It had a subtle ginger flavor, not overpowering, and the nuts were chopped small. I don’t like big nuts, you can quote me on that after you’re done giggling. Then, after I had my little taste, he showed me the wrapper with the ingredients and demanded (in a nice-husband kind of way) that I duplicate it. Like, right then.

Paleo Honey Nut Bars | Our Paleo Life

Problem was, I already had something in the oven that he had requested I try to create, so it had to wait. And yeah, that other thing I’m making is thisclose to being perfect, so you’re just going to have to wait but it is going to be so good. But these nut bar things, I didn’t exactly duplicate them from the package. I wanted a more citrusy flavor, and I had just gotten some navel oranges that I was planning on using for something else and these bars just begged for orange. I also happened to have some orange honey that tastes a-freaking-mazing that I knew would be perfect. I’m not even kidding. I have never been one to think that clover, wildflower, blah blah blah honey all had different tastes, but this orange honey is fantastic. I got it from Sprouts and it came in a little bulk container with a deli-type label (from a local beekeeper, I think). But if you can get your hands on some local orange honey, do it.

I also made Cinnamon and Cacao versions that are equally delicious. Make them all and then tell me what you’re favorite flavor is.

And, since I’m all about giving advice and (apparently) embarrassing myself, do NOT try to use a metal spatula to press the bars down when the come out of the oven and then proceed to lick the honey off the spatula. You will burn your tongue and feel incredibly stupid. Don’t say you didn’t learn something new today. You’re welcome.

Paleo Honey Nut Bars | Our Paleo Life
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FYI: my cost to make this recipe is roughly $6 (and that’s rounding up). Even if you cut the bars larger, more like the store-bought bars, we’re still talking about $0.65 per bar. Compare that to $2.50/bar at the store, and I’d say that it’s totally worth it to make these at home. As if you needed another reason, right?

 

Honey Nut Bars

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Kendra Benson
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Ingredients

Orange Bars

Cinnamon Bars

Cacao Bars

  • 1 cup Cashews
  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 1/2 cup Pecans
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1/2 cup Cacao Nibs chocolate chips might get too melty
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp Raw Honey total of 9 Tbsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving flaps on all 4 sides.
  3. Roughly chop the almonds and cashews by hand, in a hand chopper, in a blender, or in a food processor. Pieces should be about 1/4" at the largest.
  4. Combine all ingredients except honey in a large bowl and stir until combined.
  5. Pour in the honey and mix with a fork until everything is evenly coated.
  6. Spread mixture into the prepared baking dish, pressing down to pack it in and reach all edges and corners of the pan. I use coconut-oiled hands to do this.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove to a wire rack. Use the parchment flaps to press the bars down and compact them before they cool all the way.
  9. After the bars have cooled about 30 minutes, lift the bars out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and flip over onto a piece of parchment so the bottom is now the top.
  10. Reshape back into a square and press down a little if the flipping moved things around a little. Peel off the parchment paper.
  11. Allow to cool completely and cut into (16) 2" x 2" bars.
  12. Wrap individually for a quick snack. Eat within 1 week.

 

 

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84 Comments on “Honey Nut Bars

  1. Nolan

    Do you think you could freeze these? Not sure I could eat 16 in a week. Well, I could but I shouldn’t ;-). I could cut the recipe in half but I’d have to look for a smaller pan.

    Reply
    1. Kendra

      I’m not sure, I haven’t tried it. I’m sure they would last at room-temp if you sealed them in FoodSaver-type packaging. I wrapped mine in parchment and found one hiding under a stack of papers nearly 2 weeks later (I really should get more organized) and when I ate it, it was just fine.

      Reply
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  3. Pat & Al

    I made these this morning (doing my best to help my husband kick his non-paleo-treat habit). They are delicious!! Thank you :). I also didn’t use an 8×8 pan, had to wing it since I don’t have any baking pans here in Switzerland yet but it worked just fine when I formed the mixture into a basic square about an inch thick and baked on my cookie tray.

    Reply
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    1. Kendra

      I would highly recommend staying far away from corn syrup of any kind. Aside from the fact that the honey is part of what makes this recipe *taste* so great, corn syrup is derived from, well, corn and has to be heavily processed to get to the syrup state. Honey is raw, minimally processed (if at all in some instances), and is actually beneficial to your health.

      Reply
  5. Angela

    I made these today and they are delicious! Only problem is they are very, very sticky and do not hold together well. Is this normal or did I mess it up somehow?

    Reply
    1. Kendra

      Did you flip them upside down after they came out of the oven? That part is key to sort of redistributing the honey so it doesn’t all stay at the bottom, which results in stickier bars. You could also cut back on the honey a little next time and see if that helps. I’m in a fairly dry climate, which might also make a difference.

      Reply
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  7. Jennifer Hughes

    I made these twice now and my kids and husband love them. The second time I used Lemon zest and doubled the ginger. The result was super tasty. Thanks so much for your site and blog.

    Reply
  8. Nandini

    Thanks! Worked perfectly for me. Could you explain why you say they won’t last beyond a week or do you have any suggestions for increasing their expiry date?

    Reply
    1. Kendra

      Well, they don’t usually last longer than a week around here, but since there are no preservatives, I wouldn’t suggest keeping them around for too long. I did find one that was wrapped in parchment (hidden under a stack of papers) about 3 weeks later and it was still good. If you want to keep them for longer term storage, I would suggest sealing them in a FoodSaver type bag.

      Reply
  9. Steph

    mmm …. mine just went in the oven. I’ve been looking for something I grab & take to class- this looks perfect! Most recipes for Paleo nut bars require a food processor to hold everything together. (Since I don’t have one) I love that its optional in yours (who wouldn’t want something you can actually chew)? In addition to the cashews & almonds I used 1/2 cup of crumbled (brown) rice cake & threw some sesame seeds on top – [I didn’t feel like another trip to Whole Foods and its cheaper than pecans]. Can’t wait to try them!

    Reply
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  13. Holly

    Wanted to share that this is one of my favorite new snack /grab-on-the-go bites! I did the chocolate ones; took out the coconut (my husband doesn’t like coconut) and added sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
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  15. SB

    Tasty, but the honey didn’t harden as much as I expected. May bake them for longer next time, and I’m in a dry climate/high altitude.

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      I’m in Colorado, also dry climate/high altitude. These bars don’t really harden all the way, there is still a bit of flexibility to them, and a tiny bit of stickiness. You could definitely cook them a bit longer, just watch them like a hawk, because the honey can burn in the blink of an eye.

      Reply
  16. Nicole

    I have made these a few times, all 3 kinds! I cut back on the honey, just too sticky to eat, like, while driving 🙂 They freeze wonderfully, I make huge batches of everything. I put some in a food saver bag to freeze and keep in my purse with me. I froze some for much longer, both in food saver bags and in containers with wax paper between them, both were fine! Chocolate ones are my favorite 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      Thanks for letting me know they freeze well both sealed and not. I have yet to make a huge batch of these and I can’t get any to stay uneaten long enough for me to store them. One day… 😉

      Reply
  17. Megan

    I’ve made these delicious bars twice this week now! They definitely do not last in our house. They’re a great ‘grab-and-go’ snack and an even better treat when you’re craving something sweet.

    Reply
  18. Naomi

    We LOVE these but have found them really sticky too, to the point that they don’t actually hold together enough to cut into bars. I thought it might have been the honey I was using so bought a raw honey from organic producer, still sticky but even tastier. Thanks for all the comments posted as I’ll now try less honey. Thanks again for the great recipes, if only the kids school wasn’t nut free, they keep begging to take them for recess.

    Reply
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  20. Shannon

    I love the way these taste! Yummy! I followed the recipe exactly but I couldn’t get the bars to stick together when I cut them! I waiting about an hour and a half before I cut them to make sure they were completely cooled. Wonder what I did wrong?

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      This usually happens if the honey doesn’t reach a high enough temp to stick together when cool. Like when you make caramel and need to reach a certain temp to get it caramel-y instead of liquidy. Baking just a bit longer should do the trick, it’s hard to get an exact time on this recipe because all ovens vary so much. I found the sweet spot with my oven, you just might need to find it on yours as well. The edges should be bubbly and a bit more browned then the middle, but not burnt (of course).

      Reply
  21. Judith

    Due to taking immune suppressing mediccation I cannot eat raw or un-pasturized honey, so would it be okay to use pasturized honey for these bars?

    Reply
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  23. Luke

    I’ve just made these for the second time and I’m impressed yet again! I was looking for something to replace the corn syrup-laden peanut bars my mum was eating, and these fit the bill. I’ve made the cinnamon ones and the orange + ginger, both were a hit, plus they keep well without going soggy – if they don’t get eaten before then, that is 😉 Thanks for another reliable recipe!

    Reply
  24. Rene

    Omg Kendra these bars are amazing! I made the Orange variety with a substitution of walnuts for pecans (thats what I had on hand). I did add ground flax and chia seeds too! The flavor is outstanding. They are a lil soft but that doesn’t stop me from eating them up! Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

    Reply
  25. DPT

    I’m afraid the healthy properties of the honey are destroyed during the heating/baking process. But I’m sure they still taste great!

    Reply
    1. Syb

      That is what I was thought…..rather ‘knew’, then I read about someone using ‘pasteurised’ honey (?) …..and wondered why honey is being pasteurised.

      Reply
  26. Maxi

    These look and sound fantastic! I can’t wait to try this recipe out! I think I’ll add some cranberries in the orange ones though 🙂

    Reply
  27. Rachel

    Hello! I just made the chocolate one with almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. I also used maple syrup instead of honey since we didn’t have any around the house. Oh my, these are amazing. I don’t think that they will last longer than a day or two. They’re cooling completely right now. If they don’t harden then I’ll just put them on my oatmeal or yogurt because that would be amazing to add to it. Yummy yum yum.

    Reply
  28. Kelly B

    Hi Kendra
    I was given your recipe today by my daughter-in-law and made them straight away, DELICIOUS I made the cinnamon version, I need to buy more ingredients to make the other versions which I’ll be doing tomorrow. I used my nutribullet to try chopping the nuts but it just really ground them into a flour consistency, with some larger portions, but this still worked really well. Thank you.

    Reply
  29. Michaela Harris

    OMG, these are AMAZING. I made the Orange ones and am still getting over how good they are. One recommendation I would have is to listen to the author and individually wrap them! They stay a bit sticky no matter what (though they hold together well). TRY IT. I shared this recipe on my blog and credited you, hope you don’t mind. Thanks!!

    Reply
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  31. Nikki

    These bars are to die for. The orange ones are my all time faves. I don’t particularly like pecans so add macadamias instead. I also add dried blueberries and cranberries and if I have them sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. I just add a little more honey if needed. I didn’t have any oranges with the last batch I made so used a lemon instead and they were equally as good. Thanks for an awesome recipe!! 🙂

    Reply
  32. Tayla

    These sound delicious and I can’t wait to try them!! I just have one problem.. I am allergic to coconut, so is there anything else I can substitute the coconut with??

    Reply
  33. Lorene Eppolite

    Can’t wait to try these. I may be missing it, but at what point do you cut these into bars? Should you do it when they are still warm, or after they have cooled completely?

    Reply
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  35. Monique

    Hi! I made these last night and couldn’t get everything to stay together to cut them. I let them cool completely, but as soon as I pulled the parchment paper out, it immediately started to come apart and couldn’t get any bars cut – any tips on how to get the mixture to stay together?

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      It’s possible they just didn’t cook long enough, and the honey didn’t get to a high enough heat to “candy” them (essentially making the honey harden). I’ve made this in 2 ovens and one required a longer baking time because it doesn’t get as hot.

      Reply
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  37. Leftover recipes

    Hi, thank you for the great recipe! Just one question that puzzled us: I did the cinnamon bars with cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and coconut. And the first taste of the bars was sour. Once you start eating it tastes great though, so my kids had no problems with it. Do you know what could cause this? I want to make this again 🙂

    Reply
  38. LB

    If I use orange honey, should I reduce the amount of orange zest or eliminate it totally? If you have never tasted orange honey, you have to try it, you will never purchase any other flavor again. It is some what difficult to find, and more expensive, but you can purchase it by the pound at WinCo. Mine is along the wall near the meat department.

    Reply
  39. gareauk

    Love these! They are my new favourite recipe. I take whatever nuts and seeds I have and measure 2 cups worth, then I chop them into smaller bits. I don’t like coconut very much but you can’t even taste the coconut in this recipe. They are to die for! They are great for lunches or we eat them straight out of the freezer!

    Reply
    1. Kim

      Maybe. I’ve never tried to make a thick simple syrup with stevia, but I was able to get a thinner one to make vegan, diabetic friendly marshmallow fluff over Christmas. You could try making a basic simple syrup (1:1 ratio water to stevia), and heat to Soft Ball, which would roughly have the same viscosity as raw honey. If the bars turned out too soft, you just heat the simple syrup higher the next time

      Reply
  40. Joy

    Just made these and they look delicious! They seem kind of sticky, so I plan to wrap them in a square of parchment before wrapping in plastic wrap. It’s a snowy weekend so I’m going to try the other two varieties as well. Thank you!

    Reply
  41. Faye

    Hey. I have problems with my teeth and crunchy foods tend to be difficult to eat. Are these relatively soft after baking, or are they still tough and crunchy like most nut bars?

    Reply
  42. kelly

    Mine just came out of the oven. I think I may have used a little too much honey and forgot the coconut (it was sitting right in front of me too!) Hopefully they set ok, I live in a very humid tropical climate so I might try setting it in the fridge 🙂 looking forward to trying them!

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      I’m not sure maple syrup will work, it might be too thin. I’ve never tried it, but I just don’t think it’s got the consistency to hold the bars together.

      Reply
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  44. nate

    really, really sticky! the taste is spot on…but im having trouble getting the bloody bars off the wax paper! any suggestions? I used pure honey and everything held together well, but…perhaps I should have used something other than wax paper? any advice is welcome~

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      Parchment paper and wax paper are not the same. Was paper definitely won’t work for this, you’ll need to use parchment. And if the bars aren’t holding together, you may need to bake them just a little bit longer.

      Reply
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  47. Lea

    I tried the orange bars today and they were a success. Thank you Kendra for the recipe, this was a perfect solution for a healthy, tasty and affordable DIY snack during pregnancy.

    Reply
  48. Sarah

    Delighted to find nut bars without oats, ie gluten free. Can’t wait to try them. An idea for the diabetic friendly is rice malt syrup. It’s a sugar substitute for baking that I recently came across, and is quite thick. Will give a whirl once I have the original recipe down pat.
    Psyllium husk is a fibre source. It may absorb some of the honey, but then the mix might become too dry. I would be inclined to bake for a little longer.
    Thanks so much for for sharing Kendra. Your recipes are a much healthier alternative to the shop bought variety.

    Reply
  49. Gayle

    Thanks for your recipe. I think that I may simmer my honey first before pouring over the nuts, just to help the whole bar set up more (Kind of like making hard candy). Hubby is paleo, I’m gluten-free, and have been looking for some sort of crunchy nut & seed bar for snacks.

    Reply
  50. nandini

    Hello Kendra, i make granola bars but i dont bake them.Is it neccesary to bake them?I have read somewhere that honey shouldn’t be heated as it is harmful fir health.Pls suggest some bars which r not to be baked
    Thankyou.

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      This particular recipe needs to be baked. The honey needs to be heated enough so that when it cools, it hardens and holds the bars together. I have not read anything about cooked honey being harmful for your health. The only effect from cooking is that you would be losing some of the nutrients in the raw honey. The only bars I have that are no-bake are fruit/nut bars (like Larabars). Search the term “bites” using the search at the top of the page to find all of those recipes.

      Reply
  51. Jane L

    I love these recipes, and want to try them. Do I have to make any adjustments when I leave out the coconut? I can’t stand the smell, taste, or texture of coconut, so it’s not even coming into my house. Can I just leave it out or do I have to adjust something to make the bars?

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      I would add an extra 1/2 cup chopped pecans or reduce the amount of honey if you don’t sub anything.

      Reply
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