(not) Sunset’s fruit and nut bars

My parents went to the Cal vs. Kansas basketball game the other night, so I was home alone with my sis and Kyle. 


Bored, but too tired to do anything that involved changing out of PJs, I randomly decided to bake.  My mom always has tons of magazines on hand, including my faves, Bon Appetite and Sunset.

I raided the cabinets and pantry…


Not too shabby.  

My parents didn’t have medjool dates…or dried apples…and not very much honey…soooo, yeah, I made quite a few changes to the recipe I was using.  Given that the ingredients are now 50% different, I think I can safely say my version is nothing like the original.  Oh well.  Thanks for the inspiration Sunset mag.


Sunset Fruit & Nut Chewy Oat Bars


  • 1/3 cup almonds, slivered
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin butter (I used TJ’s brand)
  • 1/4 cup fig butter (dried fig puree)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

*original recipe calls for 3/4 cup medjool dates (instead of pumpkin & fig butter)



Preheat oven to 325.

Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until light golden, 10-12 minutes.  Once roasted, add to a food processor and pulse until chopped to desired consistency. (I omitted this because my almonds were already slivered)


Warm honey and maple syrup in microwave until they have the consistency of thin syrup.  Mix in nuts, cinnamon, pumpkin and fig butter.


Next add in oats.


Stir until well combined.


You may need to add more or less of the fruit butters to reach desired consistency.  [And in case you were curious, this is pretty awesome by itself]


Add in dried fruit.  In theory any dried fruit would work, probably even coconut flakes.  I just used what my parents had on hand. 


Mix it all thoroughly.


Scrape mixture into a parchment paper lined pan.




Then pack it down as tight as you can.


I used a spoon because my hands were too sticky. 


Next place it in oven for 7 minutes. 


[Truly I don’t know if this is a necessary step – the recipe didn’t call for any oven time – but I thought it would help the bars set more and meld together if they cooked for a bit]


Then I let it cool a bit and put it in the freezer to set.


After ~20 minutes, I removed it from the freezer and voila!


You can lift out the parchment paper, cut, and individually wrap them for storage.


This recipe yields 12 bars.


Yum yum yum.


If you’re smart, you’ll sample one on the spot. 


Sweet, chewy, and oaty.  I love the raw oat texture with the almonds slivers too.


All stacked up and ready for work lunches 🙂


I’m shocked by how simple these were to make.  You must try them now.  Without honey, they’d be vegan, and without the oven time, they’d be raw.  So if you have agave nectar, you have a mighty fine vegan chewy fruit and nut bar recipe here.  And since it takes less than 10 minutes to throw together, you have no excuse.  I bet they’d be good holiday gifts too.



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Comments (13)

  1. sweetandsweat

    I was at the game too! It was soso busy.
    Bars look yummy!

  2. Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)

    These look great! I make bars all the time. Oats, dried fruit, nut butter, maple, seeds/nuts..just kind of hodgepodge it into a bowl, press it into a pan and hope for the best 🙂 They are so much cheaper and better than storeboughts!

    I think you’ll be hooked on making your own now for sure!

    Merry Xmas to the Elise Family!

  3. movesnmunchies

    these look great! i love easy bars for on the go!

  4. SweetLikeTea

    My name is Micah, and after reading blogs for years, I’ve finally started my own. You, along with many other lovely bloggers have inspired me to document my journey to culinary school. I’d love it if you would check out my blog Sweet Like Tea, and tell your friends about it!
    Happy holidays and hope to keep in touch!

    PS. We are basically almost twins. I was in nursing school before I decided to go try out culinary. I have IBS. I eat basically the exact same things that you do. Its crazy. I love your blog!

  5. Samantha

    I love Kansas Basketball and that game was crazy!! So much action and violence haha!

  6. Ashley

    So yummy and easy! Sunset always has the best recipes! Cheers!!

  7. kissmybroccoli

    How in the world did I miss this post?! These look great and sooooo simple! I will definitely be making these soon!

  8. Beth

    You added honey…but that is a high fodmap food. Also, dried fruit, especially cherries?

  9. Elise (Post author)

    im assuming youre wondering if this is a fodmaps friendly recipe or not?? its not. ive had this blog for over 4 years, but only discovered fodmaps in sept of 2011, so since this post is from 2010, its definitely pre-fodmaps. i make a point to note fodmaps friendly recipes now, so unless its indicated somewhere, if you see fodmaps ingredients and the date of the post is before 9/2011, assume its not.
    you could sub maple syrup for the honey to decrease the fodmaps, also you could sub dates for the cherries. in individual servings the bars may be tolerable for you then (although maybe not depending on which groups are your sensitive ones).
    hope that helps.

  10. Beth

    sorry. You provided a link to it in one of your latest entries.

  11. Beth

    what bars do you recommend now that can be bought in the store? Thanks so much.

  12. Sarah

    These look amazing, but on the FODMAP list my doctor gave me to follow, it says to limit honey AND coconut and I noticed you use these a lot in your recipes.

    for some reason my browser isn’t working, but if you google standford medical hospital low fodmap, you will see what they gave me to use.

  13. Elise (Post author)

    Hi Sarah. This post(and recipe) is from long before I discovered fodmaps. This isn’t fodmap friendly. Your list is correct.

Comments are closed.