If anyone knows anything about me, it’s that I hate baking.

Anything else in the kitchen is an enjoyable experience for me! I enjoy whipping up all sorts of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for my family of 5. We eat entirely plant-based, and I love the challenge of coming up with new recipes that we’ll all enjoy — from preschoolers all the way to adults. I can honestly say cooking is one of my favorite activities!

Baking, on the other hand, is the bane of my existence. When it comes to following recipes, I’m mostly an “eyeballer” — guessing at the correct proportions, maybe using a measuring cup every now and then, but mostly relying on my kitchen intuition to deliver a yummy and nutritious dish. But with baking, you’ve gotta be precise… and I think that’s where it loses my interest.

No-bake recipes are an exception. Because you’re not relying on the oven to do the work for you, you’ve got a little leeway when it comes to measurements. Even if your dry-to-wet-ingredient ratio is a bit off, it won’t matter once you pop your dish into the fridge or freezer. In all likelihood, it will still set just fine!

This recipe for no-bake trail mix bars is one of our family favorites! We almost always have all of these staple ingredients in the house, so there’s no extra hassle in having to go grocery shopping. What’s even better is that these bars are a delicious snack to take out on the trail… which, let’s be honest, that’s where we almost always are. They’re a quick and nutritious snack, and even kids love ‘em!

The real star of the show is coconut nectar. Coco nectar is very low glycemic and contains 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral pH. Plus, we love the “coco-nutty” flavor it adds to all of our recipes!

Our favorite nectar is the Big Tree Farms Unrefined Coconut Nectar (Blonde), but there are lots of other great options on the market. With these bars in particular, the combination of coconut oil + coconut nectar gives these tasty treats unforgettable flavor.

No-Bake Trail Mix Bars

Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12-15

Ingredients (approximate):

  • 1 ½ c. nuts and/or seeds of choice (I used ½ c. each of walnuts, almonds, and pepitas)
  • ½ c. shredded or flaked coconut (depending on which consistency you prefer)
  • ½ c. dried fruit of choice (I used dried blueberries and dried cherries)
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ c. nut butter of choice (I used organic peanut butter)
  • ⅓ c. coconut nectar (you can also substitute honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Lightly grease an 8” x 8” glass dish with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together your nuts/seeds, shredded or flaked coconut, dried fruit, chia seeds, sea salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, combine your nut butter, coconut nectar (or other sweetener), and coconut oil. Microwave the mixture for about 60 seconds; it should be hot and pour easily. Add in the vanilla extract.
  4. Immediately pour your wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is coated.
  5. Pour the combined mixture into your glass dish and use your spoon or spatula to flatten the mixture into a smooth, even layer. Cover and place dish into the fridge for at least 1 hour before cutting into 12-15 bars. Tip: The longer you let these set in the fridge, the less crumbly they’ll be when you cut ‘em!
  6. Store the bars in a container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for a couple of months. (But trust me, they won’t last that long.)