Trail Mix Bar

These bars have many of the wonderful nuts, seeds, and crunch of a trail mix–but without the sugar load. This poses only a modest carbohydrate exposure, as the dates provide 4 grams sugar per date.

However, if you are a marathon runner, triathlete, or other long-duration exerciser and would like to use these bars as your during-exercise carbohydrate source, they are easily modified to increase carbohydrate content to suit your needs. You can add more 2-3 more dates, for instance, or more raisins or apricots, ground in your food chopper or food processor in the first step. If you are not a long-duration athlete, leave these bars as is!

Ingredients for every 2 bars (e.g., multiply ingredients by 4 to obtain 8 bars):
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
1-2 whole pitted dates
1 tablespoon walnut fragments
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sweetener equivalent to 1 tablespoon sugar or sweeten to taste
1 tablespoon coconut milk (full thickness), room temperature
1/2 tablespoon almond butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Combine coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dates and grind in food chopper or food processor until consistency of coarse coffee grounds. Pour into bowl.

Add walnut fragments, cacao nibs, cinnamon, and sweetener and mix thoroughly. Taste batter to ensure degree of sweetness. Stir in coconut milk and almond butter by hand. (If almond butter is too thick, microwave prior to adding to mix in 15 second increments to obtain a liquid consistency.)

On parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, divide dough into two parts (or into as many bars as you desire). Shape into bar shape with the flat edge of a butter knife.

Bake for 60 minutes. Remove and cool.

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70 Responses to Trail Mix Bar

  1. Stevie says:

    Hi Dr D!
    I am making these bars to take on our ski trip. Thank you! I wonder how these freeze. Anyone know?


  2. CJ says:

    Late to the game. Finally made these bars and we tried them out on a 2 hour bike ride (half a bar @ ~30 min second half 30 min later then an hour to home. Tested and we were both under 100) I agree plenty sweet may leave out the Xylitol next time. Anyone add or sprinkle w/ sesame seeds?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      An excellent idea, CJ!

      I think I’ll try it, kind of like the sesame candies.

  3. Lisa says:

    These are absolutely amazing! I make them by the dozen. They keep about a week and a half in the fridge and are the perfect grab and go snack or breakfast. Dr. Davis, thanks so much for all the amazing recipes. Can’t wait to buy your cook book!!

  4. Yoshiko says:

    I want to try this recipe but I am allergic to almonds. Can I substitute with another nut butter? Is peanut butter ok?

  5. Suzie says:

    I used the recipe in the cookbook and they were a crumbly mess. The taste wasn’t bad. I used coconut milk from a carton. Any one else have that problem?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Use the coconut milk from a can, Suzie, for better cohesiveness.

      • Carmen says:

        I have had the same problem. I tried adding an egg. Made it a bit better but still crumbly. I’ll try canned coconut milk as suggested and see what happens

    • Christine says:

      My bars are very crumbly too- they do not firm up when cool. I used coconut milk from can, and added almond butter at room temp. I did not add any sweetener. I used dark choc chips instead of cocoa nibs – could that be the issue? They are tasty, but would be more practical for eating if they didn’t crumble when touched. Thanks for tips.

      • Dr. Davis says:

        Hmmm. How about more oil, e.g., coconut oil or almond butter?

        It sounds like there was insufficient oil to bind the proteins.

    • Catherine says:

      I had the same issue. Mine burnt as well, even though the temperature was lower in the book and I stopped cooking them 15 minutes early. Think this is the first (and only) recipe that will ever elude me after 7 weeks of WB. Maybe the difference is that the recipe book says to use a 9×5 tin and not a baking sheet with parchment paper?

  6. Janet says:

    The recipe here on the blog is slightly different than the one in the book. My batch didn’t firm up in the bread pan so I’m going to try taking them out and making bars as is suggested on the blog and putting them back in the oven. I was unsure of the low heat, too, but I’ll wait and see how these turn out.

  7. Cammie says:

    Has anyone tried these bars with dried apricots instead of dates? The deglet noro dates and dried apricots are fairly close in net carbs, from what I can see. I ask because I have an apricot tree in my backyard, hence lots of dried apricots, thanks to the food dehydrator, and I am looking for “wheat belly” ways to use the dried apricots.

    Any other ideas or suggestions are welcome!

  8. Julie says:

    I made these the way they are presented in the cook book-which does not mention a sugar substitue. They came out VERY bitter and will have to be thrown out!! Kind of an expensive experiment.

    • Unterderlaterne says:

      Julie. there are plenty of nutritious ingredients in this recipe, why not crumble up the bars , add some almond or coconut milk, some sweetener, some berries and voila- a delicious breakfast or snack .Improvise, improvise! Barbara.

      • Barbara in New Jersey says:


        At room temperature, left in strong sunlight or slightly warmed in the oven, just enough to make them pliable, you can add the sugar substitute by sprinkling it on the top, re-mix and then re-press into bars again. Most people on WB find that the dates, raisins and apricots are sweet enough so they don’t add any sugar substitute.

        Sweetened cranberries can be added too! Wear latex gloves if you have them or even oil your hands so this is not quite so sticky. Add chocolate chips warmed in microwave.

        Use a small amount of the bars in a miicrowave muffin mix. I agree with Unterderlanterne that all these ingredients are just too expensive to not “rework” in some manner.

  9. Yoshiko says:

    Hello… Is it ok to substitute almond butter with peanut butter?

    • Boundless says:

      > Is it ok to substitute almond butter with peanut butter?

      Not being a cook, I can’t speak to structure and texture in the results, but from a nutritional standpoint, peanuts (for those not allergic) appear to be OK is reasonable amounts, and do appear in some WB recipes.

      Things to watch out for with peanut butter are: full fat, and made only from raw peanuts, with no added oils, sugars, maltodextrin or flours. I would also go for organic and non-GMO.