Sunflower Sesame Granola Bars

That old Quaker and his granola bars got nothin’ on these.
For. Reals!
Sunflower and sesame might sound like a crazy combination of flavors, but I swear.. these bars are addicting! I came across a very forgiving formula for chewy granola bars and proceeded to raid my fridge and cabinets for ingredients straight away. (I had no plan, as usual.)
I’m glad to say these are a huge improvement on my last granola bar effort. They only have natural sweeteners (honey and barley malt syrup) and they actually stay together, instead of crumbling the minute you remove them from the fridge.
I wasn’t sure the miniature food critic in the house would like the flavor combo, but he gobbled them up every day of the week. I cut them up into tiny squares for him so he could grab and go and he was all over that- kid doesn’t slow down for anything (but the iPad.. umm, quit it with all the new kid-luring technology, Apple!).
These would be a solid post-workout snack, too- when cut up, they actually remind me of those little marathon squares they sell in the bulk food section at Whole Foods.
These bars have a kind of roasty/toasty taste to them and aren’t sickly sweet. If you’re into that, just use chocolate instead of dried fruit- that’ll give you a proper sugar rush. I prefer the little pops of sweetness from the dates and figs. (Who knew about dried figs and didn’t tell me?? They are so good! My childhood self would be stunned at the thought- remind me to tell you my Fig Newton story another time.)
Blogging has turned me into a crazy, dried fig-loving, granola bar mastermind.
Who knows what will come out of the oven next.
Homemade Fig Newtons, I’m coming for you!
Sunflower Sesame Granola Bars
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


based on a basic granola bar formula from Good Life Eats (by way of Brown Eyed Baker)

  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ¼ cup barley malt syrup (gives it a ‘toastier’ flavor, but more honey is a fine substitute)
  • ¾ cup sunflower seed butter
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅔ cup almonds, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2½ cups old-fashioned or thick-cut rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup dried pitted dates, diced
  • ⅓ cup dried figs, diced with stems removed
  • ⅓ cup raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together honey, barley malt syrup, sunflower seed butter, tahini paste, cinnamon and sea salt until combined. Fold in chopped nuts and oats, followed by the dried fruit until all is well combined.
  3. Spread the mixture into the pan with a spatula or your fingers. Make sure it press it firmly into the pan so the bars don’t crumble after they are baked.
  4. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes. When the pan is cool to the touch, move to the freezer or refrigerator for 1 hour, or until firm. Cut into bars with a very sharp knife (I cut 16 bars). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

2 Responses to “Sunflower Sesame Granola Bars”
  1. esrates says:

    Mmmm, delicious:)

  2. These look fabulous! I like that they aren’t super sweet… I will have to make a batch of these soon!

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