Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Cindy Barr 
Hands-on Time
10 Mins
Total Time
35 Mins
Serves 16 (serving size: 1 bar)

These bars fit snugly into snack-size zip-top plastic bags but also divide easily into squares. Store in an airtight container up to three days.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Spread oats and quinoa on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Place oat mixture in a large bowl, and stir in cranberries, pistachios, coconut, flaxseed meal, and chocolate.

Step 3

Combine almond butter, agave, oil, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour almond butter mixture over oat mixture; toss well to coat. Press mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in dish. Cut evenly into (1 x 4-inch) bars.

Step 4

Cherry-Almond Energy Bars: Substitute coarsely chopped tart dried cherries for the cranberries, and chopped salted, dry-roasted almonds for the pistachios. Substitute honey for the agave nectar.

Step 5

Serves 16 (serving size: 1 bar)

Step 6

CALORIES 205; FAT 6g (sat 1g, mono 1g, poly 6g); PROTEIN 5g; CARB 25g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 54mg; CALC 47mg

Step 7

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars: Substitute golden raisins for the cranberries and chopped salted, dry-roasted peanuts for the pistachios. Omit the coconut and chocolate. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the oat mixture in step Substitute creamy peanut butter for the almond butter and honey for the agave nectar.

Step 8

Serves 16 (serving size: 1 bar)

Step 9

CALORIES 179; FAT 6g (sat 2g, mono 8g, poly 2g); PROTEIN 6g; CARB 23g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 94mg; CALC 18mg

Chef's Notes

When retesting the energy bars (cranberry and peanut butter), combine the “liquid” ingredients and gently warmed them in the microwave. Also, firmly pressed the mixture into the pan.

Ratings & Reviews

Wish I had read reviews 1st

January 27, 2016
Since I have had exceptional results with Peanut-Cranberry Bars from Sunset Magazine, I thought this recipe looked similar, yet a nice variation.  These bars crumbled, as several reviewers stated, were much too sweet and the toasted quinoa tasted like bird seed, getting trapped in between your teeth. I'm keeping the Peanut Butter-Cranberry Bars recipe, there is an egg & flour to bind the ingredients together and the bars are larger and freeze very well.  That said, this is OK for an ice cream topping or a bag of trail mix.       

Anita Salustro's Review

July 16, 2015
I substituted three T of honey for the agave nectar and parboiled the quinoa.    Happy with crunch and taste!    I am sending these across the U.S. to a distant friend.  Has anyone refreshed them in the oven to reclaim the snap?   I'm finding that they are chewier on the second day.    Want to find that crispiness again.  Ideas, anyone?

AprilSansagraw's Review

July 01, 2014
I have made these several times and eat them for breakfast almost daily. They have never stayed together until I started using agave nectar in the raw instead of light agave nectar. That seems to be the secret, at least for me.

susiecat6's Review

June 05, 2014
Absolutely delicious - exploding with taste and texture in every bite. My first batch was crumbly. For the second batch, I pressed and pressed until I was confident that the bars would stay together, and they did. Since my family cannot eat an entire batch within three days, I individually wrapped bars and stored in the freezer. We simply pull one out in the morning for a snack later in the day.

nymphaeae's Review

May 27, 2014
This recipe is excellent! To keep bars moist - avoiding the crumbling that others noted - I heated the wet ingredients in a microwave safe bowl for one minute and added dry ingredients directly to bowl to avoid loss during transfer (recipe says to transfer wet ingredients to bowl with dry ingredients). You also have to really tamp down on the bars (I used a potato masher) so the ingredients really stick. I also cut them into bars while warm and wrapped each in plastic before freezing. Great flavor and only 5 points plus Weight Watchers. Good energy food for bicycling!

sparklyredshoes's Review

May 04, 2014
Mine came out perfectly! They didn't crumble at all. I followed the recipe exactly. I also made sure i pressed those suckers in the pan really well. I think waiting for them to cool all the way probably makes a difference. I love them. I'll definitely make them again. Everyone who tried then loved them! Success! Press super hard!

massbaker's Review

May 02, 2014
This recipe was a huge disappointment. As other reviewers said....I followed the recipe exactly as written. After baking them, I attempted to cut them into bars and ended up with just a mess of crumbs. Surely something was left out of the recipe for it to be such a failure? I hope Cooking Light will look at the recipe and make any necessary changes.

hspoo34's Review

April 29, 2014
Unfortunately my "bars" became granola as soon as I tried to get them out of the glass dish, as they didn't stay together. Any suggestions one what I may have done wrong in the original recipe that caused them not to stick together?

vickierigsby's Review

April 16, 2014
These are really good. I used honey instead of agave, only because I have local honey on hand. I replaced the canola oil with almond oil to make it a clean recipe. These are delicious. I actually toasted the honey with the oats and quinoa. I also added 1 tbsp of wheat germ. Can't wait to make the others!

annabanana82's Review

April 11, 2014
Great recipe! I also found them to be slightly crumbly, but for the most part, they maintained their "bar" shape and they taste so good that I don't really mind. I guess some people cooked their quinoa beforehand-I did not and love the crunchy texture. I've passed this recipe onto 4 of my friends already and they love it, too! Will definitely make again.