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.       


January 05, 2019
These were dense, dry, crumbly, and the uncooked quinoa had the consistency of sand. Somehow the combination of nice ingredients was unpleasantly bitter. It was one of those recipes that made me wonder whether anyone tested it before publishing it.

KatherineS's Review

March 20, 2014
Very disappointed! I too followed the directions for the cranberry pistachio bars and ended up with a crumbled mess. Since I was not at all pleased with the taste, this was a complete waste of my time and ingredients.

pdxcook's Review

March 19, 2014

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!

bouldercook's Review

March 22, 2014

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.

Ceridwin13's Review

March 26, 2014
We really liked these! Not sure why others had problems with the bars falling apart; mine held together just fine. The trick is to press the mixture really firmly into the pan (I used the bottom of a metal measuring cup for this) and then let them cool completely in the pan (overnight would be best). It's true that the toasted quinoa was crunchy, but we thought that was a good thing. We made the cherry-almond version, and the only thing I did differently was to use 1/4 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of chopping the chocolate because I already had a bag of them open. This is a keeper in our household- I'm already dreaming up a version with dried apricots in them!

Fernie's Review

March 27, 2014
I made 2 batches of this recipe using 2 different brands of almond butter. The batch made with the Trader Joes brand came out fine, but the batch made with the other brand crumbled as others have stated. I think next time I make this recipe I will add less quinoa and more oatmeal, or leave it out completely. While I like the idea of the extra grain in there, it is very crunchy and sticks in your teeth.

harpere87's Review

March 22, 2014
I tried these, and like the others mine completely crumbled. I have made other granola bars with similar ingredients that I didn't bake, just allowed to cool/solidify in the fridge, and they held together much better. I will skip the baking part and just make the other way next time. Otherwise they taste awesome!