One of my coworkers has peanut, tree nut and coconut allergies, so I challenged myself to make something she could enjoy along with everyone else for a cooking demo I taught today at work.

That’s how these bars came to be.

They’re slightly sweet, salty, tart, crunch and chewy – lots of tastes and textures to keep your taste buds happy!

bars on plate

The main ingredient is sunflower seed butter, which is where this recipe gets its “sunny” name. I’ve written about Sunbutter in a previous post here. You can find it at any grocery store (often in the natural food aisle) and at Target and Walmart. Target sells it in single serve to go packets, which is super convenient.

I shared a variation of this recipe back in the fall for a healthy snacks for kids cooking class but changed it up a little bit, so you wouldn’t need a food processor to make it. I also swapped out cranberries for raisins and used less sweetener overall.

This recipe comes together in about 5-7 minutes, so it’s easy to make in a pinch for an energizing snack!

cran cover

Yield: 20-24 squares


  • 3 cups whole rolled oats (I love Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free brand)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon honey (add more if you want sweeter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Water, as needed


  1. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper. Combine oats, cinnamon, sea salt, pumpkin seeds and cranberries in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat sunflower seed butter and honey on medium-low, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour liquid over oats and stir with a spoon or your hands to combine. If it’s too try, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until it sticks. Once everything comes together, press mixture into lined pan, using the back of a spatula or excess parchment paper to press it down and flatten the top.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour to set. Lift parchment from pan and cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.