The Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites

Sink your teeth into the Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites! Delicious snacks of nutritiousness made with whole foods just like the ones “down under” from Costco…but carefully made without the gluten! 

This copycat recipe is much less expensive, so SO easy, and just as tasty as the originals.

It’s a one-bowl creation that smells of sweet oats that takes just 10 minutes to make and less than 15 minutes to bake! The only excruciating part is letting these tasty little bites cool completely before removing them from the baking pan! 😋

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4 Gluten Free Aussie Bites on white plate on wooden background, white towel to the right with Gus, our tabby cat, peering up from underneath

The first time I discovered this oat-based chewy treat with dried fruit and nutty flavors was when I sampled Aussie Bites from Costco. It was YEARS ago. 

It’s a delightfully guilt-free whole grain snack made in the form of a mini-muffin but not like a muffin at all. 

I really wanted to provide a copycat gluten free recipe here using the exact same ingredients as listed on the package found at Costco. 

But as a dietitian, when I have an opportunity to improve the nutritional profile without compromising taste, texture, or quality – I’m up for the challenge!

Outside of not using organic ingredients, I made just one simple swap from the ingredients list found on the packaging of the traditional Aussie Bites from Costco.

What change did I make? Continue reading 👀 to find out! 

What Are Aussie Bites?

Aussie Bites contain a mix of wholesome ingredients often found in granola but blended, pressed and baked into mini-muffin-sized treats. Made mostly with whole foods, they get subtle sweetness from a variety of dried fruits and honey. 

It’s a wholesome oat-filled nutrient-dense treat ideal for a snack!

Gluten Free Aussie Bites are actually soft, not crunchy, but their texture is not muffin-like, either. They have a fresh oatmeal-bar like taste with nutty undertones, which likely comes from the sunflower seeds. 

There is a little bit of coconut and honey and vanilla – so many good things that just play together so well!

IG Image of Gluten Free Aussie Bites stacked on plate with jar of apricots and muffin tin in rear with recipe attributes listed to right: Whole Grain Oats, Dried Fruits, Coconut, Seeds, Honey & Cooked Quinoa

And for those of you who may be leery of quinoa, each Gluten Free Aussie Bite contains just ½ teaspoon of cooked quinoa. It does not add any flavor. BUT like all ingredients in this recipe, quinoa has a role and a function to play! 

Like most of the ingredients in my recipe for The Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites, the cooked quinoa adds nutritional value. AND it is one of the many binders in the recipe that help to keep the bites soft and free from crumbling. Please don’t omit!

Are Aussie Bites Australian?

While some may try to make an actual connection between Aussie Bites and Australia, these bites are likely as native to that country as America’s popular restaurant chain, Outback Steakhouse, is to France. 🤭 😂

Some of the ingredients in Aussie Bites may be likened to that of “bush tucker” (or bush food), though they are not at all the same foods. The name, “Aussie Bites” is truly a stretch.

Native varieties of fruits, nuts, seeds, honey, and grains are commonly found out in the “bush” and are part of the diet consumed by some indigenous groups of Australia.

Now, the Aussie Bites from Costco are sold under the Universal Bakery™️ logo. 

After examining the back of the product, it appears that Aussie Bites are actually produced in the state of California by Best Express Foods, Inc, the umbrella company to their brands El Camino Real Bakery™️ and Universal Bakery™️.

So – it looks like it’s just a fun spin on words in the marketing name game and has probably nothing to do with Australia at all.

And that’s OK. They’re still mighty tasty. And my recipe for the gluten free version of Aussie Bites is too!

Are Aussie Bites Gluten Free?

The Aussie Bites found in stores could be gluten free…but they are NOT. That’s why I felt compelled to create my own recipe and share it with you! 

While all the ingredients contained in Aussie Bites made by Universal Bakery™️ are naturally gluten free, the manufacturing practices are not.

The product label clearly states: “This product contains milk and coconut. Produced on shared equipment that may contain WHEAT, soy, eggs, milk, coconut, peanuts, and tree nuts.” See image below.

Photo of an Aussie Bites package as seen at Costco with the Allergy Information circled in red, which clearly states that this product is produced on shared equipment that may contain wheat.

So there you have it. It’s such a shame when great foods could be made gluten free, but are not. However, it’s not that easy to convert manufacturing equipment and/or practices to prevent cross contact of gluten-containing ingredients. 

It’s just so FORTUNATE FOR YOU that my Gluten Free Aussie Bites are so EASY to make! And they TASTE just like the real deal! 😃

What Do I Need to Make Gluten Free Aussie Bites?

For complete step-by-step instructions to make The Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites, see the recipe card below. 

I’ve compiled a list of the ingredients, product links, and kitchen tools you’ll need to make this must-have snack staple.

But first – here’s the scoop on the ONE SIMPLE SWAP I made in making this copycat Aussie Bite recipe.

  • I first tested the recipe with granulated sugar. Sugar is included in the ingredients list on the originals from Costco. 
  • But – I then tested the recipe a second time with just one change:

I omitted the granulated sugar completely and replaced it with pitted Medjool dates!

While there is already dried fruit in the recipe, Medjool dates add not only a caramel-like layer of natural sweetness but also fiber and vitamins and minerals sugar just can’t contribute. So WHY NOT!

Ingredients in Aussie Bites Made from Scratch

Gluten Free Aussie Bites measured Ingredients back row on top: melted butter, 3/4 cup dry rolled oats, 1 cup dry rolled oats. 2nd row: canola oil, vanilla in bottle, milled flaxseed, dried apricots, coconut. 3rd row: honey, cooked quinoa, chia seed, sunflower seeds, raisins. 4th row: baking powder & salt, Medjool dates
  • Gluten Free Rolled Oats – The base ingredient in this recipe that adds whole grain goodness.
    • As I explained in my blog post What is Gluten and Where is It?” oats can often come into cross-contact with gluten containing grains in the field, during transport, and in processing plants. 
    • Check the label to ensure your oats are in fact gluten free
  • Pitted Medjool Dates, Dried Apricots, & Raisins – Concentrated gems of nature’s sweetness, these dried fruits not only add tantalizing fruit flavors, but also help to bind the dry ingredients together. Check for gluten free; see *Ingredient NOTE below.
  • Sunflower Seed Kernels – These add a rich nutty layer of flavor to Aussie Bites. Roasted & salted is what I have on hand; if you use unsalted, I suggest doubling the tiny amount of salt used in my recipe. Do check for gluten free; see *Ingredient NOTE below.
  • Unsweetened Shredded Coconut – This adds mild coconut flavor and lends to the chewy texture desirable in Aussie Bites.
  • Chia Seeds & Milled Flaxseed – Chia seeds add a slight crunch while milled flaxseed (or ground) adds mild earthy nutty flavor. These mighty seeds both add fiber and omega-3 fatty acids – just a punch of nutrition!
  • Baking Powder – A leavening agent that adds some lift to these naturally dense bites.
  • Salt – Just a bit of salt is used here as in most baked goods to enhance flavor and intensify the sweetness contributed by the dried fruits and the honey in this recipe. Omit if desired.
  • Cooked Quinoa – This works in tandem with the coconut to elevate the chewy texture of the Aussie Bites as it helps to bind the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and keep them soft.

Plan ahead and make a batch of quinoa beforehand to minimize Aussie Bite prep time!

  • Canola Oil and Butter – Canola oil contributes healthy fats and vitamins with a neutral taste while butter adds rich flavor. Both add moisture and aid in browning…plus a bit of crisp Aussie Bite exterior.
  • Honey – This syrup adds a rich level of sweetness (as well as antioxidants!) and helps all ingredients in this recipe stick together. Support your local beekeepers and honey farms and buy local!
  • Vanilla Extract – Vanilla enhances the sweet flavors in these bites and adds yummy flavor!

*Ingredient NOTE: It is very important to note that not all nuts, seeds, or dried fruits are packaged in facilities or on equipment that are gluten free. Be sure to check the label and/or contact the manufacturer! 

Where Can I Find Gluten Free Products to Make Aussie Bites

I have used the following products among others to make Gluten Free Aussie Bites and other recipes. These are available online and some are available in local grocery stores or wholesale warehouses.

ALWAYS check labels prior to purchasing to ensure products continue to be made gluten free:

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

Sincerely Nuts Sunflower Seeds, Roasted & Salted, Hulled

Natural Delights Fresh Pitted Medjool Dates

Dole Raisins

Hodgson Mill Milled Flax Seed

One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Rolled Oats

Trader Joe’s Roasted & Salted Sunflower Seeds (less $$ in store)

Better Body Foods Organic Chia Seeds

Perfect Delights Sun-Dried Apricots

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Brown Flaxseed Meal

Equipment Used to Make Aussie Bites

  • Food Processor high-powered appliance to finely chop and blend ingredients into a dough
  • Small Cookie Scoop to easily scoop and distribute dough into mini muffin pan
  • Mini Muffin Pan to bake the Tastiest Gluten Free Aussie Bites ever!
  • Small Rubber Spatulato pat down each bite into the mini muffin pan prior to baking

How To Make The Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites

  1. Measure out all ingredients and set alongside a food processor with the chopping blade in place.
  2. Pulse one cup gluten free rolled oats for about 30 seconds to produce a coarse flour. 
  3. Add remaining oats, dried fruit, nuts, and coconut to the food processor and pulse several times for about 20 seconds. 
  4. Add remaining dry ingredients to the food processor and pulse another 5 seconds. 
  5. Add wet ingredients and pulse to produce a thick dough, about 25 seconds. 
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, fill a prepared mini-muffin pan to the top of each well and pat down.

NOTE: The numbered steps above correspond to the numbered Gluten Free Aussie Bites process pictures shown below.

Six-step process for making Gluten Free Aussie Bites: 1. Measure out all ingredients and set near food processor with blade in place. 2. Pulse one cup gluten free rolled oats for near 30 seconds to produce a course flour. 3. Add remaining oats, dried fruit, nuts, and coconut to food processor and pulse several times for about 20 seconds. 4. Add remaining dry ingredients to food processor and pulse another 5 seconds. 5. Add wet ingredients and pulse to a thick dough, about 25 seconds. 6. Using a small cookie scoop, fill mini-muffin pan to the top of each well.

After baking, allow Aussie Bites to cool completely in the baking pan on a cooling rack. I know, life’s rough. 🙄 Once cooled, twist and lift each bite out of the pan and serve or store!

Picture of baked gluten free aussie bites in tin on left with caption underneath: Allow to cool completely. Picture of baked gluten free aussie bites tumbled out onto wooden serving board with a glass of milk and a few stray raisins, apricots, and rolled oats with caption under picture: Remove from tin & serve!

Are Aussie Bites Healthy? The Nutrition Benefits

YES! This is a snack you can feel good about! 🤩

When you quickly glance at the ingredients in my Gluten Free Aussie Bites recipe, you’ll see that it’s CHOCK FULL of nutritious whole foods. Most of the ingredients are minimally processed or not processed at all!

The processing happens in your own kitchen by the work of your food processor.

Make Homemade Aussie Bites and Eat Less Processed Food

Many popular snack foods are highly processed, diminishing the health benefits food is intended to provide. 

  • Through processing, some edible components are stripped, removing important nutrients (and often fiber, too) along the way. These highly processed foods become a ghost of what they once were.
  • But that’s not all. Once the food is refined, manufacturers often add simple sugars, unhealthy fats, and/or sodium to preserve food, extend shelf life and to increase palatability.

However, it’s not possible to banish ALL processed food from the diet. Simply drying fruit or roasting sunflower seeds are examples of minimally processed foods, though it is a much lower level of processing that leaves the food intact. 

While experts agree that it is not absolutely necessary to eliminate all processed foods, the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends us to choose foods and beverages with less added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. 

Eating less highly processed foods overall grants access to high quality nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber your body prefers – which can help prevent disease and improve your health over time! ♡

When you compare the ingredients and nutrition in these homemade Aussie Bites with the nutrition labels from popular snack foods, the proof is in the pudding homemade bite. 

The Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites have less added sugar, more healthy fats, and are very low sodium

Each Gluten Free Aussie Bite Provides:

  • 113 calories and 2 grams of fiber
  • 7 grams total fat with only 2 grams as saturated fat
  • 6 grams sugar and just 2.8 grams as added sugar (from honey)
  • only 27 mg sodium
  • 110 mg potassium
  • 98 IU Vitamin A

With a nutrition profile like that, it’s even appropriate for some individuals to eat 2 or maybe even 3 for a snack, depending on the situation. 

With increased attention and better understanding of food labels, smart shopping, and improved time management, you CAN make small adjustments to reduce your intake of ready-to-eat or premade meals and snacks and decrease highly processed foods in your diet!

Recipe FAQ for The Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites

Here are some common questions you may ask as you prepare this recipe:

Looking straight down on Teetering tower of gluten free aussie bites on gray and white marbled background with dried apricots and raisins beside
I Don’t Have a Mini Muffin Pan. Can I Make These Bites Without It?

YES! You can use a lightly greased 10×15-inch baking sheet.

-Simply scoop Aussie dough into 24 evenly-sized balls and space evenly across the baking sheet.

-Squash slightly with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a lightly oiled drinking glass.

-Bake as directed in recipe card below, and allow bites to cool completely on baking sheet.

I Have Whole Flaxseeds; Can I Just Use Those?

Yes, BUT – grind whole flax seeds first in a coffee grinder, food processor, or high-powered compact personal blender.

-The human body can’t break down whole flaxseeds and they pass through the body virtually untouched, leaving you without all that nutrition! 

-Plus the milled flaxseed helps to bind other ingredients together in this recipe. Using whole flaxseeds do not help bind other ingredients and could result in a crumbly Aussie Bite.

Can I Substitute Something For Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, or Milled Flaxseed?

YES. While the flavor profile and nutritional profile will change slightly, a few substitutions can be made to produce a tasty Aussie Bite. Consider the following substitutions:

– Use (un)salted, roasted & shelled pumpkin seeds or roasted and lightly salted pistachios (shelled) to replace sunflower seeds.

– Use shelled hemp seed hearts or sesame seeds to replace chia seeds.

– Use almond meal to replace milled flaxseed.

Can I Make Vegan Gluten Free Aussie Bites?

YES! You only need two adjustments to create Vegan Gluten Free Aussie Bites. 

1. Substitute butter with vegan butter sticks or with canola oil or other neutral oil.
-If you choose vegan butter sticks, there I two brands I like that produce excellent results in my recipes:

Flora Unsalted Plant Butter
Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks. This brand contains sodium. If you use salted vegan butter, I would omit the salt in the recipe card since my recipe calls for unsalted butter.

2. Substitute honey with pure maple syrup or agave nectar.

Can I Eat Aussie Bites Warm From the Pan?

Please don’t! This is one time I have to say NO.  😦

Unfortunately, when bites are removed from the pan before cooling completely, they are likely to crumble upon removal and when you bite into them later. Just wait!

How Should I Store Gluten Free Aussie Bites?

Sealed. Room temp. Chill or Freeze!

-Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to a week. 

-You may also refrigerate bites in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

-For longer storage, freeze them! Place bites in an airtight container and simply lay a layer of plastic wrap over each layer to help tops stay frost free. Secure the lid and freeze for up to 6 months for Instant Gluten Free Aussie Bites!

When to Include Homemade Aussie Bites in Your Day

Gluten Free Aussie Bites are a transportable handheld packet of convenience you can enjoy anytime and take anywhere.

It is a satisfying chewy homemade snack ideal for home, at work, on the road, or out at an event – just bake and take them with you wherever you go. 

  • They are ideal as pre-workout fuel or on the other end of your workout afterward as you hydrate!
  • Take The Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites to eat while hiking, for air travel, to the park, or to snack on during long meetings.
  • Making Gluten Free Aussie Bites can serve you as part of a quick grab-n-go breakfast for hectic mornings, too.  🙌🏼 
  • Heck, I’ll even enjoy them as dessert!
4 gluten free aussie bites next to 3 dried apricots, 6 raisins, and a few scattered oats on white plate on wooden background with white towel to right side

Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites

Delicious snacks of nutritiousness made with whole foods just like the ones "down under" from Costco…but carefully made without the gluten! This one-bowl creation smells of sweet oats and takes just 10 minutes to make and less than 15 minutes to bake!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 24 bites

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten free rolled oats divided
  • 3 whole Medjool dates pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots *check for gluten free
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup roasted & salted sunflower seed kernels *check for gluten free
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup milled flaxseed *check for gluten free
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa cooked in water packed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 24-well mini muffin pan.
  • In a large food processor fitted with the chopping blade, pulse just 1 cup of gluten free rolled oats 8 times, or about 30 seconds, to a coarse flour.
  • Next place remaining ¾ cup rolled oats, Medjool dates, dried apricots, raisins, sunflower seeds, and shredded coconut in the food processor, and give the mixture 12-14 quick pulses for about 20-22 seconds; all ingredients should become finely chopped and nearly unrecognizable.
  • Add chia seeds, milled flaxseed, baking powder, salt (if desired), and cooked quinoa to the food processor; give it 4 quick pulses for about 5-6 seconds.
  • Pour in remaining ingredients: canola oil, honey, melted butter, and vanilla extract and pulse 12-14 times. Remove the cover and carefully scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor (turning and lifting the blade if necessary); return cover and pulse an additional 5-6 times to produce a thick seedy dough. Carefully remove the blade.
  • With a small cookie scoop or spoon, place a scoop of dough into each prepared mini muffin well, dividing dough evenly across the pan. Pat each bite flat with a small rubber spatula.
  • Place pan on middle rack in preheated oven and bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly golden brown and slightly puffed. Remove the pan from oven and cool completely* on a wire rack.
  • When completely cooled, give each Aussie Bite a little twist back and forth and gently lift up and out to serve or to store in an airtight container.

Notes

*Check labels to ensure these ingredients are gluten free as manufacturing processes may vary.
*Cool Completely: Do NOT attempt to remove bites prior to complete cooling as they may crumble upon early removal.
Cooking, Storage, Substitution and Serving Tips: Please see FAQ in blog post above for tips.

Your Own Notes

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1bite | Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Aussie Bites, dried fruit, egg-free, gluten free, oats, peanut-free, portable snack

Recommended Equipment

Food Processor
Small Cookie Scoop
Mini Muffin Pan
Small Rubber Spatula

Enjoy eating these Gluten Free Aussie Bites! When you whip up this quick recipe, please consider leaving a recipe rating and comment below! 😊

Try My Other Recipes for Gluten Free Baked Goods!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones

Delectable Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Don’t forget to pin this post to save for later AND to share with others!

Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites Pin Image: 10 bites tumbled out on top of wood top with a few dry oats to the left, a glass of milk in the middle apricots and raisins to the top.

Tell me: What other snack recipes are you looking for?

Julie Christensen

Julie Christensen, RD, LD is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with over eleven years of experience in the field of dietetics, specializing in Wellness and Disease Prevention, Heart Health, Weight Management, and Celiac Disease. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition, Fitness, & Health as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

2 thoughts on “The Tastiest Ever Gluten Free Aussie Bites”

  1. 5 stars
    These are so yummy! My husband and I had never had Aussie bites before and weren’t sure if we would like them-but we did!!! And this recipe was awesome! It was so tasty and the best part was knowing that it was healthy for us. ☺️

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