When was the last time you ripped open a packaged energy bar and thought “delicious!”? Likely not recently — or ever. Don’t waste your money or suffer through those calories any longer. These three homemade energy bar recipes are delicious, packed with nutritious grains, nuts and seeds — without too much sugar or too many preservatives.
CRISPY-CASHEW SESAME ENERGY BARS
- 1 1/2 cups cashews
- 6 tablespoons raw white and black sesame seeds
- 5 tablespoons finely ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Toast cashews, sesame seeds and flaxseed in separate areas on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally (but not mixing), until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
Set aside 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon flaxseed. Process cashews and remaining seeds with wheat germ, salt and cardamom in a food processor until mostly finely chopped. Place in a medium bowl.
Bring maple syrup and coconut oil to a boil in a small saucepan; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour over cashew mixture and stir to coat.
Press mixture firmly into prepared pan with wet hands (it will be sticky). Top with reserved seeds; press to adhere. Bake until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Let cool, then cut into bars. Recipe makes 16 servings at 1 bar each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 124; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 112mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 3g
RAW DATE & PECAN ENERGY BARS
(vegan & gluten free)
- 1 cup medjool dates, sliced in half and pitted
- 1/4 cup organic tart dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dried mission figs
- 1/2 cup pecans (or, sprouted pecans if you can find them)
- 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons finely ground flaxseed
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place pecans onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5–7 minutes until the pecans are just toasted. Remove from oven, turn off heat and set aside. (If you’re using sprouted pecans, skip this step.)
Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle lightly but completely with ground flaxseed then set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the dates, cherries, figs, pecans and maple syrup. Pulse until the mixture comes together and is generally smooth but still has a few chunks.
Empty the mixture out onto the prepared pan. Press the date mixture out in the pan until it’s uniformly thick, about 1/2 inch.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill overnight until hardened. Remove from refrigerator, slice into squares and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Storing in the refrigerator will keep the texture of the bars hard, rather than soft.
Recipe makes 16 servings at one 2-inch square bar each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 92; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1mg; Carbohydrate: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 1g
SAVORY OAT & WALNUT GRANOLA ENERGY BARS
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup crumbled kale chips
- 1/2 cup chopped oil-cured olives
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
- 1 cup honey
- Pinch of saffron (optional)
- Pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Grease a 8-by-8-inch baking pan with the coconut oil. (This makes a nice, thick granola bar. If you like thinner bars, opt for a 9-by-13-inch pan.) Then, in a large bowl, combine the oats, kale chips, olives, walnuts and rice cereal until well incorporated. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey, saffron, chili flakes and salt. Stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir until the syrup is evenly incorporated.
Spread and press the granola bar mixture into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature.
To make these gluten free and vegan, substitute brown-rice syrup for the honey and use gluten-free oats! Recipe makes 12 servings at 1 bar each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 219; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 214mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 22g; Protein: 3g
Originally published May 2017, updated May 2022
Ready to take the next step? Unlock MyFitnessPal Premium to access custom goal settings, quick-log recipes, and guided plans from a registered dietitian. Premium users are 65% more likely to reach their weight loss goals!