{recipe} Homemade Energy Bars

by Danielle Omar on February 26, 2012

I’m a huge fan of energy bars.  I eat them quite a bit each week when I’m running around and need a quick snack.  I’m pretty particular about what I like — they must contain  peanut butter or some kind of nut and they can’t be too sweet.  I found this easy recipe for homemade bars from Averie over at Love Veggies and Yoga.  Hers are no-bake and vegan…but don’t let that stop you.  :-) In fact, after making these, you might not ever buy a bar again.

I love that you can add whatever you want to the mix to make these bars your own. For my next batch I’ll experiment with different flavors and textures, but for my first try I kept it pretty simple.  They only took  me 15 minutes to throw together,  below are the directions and some pictures.

Gather up all your ingredients and throw them in a bowl.

I did not do this, but I recommend you start with a layer of mashed banana, then add your ingredients. I skipped the banana and mine were a little crumbly.  So first, mash a banana into the bottom of the bowl, then layer in your ingredients.

I used:  

  • 1.5 cup McCain’s quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsweetened cherries and a handful of raisin mix (any dried fruit will work)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or agave, honey)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

After everything is mixed up, it will look something like this.  If it’s too dry (mine was a bit) you can add a little coconut oil or more maple syrup.

Transfer and press the mixture into a tupperware-type container.  Freeze for a few hours!

After a few hours, slice the semi-frozen mixture into whatever size you want.

 I wrapped them up individually and will store in the freezer.

 These bars are vegan, dairy free, gluten free (if you use GF oats), and have no artificial sweeteners.

You can beef up the protein level by adding protein powder to the mix or increase fiber by tossing in some oat bran.  You can also add chopped nuts or change the taste completely by experimenting with different nut butters.   The possibilities are endless!

Do you make your own energy or protein bars?  What’s your favorite add-in?

 

Danielle Omar

Owner, Registered Dietitian at Danielle Omar Nutrition
Danielle creates personal eating strategies for busy men and women through individual nutrition counseling, cooking classes and digital programs. She inspires working parents, busy families, and stressed out professionals to change the way they think about food. Danielle is also a cookbook author, nutrition and culinary spokesperson, and recipe developer. Click here to sign up for her Confident Kitchen newsletter.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I’m glad you like the bars! Thanks for blogging about them.

As I am leaving this comment, I notice your site was done by Zesty/Corey…he helps me out, too. Your site looks great!

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2 Danielle Omar February 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Thanks, Averie! Cory is how I found your blog. :) These bars are great, thank YOU for the recipe. I still need to perfect the technique though, as mine were a little crumbly without the banana.

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3 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Yes you have to use a banana, well you don’t “have to”, but I did in my original recipe and if you don’t, they will be a bit crumbly…or you have to add more nut butter, coconut oil, add an egg and bake them, there are ways around it but just use it, unless you have good reason not to, is my advice.

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4 Danielle Omar February 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I thought the banana would be too sweet but I will def use it next time. Although using more peanut butter is never a problem. :) THANKS!

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5 Sally Kuzemchak February 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Can’t wait to try these. Since I’m not eating sugar, I’m going to try the banana, plus oats, nut butter, non-fat dry milk powder, flax, and maybe some dried fruit. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the recipe! (Great photos too!)

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6 Angelia thompson March 12, 2012 at 12:27 am

Have you calculated calories and number of servings?

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7 Danielle Omar March 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Hi Angelia, I have not done an official calorie count on the bars, but I would estimate they are around 200 calories, depending on the ingredients! They make about 10 bars!

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8 Ryan rom March 13, 2012 at 5:25 am

Roughly how long did you cook these bars for and at what temperature!?

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9 Danielle Omar March 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Hi Ryan…you don’t cook them at all! You just mix up the batter and spread into a container, then freeze for a few hours. Once they’re solid, then you slice them, wrap them up, and store in fridge or freezer. They are no-bake!

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10 Lulu March 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Hi Danielle! I recieved an email from my son’s teacher last night saying that he told her I could make Vegan cookies for class tomorrow, lol! I remembered this recipe because Suz passed it on to me from you and I already had the Love Veggies and Yoga blog as a favorite! This will be perfect for my son and I to make tonight for his class tomorrow, especially since it’s no bake! I’m going to use sunflower seed butter. I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks!!!

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11 Danielle Omar March 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Awesome, Lulu! Let me know how they turn out! :)

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12 Lulu March 15, 2012 at 2:48 am

They turned out great! I skipped the chocolate chips, even though I had lots. My son and I have been craving sweets too much, so I figured it would be best to skip them;) I used sunflower seed butter, which was really great in it! And I used dried cranberries. Everything else I kept the same. Mine got soft really fast when I took them out of the freezer. I think the banana I used was too big. Maybe I’ll try half next time or add in extra flax meal or raw protein powder. So many possibilities! Fun!

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13 Danielle Omar March 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Yes! I have made them with or without the banana. Without the banana they are a little crumbly, but still really good. My next batch I will use half a banana and see how they turn out. Glad you like them!

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14 Aimee March 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Yum! I’m on a 30-day cleanse now where I’m learning the benefits of why I should stick to my vegan & non-dairy ways, but also about how effective the non-gluten lifestyle is. It’s a work in progress, but it looks like I’ll be adding this recipe to my toolkit! Thanks!

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15 Margo DeGange April 1, 2012 at 2:10 am

Yum Yum. Ok, THIS is delish-i-ocity!

I will definitely share this with my daughter and my son’s girlfriend. We have a houseful of healthy eaters here and this is valuable information.

Thanks Danielle for always keeping us healthy!

Hugs,

Margo

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16 Energy bar June 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Here here to adding coconut oil to the bars! It acts as a natural preservative and provides a good source of fuel as it is a medium chain fatty acid. Also, you could try a “balls” format for a recipe like this or something similar.

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17 PLee July 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for sharing this great yet simple recipe. On the oats, can regular oats be used instead? Will it alter the texture? Would toasting the oats first give it some crunch?

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18 Danielle Omar July 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Sure, you can use any kind of oats. I don’t know if toasting will make a difference, but you can certainly give it a try!!

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19 michael August 6, 2012 at 5:06 am

I am advisor of culinary arts at FIT.
We tried substituting the banana with some soaked dried dates and raisins.
Worked great at keeping the bars from crumbling

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20 Danielle Omar August 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Awesome…how did you soak the dates and raisins?

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21 michael August 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Just soak in filtered water, enough to cover. We did it overnight.

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22 Mig Wheeler September 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Great, simple recipe. If I use recipe as a fund-raiser, how much can I sale for?

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23 Danielle Omar September 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Funny, I get asked that often! $1.50 each?

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24 Sam at North Carolina Health October 12, 2012 at 12:56 am

These look wonderful but it seems like raw oat meal would be hard to digest. Is that not a concern? If I used cooked rather than dry oat meal, would I just have a big mess?

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25 george January 22, 2013 at 4:57 pm

COULD YOU ADD A PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION TO YOUR RECIPES. TYPE 2 DIABECTIC IT WOULD HELP DIABETICS TO MAKE THEM, AND BEING MALE I DEFINATELY NEED THAT

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26 Elizabeth Jarrard RD (@ElizabethEats) February 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm

YUM! must make. right now!

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27 DEIRDRE January 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Hi Danielle can I check how long these bars can be kept in the freezer?

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28 Danielle Omar January 20, 2014 at 12:24 am

I would say up to 3 months!

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