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Homemade Energy Bars

Homemade Energy Bars

While browsing the aisles at any grocer, you are likely to see 10s or even 100s of “energy” or “food” bar options.  Not only are these processed, full of sugar and often contain preservatives, they are also often pricey.  The bars my husband and son prefer run between $0.99 (on sale) to $2.00.  The fruit-and-nut bars I sometimes purchase for my gluten-free crew average $1.59. And yet, we buy a few each week anyway!  Why?  Because my husband and son are into sports, a lot.  When you are burning tons of energy, a quick protein-packed fill-up is a good way to get through until your next meal.  When we are out and about, and I’ve forgotten a snack, its a quick, simple fix.  Well, we are moving on. We try not to purchase pre-packaged/processed foods, so I’m experimenting with making our own “energy” bars.  Here are recipes for a oat based (can be gluten free if GF oats are used) and a fruit-and-nut bar.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Banana Energy Bars

(Makes a 9 inch square pan)

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds (ground or crushed)
  • 4 Tbs Rice Protein Powder
  • 1 cup vanilla rice milk (we like Pacific)
  • 6 Tbs egg replacer (like Ener-G or Flax Seed jel) or 1 large egg + 1 egg white
  • 2 bananas- ripe and pureed (or sub fruit/pumpkin puree, equal to 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce- unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup agave, maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (omit if adding chocolate)

Add-ins if desired

  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup nuts of choice, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (we like cranberries)
  • Replace 1/2 fruit puree with peanut or almond butter

Mix all ingredients together (well), and place in prepared 9 inch square pan.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 40-45 minutes.  Cool and slice into desired size bars.  Store loosely covered in the refrigerator. For travel, we simply remove bars and wrap them in a cloth napkin secured with a safety pin, string or band.

We like to make fruit purees (pumpkin, zucchini, apple, banana, prune, fig, etc.) and store in the freezer in 1 cup portions, then the desired flavor can be pulled out and used in baking and cooking.

Fruit and Nut Bars (Gluten Free)

Makes one brownie pan (ours is about 6×10)

  • 1 cup dried fruit of choice (cranberries, blueberries, bananas, apples, cherries, strawberries) home dried in low heat dehydrator is best to remain food integrity.  You want the fruit to remain tender, not crunchy if you’re going to use it in this recipe.
  • 1 cup dates (whole- roughly chopped, do not buy pre-chopped)
  • 2/3 cup Raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup Raw cashews
  • 2 tsp. finely grated citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime)
  • 3-4 drops almond extract if desired

Spray or oil pan, set aside.

Place fruit, dates, zest and extract in food processor/blender/Vitamix and process until you have a smooth paste.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Pulse nuts in blender until finely chopped but not pureed/mushy.

Combine nuts and paste.  Mix well (fingers work best).  Transfer to prepared pan, smooth and allow to sit until firm.  Store tightly covered in refrigerator, makes about 8 bars.

Eat Well. Be Well.

Green Options Media is a network of environmentally-focused blogs providing users with the information needed to make sustainable choices. Written by experienced professionals, Green Options Media’s blogs engage visitors with authoritative content, compelling discussions, and actionable advice. We invite anyone with questions, or simply curiosity, to add their voices to the community, and share their approaches to achieving abundance.

Read more: Food, Health,

By Jamie Ervin, Green Options

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19 comments

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2:41PM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

How long do they last for?

11:53AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Just made two batches!

5:22PM PDT on May 6, 2010

thank you thank you thank you!
Soo much healthier than store bought!

3:23AM PST on Feb 15, 2010

Thank you for this! I can’t wait to give these a try–I wince whenever I see the grocery bill on days my husband refills his supply of energy bars. (I’m wondering if there’s a way to make them so they don’t need refrigeration, without the egg or something?…)

Also, I love the fruit puree idea–I’ll adopt that one immediately, except I’ll probably do half-cup portions in a muffin tin, freeze them, and then pop them out into a larger container or ziploc or something. That’s what I do with cooked beans…it’s a really easy and low-maintenance thing.

m3 real card

11:44AM PDT on Aug 5, 2009

I'm with you, Antonio. What?! Having a homemade recipe tested by a nutritionist? Good grief!

8:27AM PDT on Aug 4, 2009

I don't mean to start a fight, but it is sort of excessive to suggest all recipes must be analyzed by an expert--anything home made fresh with real wholesome ingredients is going to be better (in every sense) than buying over processed preprepared food--there is no reason to scare people off cooking their own thing, too few seem to do do it any more. that's part of what is so great about something like these granola bars where it is so easy to experiment and gain confidence, plus they taste great and you save money.

8:58PM PDT on Aug 3, 2009

I love the gluten free version. You don't need to bake it in the oven so it retains more natural enzymes.

Really lovely. Thankyou for the recipe :)

8:29PM PDT on Aug 3, 2009

Any home made recipe should be got tested from a nutrition expert.You may prepare an excellent palatable and tasty recipe.But what are its ingredients in terms of protein, fats and sugars must be tested.

1:50PM PDT on Aug 3, 2009

i'll be trying these out - thank you so much!

i think i might try to modify them with some peanut butter for a little more protein and taste too!

1:19PM PDT on Aug 3, 2009

Thanks for the info, I've been making my own for a long time now.

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