Energy bars

When you’re busy or on the go, energy bars, as the ones featured above, will keep you going until your next meal. I made these bars with wholesome raw ingredients such as, oats, nuts, dates, seeds, coconut, almond butter and maple syrup. They’re great as a mid-day snack or to boost your energy before going to the gym.

Homemade energy bars are generally more nutritious than the store-bought kind. They’re rich in plant-based protein, fibre, Omega-3 fats, minerals and vitamins. And, they don’t have the added sugars and other artificial ingredients. Once you get into the habit of making them, they’re easy to make. You can also freeze them for future needs.

In the recipes below, you can substitute the coconut with dried cranberries or goji berries or the grated ginger with grated orange peel. You can also substitute the nuts and seeds with other kinds of nuts and seeds. Use your imagination – it’s what you prefer!  For an overview on seeds and how to incorporate them into your foods, here’s an infographic on “Ten Healthy Seeds“.

Here are two energy bar recipes. Enjoy!

(1) Energy bars – nutty version

Makes 16-20 bars

Dry ingredients

2  cups natural rolled oats

1/2  cup raw almonds with skin

1/2  cup raw de-shelled pistachios

1/4  cup sunflower seeds

1/4  cup shredded coconut

2  tbsps chia seeds

2  tbsps hemp seeds (graines de chanvre)

2  tbsps ground flaxseeds*

1  tbsp cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

Wet ingredients

1/4  cup almond butter (the dark brown wholesome kind)

1/3  cup pure maple syrup (or honey)

1  cup firmly packed chopped pitted medjool dates (12-14 dates)

Procedure

Heat oven at 350°F / 180°C.

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients then pour into a large shallow pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Toast for 7- 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, gently warm almond butter and maple syrup for a few minutes until blended. Remove from heat and add the dates and stir. Set aside and allow the dates to soften in the warm butter.

Put the toasted dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds – just enough to break down some of the larger chunks. Don’t overly process as you want to maintain the nutty texture. Then transfer into a large bowl.

Process the warm almond butter mixture until smooth and dates are blended. Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients. Mix and turn with clean hands until the dry and the wet are combined (this part will be sticky and require several hand rinsing).

Line a 9X13 inch (23X33 cm) or a 7X11 inch (18X28 cm) rectangular pan with parchment paper. Put the mixture into the pan and firmly press with clean hands or spatula until the mixture is evenly and tightly compressed (this prevents the squares from crumbling).

Chill in refridgerator for 30 minutes. Lift out of pan with the parchment paper kept under. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container. Will keep in fridge for about one week. This recipe also freezes well.

*  ground flaxseeds are available in supermarkets or you can grind the whole seeds in a coffee or herb grinder.

(2) Energy bars – chocolate version

Makes 16-20 bars

Dry ingredients

2  cups natural rolled oats

1/2  cup raw white almonds (without skin)

1/2  cup shredded coconut

1/4  cup poppyseeds

2 tbsps finely grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp cinnamon (option)

Pinch of sea salt

Wet/chocolate ingredients

1/4  cup almond butter (the dark brown wholesome kind)

1/3  cup pure maple syrup (or honey)

2  cups firmly packed chopped pitted medjool dates (24-26 dates)

2 cups raw cashews

3/4 cup pure cocoa powder (no sugar added)

4-6 tbsps warm water (or more if need be)

Procedure

Heat oven at 350°F / 180°C.

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients then pour into a large shallow pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Toast for 7- 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, gently warm almond butter and maple syrup until blended. Remove from heat and add the dates and stir with wooden spoon. Then add the cashews and stir. Add the cocoa powder and stir. Stir in some warm water. Set aside and allow the dates and cashews to soften in the warm butter.

Put the toasted dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds – just enough to break down some of the larger chunks. Don’t overly process as you want to maintain the nutty texture. Then transfer into a large bowl.

Process the warm butter, maple syrup, dates, cashews and cocoa mixture. Pulse and scrape edges several times until the mixture is evenly processed. It should be pasty and course. Add more water if need be. Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients. Mix and turn with clean hands until the dry and the wet are combined (this part will be sticky and require several hand rinsing).

Line a 9X13 inch (23X33 cm) or a 7X11 inch (18X28 cm) rectangular pan with parchment paper. Put the mixture into the pan and firmly press with clean hands or spatula until the mixture is evenly and tightly compressed (this prevents the squares from crumbling).

Chill in refridgerator for 30 minutes. Lift out of pan with the parchment paper kept under. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container. Will keep in fridge for about one week. This recipe also freezes well.

 

 

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

5 thoughts on “Energy bars

  1. Perfect timing cousine! We are heading to a ringette provincial final and this recipe be very handy!
    Thanks,
    Mary Lee

    1. Hi Mary Lee,

      I noticed today that I made a typo. I had typed 350°C (which doesn’t exist on any regular oven) and I’ve made the correction to 350°F. My goodness! It’s as if part of me is in North America and the other part is in Europe! 🙂

    1. Hi Alex! They are super yum! And, such a nice thing to have at work or anytime. I’ve frozen a bunch and will make more. Can’t wait for you to come home.
      Love, Mom xxx

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