Cheaper and Healthier: 20 Tasty Energy Bars You Can Make at Home
If you're a health conscious person, an athlete, or just prefer eating whole foods, energy bars can be a convenient snacking option. Thing is, I used to spend so much money buying packaged energy bars to fuel my running (and fill my stomach). Then one day I decided to make my own, and I never turned back.
Here are 20 fantastic energy bar recipes you can make in your own kitchen. (See also: Delicious, Healthy, Frugal Snacks)
1. Nutty Flavor
These Almond, Date, and Hemp Bars get great flavor from using dry roasted almonds. Honey is a great natural sweetener, but if you follow a vegan diet, I'm sure maple syrup would work well as a substitute. (See also: Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List)
2. Plant Protein
Another great option: Cranberry-Apricot Hemp Bars. If you're already seeing a common theme with ingredients, it might be interesting to point out that hemp is a great source of plant protein. All the nutrition without strange or hard-to-digest ingredients.
3. Crispy Crunch
For a bit of indulgence, these Peanut Butter and Chocolate Energy Bars sure fit the bill. I love the inclusion of crispy rice cereal to give them some added crunch. This recipe is also gluten-free.
For a healthy treat your kids will love, try these Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars. Again, crispy rice cereal is high on the ingredients list, but this recipe is rounded out by a wide variety of nuts and seeds.
5. Fancy Energy
This bar seems quite refined, if you ask me. Yeah, Fig and Walnut Energy Bars sound like a culinary masterpiece — not just something to get you through a tough workout or 3 p.m. lull. The recipe calls for ⅓ cup brown sugar, but I'd experiment with lower glycemic alternatives like coconut sugar. (See also: Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food)
6. Sweet Indulgence
If you'd like to fool yourself into thinking you're eating dessert, these Banana-Almond Butter Layer Bars should do the trick. Yet, they're Paleo, raw, vegan, low-carb, and — as the author writes — "all-natural and amazing!" (See also: Fast "Fake" Desserts)
7. Unique Protein
These Quinoa Protein Balls contain four different Super Foods: quinoa, dates, almonds, and dark chocolate. I absolutely love the inclusion of quinoa, as it's an ingredient I've never thought to add to an energy bar.
8. Sweet and Spicy
For something a little different, these Sweet and Spicy Energy Bars should strike your fancy. I love how they're coated in unsweetened coconut flakes, which gives them nice flavor and texture.
9. Just 3 Ingredients
Looking for a simple recipe that comes together in a flash? These 3-Ingredient Energy Bars contain just 1 cup dried fruit, 1 cup nuts, and 1 cup pitted dates. So, they're super customizable to whatever you have on hand.
10. Sesame Goodness
I absolutely love the taste of sesame seeds, so when I came across this Roasted Sesame and Peanut Butter Bar recipe, I ran to my pantry to see if I had all the ingredients required. Of course, you can buy sesame seeds already roasted, but the author says to "roast flax seeds in a stove top pan and grind in a food processor."
11. The Mouthful
Try saying this 10 times fast: Cinnamon-Raisin Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars. Despite being a mouthful, they certainly look tasty. And their texture is very unique for homemade recipes I've encountered.
12. Chunky Monkey
If you'd rather snack on a smaller bite, these Chocolate Almond Butter Energy Chunks are for you! They contain just six ingredients and pulse together in minutes. Just scoop with a tablespoon and let set in the fridge — no baking required.
13. Double Chocolate
Beyond an energy boost, these Double Chocolate Prune Bars claim to lower your cholesterol. The whole idea is that prunes are rich in soluble fiber, which is a key nutritional trick to lowering your numbers.
14. 6 Minutes to Make
Talk about fast! These Walnut, Chia, Cherry and Pepita Energy Bars apparently take just six minutes to make. They are also raw and vegan, and though it isn't explicitly mentioned, also gluten-free.
15. Packs Greens
Mighty greens enrich these Spirulina-Vanilla Bars. The author writes that this recipe is a copycat of a bar she used to stock up on at the store, but making them at home became a much less expensive option. (See also: Restaurant Dishes You Can Make at Home)
16. Hidden Raisins
Here's another Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bar recipe. However, if you're not a fan of dates — this one's for you. It's made with raisins to help bind everything together with natural sweetness.
These Peanut Butter Energy Bars boast an impressive 15 grams of protein per serving. The author writes that they are both soft and chewy, but also have some of that delicious crumbliness we all love.
18. Candy Imposter
Want to pretend you're eating candy? I was fooled by these Chocolate Peanut With Caramel Protein Bars. They look like a popular brand of candy, but their ingredients list is healthy and a great option if you're weaning yourself off refined sugar fuel.
19. Brownie Imposter
The fun doesn't stop there, these Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Protein Bars look just like my favorite batch of brownies. They contain a hefty 1/3 cup of whey protein powder, but I'm sure you could substitute whatever powder is already in your kitchen cabinet.
20. Cake Imposter
Yup — I'm still running with the theme. Then there's these Lemon Poppy Protein Bars that look — and taste — just like cake. However, the author writes that 30% of this bar's calories come from protein. That's a great ratio. There's also a gluten-free option if you're looking for substitutions.
Have you made protein or energy bars at home? What's your go-to recipe?