Store bought energy and granola bars are usually expensive and tend to be filled with a lot of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, high sodium content and other unnecessary artery-clogging ingredients. In addition to these harmful ingredients, many energy bars are used as meal replacements, meaning they are loaded with calories. I love energy bars and granola bars on the go, because they are so convenient and fulfill that little bit of hunger. However, knowing the ingredients within the bars is a turn off, and is what initially inspired me to make a much healthier version. It’s essential, especially in the morning to have something nutritious, which is why these homemade energy bars make a perfect snack. They are loaded with healthy ingredients that are high in protein and fiber, as all of the ingredients are natural, raw and wholesome.
Makes 8-12 bars
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup rolled oats & steel cut oats (one type of oat is fine if you don’t have both)
- 1/2 cup dried dates
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup ground flax
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (or both)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can omit these for a super healthy bar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup + 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Grind all nuts in a food processor until no large pieces remain. Place the ground nuts in a bowl and set aside. Grind the dates and cranberries until no large pieces remain and when it looks ‘dough’ like. Smooth out the dried fruit mixture in the processor with a spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients. Process until completely combined. The mixture should stick and hold together when pressed.
Line a small baking pan with plastic wrap and pour the mixture into the pan. Press and flatten the mixture very well. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes. Pull the bars out with the plastic wrap on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, slice into 8-12 bars. Store in the fridge to ensure firmness.
* If your mixture is not sticking together, add 1/4 cup of water to the mix and process until the mixture starts to clump.