Make these easy and healthy homemade energy bars for a simple, wholesome, and refined sugar-free recipe suitable for all eaters. Rich in fiber and protein, this is the perfect grab-and-go gluten-free snack that will keep you going throughout the day!
If you’ve ever needed a quick snack, I’m sure you’ve stopped at the nearest store for an energy bar on the way to your next meeting.
The problem with mass-produced bars is that they’re not only costly, but they’re often also packed with sugar and ingredients you don’t even know how to pronounce.
That’s why I created these homemade energy bars! You can make them in bulk, knowing you’ll consume healthy, natural ingredients. Plus, they cost a fraction of store-bought varieties.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why you’ll love this homemade energy bars recipe
- 2 What are healthy energy bars?
- 3 Health benefits of nuts
- 4 Are energy bars gluten-free?
- 5 Ingredients and substitutions
- 6 How to make healthy energy bars recipe
- 7 Storage
- 8 Variations
- 9 Useful tips for homemade energy bars
- 10 FAQ'S
- 11 wholesome recipes
- 12 Healthy Homemade Energy Bars
Why you’ll love this homemade energy bars recipe
Quick & easy: Not only are these homemade energy bars no-bake, but they also come together in less than 30 minutes — no food processor or oven necessary!
Healthy: This recipe contains zero refined sugars, yet it is packed with heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They are also vegan!
Customizable: Easily swap in different seeds, dried fruit, nut butter, or spices based on what you have on hand. Prepare the bars with or without a drizzle — the choice is yours!
Kid-friendly: What makes these the best energy bars? They are kid-approved! Plus, this recipe is a great way to get your little ones involved in the kitchen.
What are healthy energy bars?
Energy bars are a typical snack food enjoyed almost everywhere! Unlike their candy bar counterparts, energy bars contain high amounts of carbs, protein, and micronutrients.
Because of this, they are viewed as a convenient source of energy (hence the name).
Since homemade energy bars can be made with a wide variety of ingredients, some are healthier than others.
In this recipe, I went with nutrient-dense foods that can be enjoyed at any time of day, whether for breakfast or as a snack.
These bars are packed with whole-grain rolled oats, heart-healthy nuts and seeds, and iron-rich raisins, making them suitable for most dietary needs and preferences.
Moreover, they are also budget-friendly!
Health benefits of nuts
Nuts are one of the healthiest foods in the world, often considered a superfood.
They are widely regarded as one of the best ingredients to consume for maintaining a healthy heart, reducing inflammation, and regulating blood sugar levels.
Not only that, but they are full of antioxidants and vitamins like selenium, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.
Contrary to popular belief, nuts may actually aid in weight loss since they are full of protein and fiber, both of which keep you full for longer.
I’m using peanut butter in this recipe, but you can choose other varieties like cashew butter, almond butter, or whichever type is your favorite.
Are energy bars gluten-free?
Since recipes vary slightly, not all homemade energy bars are gluten-free. However, I kept the gluten out of this recipe so more people are able to enjoy how delicious it is!
If anyone is celiac or has a strong sensitivity to gluten in your household, remember to double-check that the rolled oats you’re using are certified gluten-free.
Ingredients and substitutions
For the no-bake energy bars
2 cups rolled oats, uncooked - If you only have quick oats on hand, you will need to reduce the overall amount added as quick oats are packed more densely.
2 tablespoons chia seeds - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.
2 tablespoons flax seeds - You can also use sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
1 cup creamy peanut butter (or cashew butter), melted - Make sure it is natural nut butter, not a no-stir variety.
¾ cup sugar-free maple syrup (or honey) - Both options work just as well, but honey is not sugar-free.
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon - Compared to cassia cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon adds a more subdued and balanced flavor.
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut - If you only have sweetened coconut shreds, reduce the maple syrup or honey slightly.
⅓ cup raisins - Regular raisins, golden raisins, and sultanas all work.
For the chocolate coffee drizzle
¼ cup dark chocolate chips - For a vegan option, make sure the chocolate chips are dairy-free.
1 teaspoon espresso (liquid), optional - Can also be replaced with vanilla extract.
½ tablespoon coconut oil (or mild vegetable oil) - Use refined coconut oil if the coconut flavor is too overpowering for you.
How to make healthy energy bars recipe
To prepare the energy bars: In a medium bowl, stir together oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, coconut, and raisins until forming a homogeneous mixture. PICS. 1 & 2
Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper (overlapping the sides) and press very, very well the bar mixture into the pan using a spatula, until forming a flat, uniform layer. Freeze for 10 minutes. PIC. 3
Prepare the drizzle: Melt the chocolate chips, espresso (liquid), and coconut oil together in a microwave-safe bowl, in 30-second intervals mixing between them until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and then stir well until smooth and creamy. PIC. 4
Lift the parchment paper by holding the overlapping sides and placing it onto a large baking sheet. With a sharp Chef's knife, slice it evenly into 12 bars. PIC. 5
Separate the bars gently to drizzle each with melted chocolate. PIC. 6 Place the large baking sheet in the freezer for extra 10 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
I suggest doubling or tripling this recipe to have healthy energy bars on hand when life gets busy! Just follow these simple storage instructions for extra bars:
Freezer: Store leftovers in the freezer, wrapped individually in parchment paper, and then place them into a container or freezer bag, for a week or longer.
Thaw: When you’re ready for another energy bar, let them thaw on the counter for about 5-10 minutes, or just until softened enough to bite into.
Nut butter: Don’t enjoy peanut butter? Try almond butter or cashew butter instead!
Nut-free: If you or anyone in your household has an allergy to nuts, allergy-friendly options include sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter, or soy nut butter.
Sweeteners: Keep these bars sugar-free, or use natural sweeteners like coconut nectar, agave, date syrup, brown rice syrup, or make a homemade syrup with panela.
Nuts & seeds: In addition to, or in place of, flax and chia, use chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds.
Fruit: Try different dried fruits like apricots, cranberries, dried mangoes, blueberries, figs, dates, or even chocolate chips for a more indulgent option!
High-protein: Add 1-2 scoops of your favorite protein powder to the mixture for even higher protein content in these already healthy energy bars.
Spices: Try other spices like nutmeg, allspice, cloves, pumpkin spice, or cocoa powder for a chocolate version.
Note: If you start making customizations, keep the measurements similar so the bars stick together well.
Useful tips for homemade energy bars
Pick the right oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats are the ideal choice for healthy energy bars, providing a chewier texture, more structure, and whole-grain benefits.
Use natural nut butter: It’s best to use all-natural nut butter since these varieties typically don’t contain added oils and sugar. Look for an ingredient list that only contains nuts and salt!
Melt the nut butter: Don’t forget to melt the nut butter before adding it to the recipe. This will make mixing the ingredients much easier.
Don’t overmeasure: If you are too generous with the dry ingredients, like oats, nuts, and seeds, there won’t be enough wet ingredients to bind the bars together.
Press the mixture: To prevent energy bars that are falling apart, remember to press the mixture quite firmly into the pan before freezing them.
Be patient: Don’t rush the bars while they’re chilling in the freezer. When they are properly set, it’s easier to slice them into bars.
Can these oatmeal energy bars be made vegan?
Yes, these oatmeal energy bars can be made vegan. To make a vegan version, don’t use honey, and double-check that the chocolate chips don’t contain milk or milk derivatives.
What are the main ingredients in an energy bar?
Calories (or energy) that comprise energy bars come from three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Typically, the carbohydrate source comes from ingredients like oats, cereal, and sweeteners like maple syrup or honey. Protein and fats are usually in the form of nuts and seeds.
Are protein bars the same as energy bars?
Protein bars are not the same as energy bars. Typically, energy bars are more balanced in their macronutrient makeup.
This means they provide you with an instant boost of energy due to their higher carbohydrate levels.
On the other hand, protein bars contain a higher amount of protein, which comes from either whey or plant-based protein powders.
Can I make peanut butter energy bars into energy balls?
Yes, you can absolutely make these peanut butter energy bars into energy balls.
Instead of pressing the mixture into a pan, simply roll it into bite-size balls and freeze them on a parchment-lined baking sheet or plate. Drizzle each one individually with chocolate.
If you enjoyed these no-bake energy bars, be sure to check out some more wholesome recipes like these:
- Protein overnight oats
- No-bake pumpkin spice breakfast cookies
- Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
- Healthy breakfast on the go
- Baked oats recipe
- Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
- Oat flour pancakes
- Coconut flour pancakes
- Apple baked oatmeal
- How to make oatmeal
PIN & ENJOY!
Healthy Homemade Energy Bars
For the no-bake energy bars
- 2 cups rolled oats uncooked - If you only have quick oats on hand, you will need to reduce the overall amount added as quick oats are packed more densely.
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds You can also use sesame seeds sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter melted (or cashew butter
- ¾ cup sugar-free maple syrup or honey - Both options work just as well, but honey is not sugar-free.
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut If you only have sweetened coconut shreds, reduce the maple syrup or honey slightly.
- ⅓ cup raisins or golden raisins, or sultanas all work.
For the chocolate coffee drizzle
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips For a vegan option, make sure the chocolate chips are dairy-free.
- 1 teaspoon espresso liquid, optional - Can also be replaced with vanilla extract.
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil or mild vegetable oil - Use refined coconut oil if the coconut flavor is too overpowering for you.
- To prepare the energy bars: In a medium bowl, stir together oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, coconut, and raisins until forming a homogeneous mixture.
- Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper (overlapping the sides) and press very, very well the bar mixture into the pan using a spatula, until forming a flat, uniform layer. Freeze for 10 minutes.
- To prepare the drizzle: Melt the chocolate chips, espresso (liquid), and coconut oil together in a microwave-safe bowl, in 30-second intervals mixing between them until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and then stir well until smooth and creamy.
- Lift the parchment paper by holding the overlapping sides and placing it onto a large baking sheet. With a sharp Chef's knife, slice it evenly into 12 bars.
- Separate the bars gently to drizzle each with melted chocolate. Place the large baking sheet in the freezer for extra 10 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
- Freezer: Store leftovers in the freezer, wrapped individually in parchment paper, and then place them into a container or freezer bag, for a week or longer.
- Thaw: When you’re ready for another energy bar, let them thaw on the counter for about 5-10 minutes, or just until softened enough to bite into.
** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.
Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.
This post was first published on January 12, 2015. We made useful modifications to it and updated the recipe.