Feeling low on energy and in need of a healthy snack to power your day? This simple three-ingredient recipe for homemade energy bars will give you that satisfying kick you need.
Like our granola bars, this recipe will save you money, time and is likely healthier for you than what you may find in a supermarket.
The great thing about this homemade energy bar recipe is you can shape it yourself depending on the season and what you may find in your local area. The ingredients we’ve chosen are equal parts pitted dates, dried fruits (cherries), and nuts (almonds). These ingredients also last pretty long; dried fruits stay fresh for around a year, dates for 6 months, and nuts for 3 months.
The dates act as a sweet binder, that stops the need for sugar and helps the bars stick together. Over 90% of the dates harvested in the US are grown here, usually in late fall and early winter.
Grown from the almond tree and harvested usually from August to October, almost all of the world’s almonds come from California. Although almonds have many benefits, they have an excessive water footprint and should therefore be used in moderation.
Also commonly grown in California, the cherry season begins in mid-April and typically lasts into early June. You can also dry them at home using a dehydrator if preferred.
Whenever possible, we always recommend buying organic, local, and seasonal ingredients.
3 Ingredient Homemade Energy Bars: The Recipe
It may seem easier to buy energy bars from a supermarket, but making them at home can be just as simple. This recipe requires no baking and the granola bars can be stored for up to three months.
For 8 large or 16 small energy bars, you will need:
- 1 cup nuts (almonds)
- 1 cup dried fruit (cherries)
- 1 cup (12-15 whole) pitted dried dates, preferably Medjool
- Food processor
- Sustainable cling film / compostable wrap
- Sharp knife
- Roast the almonds or other nuts first. This is an optional first step but can add more of a nutty taste to the bars. Roast in the oven at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes and leave to cool before using.
- Add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse. Make sure the dates don’t clump together.
- Keep processing until the ingredients come together into a ball (roughly 1 to 2 minutes). Take a few breaks to scrape down the sides.
- Take the mixture out of the processor and, using your hands, press into a thick square, roughly 8″x8″ in size. You can also shape the dough into small balls.
- Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- Unwrap and transfer your energy bar base to a cutting board. Using the sharp knife, cut into 8 large bars or 16 small ones and rewrap tightly.
- Store in the fridge for several weeks or the freezer for up to 3 months. The bars are more firm and chewy when eaten directly from the fridge or freezer.
The recipe can be adapted as you choose. The nuts and dried fruits can be swapped out for other nuts and dried fruits depending on your preference. Maybe you would prefer to opt for a more local nut or dried fruit or maybe you’d like to use up what you have in your cupboard. Just keep the same recipe of the base ingredients (1 part dried fruit: 1 part nut: 1 part dates).
Additionally, maybe you’d like to add some chia seeds, shredded coconut, or chocolate chips. Experiment to find what you like. Here’re some additional ideas for optional add-ins: Cacao nibs, cocoa powder, crystallized ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cardamom, lemon and/or lime zest.
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