I am more excited about this recipe than I am about almost any other post until now. For months, I have been playing around with recipes to make a homemade, kid-approved, easy to make, all natural, raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, portable energy bar that isn’t too messy. After months of trial and error (mainly error) and a messy kitchen, I stumbled upon a recipe that is not only easy to make, but tastes great and meets all of my other requirements (and they cost less to make than conventional energy bars too).
Why make an energy bar, you ask? There are so many already out there to choose from! There are several problems really… (a) many of these bars contain fillers, chemicals and artificial flavorings, and (b) these bars have to be shipped and stored on a shelf, so they must contain preservatives.
Don’t believe me? Here is the list of ingredients from Clif Bar’s own website for their Chocolate Almond Fudge Bar:
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors), Almond Butter, Dry Roasted Almonds, Organic Fig Paste, Cocoa, ClifCrunch® (Apple Fiber, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Psyllium), Sea Salt, Natural Flavors.
Besides the fact that the word “soy” appears on that label five times, the first ingredient is brown rice syrup. If the first ingredient is a concentrated, high-carbohydrate syrup that is made from a grain, the rest can’t be good!
I looked for better options, but most bars have a similar ingredient list to this one. Powerbar had almost the same ingredients, as did Clif’s other products. Check your favorite bar and let me know what is in it! I did find one bar that was pretty good, the Larabar. Unfortunately, Larabars are rather expensive, and being a do-it-yourselfer, I wanted to figure out a homemade version anyway. The end result is an improvement on the Larabar, in my opinion.
This recipe is incredibly easy to make, takes very little time, has countless variations and has few ingredients. Kids love it and it can be a great alternative to the snacks that kids usually get!
Without further ado…
- 1/3 cup nuts (cashews, almonds, etc) Reminder: peanuts are not nuts!
- 1/4 cup whole dates (remove pits)-about 3 large dates
- 1/4 cup raisins (or more dates)
- dash of cinnamon (optional)
- Put nuts into food processor (or Vitamix) and chop until in small pieces. Remove and put in bowl.
- Put dates and raisins (any combination of the two that equals 1/2 cup total) into the food processor and pulse until play dough consistency. It will start to clump together when it is done.
- Mix the two ingredients by hand until well incorporated and the consistency of stiff playdough or cookie dough. (You can do this all in the food processor also)
- Roll between two sheets of wax paper to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut into bars. (Or make it really easy and just roll into energy balls!)
- Wrap in wax paper, plastic wrap or snack size ziploc bags (or glass containers if you aren’t giving to kids) and store in fridge until ready to use.
Uses for the Wellness Bar: Fast on the go meal, delicious snack for kids, easy dessert, camping or hiking food, energy bar for sustained workouts, and non-messy food for roadtrips. Let me know what you think!