Chia Seed Energy Bars

Chia Seed Energy Bars

I love chia seeds and use them a variety of ways but this is without a doubt my favorite so far! If you haven’t tried chia seeds, you should! (I get them at a discount here)

“Not only are they gluten/grain free naturally, but one tablespoon of Chia Seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk, more Omega-3s than Salmon, and more antioxidants than blueberries.”

Their texture can be a little strange if you aren’t used to them but they seriously give you energy all. day. long. These energy bars are a great snack or treat for kids or a healthy breakfast addition if you need the extra energy. They are also nut, dairy, and grain free so they are safe to send to schools even if there are allergy restrictions.

These energy bars contain coconut oil, giving them even more of a nutritional boost! If you have been wanting to incorporate more coconut oil into your diet, this is a delicious way to do it!

One word of caution: Do NOT eat these after dinner! I made that mistake (because they are so good and taste like cookie dough…). I had trouble falling asleep because I had so much energy. Not jittery, just I-could-get-so-much-done-right-now energy.

Chia seed energy bars are excellent as an endurance food: “Supposedly, the Aztecs, Mayans and Incans use chia as a staple of their diet and as an energy food. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as the “Indian Running Food” because runners and warriors would use them for sustenance  while running long distances or during battle (source).”

Where to get the ingredients:

4.7 from 14 reviews
Chia Seed Energy Bars
Prep time
Total time
Delicious Chia Seed energy bars with coconut oil and dates for a natural energy boost.
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 6 large Medjool dates
  • ½ cup Chia Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon natural vanilla extract or a pinch of cinnamon powder for taste
  • Optional add ins: Dark Chocolate chips, shredded coconut, dried fruit (a couple tablespoons of any add-in)
  1. Remove the pits from the dates and pulse the dates in a food processor or blender until it forms a paste. In a medium bowl, mix the date paste with the chia seeds and coconut oil. It will form a thick dough.
  2. Roll this dough into balls or press into the bottom of a glass or silicon baking dish and cut into squares. It can be eaten immediately in dough-form. We prefer to put it in the fridge or freezer to give it more of a chewy texture. These can be wrapped in wax paper or parchment paper and sent for lunches or snacks.

Do you like chia seeds? How do you use them? Share below!

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  1. Do you know if something other than dates would work in this recipe? Figs maybe? Unfortunately I can’t eat dates but I’m always looking for things that work as a grab and go breakfast besides hard boiled eggs.

      • I ended up making these with a mix of dried apricots and raisins. They turned out well but were a little sweet (which is kind of a good things because it limits how much I can eat at once). I think I’ll still try them with figs since they taste less sweet to me.

        • I used prunes an raisins. It’s what I had on hand. They taste great! I used 24 of the small prunes and 1/4 c raisins.

      • Hi, sorry for weird question, just curious, how come your chia seeds look soo light? they are usually dark, black…

        • I am wondering about the same thing, looks like sesame seeds in the picture? Are sesame seeds also good for making these energy bars?

        • There are white chia seeds as well as black. I’ve never been able to find the white ones in any local store, but one local store has chia seed energy bars made with white chia seeds. I don’t think there are any differences between white and black seeds in the health benefits. I love sesame seeds, but I don’t think you’d get quite the same health benefits or energy boost from them as you would chia seeds.

      • Can I use a different oil or will it not set properly? (Coconut intolerance) 🙂 I know its odd, but its one of the many foods my body can handle!

    • Thank you Katie
      I made the chia energy bar with raisins (2 cups) instead of the dates. Oh My GOD!! This was so good!! All I could do is give GOD praise. I am one to use what I have on hand, and I had 2 large boxes of raisins. I had been looking for recipes with raisins – you know, something besides apples and sugar and cinnamon. The next day, GOD shows me this. WOW! I made it and immediately starting eating it as a dough. I did save the larger amount to put in the frig. Can’t wait to see what they taste like when they are nice and firm. Now this is what I call a good healthy snack!!!!!!!!!
      Thanks again.

    • I would think using almond butter would work if you can’t do coconut oil. Mix Almond butter with honey maybe?

    • New to your blog, and super grateful to see this recipe. Coconut oil can help with weight loss and with dementia, so it’s a perfect treat for me to share with my Mom. Thanks so much!!

    • Nope… they don’t contain the same harmful components and they easily absorb and bind to water so if you soak first you’ll never get them to stick with the dates and coconut oil 🙂

  2. I am getting ready to be a full time student in the fall (while still being mom to my kids)  and could use any energy help I can get.  Thanks for posting

  3. Thanks so much for this!  I love your blog!  My husband and I are paleo/primal but having a hard time transition our three kids!  Your recipes are really really helping!  Keep up the amazing work! Love it!!

  4. Oh yum, I must try this. I use chia seeds every morning in my green smoothie. I’m going to try this today.

    • If you sign up with Myfitnesspal and type in all of the ingredients you can save it as a meal. All of the information will pop up and you can then divide those numbers into how many servings you made.

  5. How timely! I just bought chia seeds for the first time today. Guess I need to go get some dates now! 🙂

  6. These are a HUGE hit in my house! My picky husband and even more picky 5-year old both loved them! Even my dog stole a taste when I dropped a tiny bit while mixing them up. Thank you so much!! You have no idea how much these will come in handy when school starts!

    • I haven’t made these yet but how long would they keep. Going on family holiday and would like to take them. I could keep esky but would they last say 1-2 weeks

  7. Yum!  These sounds great.  I am trying to find more ways to use chia seeds after reading your post.  I like using them in oatmeal – I mix oatmeal,  milk, greek yogurt, chia seeds and whatever fruit I have on hand,leave in fridg overnight and breakfast is waiting for me in the morning.

  8. Intetesting to see that you use Chia seeds. I have seen them lumped into the “foods to avoid” list multiple times as a grain like food similar to quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. Not actually a grain per se, but with similar properties so best avoided on a grain free diet. There is even a brand of baby food it is in and the packaging calls it a “super-grain”. Thoughts?

    • I tend to agree with Mark Sisson’s take on them as being not a dietary staple but not problematic like grains either. They’d actually fall more into the category of flax seed: “I’ve heard chia seeds mentioned in the forums, and I thought it would be worth it to take a quick gander. Before Chia Pets got popular, chia seeds were eaten throughout Mesoamerica for thousands of years. The Aztec and Mayan civilizations were big fans of the seed, even using chia seeds as tributes to the ruling classes. Chia is actually a bit like flax in a few ways. For one, chia is high in Omega 3 fatty acids – ALA in particular. But just like I do with flax, I think the potential benefits of ALA in the diet are vastly overblown. The “purpose” of ALA consumption is to convert it into DHA/EPA, but humans simply don’t have the hardware to make the conversion worthwhile. Most of it just gets wasted. That’s not to say chia isn’t a viable food option; if it tastes good and falls within the PB, I say go for it. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re taking care of all your Omega 3 fatty acid requirements with a few tablespoons of chia seeds each day. 1 oz. Chia seeds
      137 calories
      Protein: 4g
      Carbs: 12g (11g fiber)
      SFA: 1g
      MUFA: 0.6g
      PUFA: 6.5g
      Omega 6: 1.6g
      Omega 3: 4.9g (ALA)

      Read more:

  9. So yummy, and better the next day too.  Kinda remind me of Cliff Bars, only not as sickeningly sweet (I’m an active 5’3″ female, but not active enough to convert an entire Cliff Bar into energy; they make me chunky) So I’m psyched about these 🙂

  10. Do you have any other chia recipes? I have 2 tablespoons in water every day. I love this recipe idea and will try it!

  11. I am so impatient … I want to make these but my coconut oil won’t be here for a couple of weeks.  Would butter work?

  12. How do you prepare your chia seeds to breakdown the large amounts of phytic acid they have? If the phytic acid is still present, it will bind to the calcium making it indigestible.

    Just wondering because these look really yummy and I would love to make some.

  13. This  is good stuff!!!!     For my extras, I used about 2-3 T of dried cherries, and chopped pistachios, and flavored with  a couple shakes of cardamom, a generous shake of cinnamon, 2 drops of almond extract, 4 drops of vanilla extract.    I spread it out to cool in a 8×8  I  am planning on  rolling them into balls, and making a wrap/twist from ‘press & seal’ .   It is so very hot here, and my husband and I are getting of vacation tomorrow.  Thinking this will help get us back on the wagon with a little energy, and help keep us hydrated in the morning!   Thank you so much for all of your recipes.  Love ’em.  

  14. I think I am missing something.  I added all the ingredients shown, and could never get it to form a paste.  It was too silky (if that makes sense).  The chia seeds wouldn’t really stick to the dates.  I ended up adding 24 dates (regular organic is what I had on hand) and still couldn’t get it.  Any thoughts?  Less coconut oil? Also, does this just make a couple bars worth for you?  Thanks!

    • It does form a smooth paste that hardens in the fridge. You could cut down the coconut oil and that might help some but it wouldn’t harden as much if you did that…

    • Mine did the same thing. The dates made a paste, but, after everything else was added the mixture was really loose. Maybe the coconut oil was too warm?

  15. I made two batches of these.  My hubby doesn’t like coconut…ugh!  So I made him a batch with 1 TBSP of Coconut Oil and 1 TBSP of Almond Butter, to help cover up the coconut sweetness he doesn’t like.  They were soooo good.

  16. I use Chia Seeds in my spinach smoothies.  It makes them nice and thick like real shakes!  Even my 18 month old drinks them.

  17. I combined your chia bar recipe with a few other recipes and the result was very tasty.  This is what I did: 

    Makes 10 walnut sized balls1 cup whole dried dates (pitted)1/2 cup chia seeds2 TBSP coconut oil1/3 cup cashews1 TBSP hemp seeds1 TBSP shredded coconutdash(es) of allspice, to tastepinch of sea salt1) In food processor, combine chia seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, allspice and salt.  Pulse until thoroughly mixed.  Put mixture in a medium sized bowl.2) Pulse dates in the food processor until it forms a very thick paste.  Add dates to chia mixture.3) Drizzle coconut oil over the top of the other ingredients and use hands to combine thoroughly.4) Refrigerate 1 hour, covered.5) Form into balls.  Wrap in parchment.

    I am in love with allspice recently so that’s what I used and you could probably leave out the sea salt.  YUM!

  18. Made these with Craisins instead of the dates and it worked out to just a smidge under 1 Cup…though I would have cut it back to about 3/4 in hindsight…awesome by the way.  Raisins should work out to about the same measure.  Great post.

  19. I hope this isn’t a silly question- when you list coconut oil, does that mean in the solid form?  Thanks!

  20. Ok, I just made these. They are very yummy. I am wondering how you got yours so thick. Mine are almost paper thin and very hard to get out of the dish. Did you mix with your hands. I tried that but had chia seeds all over my hands. I would love some suggestions. Thank you!

  21. These are sooooo yummy! They have been a life saver with giving me the energy I need to get things done before I deliver my baby! I’m so happy that I took the time to find the obscure ingredients (well, they were pretty obscure to me… but not anymore!) to make these awesome energy bars! Even my husband said he liked them, and he’s VERY picky.

    Is there anything that can be substituted for the dates (other than some other fruit…)? I liked them fine, but my hubby wants me to try it with something “yummier” like peanut butter or something. 😛

  22. two questions: does this only make one bar? also, they seem to be a bit ‘carb-ey’. how often would you recommend eating them?

    • They are somewhat carb-y but good for kids, or post workout if needed. I use them mainly when I’m going to be busy all day and need a ton of energy. This made about 6-8 bars for me.

  23. I just made a batch of these with a “Mexican hot chocolate” flavor. Yum! I increased the dates to 10 (mine must be smaller than yours), 1/2 cup chia seeds, 2 Tbsp coconut oil, 1 Tbsp cocoa, 1/2 tsp cinnamon & a pinch of cayenne pepper. Mixed by hand & pressed into a glass baking dish & popped in the fridge – just waiting to cut them up!

  24. Oh my goodness. These look so good! Love your blog.found you via Breaking Muscle (I am a writer there and read your article from several months ago.). Glad I did – my new favorite ‘mommy’ blog! Will definitely be using these for a post-workout treat.

  25. Do you have an opinion on which is superior: whole chia seeds or ground? I was told a few years ago that grinding releases the nutrients, so I put 2 tbsp in my smoothie every morning. But now I’m seeing more things about the benefits of using them whole. Thoughts? I’m going to get the dates tomorrow to try this recipe. I’m nearing the end of my first trimester and just dragging tired. I’ve tried it all.

  26. I don’t see that you answered the question about using the Chia seeds whole or ground.
    I would like to know because the darn things get stuck between your teeth! Also I do beleive you get more of the nutrional value in sesame seeds and flax seeds when ground (right?) and am thinking it might be the same w/chia seeds!?!
    Great recipe btw, will have to triple it next time!!

  27. Aren’t we supposed to soak the chia seeds before eating them? I think I read somewhere that this would make their nutrients more easily available for absorbtion.

  28. I dont know…at first, I was so amazed when I saw this recipe, went and got the medjood dates… Though it was perfect for students like me (it’s practical, gives energy, and healthy, can take to school, etc….)

    But I am seriously changing my mind about it. First, if the chia seeds cannot be absorbed properly… this makes me sort of uncomfortable. Second, 2 medjool dates contain 29g of sugar…. the recipes calls for 6 -> yields 87g of sugar ?!?!? Come on… I am sure there are other ways of consuming chia seeds and coconut oil.

  29. Katie, I just made these with added cacao powder and coconut and they were delicious!! Thank you for making your blog available to all of us, it really is great!

  30. I made these yesterday. My crappy little food processor didn’t make paste out of the dates but I did what I could and they are surprisingly fantastic. Just tried them and looking forward to my energy boost as I’m going out to shovel tons of snow we are getting in Chicago at the moment. Thanks for the recipe.

  31. I’m going to try this recipe with organic palm oil shortening as my son has an allergy to coconuts. Thanks, 🙂

  32. What do you think of these as a pre-workout breakfast? I usually run longer distances (anything from 5 to 13 miles), so will eating a few of these bars fuel me through my entire workout or should I go for something a little for filling?

  33. I love chia seeds in my kombucha. I can’t wait to try this. And, yes I found out they keep me up at night =). Thanks for posting!

  34. I love chia seeds! I use them to make porridge, in fresh juice, in homemade energy bars…Amazing little seeds!

  35. I stumbled upon this by accident and we are using it for our wrestlers this year-or several versions of it! We’re always trying to find ways to get Chia and Coconut Oil into them and this ROCKS!

  36. I looked so yummy so I tried to make it this morning. I processed the dates until they formed a paste, but it was more like a thick hard ball…it didn’t mix well with the chia and coconut oil so I had to smash it with a fork to get it to blend. The mixture seems like mostly chia seeds and is very clumpy. Not sure what I did wrong. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

  37. I took the basic idea of this and didn’t measure anything (I never do..) and used figs as the base since dates are just too sweet for me. I have a picky husband who I’ve been trying to get to eat chia, so when I was turning the figs into paste I added a small handful of chocolate chips, vanilla powder, and a dash of salt. I also only used a tiny bit of coconut oil since they didn’t seem to really need much. Since I didn’t measure anything I just added about an equal amount of chia seeds as I had paste. They ended up tasting like figamajigs!! He loved them! So now I just have to figure out a few more ways to get him to eat them…

  38. Hi Katie!
    I was wondering, is there any way I can put these in a FoodSaver vacuum and preserve them to send them to my husband when he deploys? I’m trying to find healthy alternatives to the usual candy he gets sent or buys when he’s there. They don’t get the most nutritious food over there to begin with, so I’d love to help him get some nutrients in!

  39. How much paste do you get from the 6 Medjool dates?
    Knowing that will help me convert to different dates or other fruits.

  40. I was wondering what I could substitute for dates. I can’t eat a food with such a high glycemic load caused by so much sugar. Have you ever tried these with veggies and then dried them or home made pureed apples? Wondering if the chia seeds can be dried in the oven with a fruit or vegetable. Do you have data on their nutritional components?

  41. Dates, apricots, figs, and other dried fruit have a really high glycemic index. Five dates contain approximately 29-30g of sugar; that’s a lot! Is there a healthier substitute?

    • According to yogic science, dates are one fruit that you can eat as many as you like without a worrying about sugar.

  42. I purchased small dates… Blending them broke my nutribullet and almost broke my food processor haha. I got them just blended enough to work with in time!

  43. I made these tonight with raisins. They weren’t hanging together too well, so I added maple syrup, and that helped. Really sweet, but I like the texture.

  44. We just made a batch of these tonight, and they’re in the fridge setting now. I think we could’ve definitely upped the amount of dates used, but that didn’t occur to me until after we’d finished and I’d come back to the comments here. It all mixed well and held together nicely when transferring from the mixing bowl. In the licking of the spoon (my job!), I determined they were really tasty. It didn’t make much, though. I used a small square baking dish to press them out, and if we cut them the size of the ones pictured, we’ll get four or so bars, and only about half as thick. Perfect for a test batch, but will double the dates if we make them again.

  45. Have you tried gogi berries (soaked for an hour ) before blending them…very good for energy and low in sugar, or mulberries fresh or dried. Very nutritious, both of them, I’m going to try them instead or cut the difference from the amount of dates adding them. Try Almond butter (crunchie) with it also. Yummie Thanks for your Chia recipe, Love it too. Bless you.

  46. I mixed some porridge oats, vanilla, fig jam, salt and they make the best slow, medium, low GI energy bars for my long runs 🙂

  47. Oh my goodness! Made these last night and they so are delicious! I had one early this morning and I’m still going.
    I love your site so much. My infant son has a ton of food and other allergies and this site has really helped us a lot! Thank you!

  48. Haven’t tried these yet, but I’m going to! I love using chia seeds in my drinking water straight up, or in tea. One tablespoon per 16 oz. of water or tea.

  49. This is great. Was just given a half gallon jar full of chia seeds. I’ll be subbing dried cranberries and golden raisins for the dates this time since I don’t have dates, but also will try figs. Great for road trips or commuting too.
    Thanks so much.

  50. I can’t wait to try these! I put chia seeds in everything, a teaspoon I chia seeds and coconut oil gets me going in the morning better than a tall cup of coffee! I recently bought some acai juice and added chia seeds to it, and a couple sips of it keep me going through the day. I don’t care drink the whole thing, but it’s so much better than coffee! Thanks for the recipe!

  51. I make bars similar to this on the regular. But I don’t add any dried fruit to it as I am allergic to sulfites which are in dried druits….so I add a little more coconut oil, some protein powder, and a blend of different nut butter…..then I just let them cool in the fridge for a few hours and cut them into bars….they are a great morning snack about an hour before I go and run or lift weights at the gym.

    • This sounds interesting. I would appreciate your recipe. I also avoid fruit & sugar and was wondering how to create an energy bar using chia seeds.

      Thanks in advance.

  52. I love this recipe for the flavour. When i make it i find the consistency very loose and does not stick together to make energy balls. Maybe I should add some pecans or almonds in the food processor.

      • i started with dates, but the consistency was thin and loose, so added figs and pecans. Consistency didn’t change, but the flavor is great.
        My next batch, I think I’ll try starting with nut butter. I need them for a plane trip and would like something a little former to take. 🙂

      • I so made up the recipe with figs tonight! The figs worked better, but I think I let them process in the food processor for a lon period.
        I used:
        2 tablespoons coconut oil
        1/2c chia seeds
        1 c whole dried figs
        1c shelled walnuts (processed to nut butter first)
        1/2 of blueberries

        So good! Propay shouldn’t make these at 8:30pm. Lol there is a lot of tasting involved.

  53. This is not only delicious but the best invention in the world !! I get so much energy from it and it suppresses my appetite!! Thank you so much !!! ps. I am your biggest fan !! So you r aware !!

  54. I really like this idea. I tried it, minus the coconut oil, and added in a bunch of different seeds, nuts, dried apricots and unsweetened coconut flakes. I put it in the freezer overnight and ate a piece directly out of the freezer. It was perfect. I let it sit out on the counter, however, for about an hour or two and it is back to dough form. How do you keep them hard/sturdy (like a ‘bar’ you might buy in the store) so it’s not all mushy when you go to eat it?

  55. This recipe looks delicious! I found it first in your amazing Wellness Mama Cookbook, Katie, and had to see what other people were saying about it…I noticed one of the earlier comments asked about the color of the seeds. My first thought when I saw the photo was “YAY!! Another sesame seed recipe!” I was puzzled to find NO sesame seeds in the ingredient list. Have you tried these bars with sesame? My excitement stemmed from an experience recently, where an iridologist told me that I’m really low on calcium, and that sesame seeds are one of the foods with the highest levels of bio-available calcium.

  56. Hi there, these sound awesome, I’m getting ready to try them, but I have the same question about your picture…it appears that those bars are 80% sesame seed, (which I think would also be amaaaazing) do you also have a sesame seed bar recipe by chance too?

  57. Hi Katie! Awesome recipe. Did you ever figure out a non-fruit alternative to the dates? I can’t eat most fruits… Thanks!

    • It is tough to replace the fruit, but if you can do honey or maple syrup, you could heat it until it reaches about 230 degrees and then mix in, just enough to get a thick mixture. Then, I’d bake them until they started to harden. (Check out my granola post for more ideas on this). You could also use the homemade marshmallow recipe and mix with the chia seeds to make a bar.

  58. I have to question that these bars give long-lasting energy. They appear to be nearly nothing but sugar. It’s well known that a sugary snack may provide a quick boost of energy, but then it’s normally followed by lull/crash. Do the Chia seeds somehow contribute to these bars being able to give you sustained energy?

    Nearly every ‘diet’ plan I’ve researched (for cancer, and general ‘real food’ health) says that it is absolutely essential to cut sugar. Most do not allow any fruit at all (especially dried fruits) and those that do, allow only the low-sugar fruits such as watermelon.
    The most extreme of these plans even prohibits sweeteners such as honey, maple or agave syrup, monk fruit, and any of the other so-called ‘good sweeteners’ now found in the baking aisle.
    Only Stevia was allowed ‘on occasion’. However, only the pure ‘green-leaf’ type was allowed because all of the Stevia products in the baking aisle have something added, such as maltodextrin, fructose, etc Nut butters were also prohibited.

    So, since I cannot consume sugar/nut butter of any type, what do you put in with the Chia Seeds to make an energy bar; to hold them together?.

  59. I made a triple plus batch of these and they turned out good, but I think I put to much chia seeds in, and they don’t all stick to bars, can i put them in a smoothie….I have original recipe with coconut shreds and choc chips….

  60. Chia is a mayan word meaning “strength”. Aztec warriors and messengers would run long distances and would nourish themselves with just chia and water, to maintain their strength on their journeys.

  61. Is there such a thing as carob chips and could they be subbed for the chocolate? Would it taste bad? I’m allergic to chocolate (what a curse right?!) And would love to try carob for a similar taste maybe? Do you know if carob is okay for gut healing protocols?

    • FYI carob tastes NOTHING like chocolate. All over online I read that carob was a chocolate substitute so I bought a big bag. I hate it! It tastes absolutely nothing like chocolate.

  62. I found you on Pinterest and I am in LOVE with this! More like addicted! LOL I have found that 7 dates works better for me and I have chosen to add the vanilla as suggested along with coconut flakes and a pinch of dark chocolate powder. This now my every weekday go to breakfast! Thank you so much!
    I was wondering if you have a base line for the calories for this?

  63. These have been a life saver for me . I was recently diagnosed with severe anemia( my iron levels were 4) and have been hooked on energy drinks to get me through the day. Scince diagnoses along with weekly iron injections I have been able to cut out caffeine and make these bars adding hemp hearts and experiment with anything my family feels like. I add alittle dark chocolate if my husband needs a brownie fix. Just perfect. Thanks for posting.

  64. I spread coconut oil on a slice of bread, sprinkle with chia seeds, cinnamon and stevia
    and toast. Tasty and quick.

  65. Hi, I love Chia seeds and spread them on most of whatever I’m eating…LOL. I do have a question and statement: 1) I am a diabetic; 2) Would it be possible to state the carbohydrate number on the recipe &/or if you would be so kind as to answer it in an e-mail to me privately. Thank you for your help, and I’ve just become a follower. Loving the WellnessMama.

  66. Mine seem too slippery and will not stay stuck to cut into bars. I soaked he dates and am wondering if that’s the problem? Going to eat this batch with a spoon! Any suggestions welcome to get them to stay as lunch box friendly bars next time!

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