Wellness Energy Bars

Wellness Energy Bars with Dates and Nuts

I am more excited about this recipe than I have been 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!

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 road trips.

Wellness Energy Bars with Dates and Nuts

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Wellness Energy Bars




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A simple and healthy meal on the go bar that is similar to a Cashew Lara Bar.


  • 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)


  1. Put nuts into food processor (or Vitamix) and chop until in small pieces. Remove and put in bowl.
  2. Put dates and raisins (any combination of the two that equals 1/2 cup total) into the food processor and pulse until playdough consistency. It will start to clump together when it is done.
  3. 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)
  4. 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!)
  5. 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.
  6. Enjoy!

Courses Snack

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

UPDATE: I’ve also now made a chia seed energy bar that I like at least this much or better. Here’s the recipe.

Ever made your own energy bars? Let me know what you think of these below!

These healthy wellness energy bars are a mix of dates and nuts with any customizable flavor combinations for a delicious grain free snack.

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Reader Comments

  1. Looks great! Should the nuts be soaked first?

    • It is better to soak them overnight and then dry them in the oven the next day. Post on that coming soon!

  2. Made another batch of “energy balls” this afternoon:
    1/2 c shredded coconut
    1 c soaked/dried almonds chopped finely in processor
    1.5 c raisins–chopped in processor
    1T warm coconut oil

    Dried Apricots and cashews with coconut is yummy too!

  3. Even better-tasting than I had hoped…it’s amazing that there’s not any added sugar/honey. Really excellent and just in time for a weekend sports’ meet. Thanks so much for sharing! =)

  4. These look less messy than mine – I always accidentally add too much coconut oil (I’m too lazy to measure precisely). I love to add shredded coconut and cocoa powder too – I feel like I’m eating a candy bar!

  5. Do these freeze well if I were to do a large batch to freeze and then thaw when needed?

    • I’ve only tried freezing them once, but it seemed to work great!

  6. Just made these without a food processor, with raw walnuts, but added 3 more dates, a tablespoon of shredded coconut and another tablespoon of milled flax seed! they are so yummy!!! 🙂 I was going to add the cinnamon but forgot! oops, any chance to use cinnamon I go for. Cant wait to garb one before or after my dance classes or a bike ride. 🙂

  7. I just found your blog and I am literally in love with it. It is “my face” really :))) Thank you for your generosity, go on sharing your knowledge.

  8. Hi, this is a great site! Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge. Someone else asked about soaking nuts. Not sure, maybe I missed the post (am new here), but is there more info about it? I’m pretty much “scared” of eating nuts now.. How does one soak and dry nuts without a dehydrator?  I live in the Netherlands and things go VERY different around here.. Sigh..

    • You can soak normally and just dehydrate in an oven on the lowest
      setting for a few hours. Hope that helps some!

  9. I recently found your blog, and I decided to make these for my husband b/c he takes “fiber” bars for breakfast each day.  Unfortunately (well, not exactly) my 2 daughters can’t stop eating them.  My 2 year old keeps asking for more candy bar.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge & your mission.

  10. These are really good.  Ds was away from home for a while and started eating Clif bars.  I think I talked him out of that and some bread with lots of soy in it.  If I keep something like this around when I have enough of the ingredients, it should help.  

  11. Just made these- they are really good!  I used some coconut flour to make them a bit dryer on the outside.  Added a another delicious smell and taste!

  12. I love Larabars and have made some of my own before, but aren’t dates a high G. I. food and spike your blood sugar?  Or are these Ok to eat sometimes? 

    • a sometimes food, and kids need more carbs overall, so ok more often for kids

      • Even though it has a high fiber content which slows sugar processing down, it may not be good for someone managing their diabetes with pills, in reference to sugar spikes. My solution to that is eating smaller amounts at a time so your body doesn’t have as much to process. So if you are worried about sugar spikes, eat smaller amounts and you are not ingesting as much sugar. If your body processes sugar properly, the fiber content should help even out the natural sugars, unlike a processed candy bar.

  13. I think dates are high on the GI scale – is this going to raise blood sugar?

  14. I also just discovered your site and can’t wait to get to more of it.  (I started with the link to toothpaste.)  I eat a VERY low carb diet at the moment (am pregnant, and it’s the only way I keep from feeling sick), and I’m fine with it, but figuring out ways to get my children to eat this way is more of a challenge.  Anyway, I naturally went to the bar recipe first hoping to help with the latter.  My first thought was that all that dried fruit seemed extremely high sugar to me.  And given all the “yummy” comments, it seems that is probably what people are reacting to and probably what would make it hard to ear these sparingly, as “a sometimes food.”

  15. These are fabulous!! I made them as power balls this morning….my 4 year old and 20 month old loved these! I used macadamian nuts instead of almonds (we make macadamian butter…..ahhhh….delist!) and added non sweetened coconut…thank you, thank you for this awesome recipe!

  16. Tried it with dried apricots and walnuts. Delicious! Thank you so much- you are right, even better than Larabars!

  17. I used a few dried dates and that worked pretty well too. AlsoI used almonds and walnuts and the cinnamon makes it super yummy. I didn’t soak the nuts either, not sure why you would need to.

    • To remove some of the phytic acid anti-nutrients in the nuts, I assume.

  18. I just read that cashews are a legume. Is this true?

  19. I made these, very good. A different departure from my usual ones made with peanut butter. Only made about 12 and I doubled the recipe. Is this right? Thanks for the idea! I added chia seeds and coconut oil.

  20. I’m looking forward to eating these after making them… but I have a question first.  The dates, are they the dried pitted dates?  or fresh dates?  I bought dried ones that are still soft..  thoughts?

    • Either will work, you just want them soft enough to blend and pitted. I’ve made them with soft dried dates before

  21. How many does this make

    • Depending on how big you cut them, about 12

  22. Peanuts might not be a nut but I bet they would work just as well in this recipe.

  23. thanks for the great work. I love your creativity and tenacity.
    I loved you coconut cream recipe.
    As a person who must refrain from Gluten, I would like to comment, that when you include any grains in your receipes, they should not be called gluten-free. Oats, barley, rye, spelt, etc. contain gluten!!!! adn even Teff contains a form of gluten.
    Millet, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Rice, don’t contain gluten.
    keep on doing the good work!!!

    • really jude??? try to keep it positive. She does state that throught her blog, you should read more and judge less

  24. Do you ever make rosemary Gladstar’s zoom balls?

  25. How about shredded carrots? Suggestion for improving the protein. I am 20 weeks pregnant, and find it hard to get enough protein. I am rarely hungry and have been resorting to goats milk and instant breakfast. I have also been having debilitating sinus migrains daily. As a result my house is destroyed….

  26. Do you know of a good source to get raw organic nuts?

  27. Also try this: make a carob dip for the bars. take a few tablespoons coconut oil and a few tablespoons carob (i usually take carob to coconut oil in a 1:2 ratio) add some stevia and vanilla essence and some trace mineral drops along with essential oil of your choice – (we love peppermint). Melt coconut oil. add other ingredients. let cool slightly and then pour over the bars..put in fridge to set.. they will last anywhere coconut oil stays stable in room temp. Its not that hot here in South africa so we keep them in a drawer in an airtight container with no problems. Love your website. Keep the recipes coming!

  28. Dee-lish! I’ve been experimenting with different types of nuts and fruits with these and I love ’em! I went to an anime convention last weekend and I brought a whole bunch with me and they kept me going like you wouldn’t believe!

  29. Thank you for this easy make and easy clean recipe!
    My boys loved them and so do I!


  30. What’s everyone’s thoughts on Rice Malt Syrup? I know it is made from a grain (so that is why I am asking this question), but it is free from fructose making it a great natural sweetener alternative to honey which is higher in fructose levels. I have been loving my natural raw honey lately and have been using it guilt-free in cooking (loving Katie’s home made chocolate) and sweetening my morning yoghurt, but now I’m not sure I should be so “guilt free” with it and maybe I should still keep track of how much I am consuming… thoughts anyone?

  31. what about zone bars? my 2 year old loves them…. are they bad for her?

  32. Just made a batch with my little girl and decided it wasn’t enough for snacks and lunches for the week. Off to make another!

  33. I just made a batch of these with the dates and a mixture of raisins, craisins, and golden raisins, and I also added some organic chocolate chunks in it as well. My 4yr and 5yr old girls keep asking for more! I made half into some balls wrapped in wax paper, and the other half i flattened into a pan and drizzled a little raw honey over the top and am firming them up into the fridge as I am typing this! I have so many other variations I want to try with this!!! Love it Thanks!!!!

  34. Yum!My son and I love these.This is awesome…he wont eat breakfast before school.Bet he will now.LOL

  35. these are wonderful!!!!!!! I just love them!!! if I were to make a big batch of them how, and how long would they keep?

  36. I made thes with my son as a treat for breakfast on his third birthday. He loved them, called them date almond crisp! We will definitely make them again.

  37. I am going out of town and I want to make an energy bar for my kids but I don’t have dates or raisins. I don’t have time to run to the store before we leave but was hoping to pull something together with the almonds I have already soaked. Any ideas?

  38. I have come across your page a couple of times and I love it. Since I have had kids (4 and 1) I try to feed them healthy good for them foods. when I read the recipes I get a little overwhelmed because i have never heard of half of the ingredients. also I live in a small town and all we have is a Walmart and United. No natural food stores or anything like that. Would the quality of foods from these stores even be good enough? Or is it best to drive a half hr to a different place?
    Hope my question is not confusing. I’m a young mom with no support on healthy food from family and I really want to give my kids the best. Thanks

    • Haha sorry! I just found your getting started page and resources and all that other good stuff! I’m going to start there ?

  39. this looks SOO good, would there be any alternative to using dates or do you think i’st necessary for these bars?

  40. I get the Kit’s Organic Bars by Cliff, at Whole Foods or Mrs. Green’s. I especially like the Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut. The only ingredients are: organic dates, organic almonds, organic unsweetened dark chocolate, organic coconut, organic virgin coconut oil and sea salt. I love them and the ingredients are healthy, but they are very expensive. Your recipe looks about the same. I have wished I knew how to make them myself since they are so expensive. I guess I missed this post in February but am glad I saw it now. Thank you, Katie!

  41. Any way you can make these without a food processor? I have a CHEAP blender I want to throw away, and no money to purchase anything. Thank you for any ideas.