When I created this recipe, I was more excited about it than I had been about almost any other post. I played around with recipes to make an easy, homemade, kid-approved, all-natural, raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, portable energy bar that wasn’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.
Since creating my original Wellness Bar, I’ve also come up with a couple of other varieties. I sometimes make chia seed energy bars or chocolate coconut energy bars instead. Both are tasty, simple, and packed with nutrients.
Why Make an Energy Bar, You Ask?
I know, there are already so many out there to choose from. The problem is, I’m not really a fan of the ingredients in most of them. There are several problems really. Many of them contain fillers, chemicals, and artificial flavorings. Also, since they have to be shipped and stored on a shelf, they usually 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” (an ingredient I avoid) appears on that label five times, the first ingredient is brown rice syrup. On a food label, ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. If the first ingredient is a concentrated, high-carbohydrate syrup that is made from a grain, that’s a problem!
I looked for better options, but most bars have a similar ingredient list to this one. Check your favorite bar and see 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 Larabar, in my opinion.
Making a Wellness Energy Bar
This recipe is incredibly easy to make, takes very little time, can be customized easily, and has few ingredients. Kids love it and it can be a great alternative to the snacks they usually get!
To make the bars just chop some almonds, then use a food processor (a mini one works best) to puree some dates and raisins, and mix it all together with a dash of cinnamon. Roll it out and cut it into bars or roll it into balls for energy bites.
While the original recipe calls for almonds, dates, and raisins, you can change up the fruit and nut combination to better suit your tastes.
Ways to enjoy the Wellness Bar:
- Fast on-the-go meal
- Delicious snack for kids
- Easy dessert
- Camping or hiking food
- Energy bar for sustained workouts
- Non-messy food for road trips.
I recently saw a recipe for energy bites rolled in shredded coconut, which would make them a little less sticky and easier to transport. Maybe I’ll give it a try with my recipe…
Prefer to Buy It Rather Than Make It?
I know that life is busy. Sometimes I just don’t have time to make everything. When that happens, it’s nice to know where I can buy ready-made products that are still healthy and tasty. Here are a few sources for packaged energy bars that use great, real-food ingredients:
- Kion – cocoa nibs, coconut, and baby quinoa — mmmm!
- Paleo Valley (their meat sticks are also delicious)
- Steve’s – dark chocolate espresso bars — need I say more?
Wellness Energy Bars Recipe
- In a food processor, chop the nuts into fine pieces.
- Remove and put in bowl.
- In the food processor, puree the dates and raisins (or any combination of the two that equals ½ cup total) until they become the consistency of playdough. It will start to clump together when it is done.
- Add the fruit paste and cinnamon to the chopped nuts and mix them by hand.
- Roll the mixture between two sheets of wax paper to ½ inch thickness.
- 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 the refrigerator until ready to use.
Ever made your own energy bars? Let me know what you think of these below!