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!
Discussion (59 Comments)
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!
this looks SOO good, would there be any alternative to using dates or do you think i’st necessary for these bars?
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 ?
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?
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.
these are wonderful!!!!!!! I just love them!!! if I were to make a big batch of them how, and how long would they keep?
Yum!My son and I love these.This is awesome…he wont eat breakfast before school.Bet he will now.LOL
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!!!!
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!
what about zone bars? my 2 year old loves them…. are they bad for her?
Katie - Wellness Mama
I avoid all packaged bara