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Quick-and-Easy Energy Bars

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

Energy bars are a great way to stay fueled during outdoor activities or to simply stay focused during work or school.


These naturally sweetened bars are loaded with tons of healthy ingredients: rolled oats, nut butter, flaxseed meal, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. Everything is mixed in a large bowl by hand – no mixer required!


They also double as a quick and nutritious breakfast on-the-go!


These days I find it's super important to have healthy grab-and-go snacks readily available. During our current work-from-home and homeschooling situation, we are all doing a lot more snacking. The kitchen is right there. But, having a plentiful supply of nutritious options available – like these bars – makes me a little less guilty about going into the kitchen for the third time before lunch.


In this version, I'm using tahini paste for the nut butter. Tahini paste is ground-up toasted sesame seeds. I like that it doesn't have any added sugar. Feel free to use natural peanut butter or almond butter, if you prefer. This recipe is very versatile. You can easily swap out the almonds for walnuts, and raisins in the place of cranberries. You can adapt them to your liking or simply to what you have in the pantry. I find I can usually make 2 to 3 batches with the ingredients I already have on hand. Each batch makes 16 large bars. They are not only a healthier option to store-bought ones, but also a cost-effective option. That will help out with the grocery budget! Score!


To start, line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour blend, coconut sugar, flaxseed meal, almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Next, make a well in the center and add the egg, melted butter, tahini paste (or nut butter), honey, and vanilla. Mix well using a large spoon. I prefer to use my hands. Add the chocolate chips and combine.


Using your hands, pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use the sides of the parchment to lift the bars out of the pan. Transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.


Now, you have the fuel to go tackle whatever the day holds – and perhaps make fewer trips to the kitchen.


Let’s get cooking!

 

Ingredients


Energy bars:

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend (recipe below) or equivalent (such as Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour)

  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar (or packed light brown sugar)

  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, walnuts or pistachios (I used a combination of almonds and pistachios)

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  • 1/4 pumpkin seeds

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice)

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil melted – lukewarm but not hot (I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)

  • 1/2 cup tahini paste or nut butter of choice (I used Joyva Sesame Tahini)

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life, Baking Chocolate – Mini Chips, Semi-sweet)

Gluten-free flour blend:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour

  • 2 cups white rice flour

  • 1 cup tapioca flour

  • 1 cup potato starch

  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour

  • 1/2 cup arrowroot

  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum

 

How to make:

Be sure to reference: Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Baking Cooking by Danielle Fahenkrug, page 104 for the complete recipe and baking instructions.


Energy bars:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour blend, coconut sugar, flaxseed meal, almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and salt.

  4. Make a well in the center and add the egg, melted butter, tahini paste (or nut butter), honey, and vanilla.

  5. Mix well using a large spoon or your hands.

  6. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

  7. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

  8. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

  9. Use the sides of the parchment to lift the bars out of the pan.

  10. Transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

  11. Enjoy!

  12. Please scroll to the bottom to share your comments and feedback.

Gluten-free flour blend:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well blended.

  2. Store in an air-tight container.

  3. This recipe makes 7 1/4 cups.


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