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Recipe: Easy Energy Bars

Energy Bar by user Katie via Flickr
Energy Bar by user Katie via Flickr
Energy Bar by user Katie via Flickr

Store-bought energy bars aren't cheap. Why buy them when you can make your own? You'll save money, and you can adapt them to fit your tastes. You can also store them in your freezer for months on end. Bars are easy to make - they're not baked or cooked - and they're filled with wonderful ingredients. 

Cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, raw cacao, apricots, figs, coconut/coconut oil and dates are all common ingredients in homemade energy bars. The dates, coconut, apricot and figs work like a paste to hold all the ingredients together, and they add moisture and plenty of sweetness. There's no need to add sugar.

These nuts, seeds and dried fruits are full of protein, fiber and nutrients. The recipe below, which is attributed to Robin Coggins, also suggests some chocolate drizzle, which is tasty but optional, since the chocolate quickly gets messy. You can adapt this recipe almost endlessly.


1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup raw almonds

2/3 cup mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 Tbsp ground flax seed

2 Tbsp hemp hearts

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

12-15 medjool dates, pitted

8-10 dried apricots

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and divided

Chocolate Drizzle (optional) :

1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp raw cacao powder

1-2 tsp maple syrup to taste

Instructions: Combine cashews, almonds, pumpkin / sunflower seeds, coconut, flax seed, hemp hearts, chia seeds and 1/4 cup raw cacao powder in a blender. Process until combined but still chunky.

Transfer mixture to a bowl. Combine dates, apricots and 1/4 cup melted coconut oil in the blender and process until a thick paste forms.

Add the nut/seed mixture back into the blender with the baste and add the remaining 1/4 cup coconut oil. Process until well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times to make this happen.

Press into 1 or 2 parchment paper-lined loaf pans. I use 2 10x5 loaf pans. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

While bars are solidifying, make the melted chocolate. Whisk 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil, 1 tsp raw cacao and 1-2 tsp maple syrup (adjust to taste) until well combined. When the bars are ready, drizzle the chocolate mixture over the bars and cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.

Listen now for more of the "Food Guys."

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 08/12/18. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays, or via podcast.)

Greg Patent is co-host of The Food Guys on Montana Public Radio. He won the Pillsbury bake-off when he was 19 years old. His cookbook, Baking in America, won the 2003 James Beard Award for best baking book of the year.
Jon Jackson is co-host of The Food Guys and a frequent guest on Jazz Sessions at Montana Public Radio. He is a mystery writer and jazz music expert with a passion for great food.
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