Packed with healthy fats and whole grains, these endlessly adaptable energy bars make a filling grab and go snack or light breakfast! Sweetened with just a hint of maple syrup.
When have you ever felt truly satiated or nourished from an energy bar? Back when I was in college, I lived off cookie dough flavored Slim Fast bars for breakfast. At the time, I thought of it as a 'healthy' way to have cookie dough for breakfast. My diet food-philic taste buds actually believed they tasted like real cookie dough. They do not. If only I paid attention to how they made my body feel...and how hungry I was before my second class!
I get the convenience of energy bars, I really do. There are even a few brands that taste good and are pretty satisfying - because I know you'll ask, I like Lara Bars, KIND bars and Health Warrior Chia Bars.
Mostly, I make my own. It's cheaper, you have control over the ingredients, and it tastes a whole lot better. And you know what? Homemade bars are actually filling! Like, I could eat one of these for breakfast and okay, I would be hungry for a snack by 10 am, but I'm always hungry for a snack then.
As with most of my cooking, I take a 'throw in a bunch of crap I have laying around and hope it comes out' approach. This recipe is endlessly adaptable based on whatever staples you have on hand. It's a great way to use up extra grains, dried fruit and nuts you have on hand.
Endlessly Adaptable Energy Bars
For the pictured recipe, I used quinoa, a mixture of sunflower seeds, walnuts and pecans, honey, and dried plums.
- 2 cups rolled oats, old fashioned oats or quick cook steel cut oats (the latter will yield a crunchier, but slightly harder to cut bar)
- 1 cup quinoa, millet, oats, teff or amaranth
- 1 cup chopped nuts of choice, or a mixture
- 1/2 cup chopped unsweetened dried fruit
- 1/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup nut butter of choice
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, olive oil, peanut oil or avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place oats, grains, and nuts in a large skillet on medium heat. Cook, stirring every so often, until they smell toasty. Remove from heat and carefully pour into a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, combine honey/syrup, nut butter, oil, vanilla extract and salt in a small pot on medium heat. Cook, stirring to whisk, until melted and well combined. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
- Line a rectangle baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper so that some is coming out from the edges. This makes it easier to remove the bars after cooking. Pour the oat mixture in to the baking dish and press down to even out the top. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until browned around the edges. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Once at room temperature, place it in the fridge to chill, which makes it easier to cut. Once cold, cut into bars and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
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