My six year old nephew calls them “Excited Bars,” but they’re known by most as Energy Bars. They can fill you up, help sustain activity, and deliver a boost of energy when you need it.
Matt and I first bought some commercial energy bars a few years ago when we were planning a long distance hiking/camping trip. I knew there had to be an easy way to make them, but I just didn’t have time to research it as we frantically planned this last minute trip. We needed food items that would pack small and deliver the most calories. I was surprised at two things when we bought some high quality energy bars – the price and the ingredients!
Each bar cost more than $3.00 and contained ingredients like soy products, sunflower oil, preservatives, and canola oil. These are all things we work hard to avoid in our diet. So when my mom said she had a good recipe for energy bars I knew I could tweak it to be exactly what we needed in terms of ingredients and price.
My new and improved recipe uses ingredients like sprouted flour and soaked oats to reduce the phytic acid that is present in oats and grains. Phytic acid is harmful to our diets because it binds with minerals in foods, making them unavailable for absorption. Sprouting or soaking things like grains, oats, and legumes will activate phytase – the enzyme that neutralizes phytic acid – greatly reducing the amount of phytic acid in the final product.
A few other substitutions like coconut oil (instead of vegetable oil) and soy-free chocolate chips round out this hearty energy bar recipe. We like to eat them for breakfast, take them on hikes & bike rides, or pack them for munching on during long car trips.
Homemade Energy Bars
- 1 cup raw honey (find a good brand here)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons peanut butter or other nut butter (learn how to make your own here)
- 1 cup organic unrefined coconut oil (find a good brand here)
- 2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract (buy it here or learn to make it here)
- 2 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
- 4½ cups oats (use organic whole rolled oats and soak according to instructions below)
- 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped (find organic dried cranberries here or substitute another dried fruit of choice)
- 1 cup sprouted sunflower seeds (find organic sprouted sunflower seeds here)
- 1 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes (find them here)
- 1 cup almonds, chopped (find organic raw almonds here or substitute another nut of choice)
- 10 oz. bag of soy-free mini chocolate chips (we use this brand)
- 1½ cups sprouted flour (we use this kind)
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon (find it here)
- 1⅛ teaspoon baking soda (find natural baking soda here)
- Add oats to a large bowl with 4½ cups warm water and ½ cup lemon juice. (Plain full fat yogurt, homemade kefir, or white vinegar can also be used in place of lemon juice.) Allow oats to soak in water mixture for at least 7 hours or overnight. When soaking is complete, drain off as much excess liquid as possible.
- Beat together honey, nut butter, coconut oil, vanilla and eggs in a BIG bowl.
- In another large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients (including soaked oats) with a wooden spoon. Add this mixture to ingredients that were beaten in the BIG bowl. Mix well.
- Spread into a large greased baking sheet with sides. Pat mixture down evenly with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Bake at 325° for about 45 minutes or until light golden brown. Let sit for 20 minutes, then place parchment paper over top and roll with a rolling pin to compress.
- Allow to cool completely, then cut into desired size, wrap, and freeze. Bars will also keep in a sealed container at room temp for 1-2 weeks.
Whether you’re looking for a fast breakfast, a meal replacement on the trails, or a snack on the go, these are the perfect healthy alternative to store bought energy bars!
Have you ever made your own energy bars?