Granola and energy bars are great snacks to keep lying around the house-car-office-purse-everywhere. Feeling hangry, hungry, or low on energy? Reach for a bar filled with goodness and nutrition to power through the rest of the day.
Not so fast.
Not all granola, snack, and energy bars are created equally. In fact, most store-bought bars provide little nutrition and lots of sugar, artificial ingredients, refined oils, and other ingredients that do not promote health and wellbeing.
Enter these simple, homemade vegan date and super seed energy bars. Not only do they contain simple pantry staples (dates, cacao powder, nuts, and seeds) they are made with whole foods and can be modified depending on a variety of diets – or what you have on hand.
Throw all the ingredients into a food processor, pulse, press mixture into a baking tray, freeze, and cut. Instant energy bars and homemade goodness.
Energy Bar Ingredients
The base of these energy bars is medjool dates, sunflower seeds, and cashews. If nut allergies are a problem, simply use all sunflower seeds and omit cashews. Using tahini as a binder, as opposed to peanut butter or almond butter, keeps these bars nut-free as well. Of course, swap with a different nut butter (told you these bars were super customizable!) if you’d like.
Other ingredients of these bars include (all of the) seeds. Hemp seeds and chia seeds provide essential fatty acids, protein, and nutrients along with crunch and a unique texture to the bars. Feel free to add or swap these seeds with sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds if desired.
Coconut flakes and unrefined, organic coconut oil add a sweet, tropical flavor along with a boost of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Cacao powder gives these bars a delicious chocolate flavor along with a variety of vitamins and minerals, including zinc and magnesium.
Other delicious and whole food ingredients to incorporate include raisins, golden berries, dried blueberries or cranberries, almonds, pecans, walnuts, coconut butter, or cacao nibs.
These energy bars will keep in the refrigerator for three weeks and in the freezer for three months. The bars make a perfect snack for all ages (kids are hooked!) and provide a dose of healthy whole foods along with a mixture of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to sustain energy throughout the day. Enjoy!
- 2 cups medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup cashews
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ cup tahini
- 3 Tbsp cacao powder
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until mixture turns into a big sticky ball and ingredients are roughly chopped and broken down. Don’t overly process the mixture; you still want some texture and crunch in the bars.
- Scoop energy bar mixture into a lined square or rectangular baking tray. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the base of the tray.
- Place in the freezer to set for 2 hours.
- Remove from freezer and cut into even size bars or squares.
- Store bars in the freezer where they will keep for three months, or in the fridge where they will keep for three weeks.
Photos by Kate Gavlick