This easy energy bar recipe is filled with healthy whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Even better, no cooking required!
Easy Energy Bar Recipe
There has to be hundreds of bars on the grocery store shelves these days. And sure the packaged ones can be convenient, but let me tell you how delicious these homemade energy bars are! Best of all: this healthy snack only takes about 15 minutes to make.
With notes of honey and almond butter as the “glue,” these are melt-in-your-mouth good with a bit of a crunch. Specks of sea salt make all the difference!!
Making energy bars at home is easier than you think. All it takes is a few pantry staples and some (mostly hands-off) time. This energy bar recipe doesn’t even need a food processor or time in the oven – just press the mixture into a baking dish and chill for an hour and you have healthy granola bars whenever you need one.
As a bonus, you get full control over what goes in and you can skip the excess sugar and preservatives.
How to Make Energy Bars
These bars really pack in the nutrition. Here are the staples you’ll need to make these super easy energy bars:
- rolled oats make up the base of this bar, and add both soluble fiber and complex carbs
- walnuts & almonds for the nuts. I love the crunch!
- pumpkin seeds & chia seeds, which are rich in magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids
- almond butter & honey to hold everything together. It’s important to choose a “drippy” almond butter and not the no-stir variety. This flavor combination is the best!
- vanilla & salt for added flavor
- You can sub in other nut butters like peanut butter or cashew butter, or even sunflower butter for a nut-free option. Just make sure you use a “drippy” one.
- Sub chia seeds for flax seeds.
- Sub in sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds.
- Swap almonds for salty peanuts or your favorite type of nut or dried fruit.
- Make them gluten-free with gluten-free oats.
- Swap in dried fruit, chocolate chips, or coconut.
- Try to keep proportions similar to keep the bars held together.
Step 1: Toast the oats and mix the dry ingredients
This step is optional of course, but I like to toast the oats in a dry skillet until fragrant. Then add the toasted oats, nuts, seeds, and salt to a big bowl and mix to make sure everything is well incorporated. This way everything will be evenly distributed when you add in the sticky ingredients.
Step 2: Heat the wet ingredients in a saucepan
Heating the almond butter and honey will make it more viscous and easier to stir. Heat until they just start to bubble and then remove from heat.
Step 3: Mix the rest of the ingredients together in the saucepan
Simply add the dry ingredients right into the saucepan and use a wooden spoon to really work it all together. (Clean hands work too!) This step will take a few minutes, but keep going until the mixture is evenly coated and slightly sticky.
Step 4: Press into a pan
Press the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Important: really push it in there! After using the back of your spoon or a bar roller, wet your hands and really press the nuts together in there. This step is key for getting the bars to stay together once cut.
Step 5: Chill in the refrigerator
The one hour chill time allows the almond butter and honey to solidify, giving you an easy, mess-free cut.
Step 6: Cut and serve!
Be sure to cut them with your sharpest knife as soon as you pull them out of the fridge. Don’t let them come to room temperature first, because they get more crumbly as they warm up.
Energy Bar FAQs
Can I use a different type of nut butter?
Sure! As long as the nut butter is the drippy style, any variety should work. Use peanut butter for a more classic flavor or sunflower seed butter if you have a nut allergy.
Can I use a different liquid sweetener?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Maple syrup is a lot thinner than honey, and not quite as sticky. I think this is key to holding these energy bars together.
Do I have to store these in the fridge after they’re cut?
I recommend storing them in the fridge to keep their shape. At room temp they are more likely to crumble as the nut butter glue softens, but you can absolutely pack and enjoy them on the go.
To make these “grab-and-go” style, wrap them up in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for easy and healthy snacking.!
Other healthy snack ideas:
Easy Energy Bars
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 3 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup almond butter see notes
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Line an 8x8” pan with parchment paper.
- Toast oats in a dry skillet for 8-10 minutes (until fragrant). Mix with nuts and seeds in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile heat a saucepan over medium and add honey and almond butter. Once the mixture starts bubbling slightly, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Add in the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The mixture may look dry at first but continue to press everything together with a wood spoon or spatula. Add a spoonful of almond butter if your mixture looks too dry.
- Press the mixture firmly into the parchment lined pan (this is key to sticking together!). Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Cut into bars.
- There are so many types of nut butter on the market these days! I use and recommend the 365 brand almond butter that is "drippy" and requires stirring. If you use one that is too thick, your bars might not hold together.
- Be sure to push firmly into the pan and allow the bars to chill for the full hour. Do not let them come back to room temperature before cutting.
Photos by Leanne Ray at Healthyish Appetite