Simple Recipes for Homemade Energy Bars

May 3, 2024

Category: Hiking, Outdoor Lifestyle

Energy bars provide easily available energy in a convenient and portable form, ideal for fueling on-the-go. Off-the-shelf bars range from ultra-simple options with minimal ingredient lists (like Raw Energy or D’Vash) to more elaborate ones (like Isostar or Sis Go), enriched with vitamins and minerals contributing to healthy energy metabolism and athletic performance. But striking the perfect balance between taste and functionality, while avoiding highly processed ingredients and additives is not easy – unless you make your own. 

Whether you’re hiking, cycling or climbing, homemade energy bars can be a surprisingly simple solution to your fueling needs. Not only are they more affordable than their mass-produced counterparts, they are also fully customizable and can be stored in the freezer for months. The basic ingredients for nutrient-rich, energy-packed bars can be found in any grocery store, and you can make them into bars, balls, or whatever shape you want. 

Most recipes call for dates, oats and nuts, but you can also use rice or quinoa, and any variety of dried fruit. An oven and a blender are useful tools if you want to experiment with a variety of options, but the simplest of homemade energy bars can be made with just one mixing bowl and three ingredients.

The basic oat energy bars

As fast and minimal as it gets: mix 4 parts rolled oats, 2 parts peanut butter, and 1 part honey. Press the mixture into a grease-proof, paper-lined baking dish (or any other flat dish), refrigerate for at least an hour, then cut into bars. Wrap individually and store in the fridge or freezer for use whenever you like.

Additional inspiration: Add chia seeds, flax meal or crushed nuts to your fool-proof energy bar. Substitute oats for quinoa flakes, peanut butter for almond butter, or honey for maple syrup. Or, once set, enrobe your bars in a delicious layer of dark chocolate.

The basic dates energy bars

Another brilliant and simple three-ingredient bar calls for pitted dates and almonds in equal parts, and ¼ part of shredded coconut. Dump the dates and almonds into a food processor, mix until they become uniform, add the coconut, and mix it in. Refrigerate, cut, wrap – then, enjoy!

Additional inspiration: for a rich, earthy flavor, add raw cocoa powder. Cocoa nibs will give this bar a crunch, and if you want it a little more moist (easier to eat without chasing it with loads of water), try adding a dash of coconut oil. You can also shape these treats into bite-sized energy balls and cover them with raw cocoa powder on the outside. 

The basic baked banana bars

Mash up three ripe bananas with a cup of oat flakes, a tablespoon of water, and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Press into a lined baking form, bake for 25 min at 200C (390F) and then cool down before cutting.

Additional inspiration: Add cocoa nibs, chopped nuts or freeze-dried berries. For an extra punch, dried ginger powder or even candied ginger will do great.

Tagged: Get Outside