I’ve been making my own energy bars for years. They’re always a bit different, because there hasn’t really been a recipe…until now. I just know what I like in flavor and crunch, and I also like to use up stuff that I have in favor of running to the store for additional ingredients. Plus, I don’t mind if the bars I’m eating aren’t beautiful enough to be Instagram worthy. My concern has always been more about the nutritional value of what I put into my body. This recipe for no bake grain-free energy bars came out of my desire to help others.
Which is the healthiest bar?
I get questions ALL THE TIME from clients and friends looking for healthy choices in bars. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find wholesome options that are also tasty. Once again, I’m reminded that learning to cook….and have confidence in the kitchen…is the form of self care that yields the biggest dividends. Which is the healthiest bar??? The one you make yourself!
I know the biggest excuse I hear from people who buy packaged and processed food is that they DON’T HAVE TIME to make healthy snack themselves. If that’s your story, listen up….I created this recipe with YOU in mind. This is super simple to make. You can decide which nuts/seeds to use. It’s up to you if you want a chocolate drizzle, or not (seriously though, why not??). Otherwise, these come together in no time. Use your food processor, press into a baking pan and then chill so they’ll be easier to cut. THAT’s IT. Quicker than it would take to drive to the store to buy bars, you can make a batch of these. Plus these are totally kid friendly. You can store them in your freezer to have when you need. I’ve even eaten a few straight from the freezer. Delish!
What I look for in an energy bar:
No refined sugar.
Low carb/protein ratio
High quality vegan protein
Wholesome ingredients: whole, real food. Nothing else.
SUPERIOR TASTE….no cardboard or chemical flavors for me!
Do they pass muster on my kids? ie: will they eat them/love them?
Why I like to make no bake grain-free energy bars:
Simple recipe that is easy to make with little clean up.
I get to control the ingredients that go into them.
Delicious and nutrient dense breakfast or snack item.
They are an awesome grab and go option for busy times.
Super tasty chocolate flavor.
I don’t have to turn on my oven when it’s hot out.
A natural energy boost that doesn’t come with an after crash.
Perfect ratio of protein, healthy fats, fiber for constant energy and blood sugar control.
The texture is a good mix of chew and crunch.
I can store them in the freezer and pull one (or more) out when needed.
EVERYONE loves them.
No bake grain-free energy bars are ideal for:
Healthy meal prep.
Grab and go breakfast.
Kids and adults.
Post workout fuel.
After school snacks.
Brown bag work options.
On the road fuel.
I know we all have different criteria for choosing a favorite bar. If crunchy is your thing, my recipe for granola bars, is definitely for you. They are awesome for snacking or breakfast. An ideal grab and go to throw in your bag, plus we love to crumble them as toppings for nice cream or smoothie bowls. But it’s good to have options. …these no bake grain-free energy bars are chewy and delicious. It all depends upon your appetite. Like I said, options….options are good.
No Bake Grain-free Energy Bars
No bake, grain-free energy bar. Simple to make with no added sugar. Keep a stash in your freezer for an easy grab and go healthy breakfast or snack.
- 16 Medjool dates, pitted *
- ¼ cup Tahini
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup raw quinoa, rinsed well.
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- ½ cup flax meal
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 cups nuts (I used 1 cup raw almonds, 1 cup raw cashews)
- ½ cup seeds (I used sunflower seeds)
- 2 Tablespoons raw cacao nibs
- Line 9 x 13 pan with unbleached parchment paper.
- Place dates, tahini and vanilla in food processor. Blend until it forms a paste.
- Add in uncooked quinoa, cacao powder, flax, cinnamon and salt and process until everything is well incorporated.
- Add the nuts, seeds and cacao nibs and pulse until nuts are chopped and mixture is crumbly.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan, and use hands or offset spatula to press down firmly, making sure there is a flat surface on the top.
- Place in freezer to firm up, at least one hour. If using chocolate topping: melt chocolate and drizzle over top. Place back in freezer for 15 minutes, until chocolate hardens.
- Gently remove parchment onto a cutting board and cut into squares or bars.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 3 months.
*I always buy dates with the pits in because they are fresher and generally moist enough that they don’t need to be soaked. If your dates are already pitted, you will need to soften them. Soak in warm water for at least 30 minutes and then drain before continuing. If you like a sweeter bar, add 2-3 additional dates.
OPTIONAL: ¼ cup melted dark chocolate to drizzle onto bars.
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Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 5gSugar: 18gProtein: 6g
I love making healthy snacks…especially for the grandkids. This looks perfect. Easy for them to help me make….delicious for them to eat.
Exactly….fun to make and healthy to eat.
As someone who needs to snack every couple of hours, no bake bars like these are a must! They are so easy and so delicious!
I’m with you! Feed me often!! Especially yummy treats like these.
No preservative needed! Yay, love the simple ingredient list and that these can easily be frozen. That’s my secret way of hiding them…for ME! Yeah, I’l greedy like that! Perfect pick-me-ups for that afternoon slump!
It would be the best hiding place….IF I didn’t like the way they taste straight from the freezer!
Yum! These grain-free energy bars look absolutely delicious! And they are so easy to make. I’m definitely going to make a batch of these ones on a Sunday and snack of them all week.
Hope they last you the week…..I have to stash them in the freezer or they’re gobbled up!
I definitely agree that the best bars are the ones you make yourself, and this version is delicious, loving the addition of the quinoa!!
Yes…..the quinoa gives these bars a nice crunch.
Do I cook the kinoa or leave it raw? Seems weird to eat raw quinoa!
No need to cook the quinoa. It will get incorporated into the rest of the ingredients. Be sure to rinse it well though. I think you’ll love these. Delicious and easy to make too.
Marisa F. Stewart
This is exactly the recipe I’ve been looking for. We have four grandsons who are into sports and I’m always looking for great recipes that are good for them as well as taste good. And we need them too, we do a lot of traveling and I’d rather eat something like an energy bar than snacks high in salt and fat. I’m pinning.
Thanks so much! These definitely have an appeal that spans the generations.
I love making my own energy bars because I can skip all of the processed junk and excess plastic waste in the storebought ones. I love that you’ve used tahini in these. I’ve never tried putting that in mine and I can’t wait to try this because I think it is a delicious upgrade!
My thoughts exactly on the processed and the plastic. If you love the tahini in these, you should try some of the other recipes I use it in.
We seriously need these! Even at Costco, it’s so expensive to buy healthy bars like this. Homemade is just… better.. and so much cheaper. Thanks for the great recipe!
You bring up a good point….I make these from scratch because I want to control the ingredients….but $$$ savings is huge as well.
I absolutely love this idea. Homespun energy bars are SO much better than store-bought. Not only are they better for you, but they totally taste better—and more real. Dates are the perfect natural sweetener. Energy bars are just another one of those things that you don’t realize is better homemade until you make them. Then there’s no going back!
Totally agree….there’s no going back!