The wall of energy bars being sold in just about every grocery store is pretty astonishing. The problem I have with a lot of them is their highly processed ingredient lists. Also, the ones that have short, recognizable ingredient lists, often have a damp, strange texture - seemingly dates smashed with other stuff into an unappetizing looking log. These homemade energy bars aren't as convenient, but they're arguably much better. Here are some favorites - a mix of baked, no-bake, simple to more elaborate.
1. Savory DIY Power Bars - (101 Cookbooks)
Before we dive into slightly sweeter versions of homemade power bars - have a look at these. If you can imagine sort-of savory Rice Crispy treats made with crumbled kale chips, toasted walnuts, and black olives, that's the ballpark. Also, cut into tiny bit-sized squares, these make a cool addition to an appetizer spread. Get the recipe here.
3. 4 o'clock No-Bake Energy Bites - (QUITOKEETO)
These got me through many afternoon slumps over at our studio. I like the ratio of oats to nut butter here, and the addition of chia seeds. Plus they're no-bake, delicious, and people loooove them. Use any nut butter you have on hand. Get the recipe here.
4. Peanut Butter Goji Berry Granola Bars - (Love & Lemons)
Another tasty, crisped rice-based bar from L&L. Packed with goji berries, chia seeds, pistachios, pepitas, some chocolate for the win... Get the recipe here.
6. DIY Snack Bars - (Cooking Light)
Some great ideas in this round-up at Cooking Light (beautifully photographed by Jen Causey)...there are some strange variations on the list, and a lot are too sweet for my tastes, but there are some interesting ideas, and looking through them inspires some ideas about all the different ways you can approach your won bars at home. Get the recipe here.
8. Cranberry Walnut Energy Bars - (Food & Wine)
These are old-school. From Super Natural Cooking, and published on in Food & Wine roughly ten years ago, but still a keeper. Play around with the fruit, nuts, and seeds you put in here, its a good base recipe... Get the recipe here.