Healthy Homemade Energy Bars

Energy bars are an excellent option for an on-the-go snack or to bring with you when you travel. Most commercially available energy bars are loaded with sugar, a super-long list of ingredients, and added preservatives. This homemade version is packed with heart-healthy nuts, dates for natural sweetness, and antioxidant-rich cocoa powder. They are so simple to make, you don’t even have to turn on the oven!

Serves 6 to 8


1 cup walnuts, almonds, or cashews

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

11⁄3 cups Medjool dates, pitted

3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Shredded coconut to sprinkle and press on top (optional)


Blend the nuts, vanilla extract, dates, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a food processor. Spread the mixture on a baking pan or cutting board. Sprinkle with shredded coconut, if desired. Cut the mixture into square or rectangular shapes. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 10 days or freeze for up to a month.

Recipe by Elise Museles of Kale and Chocolate. First appeared in Gutbliss (Penguin 2013).