Energy bars are such a convenient way to provide some quick energy when you really need a boost. They’re great for a pre-hike or a post workout snack, or sometimes even that 3:00 pm slump, but unfortunately they’re not all the healthiest choices. Some protein or energy bars have lots of sugar, which can of course pack the calories that you just burned off, right back on. Others might have ingredients that you can’t, or don’t want. And let’s face it – keeping your pantry stocked with energy bars can make a huge dent in your wallet.
So here’s a little secret. They’re REALLY easy to make, and not a drop of added sugar is needed. They also keep for quite a while in the freezer, so they’re ready when you are. Even better, you can customize the size, so if a whole bar is too much, you won’t feel compelled to finish it.
My friend and nutrition colleague, Lisa Lane RD shared this recipe with me, and it’s so yummy and healthy (yealthy?) I had to share it with you. Lisa is an RD who loves cooking and nutrition and all that good stuff, but she makes her living as a financial planner. She and her husband own WellFit Financial, and they believe that financial health leads directly to better physical and mental health. As someone who has written out 14 semesters of private and out-of-state tuition checks (and 2 more to go) I couldn’t agree more with that statement!
Lisa adapted this recipe from The Sweet Life blog, which is now called My Darling Vegan (great recipes, by the way). These protein bars call for vegan protein powder, but feel free to substitute whey protein powder if you like. Wrap them individually and store them in an airtight container. They’ll keep for 5 days in the refrigerator, or about a month in the freezer.
PS – This entire recipe cost me less than $5 to make! Lisa would be proud. More tuition money for me!
- 2/3 cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/3 cup Steel Cut Oats
- 1/2 cup vegan protein powder
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates soaked in water for about 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- water as needed
Place both kinds of oats, protein powder, cocoa powder, and coconut in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Process until everything is ground into a fine powder.
Drain dates well, and add to the bowl, along with pecans, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Process until dates are broken down and mixture comes together in a dough ball.
Add additional water by the teaspoon if dough seems too firm. It should be a bit sticky.
Scape the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.
With your hands, or a rolling pin dusted with cocoa powder, shape dough into a large square, about 1/2-inch thick.
Wrap the rolled out dough in plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator to firm up, for about 2 hours.
Cut into 12 equal pieces and wrap each piece in plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Store bars in the refrigerator for 5 days, or up to a month in the freezer.
What’s your favorite pre or post workout snack?