Sunday, March 21, 2010

Homemade Energy Bars

One of the biggest challenges I've had since going gluten free is finding energy bars I can eat.  There are a few flavors of Lara Bar that do not have almonds, but really not that many.  Plus, I like something closer to Clif Bar texture.  A friend forwarded me a great recipe to make your own energy bars.  If you find certified gluten-free oats, they can be made gluten free.

I made mine using gluten-free steel-cut oats, olive oil, 1/3 cup dried tart cherries, 1/3 cup dried orange cranberries, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 mashed banana, 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar.  They were a little too sticky, so next time I would add some more nuts, flax seed, or more oats.  I baked for about 35 minutes and they are still chewy, which is exactly the texture I wanted.

The final product:

Here is the recipe:

Energy Bars

3 c rolled oats
1 c boiling water
1 tbsp oil (canola, flax seed, etc...I used coconut oil)
1 tsp salt

Add one or more (sweets):
1/3 c honey
1/3 c molasses
1/3 c maple syrup
1/2 c date puree
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2+ c banana puree
1/2+ c raisins
1/2+ c craisins
1/2+ c dried cherries

Add one or more (nuts/protein):
2/3 c chopped almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews, etc.
1/2+ c peanut butter
1/3 c flax seeds, sunflower seeds, etc
1/2+ c shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)

Try some spices/flavoring
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp allspice
1/3 c cocoa powder
orange or lemon zest

Place oats, salt, and oil in a large bowl and place the remaining ingredients of your choice into another bowl. Add the boiling water to the oat mixture and stir until mostly incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until it forms a solid mass and all the water has been absorbed. Cover the mixture with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.

Remove the mixture and place it on a pastry mat or oiled cutting board. Use a rolling pin to flatten mix until it is 1/2 inch thick rectangle or square. (I put a little oil on my hands and just squished it into a large flat rectangle). Cut into desired shapes and sizes.

Preheat oven to 325* F. On the stove, heat a skilled and lightly sear the bars before placing on a cookie sheet that is lightly oiled or covered with parchment paper. Once all bars have been seared, place the cookie sheets in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Let cool before storing.

Note: If you add more than one ingredient from each category you may need to decrease the amounts added to maintain the overall nutrient balance and bar consistency. (or you can increase the amount of base mixture).


  1. They sort of look like those dog biscuits too! ;) I'm excited to make some!

  2. Those sound yummy! I'm going to have to try them! Thanks for sharing! :)