HOW-TO MAKE THE BEST HOMEMADE ENERGY BARS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

So, you’re leaving somewhere tomorrow for a few days. You’re hitting the road to head up to a nice and far place. With, let’s say about an 8+ hour drive ahead of you, you have to plan ahead with snacks and food for both the drive and when you get there.

It’s super important for you to know that you have what you need to be nourished and energized, especially when you are away from home and your routines.

For me I can say that one of my favorite things to make is homemade energy bars. They are very simple to make, and it’s a great way to energize with some really healthy fats, proteins and fiber and of course they are always so delicious! I have gone from baking my own with oats and nuts, to keeping it super simple with these no-bake, grain-free, date-sweetened homemade energy bars for weight loss.

The great thing about making these energy bars at home is not only having full control of the quality of the ingredients, but also having fun with various flavor combinations.

You can get creative with the ingredients by adding your favorite flavors or you can simply go nuts with whatever you happen to have on hand in the pantry, that you need to use up. Latter happens to be it for me.

For the sake of this guide I whipped up two of my favorite flavor combos: Coconut Mango Lime and Berry Cobbler. The Coconut Mango Lime Energy Bars on top of being grain-free and vegan they are also totally seed and nut-free, so they are perfect for those with allergies or intolerance or even someone following the autoimmune protocol. The Berry Cobbler bars, I made bite-sized and they do contain nuts.

All you have to do is follow my simple base recipe instructions and then you can get creative from there. Trust me when I tell you, these are really hard to screw up. Once you’ve made your base mixture and get creative with your flavors, you can decide if you want to opt for full-sized bars, smaller bites or even little balls. If you really want to get crazy, you can dip them in some melted chocolate.

How-to Make Homemade Energy Bars for Weight Loss

Makes 8-12 bars (more if making bites)

BASE:

  • 1 cup pitted, dried Medjool dates
  • 1 cup nuts and/or unsweetened shredded coconut (alone or a mix of two)
  • 1 cup additional filling (more dates or other dried fruit, additional seeds or nuts, coffee, chocolate chips, etc.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (I opt for 1 tablespoon when adding nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt

Optional flavors and add-ins: 

  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans,
  • Dried fruit: cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins, mangoes, pineapple, apples, bananas, prune, figs, apricots, etc.
  • Seeds: hemp, chia, flax sunflower, sesame etc.
  • Clean protein powder, collagen peptides, sprouted rice powder, etc.
  • Chocolate chips or cocoa nibs
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coffee or espresso powder
  • Matcha powder, finely ground tea
  • Gluten-free oats or other gluten-free grains
  • Citrus juice and zest
  • Fresh ginger
  • Spices and herbs: nutmeg, cinnamon, mint, cloves, cardamom, lavender, etc.

Add all the ingredients to your food processor. Pulse a few times to get going, then process until they come together into a chunky dough/paste. About 1 to 2 minutes. You may have to stop halfway through to scrape down the sides. Process the ingredients until the dough holds together when you form it into a ball.

Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. (I like to use two pieces going in opposite directions, so I can lift the bars right up and out of the pan) Add the mixture to the pan and press down firmly to even it out. Cover and place into the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.

Once chilled, remove the dough from being wrapped in a pan and with a sharp knife cut into 8 bars or 16 bite-sized pieces. Store wrapped individually either in plastic wrap, parchment paper or individual bags.

Alternatively before chilling, rather than pressing into a pan you can roll the dough into little balls or form it by hand into individual bars.

These will keep for several weeks.

NOTES: 

If your dates (or other dried fruit) are quite dry or too hard, soak for 10 minutes in warm water and drain well, before processing.

These energy bars are nice and firm straight from the fridge, the longer they sit at room temperature, the softer they will become.

Mango Coconut Lime Energy Bars

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup dried mangoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sea salt

Follow the exact instructions above.

Berry Cobbler Energy Bars

  • 1 cup dates
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup dried berries (I used cherries, cranberries, goji berries)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch sea salt

Follow the exact instructions above.

Other Flavor Combination Ideas:

Almond Joy
Coconut, almonds, chocolate chips

Mint Chocolate
Chocolate chips, cocoa powder and mint extract

Peanut Butter and Jelly
Peanuts, dried cherries

Banana Bread
Dried bananas, almonds and/or walnuts, cinnamon

Double Chocolate
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks

Cherry Pie
Almonds and/or walnuts, dried cherries and a little cinnamon

Apple Pie
Almonds and/or walnuts, dried apples, cinnamon

Peanut Butter Cup
Peanuts, chocolate chips

Gingerbread
Almonds, molasses, ginger (fresh or dried), ground cloves

Lemon Bar
Almonds or walnuts, lemon juice and lemon zest

Smores
Chocolate chips, cinnamon, mini marshmallows

Oatmeal Cookie
Gluten-free rolled oats, raisins (or cranberries), cinnamon

Carrot Cake
Shredded carrots, dried pineapple, raisins, cinnamon

Key Lime
Coconut or coconut butter, lime juice and lime zest