Energy bars are always a quick and reliable nutritious fix for a snack attack, amiright? Sadly, no. Not according to recent reports, which have revealed that some of our go-to health bars aren’t in fact, so healthy.
Whether they’re padded with artificial ingredients or loaded with fat and sugar, energy and granola bars aren’t always as healthy as they’re made out to be. Plus they’re expensive, especially when you consider that it’s easy to make your own additive-free versions at home. Like these 16 of our DIY favourites.
These recipes we’ve curated for you are nutrient-dense, so don’t go scarfing the bars down like they’re not loaded with healthy fats and fibres – because they are. But do rest assured you won’t find any unpronounceable ingredients in these snacks (unless you’re still having trouble with “quinoa” – it’s KEEN-wa, by the way.)
18 homemade energy bars that are actually good for you
APRICOT SEED BARSChewy apricots bind heart-healthy hemp seeds with sesame, sunflower and chia seeds in these no-bake beauties. GET THE RECIPEGourmande in the Kitchen
NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE BLUEBERRY BARSCashews, dates and dried blueberry form the base of these sweet -- but not too sweet -- vegan energy bars. GET THE RECIPEThe Healthy Maven
KEEN ON QUINOA NUT AND CHERRY BARSThe starch in this bar – quinoa – is also a decent source of protein. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds add extra satiating power. GET THE RECIPEDonuts, Dresses and Dirt
DAIRY-FREE BREAKFAST BARSThese vegan almond bars have a dash of orange peel for added zest. GET THE RECIPE Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
MINI COOKS SNACK GRANOLA BARSEasy enough for kids to bake, but tasty enough for everyone to eat, these honey-sweetened bars veer into cookie territory without a ton of added sugar. GET THE RECIPEDonuts, Dresses and Dirt
COCONUT ALMOND GRANOLA BARSFibre and potassium-rich dates serve as binders and sweeteners in these sugar-free bars with a tropical, coconut twist. GET THE RECIPE Dana Kofsky of Nutrition Styles
CEREAL BAR SNACKSEnjoy your breakfast cereal on the go with these handy bars. GET THE RECIPEThe Foodie Affair
NO-BAKE MINT CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BARSDates and cocoa form a chewy, sugar-free chocolate, while protein powder and nuts boost these bars’ satiating power. A dash of peppermint extract takes them to the next level. GET THE RECIPEThe Healthy Maven
3 INGREDIENT NO BAKE ENERGY BARSCherry-pie flavoured Larabars are possibly the tastiest commercial energy bars on the market – but they’re not cheap. Keep your dollars in your pockets with these tasty DIY alternatives. GET THE RECIPELet’s Dish
CINNAMON RAISIN ENERGY BITESClose your eyes and imagine a cookie that requires no baking and contains enough nutrients to qualify as breakfast. Now open your eyes and feast on these bite-sized little energizers, perfect belly fillers for on-the-go mornings. GET THE RECIPEGina Kleinworth for Kleinworth & Co.
Triple Berry "Clif" BarsWith three kinds of berries plus almond butter, oats and honey, these copycat Clif bars give you multiple reasons to say yes! GET THE RECIPEThe Loop
CHOCOLATE DATE BARSDitching sugar is the key to guilt-free chocolate bars, but it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice when you substitute sweet dates. GET THE RECIPEGina Kleinworth for Kleinworth & Co.
HOMEMADE ENERGY BARSThese basic bars are infinitely customizable, and as long as you substitute like for like (peanut butter for almond butter, maple syrup for honey, chia seeds for hemp hearts). As such, there are many opportunities for your own "bespoke bars" (that’s fancy talk for "just ‘the way you like ‘em"). GET THE RECIPE Graceful Little Honey Bee
NO BAKE TRAIL MIXThese sweet, salty, crunchy bars of portable deliciousness will satisfy your cookie cravings with slightly less guilt. GET THE RECIPEYankee Kitchen Ninja
HEALTHY NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE CHIP PROTEIN GRANOLA BARSAny time the words ‘healthy’ and ‘chocolate chip’ are legitimately combined is a win in our books; these protein-packed bars are the real deal. GET THE RECIPEThe Healthy Maven
ALMOND BERRY BARSBursting with almond butter, dried cranberries and rolled oats, these flavourful bars are packed with energizing ingredients. GET THE RECIPE Almond Board of California
SIMPLE GRANOLA BAR WITH XYLITOLCommercial granola bars are off the menu for diabetics and dieters alike, but these homemade xylitol-sweetened bars bring them back. GET THE RECIPE Xylitol Canada
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Granola SquaresFilled with peanut butter, chocolate, peanuts and peanut butter chips, these no-bake treats fall squarely in the "dessert" category. But if a sweet treat is what your afternoon slump calls for, they're slightly healthier than their store bought counterparts, so justify away! GET THE RECIPEThe Loop