These energy bars are Paleo/Primal, but while they contain no added sugar they are very sweet and high in carbs…. that is what makes them great at providing a huge amount of energy. They would make a fantastic post-workout snack when you want to replenish your glycogen stores. They also make a great grab-and-go breakfast for those days when you are running late and need to eat on your way to work.
They also make a great sweet treat for the kids, and are perfect to put in a lunch box.
For these I added some of Buzz Honey‘s bee pollen which is supposed to be very good for you. That is a totally optional ingredient that can be left out if you don’t have any bee pollen. Don’t use it if you are allergic to bees or pollen though… I would hate for you to have an allergic reaction to it!
Because these contain nuts and chia seeds, they are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.
Homemade Energy Bars
makes approx 16-18
2 cups date puree or pitted whole dates
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
2 tbsp bee pollen (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
I used a pitted date puree, but whole dates would work just fine. This is the brand of dates that I use, which I buy from Basha Foods.
Just read the ingredients to make sure that there is no extra sugar squeezed in there – dates are sweet enough as it is!
All you do is pile all your ingredients into a food processor and pulse it until everything is finely chopped and evenly mixed. By the time it is chopped enough, it should come together as a kind of paste.
It won’t be perfectly smooth. A few chunks of nuts are OK.
Press it into a 9×9″ pan (I am using a silicone one here because it makes it easier to turn out at the end. if you use a metal pan line it with foil to allow for easy removal.)
Chill overnight in the fridge before cutting into bars. I cut it in half and then into approximately 1″ thick bars, giving me between 16 and 18 in total.
Store in the fridge as they tend to soften at room temperature and become very sticky.
You could make any number of variations of these bars… adding cocoa nibs or cocoa powder (or even chocolate chips!) would give them a chocolatey taste.
I have added ground coffee (1-2 tbsp seems right) in the past, which gives it a subtle coffee flavour not to mention the caffeine hit.
You could use other seeds in place of the chia seeds – sesame or flax seeds would work well as would pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Other nuts can be substituted for the almonds and other nut butters for the almond butter.
And of course any dried fruit could be used. I would keep the dates to about 50% of the total dried fruit though as they provide the necessary texture to hold it all together.