There’s a cheaper, easier, healthier, tastier alternative to the energy bars you buy at the store: make your own! We promise it’s a lot easier than you think and it’s also a heck of a lot healthier. Most DIY energy bars require a food processor, a few basic ingredients, and a little bit of imagination. Energy bars are a very easily customizable food, so figure out the flavors you love the most and adjust your ingredients accordingly.
1. Throw Some Dried Fruit, Seeds and Nuts in a Food Processor
Okay, so making homemade energy bars is a little more complicated than this – but not much. Think about the flavors you like and then see if you already have the ingredients to make those flavors come to life. Do you have dried peaches or mango in your pantry? What kind of nuts do you have on hand? You may not even need to go to the store to get started making your own energy bars. This Coconut Chia Energy Bar recipe is super quick and uses dates, cashews, dried apricots and cherries, unsweetened shredded coconut, and chia seeds. Don’t like cashews? Swap them for another nut. Ditto for the fruit. Energy bars are very customizable, so make them how you want to make them.
2. Turn Your Dessert Craving into an Energy Bar Craving
If you’re the type of person who always craves a sweet treat in the afternoon, homemade energy bars can be an excellent way to give into the craving in a healthy way. Back away from the candy bar and make your own chocolate-flavored energy bar instead. These Chocolate, Cashew and Almond Raw Energy Bars are decadent without relying on white flour or refined sugar. Eat a candy bar and you’ll want another candy bar. Eat a homemade energy bar and you’ll be perfectly satisfied.
3. Look to Breakfast as a Source of Inspiration
There’s something wonderful and cozy about oatmeal, but there are times when you want more crunch and texture for your morning meal. Enter energy bars that combine rolled oats with nut butter and you’ll get the best of both worlds. Make these Gluten-Free Almond Oatmeal Protein Bars Sunday night and enjoy them for breakfast all week long.
4. Reenergize Tea Time
Take the flavors of your favorite coffee or tea and infuse your energy bars for a unique snack. The flavors are subtle but still tasty, so you’ll enjoy a sweet treat without overwhelming your senses. These Chamomile Ginger Lemon Raw Energy Bars are begging to be made alongside a cup of tea or coffee for your next midday break.
5. Think About the Ingredients that will Fuel Your Workouts
The protein in peanuts helps to control hunger and rebuild muscles. Brown rice cereal and oats offer fuel and replenishment. Dark chocolate delivers antioxidants and flavonols. Put all these ingredients together and you have the perfect snack to either fuel a workout or recover afterward. Check out this recipe for EatingWell Energy Bars.