No Bake Superfood Energy Bars
Easy no-bake energy bars made with a handful of natural ingredients like gluten-free oats, flax meal, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. These delicious bars make such a great plant based snack or breakfast on the go.
I love stocking my fridge with homemade energy balls and bites. You may have noticed… I’ve already shared a few favorites: Nut-Free Energy Balls, Trail Mix Energy Balls, Cacao Almond Bliss Balls, Cookie Dough Balls, and Raw Brownie Bars. I love having these easy grab-and-go snacks for before or after the gym, an afternoon snack, or when there’s no time for breakfast. Yummy Hubby has long been a lover of energy bars. Rather than spending more money on store-bought bars that are often quite processed, I prefer to make them at home whenever possible. And also, why can I never cut bars into equal, straight, squares?! You’d think it wouldn’t be that difficult.
These no-bake energy bars made with superfoods like flax, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries are delicious for snacking, breakfast, and life on-the-go. For a school-friendly, nut-free version, simply use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. These no-bake granola bars are easy to make, hearty, satisfying, just sweet enough, with a little crunch. If you like granola bars, you’ll love these.
I’ve been trying to add more flax and pumpkin seeds into our diets lately. Flax is a great plant-based source of Omega-3s, and since I’ve been adding flax (in oil or seed form) to Yummy Hubby’s smoothies for the past several months, we have actually noticed some health benefits. Pumpkin seeds or pepitas, are a good source of zinc, so I’ve been keeping a jar around for snacking and adding to salads. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this here before, but a few months ago I started using a nutrition app called Cronometer. I was getting nearly all the recommended vitamins and minerals daily, but noticed zinc was one I wasn’t getting enough of. Enter pumpkin seeds. Tracking micronutrients for even a week is an interesting experiment.
When I first started making homemade energy balls and bars, I used a bowl and spoon to mix everything together. I’ve discovered though, that using a food processor just slightly chops the ingredients and helps everything stick together more easily. It’s also super quick and easy.
These homemade energy bars come together in under 5 minutes with just a few pulses of the food processor. Press the dough firmly into a pan and refrigerate until very chilled and firm. If you prefer bite-sized balls, you can absolutely use this recipe to make energy balls instead. I haven’t decided if I prefer energy balls or bars. What you you think? Be sure to store these bars in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.
- 1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
- 1/2 cup flax meal
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- pinch of pink or sea salt to taste
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the oats, flax meal, peanut butter, vanilla, and maple syrup a few times just until combined. Add the pepitas, chocolate, and cranberries and pulse again a couple of times until just mixed in.
- Line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Press the energy bar mix into the bottom very firmly. I find it helps to use the back of a cup to really pack it in. I like to sprinkle just a tiny bit of salt on top.
- Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least an hour. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
*I do my best to calculate approximate nutrition information for my readers who like it. However, I can't guarantee accuracy as I'm not a nutritionist and I use a third party site. If your health depends on nutrition information, please use your favorite calculator to re-calculate.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219 Saturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 21g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 11g Protein: 7g