How many of you have got something along the lines of ‘start working out more' on your list of new years resolutions for 2018? I know I have, and it's pretty high up on it. I aim to get up that hour or so earlier in the morning and start doing some exercise before going to work.
My issue, however, is that I can't exercise on either a full or empty stomach, I need a small snack that will give me the boost I need without filling me up to the point where I can't move. That's where energy bars come in. They're often the perfect size and are designed to give you the energy you need for exercise.
There are of course hundreds of energy bars of all flavors and varieties on the shelves of stores, but why splash out when you can make your own at home? You can pick your favorite flavors, and even make multiple different batches to have on the go at once, without breaking the bank.
Powerful Energy Bar Recipes
1. Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars
Apple and cinnamon is one of my absolute favorite flavor combinations, mostly because it reminds me of a warm, spiced winter apple pie. It's also a combination I will often add to my porridge in the mornings, so I just know that these Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars would go down a treat.
The dates and apples act as natural sweeteners in this recipe, so they are entirely healthy and packed full of goodness. I like the consistency the dates give to the bars, as there is nothing worse than a dry, crumbly energy bar in my opinion.
2. Cranberry Coconut Energy Bars
I am a big fan of flapjacks, and that what these Cranberry Coconut Energy Bars remind me of, apart from they look even better.
I will admit that these include sugar and syrup, so they're not exactly an incredibly health-conscious option, but they would be perfect as a snack throughout the day, or a little treat in your kids' lunchbox. They're incredibly easy to make, and apart from the melting of the ingredients, there is no cooking involved. You could easily swap out the coconut and cranberries to customize these bars too.
3. Savory Energy Bars
I don't think I have ever seen savory energy bars in stores, nor have I ever even considered that they might be a thing. I certainly love my sweet treats, but not everyone does, and come to think of it, it would be nice to have the option of sweet or savory.
These aren't something you would feel a bit wary about giving to your kids as a snack, as they are packed full of proteins and vitamins. I love my cheesy bites, so the fact that cheese is a predominantly central flavor here is getting my mouth watering.
4. Matcha Green Tea Fudge Protein Bars
Now, these Matcha Green Tea Fudge Protein Bars sound more like a dessert to me than a healthy pick-me-up, and I am all about that. My brain needs to be tricked into eating healthily sometimes.
If the intriguing green color of these protein bars doesn't draw you to them, then their attractive list of ingredients will. This is an excellent way of getting the health benefits of matcha green tea into your diet if you aren't a fan of drinking it straight. There are a lot of vanilla based ingredients in there too, which is one of both my favorite flavors and scents, so I can imagine the smell of these would be just divine.
5. Superfood Energy Bars
I will come clean and say I did not know what the term ‘superfood' actually referred to until not too long ago, I just knew that it was a good thing. For anyone else who is confused, it is a broad term for foods which contain a very high level of much-needed vitamins and minerals.
These Superfood Energy Bars sound like the perfect thing to give you an energy boost at any time of the day. All those seeds and nuts that are packed in there could potentially put some people off, but fear not, they also include cocoa nibs and coconut flakes so that the flavor will be far from dull.
6. Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Bars
You really can't go wrong with these Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Bars, with that classic flavor combination and those flecks of pink berries running through them.
They are entirely vegan and vegetarian-friendly, so you could offer the snack to anyone you know. The method pretty much requires you to whizz all the ingredients up in a blender, and even I can't claim to be incapable of doing that. As well as the peanut butter, the recipe uses whole peanuts, which would intensify that flavor and give the bars a bit of needed crunchy texture.
7. Raspberry Chai Breakfast Bars
These Raspberry Chai Breakfast Bars get all their sweetness from their natural ingredients, like honey, raspberries, and dates. This makes them a perfect way to start the day.
They look almost like toast and jam, and I love the vibrant pink color that the raspberry gives to them. Because of the jam element, I am not sure how easy they would be to pack and eat on the go, but they would be so incredibly convenient to have on the go in the house for a rushed breakfast or quick sweet fix.
8. Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars
With the layer of chunky nuts and seeds on top, you can tell that these Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars are going to be incredibly good for you just by looking at them.
Again, you can't go wrong with something that mimics a dessert, and pumpkin pie is most certainly no exception. With those yummy pumpkin pie spices and cinnamon running through it, along with the flavored protein which you can pick to match your preferences, I can imagine these tasting like the perfect guilt-free version of one of my favorite desserts. I haven't seen any energy bars with a flavor like this in stores, so it would be something different to try.
9. Chocolate Quinoa Protein Bars
I can't say that I have experimented too much with quinoa in my time, but the recipe for these Chocolate Quinoa Protein Bars looks pretty simple to follow, so maybe that would be a good place to start.
Although I am not sure, I can imagine these would have an almost flapjack like texture, and I am eager to try them out. I am an absolute sucker for chocolate, so the fact that these have vegan chocolate in them would help me to get that fix in a much healthier way. Because there are so many things that go well with chocolate, I am sure you could add some extras to this recipe, like some dried fruit or chunks of nuts.
10. Three Ingredient Energy Bars
Anything with a title like ‘three ingredients…' or ‘four ingredients…' always catches my eye instantly. As much as I would like to, I don't have bucketloads of time on my hand to be trying to mix and match hundreds of fancy ingredients I have never heard of in the hopes of making something edible.
Nuts, dried fruit, and dates, that's all you need for these Three Ingredient Energy Bars, and I bet they would be just as delicious as something with three more ingredients. I think it would be nice to use a mixture of different dried fruit in this recipe, like apricots and sultanas. You could play around with different combinations until you find a winner.
11. No-Grain Apricot Energy Bars
Apricots are my favorite type of dried fruit, so I like the sound of these No-Grain Apricot Energy Bars. I have never been the biggest fan of almonds by themselves, but blended up with other nuts, as they are here, makes them sound delicious.
I like that these bars are baked because not many are and I think it just makes them that little bit different. The ingredients used are so simple, yet packed full of goodness, which I think is essential for an energy bar that you might want to eat before or after exercising.
12. Dark Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars
Not everyone loves dark chocolate, but I most definitely do, and it is a serious plus that it is far better for you than other, more sugary chocolates.
The fact that these Dark Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars have sea salt in them is such a selling point for me, as dark chocolate and sea salt is my favorite type of chocolate bar to treat myself with. I think these bars could be delicious with some chopped dried fruit mixed in through them, making them resemble a kind of healthier rocky road snack.
13. Blueberry Millet-Quinoa Snack Bars
I had to look up what millet was when I found this recipe, and it is a grain used in cereals and other foods. These Blueberry Millet-Quinoa Snack Bars look a bit different to a lot of others I have looked at, which I like, and blueberries are both good for you and so delicious.
They are described to be chewy, with an almost caramel-like mixture holding them together, which I think sounds so unique and interesting. The list of health benefiting ingredients is long, so even though they would taste sweet, you'd be doing yourself some good by chowing down on them.
14. Gluten Free Energy Bars
I don't eat gluten-free and still, love the look of these Gluten Free Energy Bars. This recipe and its ingredients are incredibly easy to personalize, which is something that I love. Not only does this mean that you can pick your favorite additions and flavors, but you can also just have this one base recipe up your sleeve and use it as many times as you want.
This recipe makes a large number of bars, which is perfect for a family home or even just for someone who loves a bit of advanced snack preparation.
15. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Raw Bars
I cannot begin to count the number of times in my life that I have sat and watched my granny bake cookies, no matter how long it took, just so that I could lick the bowl and spoon once she was done. What is it about raw cake batter and cookie dough that is just so delicious?
These Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Raw Bars look undeniably delicious, especially with those huge chunks of chocolate chips running through them. There are very few ingredients which makes them so easy to make, and you might even have them in the house already, meaning one less trip to the store.
16. Pistachio, Apricot and Dark Chocolate Energy Bars
This combination of ingredients sounds like something you'd find in a fancy cookie in a posh little bakery, and I am far from against that.
The base of this Pistachio, Apricot and Dark Chocolate Energy Bar recipe is quite similar to a flapjack, although it uses maple syrup instead of golden syrup, which helps on the health side of things. You could of course swap the pistachio for another type of nut or the apricot for a different kind of dried fruit, but I think the combination they have come up with here sounds delicious, and the dark chocolate would give it that chocolatey flavor without being overly sweet.
17. Maca Energy Bars
Maca is another weird and wonderful healthy ingredient that I had to do a bit of research on when first saw it. It is a root which is likened a bit to caffeine, in the sense that it helps to deal with stress levels and increases stamina.
There is not one, not two, not even three, but five Maca Energy Bar recipes here, which is a treat in itself. The flavor combinations are fascinating, more so than I expected I have to admit, with things like lemon-lime and gingerbread. The method for making all the different bars is the same, only the ingredients change, so it would be an easy one to remember and pull out whenever needed.
18. Date and Nut Energy Bites
The way that these Date and Nut Energy Bites are rolled into a cylinder and then sliced made them catch my eye. I know that you could use that technique with most energy bars if the mixture were strong enough, but I hadn't seen it before, so I liked it.
The energy bites themselves look absolutely packed full of fruit and nuts, which you can see clearly because of the way they're cut. I can imagine that the texture of these would be very enjoyable. Many energy bars are all one soft texture, but these would have a bit of a chew to them with the chunks of nut inside.
19. Mint Chocolate Protein Bars
These Mint Chocolate Protein Bars look kind of like little slices of cake, and I most certainly love cake. I have never actually been the biggest fan of mint chocolate as a flavor, whether it be in a chocolate bar or ice cream, but I am still really eager to give these a try.
Because of the other ingredients, I feel like the mint flavor wouldn't be too strong, but instead a nice hint of peppermint. The consistency looks nice and sturdy, so they would be easy to cut and store, which is always a big plus for me.
20. Lemon Coconut Chia Energy Balls
Lemon and coconut go so well together and are bound to make any snack taste fresh and summery. Another massively attractive aspect of this recipe is that you only need to use one bowl, so there is next to no washing up.
These Lemon Coconut Chia Energy Balls can last in a refrigerator for up to a month, although there is no way that there would be any left to last that long in my house. The zesty lemon flavor would make you forget you were eating loads of healthy ingredients like chia seeds and almonds, a perfect way to get some goodness into your kids' snacks.
21. Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats
I know what you're thinking, these are neither healthy nor particularly filling. That's what I thought at first too, but we were wrong, and you definitely shouldn't knock these Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats before you try them.
With the removal of marshmallows and the addition of peanut butter and protein powder, this really is an energy inducing alternative for the classic treat. As an added bonus, I can't think of a more natural way of tricking kids into eating something that is better for them than they know.
22. Carrot Cake Protein Balls
Carrot cake is one of my favorite flavors of cake, with all those yummy spices and amazingly moist texture. It also counts as one of your five a day right?
There are some absolutely delicious ingredients in this Carrot Cake Protein Ball recipe, like applesauce, cinnamon, coconut, and I am so desperate to try them out. The mixture looks precisely like that of a real carrot cake, so I can imagine the texture might be close too, but a little denser. Each cute little bite contains a nice little burst of protein, and these would be the perfect snack to have at the office.
23. Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars
Pretty much everyone loves peanut butter, and pretty much everyone loves pretzels, so these Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars are bound to go down a treat. When I was doing hikes with school when I was younger, my mum always used to insist on giving me hundreds of peanut butter sandwiches for energy.
These bars look like a nice mix of smooth and crunchy, without being dry and crumbly, which sounds like the perfect texture to me.
24. Ginger Vanilla Protein Crunch Bars
All the different textures in these Ginger Vanilla Protein Crunch Bars, make them sound like they would be so insane to bite into. You'd get the chew from the crystallized ginger, the softness from the dates and that crunch from the Corn Flakes.
Ginger is such a unique flavor and one that isn't celebrated enough in my opinion. A lot of people think it is harsh, and it can be, but little segments of crystallized ginger throughout something like this is just delicious. I can imagine using vanilla protein would add another yummy flavor to the mix too.
25. Fudge Brownie Chocolate Protein Bars
I am finding it hard to believe that these are actually energy bars, they look like something I would hide for myself and then feel entirely guilty for eating.
It's difficult to imagine what might be used as a replacement in this recipe to make these dessert-like Brownie Chocolate Protein Bars, and it is, in fact, black beans! I would never have guessed it either. The method is short and incredibly easy to follow, and they are baked exactly like regular brownies. I can't imagine these not going down well, and the ingredients are easy to source which is always a plus.
26. Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars
These Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars look a lot like something my mum used to buy for us when I was little, and I remember absolutely loving them. These are probably far healthier, however.
The addition of the raspberry powder is really smart, as it not only enhances the raspberry flavor in a natural way but also gives the bars that vibrant pink color. You can pretty much see all the ingredients that are in them which I think is really cool, and the texture of these bars look like they would be absolutely perfect for kids, with no big chunks or crumb issues.
Concluding Healthy Energy Bar Recipes
I can't say for sure whether or not my new years resolution to exercise more will last the whole of 2018, but I can say with far more confidence that my new homemade energy bar obsession will. After seeing just how many recipes there are out there I have been totally converted from store-bought to homemade.
Because of my undeniably sweet tooth there are quite a few of those dessert like energy bar recipes that I think I am going to have to try out first. The Carrot Cake Protein Balls are calling my name, and the Lemon Coconut Chai ones are going to have to be at least sampled.
Do you have a health-kick related new years resolution? Are any of the energy bar recipes on this list looking like they'll be making it into your handbag or lunchbox in the near future?