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Healthy Homemade Granola Energy Bars

Author:

Kim is a board-certified holistic health coach, healthy living and cleanse consultant, and studied under Dr. Andrew Weil and Walter Willet.

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Healthy Energy Bar Recipe

If you're an avid runner or an exercise nut, you might appreciate an energy bar that not only curbs your hunger but also gives you a boost of energy to run that extra mile or do a few more extra push ups. If you hate to exercise, don't press the "back" button just yet. This energy bar is still a lovely treat for you. Loaded with antioxidants and energy-boosting ingredients, these are the perfect bars to snack on. Take them to the office or stash them in your kid's lunchbox.

Did you know that commercial energy bars are loaded with artificial ingredients and too much sugar? I wish someone had warned me about them when I was younger. Energy bars are marketed as a “healthy meal” in a bar packed with energy. The only problem is that most energy bars on the market are full of mystery ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup, poor quality fats, and preservatives. Those same ingredients may be the culprit in causing diseases in the long run.

Almonds provide a great source of energy!

Almonds provide a great source of energy!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup almonds (or other nut), chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, dried fruit, or dark chocolate chips, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the rolled oats, flax seeds, sesame seed, and almonds. Spread them evenly on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Toast for about 15-30 minutes until golden. Be sure to stir occasionally so it doesn't burn.
  2. n a large bowl, put vanilla, honey, butter (or coconut oil) and brown sugar. Microwave for 1 minute until it slightly boils and the sugar is dissolved.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sea salt, coconut, cinnamon, and dried cranberries.
  4. When the oat mixture is finished toasting, add it to the coconut mixture and stir.
  5. Add honey mixture and stir.
  6. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with waxed paper (or spray with Pam). Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press to create a smooth surface. Place another piece of waxed paper (saran paper works fine too) on top and press down tightly until it's even.
  7. Place pan in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to cool completely. Use a knife to cut into bars.
  8. Enjoy!

Benefits of Ingredients in This Recipe

Almonds contain potassium and iron; both are essential in maintaining energy levels

In general, nuts can give you a healthy energy boost and have some nutritional benefits:

  • Nuts have protein, a great source of sustained energy.
  • Nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which provides energy to the muscles and organs.
  • Nuts help lower LDL ("bad" cholesterol).

Flax seeds provide one of the only non-animal sources of omega-3 and omega-6. These fats are necessary for tissue growth, cell renewal, and the proper metabolism of all body cells.

Sesame seeds are small yet pack a powerful punch full of beneficial nutrients. They are very high in copper, magnesium, and calcium. Magnesium is essential for your cells to convert food into energy.

Coconut oil and coconut meat are packed with nutrients and fats that give our body increased energy.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Kim Lam

Comments

Meghan on January 20, 2020:

These taste so good but is anyone else having issues with indigestion I’m wondering if there is an ingredient I can eliminate and not lose the taste that is causing it thanks

Diana Abrahamson on February 22, 2016:

Great recipe..must definitely try this healthy option for a snack!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 23, 2015:

Great hub Kim. I would love to try this energy bar recipe someday, since I've been something of an exercise nut lately. Voted up for useful!

Joe from north miami FL on June 18, 2014:

I'm going to have to give it a try, it looks better then the store bought stuff.

2jjmom9902 on January 29, 2014:

I used 1/2 the honey and substituted with peanut butter and added an additional 1/4 cup agave in the raw. OH my!! They were delicious. I also threw in chia seeds to the mix. Excellent!

Kim Lam (author) from California on January 01, 2014:

You're welcome! Hope you like it! xx

Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on December 30, 2013:

Such a delicious treat. I have loved granola bars for a long time. Much better eating these. Thanks for the great recipe.

pat098@yahoo.com on September 10, 2013:

yummy!!!

Kim Lam (author) from California on January 28, 2013:

Awesome, I'll try hemp seeds next time...thanks! It's funny...sometimes I break them all up into crumbs anyway and just sprinkle on my yogurt. Please share and rate the recipe! thanks and take care! ;-)

Shay on January 28, 2013:

They turned out amazing, the hemp seeds give it such a nice taste! They held together amazingly, a little crumby around the edges, but i can't complain because now i have a bag of granola too!! I used a little more that prescribed of the coconut oil and a pinch more honey. i didn't use any salt (the pumpkin seeds were lightly salted) and i used dried cherries and coconut flakes.. Lets just say i cannot wait to wake up to goto class tomorrow! thank you so much for your recipe!

Kim Lam (author) from California on January 28, 2013:

Hi Shay- I've tried pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds (both are awesome!) and black poppy seeds (not a fan). I haven't tried hemp seeds yet although it does have that nutty taste. Let me know how that works out! Oh, and also coconut flakes are yummy too!

Shay on January 28, 2013:

Hi curious... I'm going to use hemp seeds instead of sesame seeds....well see what happens I guess! I also am going to try coconut oil instead of butter. My question is...for next time any better replacement for sesame? I'm not allergic but they all may contain nuts, which I am allergic to

Kim Lam (author) from California on January 27, 2013:

Hi Rachel! Oh yeahhh blueberries are awesome. This is definitely a "starter" recipe and can me modified in so many ways. You'd be surprised to find some of the things I find in my pantry. Chocolate chips, etc... Thanks for stopping by! Please share with friends and family! :-)

Rachel on January 25, 2013:

These were super easy and delicious. My favorite part was snacking on the warm and sweet mixture before letting it set in the fridge. I left out sesame seeds and replaced them with chia seeds. i also modified the recipe and used dried blueberries, and used a combo of sunflower seeds and sliced almonds. DELICIOUS!!! I can't believe I've been purchasing granola bars for so long.

Kim Lam (author) from California on January 20, 2013:

Yes, but you probably shouldn't heat it up with the mixture. Let me know how it goes!

Jennj on January 20, 2013:

can I substitute peanut butter for the coconut oil?

shannon Griggs on January 11, 2013:

Anyone have any idea in how many weight watcher points these would be? And the serving size? Thanks!

Kim Lam (author) from California on January 07, 2013:

Thanks KA, hope you like them!

Kim Anne from Texas on January 07, 2013:

Pinned ya! Can't wait to try these! They look great!

Kim Lam (author) from California on December 18, 2012:

lemonkerdz and Kris- I appreciate your comments, and thank you for stopping in. You're absolutely right...you can add almost any ingredient to customize it. So easy and yummy!

lemonkerdz from LIMA, PERU on December 18, 2012:

Love the idea of these very healthy bars. Sometimes its hard to get up and have a full breakfast. We find a healthy bar is enough to get the day started. You can add almost anything to these. Thanks. Will share.

Kris Heeter from Indiana on November 28, 2012:

These sound yummy. I'm going to have to give these a try to I'm glad you mentioned the coconut oil as an alternative to butter. Thanks!

Kim Lam (author) from California on August 25, 2012:

Hi Karyn, coconut oil is definitely more healthy. I just used more of it and stored it in the refrigerator, instead of on the counter. Thanks for stopping by!

KARYN HEITSCHMIDT on August 25, 2012:

I made these and they are delicious, but I used the coconut oil in place of butter and they DO NOT stay together at all. I like the benefits of the coconut oil so do not want to use butter. Any suggestions for helping them stay together better.

Kalaitha on July 03, 2012:

Great recipe! I do suggest milling the flax seeds immediately prior to making the bars to make sure you fully benefit from the goodness flax provides :)

Nneka Russell on June 18, 2012:

I just made a batch and they are AWESOME! however i realized that i accidentally left out the flax seed! Next time i will definitely make sure to put it in. But even w/o it, they are amazing! Husband approves, and so do i! thank you so much! I'm going to start experimenting with different flavors, including peanut butter (using PB2). Also I used Stevia in place of the brown sugar and I didn't have any bad effects (sometimes the Stevia does weird stuff if heated). I will be back to let you know the results of my experimenting adventures! thanks again so much!!!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 16, 2012:

Thanks Shema! It's a good idea to substitute coconut shavings....mmm, one of my favorite healthy ingredients. I'm glad you found a suitable replacement to cut back the ratio of sesame seeds. :-)

Shema on June 15, 2012:

Great recipe, thanks! Enjoyed making it, added wheatgerm & coconut shavings too, I will limit the sesame seeds next time as I found it overpowering the other flavours. Cheers

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on April 04, 2012:

Bigezine.com has stolen this recipe hub at http://lifestyle.bigezine.com/best-homemade-health... You need to file a complaint so they will remove it from their site.

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 30, 2012:

Hi Susan, thank you for the compliment. It took me awhile to get used to cooking with coconut oil too. Now I'm absolutely hooked on it!

Peter Allison from Alameda, CA on March 28, 2012:

Thanks for posting - this looks awesome!

susanm23b on March 28, 2012:

These look so yummy! I love recipes with oatmeal. I was glad to see you discussed the coconut oil. I read an article about it being very healthy and bought some but haven't used it yet. Great photo! Voted up :)

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 27, 2012:

Thanks Debbie- I hope you get a chance to make them soon!

Cookware Liss- Thank you for visiting and voting!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 27, 2012:

Vespa- I'm so excited to hear that you enjoyed the granola bars! Thank you so much for coming back to let me know!

Cheers to healthy eating!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 27, 2012:

Aww Nare, you're sweet... thanks! I voted for your nugget nomination. Did the results come in yet?

CookwareBliss from Winneconne, WI on March 26, 2012:

Great idea! I enjoyed your hub, voted up and useful.

Thanks for SHARING!

Debbie Roberts from Greece on March 26, 2012:

These granola bars do look and sound really good, the nice thing about making energy bars is knowing exactly what goes into them.

A nice recipe, voted up and yummy!!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 26, 2012:

Just an update...I am SUPER impressed with this recipe! I made the bars yesterday and they were easy and delicious. These are all staple ingredients in my kitchen, so the bars are sure to become a regular part of our breakfast routine. I especially like the healthy addition of flax seed. Thanks again!

Nare Gevorgyan on March 26, 2012:

Your hubs are always fascinating :) I mean you give clear directions and that's awesome. Thanks, I will try this one!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 25, 2012:

vespa- You'd be surprised to know how EASY this recipe is. The ingredients are flexible too! Enjoy!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 25, 2012:

These bars looks wonderful and easy to make, too. I plan to try them soon. Thank you once again for an awesome hub.