10 of the best homemade energy bars

Because who needs shop-bought snacks?

muesli bar treat

Laura Reid//Getty Images

Need a last-minute food fix? Homemade energy bars will sort you out a treat.

Whether you’re too short on time to make breakfast, you need an energy burst before your run or you’re searching for a healthy pick-me-up to enjoy with a brew, a homemade energy bar can tick the box on all fronts. Anna Halliday – founder of London restaurant and bar Hally’s – has created the following set of easy energy bar recipes for runners, so you’ll never need to reach for a shop-bought cereal bar again.

stack of wooden bowl with chia seeds and wooden spoon on woodWestend61//Getty Images


Chia-up coconut bar

Best for: Lifting energy, increasing antioxidants and boosting immunity

Makes: 16 bars

229kcals | 6.4g sat fat | 8g sugar


160g medjool dates (pitted), 150g desiccated coconut, 175g blanched almonds, 60g macadamias, 60g walnuts, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp wheatgrass powder, ½ tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp matcha powder

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until they form a dough. Line a tray, press the mixture in, smoothing over the surface. Sprinkle on the coconut. Freeze, cut into squares and store in the fridge.

The best bit: Compared with normal green tea, matcha has up to 137 times the concentration of the antioxidant EGCG. And you don’t even have to faff about with the kettle.

granola barsLauriPatterson//Getty Images


Mighty maca bar

Best for: Lifting energy, increasing antioxidants and boosting immunity

Makes: 10 bars

370kcals | 7.5g sat fat | 7.2g sugar


100g ground almonds, 100g sunflower seeds, 100g flax meal, 100g pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp maca powder, 90ml maple syrup, 60ml coconut oil, 75g almond butter, ½ tsp sea salt

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl. Put the wet ones in a pan on a low heat until melted, mixing well. Add the wet mix to the dry mix. Line a pan with baking paper. Spread in the mixture and pack down tight. Place in the fridge for an hour to set.

The best bit:

Maca powder is rich in the mineral copper, which is needed to help trigger the release of iron to form the haemoglobin that carries oxygen around the body.

heart shaped bowl with salted sunflower seedsBlanchi Costela//Getty Images


Sunflower power bar

Best for: Lifting energy, increasing antioxidants, boosting immunity

Makes: 24 bars

188kcals | 3g sat fat | 6g sugar


135g hazelnuts, 135g almonds, 50g sunflower seeds, 70g rolled oats, 5 medjool dates (pitted, soaked), 70g Brazil nuts, 55g pumpkin seeds, 55g sesame seeds, 2 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp quinoa puffs, 3 tbsp coconut oil, 3 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp maca powder, 90g goji berries

Set the oven to 100C. Put the hazelnuts and almonds in the oven for two minutes, adding the sunflower seeds midway. Blitz the oats, dates, nuts and seeds in a food processor. Add to a bowl with the other ingredients. Mix by hand, then press onto a tray. Freeze for an hour.

The best bit:

Goji berries are rich in vitamins A and C, vital for building immunity.

raw energy barsDorling Kindersley: William Reavell//Getty Images


Hunger-busting butter bar

Best for: Lifting energy and busting hunger

Makes: 10 bars

187kcals | 0.7g sat fat | 13.6g sugar


140g rolled oats, 115g almond butter, medjool dates (pitted), 2 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp flax meal, 60ml water

Grind the oats in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to form a dough. Line an 8x8in pan with baking paper, put the mixture in and press down. Chill the mixture in the fridge for about an hour, then cut.

The best bit:

Fact: scoffing one of these could help you to eat more healthily for the rest of the day. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that a mid-morning snack of almonds increases satiety and, in turn, encourage you to make healthier food choices.

bowl of dates on woodWestend61//Getty Images



Best for: Improving heart health

Makes: 10 bars

229kcals | 5g sat fat | 20g sugar


12 medjool dates (pitted), 200g chia seeds, 1 tsp raw cacao powder, 2 tsp cacao nibs, 4 tbsp coconut oil

Pulse the dates in a food processor until they form a paste. Mix in a bowl with the chia seeds, cacao nibs and oil to form a thick dough. Press into the bottom of a 20x20cm baking tray and cut into squares. Eat immediately for a more doughy treat or put in the freezer for an hour to achieve a chewier texture.

The best bit:

Dates pack a slow-release carb punch to keep you fuelled throughout your run. Plus, they contain vitamin B6, which helps to regulate mood, so you’ll be happy as you sweat.

homemade granola with nut mix in jar on wooden board on stone table background healthy foodAndriy Olkhovyy / 500px//Getty Images


Flax-your-muscles bar

Best for: Lifting energy and building muscle

Makes: 15 bars

150kcals | 4g sat fat | 8g sugar


65g flax meal, 65g hemp seed powder (or hemp protein), 140g rolled oats, 175g cranberries, 115ml coconut milk, 115g unsalted peanut butter, 175ml maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the dry stuff and chuck into a food processor. Stir the wet stuff in a bowl then combine with the dry ingredients. Line a baking dish with baking paper and spread the mixture evenly. Leave in the fridge overnight to set, then slice.

The best bit:

Both flax and hemp seeds are bursting with omega-3, which increases levels of muscle protein.

seasame seeds pouring from wooden scoop, close upWestend61//Getty Images


Soy-good bar

Best for: Lifting energy, boosting immunity and improving heart health

Makes: 10 bars

335kcals | 4.1g sat fat | 2g sugar


100g sesame seeds, 200g each sunflower and pumpkin seeds, 50g flaxseeds, 3 tbsp dark soy or tamari sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp wheatgerm

Heat the oven to 200C. Put the seeds in a bowl and stir in the soy and oil. Spread on a tray and toast in the oven at 200C for up to 10 minutes, until the pumpkin seeds are puffed. Leave to cool. Combine in a bowl with the honey and wheatgerm. Line a 20x20cm baking tray, put the mixture in and smooth down. Freeze, slice… You know the drill.

The best bit:

Wheatgerm is a good source of vitamin E, which can give your immunity a boost and help to keep your skin and eyes healthy.

three granola bars and ingredients on grey woodWestend61//Getty Images


Chocs-away energy bar

Best for: Lifting energy

Makes: 14 bars

416kcals | 14.7g sat fat | 15.5g sugar


400g sesame seeds, 175g raisins, 50g dried, shredded coconut, 65g flax meal, 115g tahini, 115g coconut oil, 120ml maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¾ tsp sea salt. For the topping: 2 tbsp each of coconut oil, maple syrup and raw cacao

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then fold in the rest. Press all that into a rectangular tray. Cover and freeze for an hour, then cut into slices. For the topping, melt the oil and syrup in a pan, add the cacao and mix until a thick liquid forms. Dip half of each bar in the chocolate. Cool, then refrigerate for an hour.

The best bit:

Epicatechin, a compound in cacao, can increase your energy levels. That’s something to get upbeat about!

spirulina in bowl and spoon full against woodJamie Grill//Getty Images


Supercharge spirulina bar

Best for: Lifting energy

Makes: 15 bars

244kcals | 6.3g sat fat | 3.3g sugar


400g sesame seeds, 100g ground almonds, 5 tbsp raw honey, 5 tbsp coconut oil, 4 tbsp spirulina

These are by far the easiest energy bars to make of the lot. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (setting aside some seeds for decoration), then spread firmly onto a small, lined baking tray. Scatter the remaining seeds on top and press in. Freeze for an hour and cut into squares. Stand back and admire your handiwork.

The best bit:

Sesame seeds are packed with magnesium, which is crucial for your body’s ability to turn food into energy. Teamed with the iron-rich spirulina, you’ve got a fatigue-fighting powerhouse here.

homemade muesli bars with oat flakes, dried apricot, plums, raisin served with a bottle of fresh milk, selective focus healthy eating healthy snackAnna Kurzaeva//Getty Images


Hearty breakfast bar

Best for: Lifting energy and improving heart health

Makes: 6 bars

350kcals | 4g sat fat | 8g sugar


140g rolled oats, 50g sunflower seeds, 100g pumpkin seeds, 30g each almonds and walnuts, chopped 50g dried cherries, chopped 3 ripe bananas, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cinnamon

Heat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20x20cm baking tray. In a bowl, mix the oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Blend the bananas, vanilla, salt and cinnamon until smooth. Pour this into the oat mixture, stir and press into the tray. Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool, then slice.

The best bit:

Start the day with one of these to keep your ticker in tip-top condition. Research has found that the oil in walnuts can help to reduce your risk of heart disease.

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