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Homemade Energy Bars

Kelsey Hilts with a nutrient-dense snack that can satisfy any sweet tooth craving.
By Kelsey Hilts

Banana Oat Energy Bars

I’m not really sure what to call these bars.  They are a cross between a granola bar, muffin and energy bar.  They are a nutrient-dense snack but they satisfy a cookie and overall sweet tooth craving.  I have been making them for almost a year now and each time they are slightly different.

It all started with an experiment making chocolate oatmeal cookies with half peanut butter and half Greek yogurt instead of the butter.  I gradually started reducing the amount of peanut butter and increasing the yogurt, reducing the sugar and chocolate chips, substituting whole wheat flour and wheat germ and adding flax seed, banana, and a laundry list of other ingredients.  From these bars came my pumpkin oat bars.  And another favorite flavor of mine: white chocolate Craisin.

They have given me energy for my daily activities, lack of sleep from having a baby, and overall keeping up with an energetic three year-old who now has a busy baby brother.  And they are healthy snacks for my boys, too!  {My three-year old likes to eat them with a spoon when they are still soft and gooey, right out of the oven.}

I prefer to use Greek yogurt for the extra protein but I’ve also made them many times with low-fat plain yogurt.  I have included two of my family’s favorite versions of my base recipe, from which I add and subtract depending on which ingredients I have.  {I’ve used peanut butter, applesauce, pumpkin, banana, coconut, M&M’s, whole peanuts, chopped pecans, etc.}

White Chocolate Craisin Energy Bars

Homemade Energy Bars
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
These bars are a cross between a granola bar, muffin and energy bar. They are a nutrient-dense snack but they satisfy a cookie and overall sweet tooth craving. Every time I make them they are a little different but here are two of my favorite versions.
Author:
Recipe Type: Snack
Serves: 24
Ingredients
Banana Oat Energy Bars
  • ½ cup (63g) wheat germ
  • ¾ cup (97g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp (4g) baking soda
  • 1 cup (120g) low-fat plain Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
  • ½-3/4 cup (100-150g) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (115g) mashed banana, (roughly 1 large banana)
  • 1 tsp (5mL) vanilla
  • 3 cups (241g) oats
  • 3 Tbsp (30g) flax seeds
  • ⅓ cup (60g) dark chocolate chips, optional
White Chocolate Craisin Oat Energy Bars
  • ½ cup (63g) wheat germ
  • ¾ cup (97g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp (4g) baking soda
  • 1 cup (120g) low-fat plain Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
  • ½-3/4 (100-150g) cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (90g) unsweetened applesauce or pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp (5mL) vanilla
  • 3 cups (241g) oats
  • 3 Tbsp (30g) flax seeds
  • ⅓ cup (60g) white chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup (50g) Craisins
Instructions
Banana Oat Energy Bars
  1. Beat the yogurt, sugar, eggs, mashed banana and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  2. Gradually add the whole wheat flour, wheat germ and baking soda.
  3. Stir in the flax seed, oats and then the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into a foil-lined 9 x 13-inch pan and a foil-lined 8 x8-inch pan {or two 9×13 inch pans for slightly thinner bars}, spreading it with a spatula to make it an even thickness.
  5. Cook the bars for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees or until the top of the bars starts to turn light golden brown and springs back to the touch but being careful not to overbake them to ensure that they stay moist in the center. They will set a little bit as they cool.
  6. Let the bars cool in the pan for ten minutes and then cut them into bars or use a cookie cutter to cut them into shapes.
White Chocolate Craisin Oat Energy Bars
  1. Beat the yogurt, sugar, eggs, applesauce and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  2. Gradually add the whole wheat flour, wheat germ and baking soda.
  3. Stir in the flax seed, oats and then the white chocolate chips and Craisins.
  4. Pour the batter into a foil-lined 9 x 13-inch pan and a foil-lined 8 x8-inch pan {or two 9×13 inch pans for slightly thinner bars}, spreading it with a spatula to make it an even thickness.
  5. Cook the bars for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees or until the top of the bars starts to turn light golden brown and springs back to the touch but being careful not to overbake them to ensure that they stay moist in the center. They will set a little bit as they cool.
  6. Let the bars cool in the pan for ten minutes and then cut them into bars or use a cookie cutter to cut them into shapes.

 

Kelsey Hilts

Kelsey Hilts

Kelsey Hilts is the founder of Itsy Bitsy Foodies, an online resource for families looking for ways to spend more time together enjoying food and exploring the world beyond the children’s menu.

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Originally Published: May 8, 2012

5 Responses to Homemade Energy Bars

  1. Nancy Reply

    May 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I cannot Thank-you enough! Great recipe that even my boys can put together when they want a healthy tasty snack.

  2. Energy bar Reply

    June 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Delicious sounding bars. The greek yogurt for added protein is a very unique addition–these things probably are super soft even after cooling. Like bars, energy balls can be delicious and nutritious too (my little kid loves the CocoNutz Fuel I came up with).

  3. Anonymous Reply

    July 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    try kefir instead of yogurt, its even healthier, if you can believe it! (^_^)

  4. Liz Reply

    March 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    These look fantastic! Quick question though : how well do they keep? Do you keep them at room temperature or in the fridge? I’m looking for something I can make a big batch of, then grab from as needed!

    • Kelsey Hilts

      Kelsey Hilts | Itsy Bitsy Foodies Reply

      March 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Liz, I keep them at room temperature in a sealed container or in the original pan covered with plastic wrap. In my family they usually don’t make it more than a few days, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t last a week or more (similar to cookies stored in a sealed container).

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