Homemade Energy Bars (Easy and Customizable Recipe) (2024)

These homemade energy bars are so easy to throw together, and they make such a healthy snack. The recipe is simple but delicious – no refined sugar or gluten here! With lots of fiber and protein-packed in, these bars will keep you feeling satisfied all day long, and I love having them on hand for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up.

Homemade Energy Bars (Easy and Customizable Recipe) (1)

These energy bars are wholesome but still tasty enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. Since they’re suitable for so many different diets, they’re perfect to keep around for snacking or to give as gifts.

And the best part is that these homemade energy bars are super easy on the stomach. We’re going old school today – back to the basics. It’s back to the fuel that took you through so many playground hours: applesauce!

Seriously, these homemade bars have become a staple in my kitchen. They provide long-lasting energy, and they’re just so easy to make! I highly recommend whipping up a batch to have on hand for busy days.

Quick Jump

Why Consider Making These Homemade Energy Bars

One of the drawbacks to many store bought energy bars is the super sweet taste.

And maybe you’ve tried energy bites, but they just aren’t big enough!

I’m a sugar lover, but for some reason, during a long hike, I don’t want 200 calories of overpowering sweetness hitting my taste buds. These cookies strike the perfect balance of having the healthy sugars we need to keep our muscles firing without an overly sweet taste.

Plus, in cookie size, you can decide just how much you need instead of feeling compelled to eat the prepackaged bar.

And what’s best is that they store really well! You can freeze them for up to three months. Simply pull one out and place it in a tiny ziploc bag, and let it thaw while you run or hike!

The best part is that they’re packed with nutrients and don’t have any chemicals or preservatives. I like having these around because they give me energy on busy days but aren’t just empty calories.

What Makes These Energy Bars Healthy?

​​As always, I like to share why these make such a great choice as a running fuel.


First applesauce is a great low-calorie carbohydrate with some fiber as well! You don’t need to digest it on the run. It’s simply ready-to-use fuel.

Cinnamon applesauce in this recipe helps to keep blood sugar levels stable or stick to the unsweetened mentioned above for only natural sugar.

Coconut Oil

We know that coconut oil has tons of great benefits for us, but in this cookie it’s a nice little way to add some satiety to your carbs and help them last longer. We also know it’s going to serve your heart by lowering LDL and improving your cardiac output!

Dairy and Gluten Free

These are the two most common digestive disruptive for athletes, so why not keep them out of your running fuel to ensure all is well?

Even if they don’t normally bother you, it’s possible to have issues during a run when there is less blood going to your digestion and your body is battling inflammation.

Hemp Seeds

This is the only “perfect plant protein” containing all 20 amino acids. It’s also a great source of Omega 3’s and 6’s, again to help keep our hearts happy.

The protein will help these light cookies to stick with you longer and the Omega’s will start your recovery before you even finish the workout.

Carob Chips

Besides being a great dairy free chocolate source, carob has some serious benefits!! It’s used for treating eh hem bathroom issues, so it’s great to prevent runners’ trots and improve digestion.

It’s high in vitamin E to help with getting over a gold and contains calcium to help strengthen those bones!

Homemade Energy Bars (Easy and Customizable Recipe) (2)

Ingredients to Make Homemade Energy Bars

Dry Mixture

  • Gluten-Free Oats: Oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. They offer a slow release of energy, keeping you fuller for longer.
  • Almond Flour: Almond flour is a fantastic gluten-free alternative to regular flour. It’s loaded with protein, Vitamin E, and magnesium. It’ll make your energy bars not only delicious but also nutritious.
  • Hemp Seeds: Known as a “perfect plant protein”, hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids. They are also a great source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.
  • Baking Soda & Baking Powder: These ingredients help the bars rise and give them a light, fluffy texture.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a warm, sweet flavor to the bars, and it’s also known to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Mini Carob Chips: These dairy-free chocolate alternatives are not only tasty but also beneficial for digestion and high in Vitamin E and calcium, strengthening your bones.

Wet Mixture

  • Nut Butter: Nut butter adds a creamy texture and a good dose of healthy fats and protein to your energy bars. You can use any you like best or have on hand, such as almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, or even tahini, which is a seed butter.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce: Applesauce is a great low-calorie carbohydrate. It adds moisture to the bars without extra fat or sugar.
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a healthy fat that adds satiety to your snack, helping you feel full longer. It’s also known to lower LDL cholesterol and improve heart health.
  • Honey: Honey adds a touch of natural sweetness to the bars. It’s also known for its antioxidant properties.
  • Vanilla NuStevia: This natural sweetener adds a hint of vanilla flavor and sweetness without the extra calories or sugar.
  • Egg or Flax Egg: An egg or a flax egg (to make it vegan) binds the ingredients together and adds a bit of protein to the bars.

Ingredient Substitutions

This recipe for homemade energy bars is incredibly flexible, so if you don’t have any of these ingredients feel free to use one of the substitutions I’ve mentioned down below:

  • Almond flour: You can substitute almond flour with other nut flours like cashew or hazelnut flour. For a nut-free option, try using sunflower seed flour.
  • Hemp seed: Chia seeds or flax seeds can be used in place of hemp seeds. They all provide a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
  • Carob chips: If you can’t find carob chips, dairy-free chocolate chips can be used as a substitute.
  • Nut butter: You can use any nut butter you like in this recipe. Almond butter, cashew butter, and sunflower seed butter are all great options.
  • Applesauce: You can substitute applesauce with mashed bananas or pumpkin puree for a different flavor.
  • Coconut oil: If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use another neutrally flavored oil like avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
  • Honey: For a vegan option, you can replace honey with maple syrup or agave nectar.

How to Make Homemade Energy Bars

Making these energy bars at home is super easy. Here’s how to make them step by step. For more detailed instructions, check out the recipe card at the end of this post.

Step 1: Preheat your oven

Start by preheating your oven to a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Prepare Your Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients thoroughly together.

Step 3: Prepare Your Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl or food processor, mix together all your wet ingredients.

Step 4: Combine Both Mixtures

Pour your dry mixture into the wet mixture. Use a spatula to fold and stir everything together until well combined.

Step 5: Shape the Bars

Using a cookie dough scoop or your hands, drop the mixture onto a 8 x 8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Flatten the mixture into a pan, unless you prefer a more rounded shape. These bars won’t spread or puff during baking, so it’s okay to press them down a bit.

Step 6: Bake the Bars

Place the baking dish in your preheated oven and bake for about 9 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook.

And that’s it! Your delicious homemade energy bars are ready!

Flavor Variation Ideas

The best thing about this homemade energy bar recipe is that you can customize them according to your preferences! Here are some fun variation ideas:

Chocolate-Peanut: Who doesn’t love the classic peanut butter and chocolate combo? You can add an extra chocolate punch by mixing in a handful of chocolate chips. The melty chocolate chips will create pockets of rich, chocolatey flavor throughout each bar. And they pair so nicely with any nut butter base, but especially peanut butter.

Extra Seeds: You can make these homemade energy bars even more nutritious by tossing in all kinds of seeds. I like using chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. They give a nice crunch and contain essential nutrients like omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin E. Seeds are a great addition since they pack nutrients but don’t change the texture or taste too much. I usually just sprinkle a tablespoon or two of whatever seeds I have into the mix.

Maple Pecan: If you want something perfect for fall and winter, use maple syrup instead of honey. The maple gives it a nice sweetness and warmth. I also like to throw in some chopped pecans which add delicious crunch and nuttiness. Pecans pair so nicely with maple. And add some vanilla extract into the wet mixture too – this little tweak makes the bars taste like the holidays in snack form.

Tropical Bars: You can also add some tropical dried fruits like pineapple, mango, and coconut. They will add a natural sweetness and chewy texture and also make it taste good. Just don’t go overboard with these since they contain a lot of natural sugars which aren’t as good for you in excess.

Extra Nuts: If you love nuts, feel free to add your favorites to the mixture! Cashews, almonds, peanuts, and walnuts all work great for this energy bar recipe. Plus, they’ll also add an additional healthy dose of protein and healthy fats.

Protein-Packed: Consider adding a scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder to boost the protein in these bars. They’ll keep you satiated for longer and also work great as a post-workout snack.

Add Granola: If you love an extra crunchy texture, try adding some of your favorite homemade granola into it. It’ll add extra flavor and texture to make it taste even more satisfying and turn them into homemade energy granola bars!

Tips for Making the Best Homemade Energy Bars

Choose Your Nut Butter Wisely: When making homemade energy bars, you’ll want to put some thought into which nut butter you use. Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter – they all have their own distinct flavor so pick the one you enjoy the most.

Don’t Skimp on the Oats: Gluten-free oats add great texture and nutrients like magnesium and potassium. Plus, they make the bars safe for people with dietary restrictions.

Get Creative with Dried Fruit and Nuts: Now comes the fun part – picking your mix-ins! Have fun adding your favorite dried fruits and nuts. I’m often times partial to almonds and peanuts for their crunchy protein. But pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds work great too! Their vitamin E and healthy fats take the bars to the next level.

Use Natural Sweeteners: To add just a touch of natural sweetness, drizzle in some honey or maple syrup. Not only do these sweeteners make the bars taste amazing, but they help bind all the ingredients together.

Line Your Baking Dish: Before packing your bars into the baking dish, line it with parchment paper. This makes the bars super easy to lift out after they firm up in the freezer.

Serving Ideas

These homemade energy bars are so versatile and handy! Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy them throughout the day:

Breakfast: If you sometimes tend to run late and end up grabbing an unhealthy option for breakfast, have one of these homemade energy bars instead! They also go great with a homemade protein.

Midday Snack: These bars are great to give you a boost of energy during the middle of the day.

Post-Workout or Run: One of my most favorite ways to enjoy it is, obviously, after a run! I take them right out of the freezer and pop them into a ziploc bag and take them with me. They thaw during the run and are ready for me by the time I’m done.

Dessert: These bars have also become my go-to dessert! They’re delicious and sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth without spiking my sugar levels too much.

How to Store Leftovers

You can easily store any leftovers you may have. In fact, that’s the whole point of this recipe! Make a big batch of them to enjoy for later.

You can keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. But an even better way of storing them is in the freezer!

Simply wrap each bar in parchment paper, place them in a ziplock bag, and store in the freezer. They can be kept frozen for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy one, just pull it out and let it thaw! And they’re ready to eat!

Print Recipe

Homemade Energy Bars

These homemade energy bars are so easy to throw together to make healthy snacks. Plus, they're dairy free and gluten-free, and you can customize the flavors.

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Cook Time9 minutes mins

Total Time19 minutes mins

Keyword: energy bars, homemade energy bars


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup almond flour (I used NuNaturals Green Banana Flour)
  • 1/2 cup hemp seed
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt (if you aren’t using them during runs use 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup mini carob chips dairy-free

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup nut butter any nut butter you like (almond butter, peanut butter, etc)
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Vanilla NuStevia to taste
  • 1 egg (large) OR 1 flax egg


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

  • In a separate bowl or using a food processor, stir or blend all the wet ingredients together.

  • Pour the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and carefully fold them together using a spatula.

  • Using a cookie dough scoop, place portions of the mixture onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. These won't expand much during baking, so feel free to flatten them if you prefer a less ball-shaped result.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 9 minutes.

  • For optimal freshness, store the energy bars in the refrigerator.

What’s your go to running fuel?

Have you ever made your own energy bars?

Looking for more runner nutrition ideas?

  • How to fuel a half marathon
  • Fueling long runs with whole foods
  • Common runner food mistakes

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