These Superfood Pecan Energy Bars were created in partnership with the American Pecan Council. All opinions are our own.
Wondering how to make homemade energy bars? This superfood pecan energy bar recipe is 100% kid approved and the perfect wholesome snack recipe.
Wholesome snacks is a topic Alex and I get asked about a lot. Now that we have a toddler, we think about it a lot too! These homemade pecan energy bars are our newest invention for nutritious snacking. And let me tell you, our son Larson is OBSESSED with them! Literally. Every time I ask if he wants a pecan energy bar, he shouts YES and gobbles it up before I turn around! Not only are these kid approved, they’re perfect for adult snacking too. The sweet flavor is reminiscent of pecan pie, and they’re full of superfoods like pecans and chia seeds. Making energy bars at home lets you control the ingredients and they’re slightly cheaper than purchased energy bars. Keep reading for how to make homemade energy bars–and some sweet photos of Larson enjoying them!
Related: 18 Delicious Healthy Snack Recipes
What’s great about pecans?
Pecans are the highlight ingredient in this recipe, and there are so many things we love about this nut! We eat pecans in just about everything, and loved highlighting them in this pecan energy bars recipe. Pecans are:
- Nutritious: Pecans are very nutrient dense! They’re among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats, and contain protein, fiber, flavonoids and essential minerals (copper, manganese and zinc).
- Versatile: Pecans are not just for pecan pie! They’re an easy snack right out of the bag or mixed with dried fruit for
a fast trail mix. We love tossing them into our morning oatmeal, on yogurt parfaits, and salads. And of course, using pecans in granola bars and energy bars is only natural.
- Local: Of all the major tree nuts eaten in the US, pecans are the only ones indigenous to America! They were originally grown wild and enjoyed by Native Americans; now they’re harvested in over a dozen Southern states.
How to make homemade energy bars?
Wondering how to make homemade energy bars? We prefer making homemade energy bars instead of granola bars, since they’re typically more nutrient dense and have less sugar. The energy bars we like to make are similar to store bought Larabars. However, our homemade energy bars version is slightly cheaper (about 2/3 less cost) and you have ultimate control over the ingredients! The ingredient list is very short: the main ingredients are pecans, dates, and oats. A twist to these homemade energy bars is we added a new superfood: chia seeds! Adding chia seeds to energy bars gives a boost of protein, fiber and Omega 3s.
To make homemade energy bars, you’ll need a large size food processor for blending the ingredients. In our recipe, after blending we bake the bars for 30 minutes in a low oven. This helps to dry them out a bit and improves the texture so they’re not so sticky. (Alex’s idea, and a good one!) Below we’ve also included instructions on how to package them for on the go wholesome snacking!
Are they kid friendly?
YES. Larson is SO into these! To him, they’re the perfect kid friendly nutritious snack. Here are a few photos of him looking very grown up (!) and gnawing on these pecan energy bars. (Where did our baby go?)
Looking for pecan recipes?
The pecan is one of our favorite nuts and we love working it into recipes. Here are a few of our favorite pecan recipes:
- Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal
- Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies
This recipe is…
These Superfood Pecan Energy Bars are vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, plant based, dairy free, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.
Wondering how to make homemade energy bars? These superfood pecan energy bars are 100% kid approved and the perfect wholesome snack recipe.
- 15 Medjool dates (9 ounces) *
- 1 cup raw pecan halves
- 1/2 cup gluten free oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 200F.
- Place the dates in the food processor and process or pulse until they are mainly chopped and a rough texture forms. Then add the remaining ingredients and process for a minute or so until a crumbly dough forms.
- Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Dump the dough into the center of the parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle that is 6” x 10.5”. Cut the dough into 14 bars that are 1.5” x 3”. (You don’t have to be as precise as we were, but we found it was easiest for cutting uniform bars!)
- Bake the bars for 30 minutes (this step helps to make the texture more dry and less sticky). Cool the bars to room temperature, then store refrigerated in a sealed container between sheets of wax paper.
- If you’d like to package them for on the go snacking, cut out 4” x 6” rectangles of wax paper, wrap them around the bars, and secure them with tape.
* We recommend using Medjool dates: they’re a large, tender and sweet variety of dates that create the perfect texture for these bars. They’re available at most grocery stores; many times they are in the bulk or produce section, or packaged in the dried fruit section.
Keywords: Pecans, Pecan Bar, Larabar, Homemade Larabar, Energy Bar, Pecan Energy Bar, Superfood Bar, Healthy Snack, Healthy Pecan Bar, Healthy Granola Bar, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Snacks for Travel, Kid Friendly, Kid Foods, Kid Approved
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.