This homemade energy bar recipe is the perfect wholesome snack! It’s naturally sweet, featuring oats, chia seeds, and pecans.

Energy bar recipe

These post was created in partnership with the American Pecan Council. All opinions are our own. 

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! This energy bar recipe is our newest invention for healthy snacks. And let me tell you, our son Larson is OBSESSED with them, too! 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.

Homemade energy bars

What’s great about pecans?

Pecans are the star in this energy bar recipe! There are so many things Alex and I love about this nut. 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: They’re 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, and onto green salads. Of course, using pecans in granola 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.
Food processor with ingredients

What’s in this energy bar recipe?

Why make an energy bar recipe at home instead of buying it? Well, it lets you control the ingredients so you know exactly what’s in it! They’re also slightly cheaper than store bought. The energy bars we like to make are similar to store bought Larabars. But our homemade version is about 2/3 less cost and you have ultimate control over the ingredients! Here’s what’s in them:

  • Pecans
  • Medjool dates
  • Oats
  • Chia seeds (gives a boost of protein, fiber and Omega 3s!)

How to make homemade energy bars

To make this energy bar recipe, you’ll need a large size food processor for blending the ingredients. Here are the basic steps:

  • In a food processor, blend together Medjool dates, pecans, oats, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until a sticky dough forms.
  • Press it into an even layer on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the bars for 30 minutes at 200 degrees, which helps to dry them out a bit and improves the texture so they’re not so sticky.
  • Cut them into bars that are 3 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide.
Energy bar recipe

Are they kid friendly?

YES. our toddler Larson is SO into these! They’re a great kid friendly snack that’s also naturally vegan and gluten free. Here are a few photos of him gnawing on these pecan energy bars. (Where did our baby go?)

Kid eating energy bar

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:

This energy bar recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, plant based, dairy free, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.

Homemade energy bars
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Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks

Homemade Energy Bar Recipe


  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 14 1x

Description

This homemade energy bar recipe is the perfect wholesome snack! It’s naturally sweet, featuring oats, chia seeds, and pecans.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 15 Medjool dates (9 ounces)*
  • 1 cup raw pecan halves
  • ½ cup gluten free oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200F.
  2. Remove the pits from the dates with your fingers (they come right out!). 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.
  3. 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!)
  4. 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. Stays good for 1 month refrigerated (or more, but they may not last that long!). 

Notes

* 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.

  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American

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

Last updated: January 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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22 Comments

  1. adorable photos! great recipe too, like making these from your recipe so I know what’s in them, thank you!

  2. Awww…those pics are the cutest!! I agree, homemade energy bars at the way to go. Just too much junk in them otherwise. Can’t wait to give these ones a try.

  3. This recipe looks amazing. I have a nut allergy and pecans are the only not that I can eat so this is especially inspiring to me. However I am allergic to dates. Do you have a good substitute for dates? I can eat raisins and cranberries would that work?

    1. Oh no, I’m sorry to hear you have a date allergy! We haven’t tested this type of bar with other types of fruit: the Medjool dates really have the perfect consistency for this sort of thing. So unfortunately I don’t know if this is the best recipe for you! You could certainly try, but we wouldn’t be able to guarantee it would work out because the texture is key here!

  4. I made these yesterday with a few tweaks. I have 5kg Pecan Nut Dust I wanted to use in something and I used packed dates not fresh. I also didn’t add the chia seeds and in my next batch, I am gonna make the weekend I wanna add sesame seeds to the top as I roll out the dough I think that will make a nice crunchy roasted sensation… They came out marvelous and at the end, I realized I forgot the cinnamon – they are still divine! My family loved them too!

  5. These were really good! I couldn’t find Medjool dates, but used deglet nour dates that I found at Costco and they worked just fine. Like another person said in the comments, I would try adding half a cup of raw sunflower seeds next time for some additional crunch.

  6. I made these and love them! The only thing I found is following the recipe my dough was too loose and crumbly. I added more dates and one egg egg replacer to bind and it worked great. Just an FYI. Thanks for the recipe though! I’ll be making them again!

  7. I can’t believe how delicious these are!!! Followed the recipe exactly. Will definitely make them again. The salt element was so perfect, made the flavors pop! Thank you for this recipe!

  8. I’ve made these twice now, and I love them! The first time I did only let the dates sit in hot water for 10 minutes, and I felt like the dates didn’t blend throughout the whole mixture well (I still ate the whole batch though). The second time I was making a batch of date honey simultaneously so I just let the dates for the bars simmer on the stove for about 40 minutes. They blended perfectly this time, so I’ll stick with this method as I make them on the future. Nonetheless, I LOVE this recipe and how healthy it is!!!

  9. OMG!!THESE ARE DELICIOUS; JUST SHAT I BEEN PRAYING FOR .I USE WALNUTS AND THEY ARE STILL DELICIOUS I CAN’T EAT PEANUT BUT.THANK YOU AND I WILL TELL MY FRIENDS.

  10. I’m super looking forward to try these!! I just found your blog and am quite impressed thus far. I tried to find your podcast, but couldn’t. I’m just wondering though, have you tried freezing them at all? And how long would they “stay good” for in the fridge? These look perfect for my family as I head back to work as a healthy snack, so I’m curious though if I could make a ton of them and freeze them to take out or if I could keep them in the fridge and they would last a little while. Thank you!!

  11. My daughter and I love these! I especially love how simple they are to make! The dates I used were too dry to hold the mixture together so the first batch was tasty but crumbly and not a pretty bar. I added a tablespoon of water to the second batch and it was perfect.

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