By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
DIY energy bars are so hot right now! So why not make your own healthy energy bars? These all-natural protein bars are some of the healthiest energy bars out there!
Love energy bars but want to save money by making your own? Or maybe you just want to control what you put in the bars—and in your body. These gluten-free energy bars with prunes are vegan, gluten free, really low in added sugar and sodium—and they have a key ingredient that can help keep your bones healthy and strong!
Celebrate World Osteoporosis Day on October 20th by whipping up a batch of these healthy homemade energy bars. They're some of the healthiest nutrition bars out there!
Thanks to the folks at Sunsweet for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own, as always.
I don’t know about you, but I always have a snack bar or two hiding in my purse. I never want to be on the go, hangry, and without fuel! Why not make your own prune-and-nut bars? These vegan protein bars are so easy to make.
Energy Bar Ingredients
First, let me tell you what’s in these delicious protein bars:
In addition to creating the perfect base for these gluten-free energy bars, the dried fruit supplies many bone-health-helping benefits. Each of these no-bake energy bars supplies about five prunes. And this just happens to be the magic number of prunes that research suggests may help prevent bone loss when eaten daily.
Prunes for osteoporosis prevention? Absolutely! Prunes also boast many bone-health-helping vitamins and minerals—including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Potassium helps boost bone mass, which lowers the risk of bones breaking down. Both magnesium and vitamin K help your bones to mineralize and stay strong.
Almonds and Almond Butter
When you’re making vegan energy bars, one of the keys is having at least a source or two of good-for-you fat. That’s where almonds and nut butter, in this case almond butter, come in.
These foods supply monounsaturated fatty acids, which not only offer heart-health-helping benefits but also help keep you fuller for longer. These ingredients also supply satiating protein and fiber.
If you don't have any almond butter on hand, peanut butter also works! Each bar contains 5 grams of protein, making it a good source.
With all the talk these days about hemp, why not whip up a hemp protein bar? Hemp hearts, aka hemp seeds, also supply heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
By toasting the seeds in this recipe, you bring out the lovely nutty flavor of hemp hearts in these whole-food protein bars.
You can also add ground flax seeds and chia seeds to a protein bar recipe. Using these ingredients cuts out the need for adding any protein powder
Dark Chocolate Chips
I wanted to create protein bars with minimal added sugar. While dark chocolate chips contain the teensiest amount of added sugar, they also boast more of that terrific heart-healthy fat.
They’re the only source of added sugar in this recipe, and they’re delicious and melty!
You'll see that the bars are just the right kind of sweet and salty, with no need for any added brown rice syrup or sea salt. Each bar contains 19 grams of sugar, but most of this is naturally occurring sugar.
When making gluten-free energy bars, you want to have a good amount of protein and fiber. Each of these vegan energy bars is a good source of protein and fiber! The rolled oats boast both of these nutrients.
So there you have it! These no-bake protein bars are vegan, gluten free, and are filled with nourishing, bone-health-helping ingredients. They’re also incredibly low in added sugar and sodium.
Whip up a batch, and the granola bars will stay good covered in your fridge for a few days, or you can individually wrap and freeze them.
More Healthy Prune Recipes
And hey, if you love prunes as much as I do, also cook up these healthy prune recipes:
Now, are you ready to make these low-sugar energy bars with prunes? Go for it!
Pro tip: These healthy energy bars freeze really well!
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know how you enjoy this prune bars recipe that's no bake. They're really the healthiest energy bars What other healthy prune recipes do you love?
No-Bake Healthy Energy Bars with Prunes
- ¼ cup shelled hemp hearts, divided
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups (one 16-ounce container) Sunsweet Pitted Amaz!n Prunes
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons dry-roasted unsalted almonds, chopped, divided
- ¼ cup natural almond butter
- ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 450° Fahrenheit.
- Place hemp hearts on a nonstick cookie sheet. Toast 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, process oats and salt until ground, about 20 to 30 seconds. Place in small bowl, and set aside. Process prunes until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Mix in oat-and-salt mixture, ¼ cup almonds, 3 Tablespoons hemp hearts, almond butter, and chocolate chips until well combined.
- Place in silicone bar mold (or a 9”-by-9” cake pan lined with parchment paper). Pat down with clean, dry hands.
- Top with remaining almonds and hemp hearts, and pat down again.
- Place in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Sat. Fat (grams)2
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