Everyone loves a great bar. In this case, we're talking about the kind you can pack as a perfectly portable meal or snack (though we love bars with alcoholic drinks too). Whether you need a breakfast you can eat while commuting, a post-workout snack to hold you until dinner, or a scrumptious yet healthy dessert, bars are fantastic, any time and for any mood you’re in.
And they’re beyond easy to make: Can you stir and use a food processor? Then you can make your own bars.
Many of the ones below are more like formulas than set-in-stone recipes, so don’t be afraid to swap in different nuts, seeds, fruit, etc. and create your own twists. You’ll come up with tasty flavors that you’ll never find in a wrapper.
These bars are loaded with all kinds of good stuff, yet it all comes together in a delicious mix of flavors and textures. Almonds lend a bit of protein and crunch, dried cranberries and raisins bring the sweet and chewy, and chocolate chips make it a party. Toasting the oats may seem unnecessary, but it pumps up their flavor and makes them a little crispy.
Seeds aren’t just for the birds, and these not-too-sweet bars prove it. Raw almonds along with chia and flax seeds, make them crunchy and provide some omega-3s. Nut butter and quinoa add staying power, so you'll feel full until dinner.
For anyone with nut allergies, this recipe is a total win. The oats pack in tons of fiber, raspberries boast a serious zing, and coconut oil adds a subtle tropical note. Ready in only three steps, the only labor you have to put in is stirring. Doesn’t get easier than that. (Now if only the bowl cleaned itself.)
Granola isn’t only sweet, and odd as a Mediterranean-flavored bar may sound, it tastes amazing. How could it not with sweet sun-dried tomatoes, slightly bitter Kalamata olives, earthy cumin, spicy chili, and zesty oregano?
The chocolate and pistachios come together for an awesome salty/sweet combo. We usually think of Nutella as a dessert food, but these guys are packed with nuts, oats, and coconut oil which, makes them a great healthy snack too.
Breakfast just got so much better. Take everything you love about your favorite Greek yogurt and pack it into this bar for a perfect portable meal. Unlike packaged bars with Greek yogurt, which actually use a powder and contain no yogurt, these are topped with the real thing. Mix up the fruit each time you make them to keep your taste buds entertained.
Remember your favorite Chewy bars as a kid? Think of these as your even better grown-up version—and one you can customize. Use whatever nuts, fruit, and nut butter suit your fancy, and have fun—after all, when it comes to those foods, you really can’t go wrong.
This energy bar packs in more superfoods than we can think of off the top of our heads! With a combo of chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, dates, cacao nibs, and walnuts, this recipe has tons of nutritional benefits. You can shape the mixture into bars or into little cupcakes topped with raw chocolate (yum!), as this blogger suggests.
Get all the goodness of your fave sandwich in this plant-based bar that’s almost as easy to make. Peanut butter and almonds will pack a protein punch to give you energy that’ll last through a workout, while cranberries and dates take the place of sugary jelly. Delicious!
There’s nothing seedy about these energy bars—except maybe the ingredient list. Quinoa plus sunflower, chia, pumpkin, and flax seeds provide protein for lasting energy. Some finely shredded hard cheese of your choice will give this the salty boost your taste buds are looking for, and a bit of garlic powder makes them taste like a healthy version of your favorite breadsticks.
Whoever said the slow cooker was just for chili was wrong. This recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare (before tossing it in the slow cooker!) and combines almond butter, eggs, quinoa, chia seeds, dried apples, and maple syrup. Just throw in all the ingredients at night and wake up to the best morning ever.
No chopping or baking required here! Apricots, dates, white chocolate chips, chia seeds, and a few other ingredients are blended in the food processor, transferred to a pan, and put in the freezer to set. The apricots lend so much natural sweetness, you may not even want to add agave.
Pumpkin pie can be an everyday thing thanks to these. Cashews have a subtle flavor, so the pumpkin really shines. They’re great for those days when you’re in a not-totally-chewy yet not-totally-crunchy mood, since the seeds on top add just enough texture.
Trust us, these taste as amazing as they look. The bright pink layer is filled with raspberries (hello, vitamin C) and coconut, which is praised for its good fats. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF. Lipids, 2009, May.;44(7):1558-9307. Virgin coconut oil and its potential cardioprotective effects. Babu AS, Veluswamy SK, Arena R. Postgraduate medicine, 2015, Jan.;126(7):1941-9260. The chocolate base also features coconut, as well as almonds, cashews, and peanut butter—that's enough of an energy boost that you don't need the exotic maca powder. All it takes is a food processor and half an hour in the freezer, and you’ve got a scrumptious treat.
These gluten-free, seven-ingredient bars don't disappoint! Like all of these homemade recipes, you can cut them up into different sizes depending on your hunger level, which is a nice alternative to the store-bought ones. This version calls for peanut butter, but feel free to swap in your favorite nut butter (or Nutella!).
These bars are like a portable fruit cobbler or crumble. A jam-like filling is layered between buttery crusts made with flour and oats. We think adding nut butter would only make this even more delicious. You can also sub in whole-wheat or another replacement flour to make these healthier.
Sweet, salty, and chocolaty is the answer to all your snacking dilemmas. These treats are naturally sweetened with dates, and using both almonds and almond butter makes them super nutty. A quick whirl in the food processor, and you’re done. Easy to make and clean up!
The name says it all: three ingredients. Actually, that isn't all, because you'll be happily surprised at how tasty and versatile these are. Pick a nut or seed, add a dried fruit (or a few), and combine with dates in a food processor. Then you just have to chill and cut into bars.
It doesn’t get much easier than these bars, made with just two ingredients: dried apple rings and dried apricots. Purée in a food processor, place on a baking pan, and roll out to your desired thickness. The best part? You can cut and serve these immediately, no cooling or baking necessary.
Chocolate + cherry + almond is one of our favorite combos, and these bars don't disappoint. The date base makes the bars soft, while nuts add a satisfying crunch. If you have extra time, try soaking the dates in water for an hour before you start, so that they'll blend up better in the food processor.
Matcha is making waves everywhere, and now you can even add it to your bars. The ground green tea from Japan is known for ultra-high antioxidant levels, and the caffeine may help keep you going in the afternoon. Topped with chocolate, this snack is so much better than a mocha latte.
These are incredibly easy (only six ingredients!) and filling with a rich peanut butter flavor. They make a great post-workout snack or breakfast on mornings when you don’t have time to even heat up instant oatmeal.
These bars pack in nutrient-rich ingredients like hemp protein, dates, chia seeds, and cacao powder for a healthy twist on the chocolate protein bar. This recipe uses a food processor, so you can pulse the ingredients to whatever crunchiness level you like. Topped with pumpkin seeds, these make for a great photo op too.
Protein powder isn’t reserved for post-workout smoothies. These bars combine vegan protein powder with crunchy almonds for a huge protein payoff—almost 13 grams per bar! Sweetened with maple syrup and optional dairy-free chocolate chips, these taste like dessert and are good for you.
With four varieties of seeds, two different berries, and some crisped rice, these bars pack a lot of flavor into a small package. They come together the same way as traditional Rice Krispie treats—but with peanut butter rather than marshmallows. A much better choice for protein bars (as much as we love marshmallows—in cocoa or desserts, that is).
If you’re not in the mood to stand over your oven while waiting for banana bread to bake, you’re in luck. This option gives you all the sweet, comfort food goodness of the bread packed into a smaller, healthier square. And, unlike bread, they’re foolproof: You can’t burn something you don’t bake!
With both cocoa powder and nibs, this recipe is perfect for all the chocoholics out there. The only other ingredients are vegan protein powder, nuts, shredded coconut, oats, vanilla extract, and salt, so you won't have to worry about added sugars.
Who knew nuts and seeds could look so pretty? But it's the taste that you'll really love. The bonus is that sunflower, pumpkin, chia, and sesame seeds may be small, but they’re rich in vitamin E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and copper, respectively. And don't skip the orange zest—that little amount adds a ton of zing.
A lot of bars rely heavily on raisins or flavored raisins as the fruit, so our taste buds cheered when we found these. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, antioxidants that pack heart-health benefits. High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. Cassidy A, Mukamal KJ, Liu L. Circulation, 2013, Mar.;127(2):1524-4539. Phytochemical properties and antioxidant capacities of various colored berries. Chen L, Xin X, Yuan Q. Journal of the science of food and agriculture, 2013, Jul.;94(2):1097-0010. Anthocyanins and heart health. Mazza GJ. Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanità, 2008, Jun.;43(4):0021-2571. A touch of cinnamon and cardamom takes these to the next level.
A packaged orange-flavored bar would most likely have "natural flavors" in it and no orange. (If you could even find an orange bar.) These use orange zest—and loads of it—for a tasty anti-inflammatory boost. Oral administration of d-limonene controls inflammation in rat colitis and displays anti-inflammatory properties as diet supplementation in humans. d'Alessio PA, Ostan R, Bisson JF. Life sciences, 2013, May.;92(24-26):1879-0631. Cashews, almonds, and pecans bring the crunch; ginger adds a nice, spicy hint.
We love big chunks of fruit in our nut bars, and here you can use whatever dried fruit you want to break up the full flavors of almond and sunflower seeds. Coconut flakes add such a tropical twist that we want to try these using dried pineapple next time. Piña colada bar? Yes, please!
Paleo enthusiasts don’t shun dried fruit, but they try not to overdo it. So this fruit-free bar is all nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, and agave. That adds up to a lot of fiber, protein, and good fats to keep you full for hours. But how does it taste? We give it a perfect 10.
Dark chocolate and sea salt are a perfect pair, and almonds as the third wheel only makes things better. While these bars may look complicated, all you have to do is chop and stir to make them. If you have the time, roast the nuts first—it enhances the flavor like whoa.