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3 Minute Crunchy & Semi-Sweet Energy Bars

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I have never understood people who say they “forget to eat.” I mean…WHO FORGETS TO EAT?! Food is one of my favorite things ever. But…I have to admit, lately I have been so busy at work that I…forget to eat. I’m still eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, but snacking has gone out the window. I realized I’ve been feeling completely exhausted and fried by the time I get home—and starving. So I’ve been experimenting with adding in an afternoon snack which seems to help things tremendously.

I’m trying to vary up my snacks – typically I eat canned tuna or almonds or applesauce. I’ve OD’d on apples lately and I just can’t snack on vegetables, as much as I try.  I’ll usually skip snacking altogether if sliced veggies are my only option. But these bars? These I’ll eat. And I look forward to it in the afternoon. No forgetting these. They are sweet but not cloyingly so. And I fed them to a friend who is good at calling out “healthy” things that taste like crap, and they got her thumbs-up. 😉

These are also great to keep on hand to snag when you come in the door after a long run to kick-start recovery. Or to grab when you’re running out the door late and need breakfast to go. You can refrigerate them for a week or freeze them for probably a couple months. (Give them an hour or so to soften up.)

3 Minute Energy Bars!

Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list – it’s pretty basic and you just throw it all together in a food processor so it’s super quick.


3 Minute Crunchy & Semi-Sweet Energy Bars

makes 12-16, depending on you slice it
Adapted from a recipe in Runner’s World


  • 1/2 cup flaxeeds (not flax meal)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries (I like the dried Bing cherries from TJ’s)
  • 25 pitted medjool dates (I used the whole carton from TJ’s)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup Skoop protein powder*
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup local honey (local helps with seasonal allergies!)

(1) Line an 9” square baking pan with plastic wrap and thoroughly spray with non-stick spray.

(2) Add all the ingredients to a large food processor. Blend for 1-2 minutes until the mixture starts to clump together.

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You shouldn’t have any large pieces of pecans or dates. (I don’t know how I made such a mess pulling the lid off! Maybe put a towel underneath it just in case it happens to you!)


(3) Scoop the mixture into your prepared pan and press down very firmly until evenly spread in the pan. Give it a few extra presses to really help it stick together.


(4) You can eat them right away, but they’ll be a little sticky. Or if you want a firmer bar, refrigerate for 1 hour and then cut into any size bars you want. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat one (or four).


*I used Skoop protein powder in these. The folks at Skoop recently sent me a huge bag to try out and I really liked it. In my gym bag, I keep a blender bottle with Skoop in it, and it’s great to shake up after mid-day workouts for a quick recovery meal until I can get lunch heated up. It’s blends very easily with no clumps. It has a very strong vanilla flavor, which I like, especially in smoothies and these energy bars. And if you have dietary restrictions, Skoop is plant based and is dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free. Bottom line: Would I spend my own money on it? Definitely.

By the way, most of the ingredients can be found at Trader Joe’s. Their prices on steel cut oats, chia seeds, dried cherries, dates and nuts can’t be beat!

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    8 responses to “3 Minute Crunchy & Semi-Sweet Energy Bars”

    1. yum! these look/sound awesome. forget to eat…ha!!! i have to like schedule my meals or i’ll just eat all damn day!

    2. HOLY YUM! Dates and I are in a long term relationship – I can’t seem to get enough!! What a fun recipe to have on hand. I certainly wouldn’t have a problem eating these as my afternoon pick me up. I keep raisins and peanut butter at my desk as well as protein powder and a shaker cup for those days when I just need a snack to get home. Will certainly have to try these babies, thanks for sharing!

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