What are we going to eat for breakfast? This was a common question in the middle of the Canadian Icefields during our last big hiking trip. Energy bars are so versatile and perfect for breakfasts or a quick snack, especially when you’re on the go! I was definitely wishing for some homemade energy bars on our trip instead of yet another bowl instant oatmeal (absolutely HATE oatmeal for breakfast, a little weird, I know)! I came home from our trip determined to develop some recipes that are portable and nutritious.
Of all the energy bar flavors I’ve ever tried, chocolate and peanut butter are always my favorites. So… I decided to start with the Chocolate Chip Brownie flavor, like the one from Larabar. No more making oatmeal on a jet-boil stove in the middle of the frozen Canadian tundra for me! And… for the more normal days, they’re a perfect snack when I’m out running errands!
Pulse the walnuts and cocoa powder together in a food processor until coarsely combined.
For the dates:
Make a cut lengthwise and remove the seed. Then, cut each date into quarters lengthwise. Make a final cut crosswise, cutting the quartered strips in half. Scatter the date pieces evenly over the walnut mixture and pulse until the dates are thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla, sea salt, and the water 1 Tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes like a dough. The final step is to add the chocolate chips and pulse a couple of times to combine.
To form the bars:
Line an 7″x 11″ pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper and press the brownie ‘dough’ as evenly as possible into the pan. I used my small cutting board to press down on the bars to create a smoother surface. If you have one of those handy-dandy mini rolling pins, it would do a much better job!
Since plastic wrap is rather flimsy, it’s easiest to get the bars out of the pan with two people lifting. That way you can hold all 4 corners and the bars stay intact. Don’t worry if you break them, you can easily pat them back together.
Let me know if you’re interested in more energy bar flavors!Print
Chocolate Chip Brownie Energy Bars
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 16 bars 1x
- 3 cups walnuts, 11ounces
- 5 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2–3 Tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used the Enjoy Life brand)
- Place the walnuts and cocoa powder in a food processor and process until combined but some bigger pieces remain.
- Cut the dates into quarters lengthwise, and then cut the strips in half crosswise.
- Scatter the dates over the top of the walnut mixture, add the sea salt, vanilla, and pulse to combine.
- When the dates are combined, the energy bars will start to come together. Add the water 1 Tablespoon at a time until the bars come together as a slightly sticky ‘dough’.
- Line a 7″ x 11″ pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper and press the ‘dough’ in by hand. I used a small cutting board to press down over the top of the bars to create a smoother surface.
- Lift the bars out of the pan, this is easier with parchment paper. For plastic wrap, it’s easier to lift out of the pan with two people, that way you can hold all 4 corners as you lift it out.
- Cut the bars into the size you would like. I cut mine into 16 small bars for snacks. If I was taking them hiking, I would make them into 8 bars for a bigger snack.
I like 100% walnuts, but can use 50/50 walnuts and almonds to mimic the store bought ones!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
28 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Brownie Energy Bars”
I am sensitive to nuts. Is there a way to make this with cassava flour? It looks really yummy and I am in desperate need of snacks that don’t involve refined sugar.
I can’t think of any way to substitute cassava flour for this recipe because the texture is too fine, and without the natural oils from the nuts, the energy bars wouldn’t come together properly. I went through some of my snack recipes and I’m including some links below to some options that might work for you! Let me know if I can help in any way! 🙂
https://getinspiredeveryday.com/peanut-butter-granola-bars-with-salted-chocolate-frosting/ (omitting the frosting for no refined sugar)
I’m not a huge date fan, can you use a different type of dried fruit?
I think you could try dried figs because they’re also quite sweet, or a mix of figs and dates. Although I don’t really think you taste the dates so much in these energy bars, you mostly taste chocolate. My husband isn’t a huge fan of dates and he really likes all the flavors of energy bars I make, but I guess it would depend on how much you dislike them. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!
I just made these and they are so awesome! I made them for a school snack option for my kids but I am not sure what will be left of them when they get home from school today 🙂 They look like they will be very versatile too. Might add some coconut next time too.
So glad you enjoyed them! They are very versatile, I’m working on a chocolate cherry version of this and I’ve added coconut in some of my other energy bars with great results. I’ve found it’s faster to roll these into truffle sized balls when I’m in a hurry – sounds like you might need to speed up production! 🙂
shawna and i revisited this recipe to make them for jewel’s birthday…this time using walnuts like the recipe calls for. they have such a fabulous fresh taste – no comparison to larabars! i liked how dark chocolatey they are, too 🙂 woohoo! your recipes are the best.
Thanks Heidi! It’s funny you made them for Jewel’s b-day, because I just made some yesterday to send to her, (she’ll be getting tired of them soon)!
Has anyone tried this with a protein powder mixed it? Less cocoa powder maybe? Hmm. Maybe a little coconut oil and refridgerate them? If you’ve tried it, let me know. If not, I’ll have to venture out on my own, haha.
Let me know how it goes if you try it out – I’m curious about the results!
Just made these and they smell amazing!!! How would you store these? In the fridge?
I store a few of them in the fridge for eating within the week, and the rest I individually wrap with plastic wrap and seal in a ziplock bag to put in the freezer for grab and go snacks.