Saturday, July 24, 2010

Homemade Energy Bars

Preparing for our second cross-country voyage, I whipped up a batch of my Quinoa Breakfast Bars, which also double as homemade energy bars. It is always nice to have a wholesome, homemade snack on hand when you are on the road for weeks on end and at the mercy of convenience stores, dehydrated mixes, and packaged provisions. Replacing Clif, Luna and the crew, they survive well in the car without refrigeration for a week or so, and pack an impressive load of fiber, high-quality protein, healthy fats and vitamins into a small package. Made from quinoa flakes, a non-glutenous grain containing all of the essential amino acids, I feel good about eating these for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

These portable bars can be formed into a variety of shapes and sizes to meet your personal needs. I like to make some into small balls or cubes for snacks and some into larger rectangular bars to pack for a quick lunch on the trail. I am providing you with the base of the bars, and letting you own the final flavor, but not without a few suggestions of course. This time I made a full batch of the base and then split it in half, adding pistachios and dried cranberries to one and peanut butter and raisins to the other. In the past, I have done fresh grated ginger with dried cherries, as well as cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips, both wonderful. The amounts are completely to taste... since the whole thing is raw, you can start small, taste, and add more until you reach your optimal flavor.

Here are a few more ideas to inspire future batches:

Lemon Zest and Poppy Seeds

White Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Nuts

Chai Spice (Cinnamon, clove, ginger, vanilla and a touch of nutmeg)

Dried Blueberry and Cashew

Quinoa Breakfast Balls

To simplify the ingredient list you can decide to choose just one nut, and either dates or prunes, simply keeping the total amount the same.


6 tbs. raw cane sugar

1 tsp. agave or honey

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts

¼ cup chopped raw almonds

4 pitted dates

8 prunes

¼ tsp. salt

2 tbs. freshly ground flax seed

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 cups quinoa flakes

2-4 tbs. water

Additional flavorings of choice (ex. ½ cup pistachios and ½ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup chocolate chips and 1 tbs. cocoa powder, 1/2 cup dried cherries and 2 tsp. ginger, etc.) See notes above.


In a food processor, add sugar through ground flax seeds and pulse until well chopped. Add melted coconut oil and blend until thoroughly mixed and gathering into a ball. Place mixture in a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Using clean hands, shape dough into balls, bars or cubes.

Relax. Eat Well.


  1. Mmmmm breakfast balls?!?! Sign me up. Nomnomnom! Where would one find "quinoa flakes" though? I've only used the grains themselves.

  2. Also, what happens if I choose to use dirty hands? Please advise.

  3. Ha ha you can find quinoa flakes at most health food stores, like Whole Foods etc. I have seen them in bulk as well as in a box... but you could also substitute rolled oats if need be....