Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites a Healthy Gluten Free Treat

Servings: 16 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 75 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

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Pecan Chocolate Energy Bites sm

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites make a great healthy snack. They’re gluten-free, vegan and Paleo too.

I’m always on the hunt for road trip snacks. I don’t mind stopping along the way to buy something to eat – it helps to break up the drive and relieve the kids’ boredom. But more often than not, the most satisfying road trip snacks are those that you pack from home.

Cookies are a staple for us, and hard boiled eggs, along with whatever leftovers might be in the fridge. And fruit of course, if we’re travelling within Canada. Chocolate pecan energy bites are the newest addition to my travel snack repertoire.

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites make a great healthy snack. They're gluten-free, vegan and Paleo too.

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up for those times when you want something with staying power. 

The combination of nuts, dates, and  unsweetened cocoa powder — along with a little molasses and maple syrup to help bind everything together — creates a healthy treat with substance.

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites are made made with no refined sugar.

This is a versatile recipe. Molasses helps to make them taste more chocolaty and you could always replace the Tbsp. of maple syrup with more molasses. Or you could use a little honey. The recipe works well with both pecans and walnuts and is especially good when made with a combination of the two. Also, I find the texture is best when I use Medjool dates.

UPDATE: I seem to be making this recipe weekly and have had delicious success with the following combinations:

  • School-friendly option: Replace nuts with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia. Delicious as ever! The ratio is: 1/2 cup each of sunflower & pumpkin seeds and 1 Tbsp. chia.
  • All cashews.
  • Half a cup of cashews and half a cup of walnuts.

This recipe has been adapted from The Rawtarian

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bite Recipe

Makes 16 generous balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 generous cup pecans or walnuts (or a combination)
  • 1 cup pitted dates (lightly packed)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Whir the nuts in a food processor until crumbly.
  2. Add the dates and process until nuts and dates are combined.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and process until the mixture sticks together. (Don’t let it get too smooth – you still want some texture.)
  4. Form into tablespoon-sized balls and chill.

Nutritional info: Per ball.

  • Calories: 99,
  • Fat: 6 g,
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g,
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg,
  • Sodium: 38.5 mg,
  • Carbs: 12.4,
  • Sugar: 8.9 g,
  • Protein: 1.3,
  • Fibre 2.4 g,
  • Potassium: 157 mg,
  • Calcium: 15.3 mg

 

 

Double Ginger Granola Bars for True Lovers of Ginger

Servings: 18 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

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This is a seemingly simple bar that’s full of surprises…If you like a classic granola bar with a little oomph then these double ginger granola bars are your ginger dream.

Double Ginger Granola bars: Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well toasty, flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

Double Ginger Granola Bars are a lean and clean oat bar made exclusively for lovers of ginger

This is a seemingly simple bar that’s full of surprises…

If you like a classic granola bar with a little oomph then these double ginger granola bars are your ginger dream.  Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well, toasty flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

Double Ginger Granola bars: Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well toasty, flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

This bar has a great bite thanks to the ginger. If you’re the sort of person who loves to nibble a sliver of candied ginger in lieu of dessert I think you’ll love this recipe.

The recipe is vegan and gluten-free (choose certified GF rolled oats if necessary.) For a richer (non-vegan) flavour replace the coconut oil with butter.

School-friendly option: Replace pecans with toasted sunflower seeds.

(This is a granola bar recipe that was a runner-up in a recipe contest we held a couple of years ago.)

Double Ginger Granola Bars Recipe

From the blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Makes 18 generous bars

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ⅓ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup candied ginger, chopped

Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp pecans
  • 2 Tbsp candied ginger

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a 9″ x 9″ baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the oats and pecans on a large baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, tossing a couple of times. Remove from the oven and place in a large bowl. Stir in chopped ginger.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat combine the molasses, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract, powdered ginger, and salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour molasses mixture over the oats and toss until the oats are well coated.
  6. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and press the mixture until firmly packed and smooth on top. (I place a sheet of parchment on top of the bars and then lay an 8”x8” pan on top. Then I press on the smaller pan with as much strength as I can muster.)
  7. Sprinkle over the topping ingredients and press them into the base.
  8. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and then cut into 18 bars.

One more thing…

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Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

Servings: 24 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

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Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

No-bake cookies and bars were the first treats I learned to make on my own. The recipes were always extra easy, usually included some kind of cereal and always made a big batch.

I got my Brownie “Baking” badge by making peanut butter cereal squares all by myself and I learned to make Rice Krispies squares over a fire at summer camp.

 Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

There is a lot to be said for getting kids cooking at a young age. When you have mastered cereal squares then it’s onto chocolate chip cookies, and may be a cake or muffins….

This is the lasting value of the Brownie “Baking” badge:

  • Once you develop a taste for homemade treats it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed by the packaged version.
  • Setting kids free in the kitchen builds their confidence in the kitchen and that little bit of know-how will stand them in good stead when they’re off on their own.  There’s a chance they’ll do more cooking from scratch, rely less on processed, packaged foods and be healthier over all.

 Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

So here I am, back where it all began, making cereal squares.

It had been years (decades?) since I last cooked with Rice Krispies and when I first tasted Vanessa’s squares I realised how much I loved that unmistakable crispy texture. They can transform a granola bar (just ask my kids).

 Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

This is one of those recipes that you can adapt to suit your tastes by mixing and matching the nut, seed, dried fruit, chocolate combinations.

School-friendly option: Replace the almond butter with sunflower seed butter.

Vanessa’s crispy almond butter granola bars

  •  2 cups rolled oats (not instant), gluten free if that’s what you require
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal (gluten free variety)
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (or a combination)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips or dried cranberries (or both)

 Instructions:

  1. Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper or grease it thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine rolled oats, cereal and ground flax.
  3. Measure out the slivered almonds (or seeds) and chocolate chips and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan combine molasses and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves then bring to a boil for 30 seconds to a minute.
  5. Remove from heat and quickly add almond butter (or sunflower seed butter). Stir to combine.
  6. Working quickly, pour sugar mixture over dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Quickly add the almonds and chocolate chips, using your hands if necessary.
  8. Still working quickly, press into prepared pan.
  9. Cool and cut into squares. Makes 24 squares

Nutritional information:

Calories 140

2.2 gr fibre

Good source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

If you’re into gluten-free treats try our coconut almond energy balls.

Almond butter energy balls are easy, speedy and gluten free