Homemade Chocolate Almond Energy Bars

Need a snack that’ll keep you going on a busy work day or on adventurous day outdoors?  These energy bars made with with dates, nuts, dried fruit and cocoa are just the thing. They’re super easy to make, have minimal ingredients and don’t require any baking. They’re similar to Larabars, but more affordable and completely customizeable.

And, if you prefer, you can shape them into balls instead of bars.  Although asking your hiking group “who wants energy balls” does cause a few raised eyebrows!

energy bars

energy balls

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Chocolate Almond Energy Bars

Prep : 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins


  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup oats I use large flake
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract optional
  • 1-2 Tbsp water


  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients except water.
  • Process until ingredients are a fine crumb.
  • With food processor running, drizzle in as much water as is needed to bring ingredients together to form clumps.
  • Pour mix into an 8x8 square pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Press firmly and evenly into pan. It should be about 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick.
  • To get the top smooth, use a small glass to roll the top of the bars.
  • Or, simply roll into balls and lay on parchment paper to set.
  • Place in fridge to cool and set for at least 2 hours.
  • Use a pizza cutter to slice bars into preferred size.
  • For bars to go, wrap individually in wax paper.
  • Store in fridge or freezer for maximum freshness.


To ensure these are gluten free, make sure the oats you use are labelled gluten free as some oats may have come into contact with grains containing gluten. Yield 18 bars
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Now that you’ve got a great starter recipe, think of all the ways you can customize these bars to suit your personal preference. Simply use different nuts, seeds and dried fruit (keep the dates though!).

Here are two other recipes you might want to consider

Nut Free Chocolate Energy Balls

Coffee Lover’s Energy Bars

I’m going to play around with using dried apples and pie spices and maybe an espresso or mocha flavored bar. What fruit and nut combination are you going to try?

Interested in learning more?  Get Getty for a wild edible hike, kitchen workshop or group presentation. Getty Stewart is a freelance Professional Home Economist, author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, mom and avid veggie gardener. She loves growing, preparing and preserving food and has been doing so forever. 

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