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9 Homemade Snack Bar Recipes to Get You Through an Afternoon Crash

By Ariane Resnick, CNC
August 18, 2022
Image credit: Shutterstock

Grabbing a prepackaged bar is one of the easiest snack or breakfast options there is, but their hidden ingredients can be pretty awful. Making your own is a surprisingly easy undertaking, often involving little more than mixing ingredients together and patting them into a pan. 

Read next: The Best Items to Buy from Trader Joe’s for Really Fast, Low-Lift Lunches, According to Nutritionists

We’ve gathered nine bar recipes that run the gamut from savory to sweet, from whole-grain focused to fruity, nutty, and gluten-free. Most of these treats are plant-based, and many require no baking at all.

Note: Most of these recipes call for liquid sweetener. While honey, maple syrup, and brown rice syrup are all healthier alternatives to cane or beet sugar, there are choices that are even more healthful than those. Consider swapping out a fraction of the liquid sweetener for allulose syrup, Lakanto maple flavored syrup, or xylitol honey flavored sweetener. Keeping one half of the caloric sweetener a recipe calls for is all you need to impart its flavor and texture into the recipe, while the remainder can be a noncaloric or sugar-free option.

1. Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bars

Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bars

Image credit: Shutterstock

Fragrant cinnamon and cardamom impact lots of delicious, spicy flavor into these quinoa chia seed protein bars, which will keep you satiated for hours thanks to the high fiber content of flax seeds and oats. There’s no need to pre-cook the quinoa; it will bake right into the bars and soften to a chewy texture. Almond butter is an excellent alternative to peanut butter, and will give these bars a creamy, decadent mouth feel.

2. Savory Vegan Protein Bars

Savory Vegan Protein Bars

Image credit: Power Hungry

Oil and gluten-free, these savory vegan protein bars employ whole foods like white beans instead of protein powder. We recommend using the suggested herbes de provence blend rather than the Italian herb stand-in, as the lavender in a provence blend gives any recipe a lovely, subtle floral note. This recipe is flexible on what nuts and seeds you use, so choose whatever you have on hand or love best. 

3. Raw Superfood Energy Bars

Raw Superfood Energy Bars

Image credit: Go Dairy Free

With a hint of black forest flavor, thanks to the combination of cherries and cacao nibs, these raw superfood energy bars take no time at all to make since you don’t even need to make them — you only need a food processor. Goji berries create bright red flecks throughout, adding beauty along with their notorious health benefits, and vanilla extract rounds out the tartness of the fruit. 

4. Healthy Breakfast Bars with Millet and Oat

Healthy Breakfast Bars With Millet and Oat

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Get lots of whole grain goodness to start your day with these breakfast bars featuring millet, an underused ancient grain. Toasted pecans and skin-on almonds bring crunch to the bars, and the dates reduce the overall quantity of sweetener needed. While genmaicha tea leaves are optional, we highly suggest adding them: genmaicha tea is toasted with brown rice, so it will impart a nutty, toasted flavor to the bars while adding a tiny hint of energizing caffeine. 

5. 3-Ingredient Healthy Energy Bars

3-Ingredient Healthy Energy Bars

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If you want to create your own fruit and nut bars but are unsure where to begin, this three-ingredient healthy energy bar blueprint is perfect for giving you just the right ratio. When you’re swapping out other nut and fruit choices, be sure to keep the cup of dates, as they’re key for adding enough sweetness without any additional syrups or sugars. Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame can also take the place of nuts. 

6. Chocolate Berry Superfood Bars

Chocolate Berry Superfood Bars

Image credit: Pheebsfoods

Undoubtedly the prettiest snack bars around, these chocolate berry superfood bars have two layers of sweet and sour goodness: the base is made with nuts and coconut, along with superfoods like maca, and the topping’s key ingredient is frozen raspberries. Acai powder, nut butter, and more coconut play off the sour berry. These are unbaked (aka raw) and are best stored in the freezer. 

7. Cheesy Sundried Tomato Pizza Granola Bars

Cheesy Sundried Tomato Pizza Granola Bars

Image credit: Fannetastic Food

We admit that these cheesy sundried tomato pizza granola bars don’t taste exactly like a slice, but they sure contain much healthier ingredients and are also very reminiscent of one. With a base of whole wheat flour and assorted seeds, seasonings like garlic, oregano, and basil help craft a bar with all the flavors you expected from pizza. Eggs contribute protein, and a combination of parmesan and cheddar cheeses makes these bars genuinely delicious.  

8. Healthy Matcha Green Tea Protein Bars

Healthy Matcha Green Tea Protein Bars

Image credit: Desserts with Benefits

Packed with antioxidants, matcha green tea powder enriches these vegan no-bake protein bars with its prominent, grassy flavor and lightly caffeinated energy boost. Oat flour can be bought, or made yourself by grinding oats. It’s mixed with vanilla rice protein powder, which is a less gritty vegan protein option than some others (such as hemp). Almond extract offsets the grassiness of matcha perfectly, and further complements the included almond butter. 

9. Almond Rosemary Granola Bars

Almond Rosemary Granola Bars

Image credit: Shutterstock

There’s no need to choose between sweet and savory with these almond rosemary bars, which let you have your granola bar both ways. There’s only a single tablespoon of sweetener in these, but lots of ingredients that have sweet notes, such as almond butter and rolled oats. Bound together by healthful flax meal, these vegan bars can pick up your afternoon or start your day off well. Don’t skimp on the fresh rosemary, as it’s the main flavor point to the recipe. 

Read next: 8 Nutritionally Excellent Snack Bars for Busy Days

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