Kick that snacking temptation to the curb with some healthy homemade gluten-free power bars. You’ll have enough energy to power through your post-gym commute sans burrito bowl or overpriced gym smoothie.
This recipe is nut free, egg free, soy free and grain free. It’s also dairy free if made with nondairy milk and vegan if made with nondairy milk and maple syrup.
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds)
- ½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- ½ cup well-stirred tahini
- ¹⁄3 cup honey or pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons milk or nondairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chia seeds
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposing sides. Set the pan aside.
Spread the chickpea flour, flaxseed meal and pepitas on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, shaking halfway through, until toasted and fragrant.
In a medium bowl, combine the tahini, honey, milk, vanilla and salt until blended and smooth. Add the flour mixture, dried cherries and chia seeds, stirring until well combined—it will be very thick and fudge like. Press the dough into the loaf pan, using a spatula to smooth the top.
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, until firm. Use the foil overhang to remove the dough from the pan. Peel off the foil and cut into 10 bars.
Maple-Chocolate Chip Energy Bars: Replace the honey with an equal amount of pure maple syrup. Replace the dried cherries with ½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips. Press into the pan as directed.
Raisin-Sunflower Power Bars: Replace the tahini with sunflower seed butter, replace the pepitas with sunflower seeds, and replace the dried cherries with raisins. Add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon along with the vanilla.
Cook’s tip: The bars will keep at room temperature for 1-2 days. For preserving the bars long-term, tightly wrap individual bars in plastic wrap. Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively place the wrapped bars in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let the frozen bars thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Nutrition Analysis (per bar): 260 cal, 14 g fat, 0 mg chol, 90 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 8 g protein.