The other day a friend of mine asked me to watch her kids for a few hours so she could run some errands and get some much needed alone time. All of our kids live on the mainland, thousands of miles away, and it gets quiet around here – so I’m always ready to spend some time with little ones! We had a blast picking wild thimble berries in the backyard, taking the dogs for a walk, and doing a little gardening.
As I figured they would be, the kids were pretty hungry after our morning and early afternoon excitement so I made us some brown rice wraps filled with avocado, fresh greens, and thimble berry dressing. It was a success! We sat down for an afternoon of reading and it wasn’t long before they feel to sleep like little angels… so I decided to make a batch of homemade energy bars to fuel the rest of the afternoon after their nap.
I’ve made my fair share of vegan energy bars before, but I wasn’t in the mood to dig up those recipes. So, I set out on a whim to create a batch from scratch. They turned out so yummy! They’re filling little gems with plenty of nutty and fruit goodness to keep you going until your next meal. They also happen to make one heck of a way to end the day as an evening dessert. They’re a bit chewy, but at the same time they offer a nice crunch that is similar to options on the market such as “Kind bars”. These homemade nut and maple energy bars are a bit sticky though, so don’t go setting them on your kitchen counter! Lol… they should go on a plate or napkin.
The little ones had one each and Marla (the CUTEST little girl in the world… I swear!) said to me, “I hope you’ll let us take some home!” and with that, she had the entire batch in her hand as she headed out the door and on her way home. But, I did manage to snap a photo to share here along with the recipe I thought to jot down as I was creating them. I hope you enjoy!
Nut and Maple Energy Bars
- 1 cup organic brown rice krispies
- ½ cup oats (or another half cup of rice krispies)
- ¼ cup raisins
- 3 tbsp peanuts, almonds, walnuts, or your favorite nut
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds (or add more nuts)
- ¼ cup pitted dates, soaked for about an hour
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Put the rice krispies, raisins, and peanuts in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
Drain the dates, but save 3 tbsp of the soak water and put it with your dates into the blender. Blend them with the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt on high until it turns into syrup, adding another tablespoon of water if necessary.
Pour the date syrup over the rice krispies and mix with a spoon until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to your baking pan and use parchment paper or foil to firmly compact the mixture so there are no air holes in it and a flat surface was created.
You can either bake the bars in the oven at 250 degrees F for about 15 minutes and let cool before cutting and serving, or place them in the freezer until they’re completely firm before enjoying.