Cranberry Almond Energy Bars
Granola and energy bars are so perfect for breakfast, snacks or on the way to the gym. They provide energy, protein, and are high in fiber. Kids and adults alike love sweet grab-and-go snacks but sometimes the ingredient list is loooong in these products and the added sugar content is sky high. The good news is that making your own is super easy so I wanted to share my no-bake Cranberry Almond Energy Bars with you for your next adventure.
I was on my local news recently New Day NW on King 5, doing a demo on how to make these! Check it out if you want to see them made live. Making your own snacks like Cranberry Almond Energy Bars is more affordable than buying premade varieties from the store and it cuts down on plastic packaging as well, which is not only a win for you but also for the environment. You can store these in Tupperware or in reusable bags so you can take them along with you in the car, in a gym bag, or to work.
Health Benefits of Homemade Bars
Not only are they an affordable, grab and go snack, the Cranberry Almond Energy Bars are packed with ingredients that are nutrient dense and fuel your body. One of the core ingredients in these bars are cranberries. While cranberries are rich in several vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and manganese, they also contain a chemical compound called proanthocyanidins that may prevent women from developing UTIs or developing severe symptoms associated with UTIs. If you want to learn more about how cranberries help prevent UTIs check out this article that I was featured in Cranberry Pills for UTI: Benefits, Risks, and More.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and supply adequate amounts of zinc and phosphorus. They also are heart healthy, anti-inflammatory, and high consumption has been linked to reduced risk of certain cancers.
Medjool dates bring sweetness to the Cranberry Almond Energy Bars, however, they are also loaded with fiber and minerals like copper and potassium, too! They also contain antioxidants that help your body fight disease.
Almonds are another core ingredient in this recipe that compliments well with the tart flavor of the cranberries and the sweetness from the Medjool dates. They are high in magnesium, vitamin E as well as contain antioxidants and adequate amounts of fiber and protein.
The cinnamon in these bars offers some spice while also contributing anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Cinnamon has also been linked to helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels which can ultimately reduce the risk of heart disease. The ingredients combine to create a delicious, nutrient packed masterpiece!
Making the Cranberry Almond Energy Bars
These are really simple to make. Since they’re no-bake, they’re perfect for meal prepping while other foods cook. They’re also a fun way to get kids more involved in the kitchen. Easy recipes like the Cranberry Almond Energy Bars can get them interested in cooking and feel ownership over creating foods to take in their lunches or to enjoy as a snack.
Gather your ingredients
First things first. Gather all the ingredients you will need for the recipe. When choosing your almond butter, look for almond butter that has no added oil or sugar. As an alternative, you can also use peanut butter or sunflower butter.
For dried cranberries, try to find ones that have apple juice as the sweetener instead of sugar. You can also use raisins or fruit-sweetened chopped plums/prunes or apricots, cherries or blueberries.
The recipe calls for 1 cup of pitted and chopped Medjool dates, which for your reference is equivalent to 6 large dates. There are other types of dates available so it won’t make a huge difference in the final product. I suggest using what you can easily find.
If you’re not a fan of sesame seeds or may be allergic, you can substitute the sesame seeds for unsweetened coconut. After you have double checked you have all the ingredients, you are ready to get started.
Prepare your pan and make your dough
Begin by spraying a loaf pan with cooking oil and then lining the pan with parchment paper. You want the parchment paper to come over the sides completely. When you do this, they’ll be really easy to pull out of the pan.
Next, you are going to place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, except the sesame seeds or coconut flakes. Those will be used later. Pulse in the food processor until the mixture is combined yet not fully blended. During this step, you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl or add a couple tablespoons of water in order for the mixture to blend well. It should be a thick dough/paste. If you don’t have a food processor, a blender can work, too!
Form your Cranberry Almond Energy Bars
Once you have the right consistency, form the dough into a ball with your hands and place it into the prepared pan. You are going to press the dough down evenly so it reaches the corners. Sprinkle the pressed dough with sesame seeds (or coconut). I suggest pressing the sesame seeds (or coconut) slightly into the dough with your hands to make sure it sticks. In order for the bars to set, I suggest refrigerating for 1 to 8 hours. I like to put them in the refrigerator overnight so they’re ready to cut in the morning.
This is such a simple snack that would be great for kids after school or as a treat for your co-workers if you’re getting that mid-afternoon slump. Enjoy the natural energy that complex carbs, healthy fat and protein combined has to offer in a snack like Cranberry Almond Energy Bars.
If you love recipes like this, check out my Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites or my Coconut Cherry Energy Oat Balls. I also demo-ed my favorite Vegan Chocolate Banana Shake Treat as well – another sweet yet healthy favorite.
Cranberry Almond Energy Bars
- 1 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates - equivalent of 6 large dates
- 1/2 cup almond butter - no sugar or oil added
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup almond slivers
- 1 cup dried cranberries - sweetened with apple juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds sub shredded coconut if desired
- Spray a loaf pan with cooking oil then line with parchment paper so that it comes up the sides completely.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add all the ingredients except the sesame seeds (or coconut) and pulse until the mixture is combined but not completely blended. The dough should be textured and crumbly. You may need to push the dough down with a spoon or add a couple tablespoons of water to get it blended well.
- Form the dough into a ball with your hands and place it in the lined pan. Press the dough down evenly so it reaches the corners.
- Sprinkle the dough with the sesame seeds (or coconut). Press the sesame seeds (or coconut) slightly into the dough with your hands.
- Refrigerate for 1-8 hours, then remove the parchment paper onto a cutting board and cut into 8 pieces with a sharp knife. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.