Super Energy Bars – aka Best Granola Bars Ever!

A chewy granola bar packed with energy, nutrients… and free of weird, unpronounceable ingredients. 1well, actually, most people can’t say “quinoa,” but that’s an optional ingredient. ūüôā

This is my recipe, which I concocted by analyzing dozens of other recipes. ¬†We’re talking spreadsheet level research. ¬†Everyone loved them. ¬†They got the athlete’s seal of approval, the gluten-free dude’s seal of approval, the sugar-addict’s seal of approval… (and they have very little fructose – the sweet part of sugar!)

They were awesome on our ten day canoe trip.

Notes on ingredients you don’t actually need: ¬†

The most important thing is to maintain the wet to dry ratio here. ¬†About 8.5 cups dry ingredients to about 2.75 cups “wet” ingredients. ¬†I just gathered up every ¬†dry thing we had that sounded good in granola bars while also thinking about protein, yumminess, nutrients, and catering to a gluten-free guy.

Crazy ingredients you do not actually need and their replacements:

  • puffed rice

    Just in case you don’t know what puffed rice looks like…

    unsweetened coconut Рused this because of healthy, yummy fat.  Use more nuts or leave it out and adjust ratios.

  • puffed rice – we just happened to have some, and it provides good bulk. ¬†Use any other puffed cereal in your cupboard (Cheerios, Rice Krispies… ugh.. sugar cringe, but they’ll work!)
  • dried blueberries – I think these were lying around also. ¬†You could use raisins, any other dried fruit, or just leave it out and adjust ratios.
  • protein powder – again – protein, plus we already had it, plus these were for an outdoor trip where we planned to be exerting ourselves several hours a day. ¬†Add more coconut flour or leave it out and adjust.
  • coconut flour – I needed these to be gluten free, but at the end of the day I still needed a flour. ¬†I settled on coconut for the taste. ¬†You could probably also use a nut flour, any other gluten-free flour or just regular flour. ¬†I would not recommend leaving this ingredient out. ¬†Definitely get it or find a replacement.
  • sesame seeds – had them already. ¬†Yum. ¬†More nuts or leave out.
  • chia seeds – had them already. ¬†More nuts or leave out.
  • cooked quinoa

    This is what cooked quinoa looks like. Unless you get the red kind, then it looks like this but with some red sprinkled throughout.

    quinoa Рused this because  protein.  And we had some but not  enough that it would get used for a meal.  You could use more oats.  Or just skip it and adjust the ratios accordingly.

  • dextrose – I really want you to use this because fructose is what’s making you so fat and hungry all the time. ¬†But if you’re too lazy to go to your local ¬†beer brewing shop and pay a few bucks for several pounds of this stuff, any sticky liquid sugar product will do – corn syrup, treacle, etc.
  • cocoa butter – again, had this on hand. ¬†You could just get some chocolate and melt it in (but then probably leave out some of the cocoa powder). ¬†Or you could just add a few tablespoons of flavorless oil (i.e. NOT olive oil) – like peanut, canola, grapeseed, sunflower, “vegetable.”
  • coconut oil – it’s so yummy. ¬†But replace it with any other relatively flavorless oil as listed above.

Ingredient Ideas:

1.5 c oats
3/4 c chopped almonds
1 c chopped walnuts
1 c shredded unsweetened coconut
(toast all of the above together – see directions)

1 c puffed rice
1/2 c dried blueberries
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c protein powder
1/2 c coconut flour
few tbsp sesame seeds
few tbsp chia
1 c quinoa (pre-cooked)

1.5 c dextrose melted and candied
3/4 c peanut butter
2 tbsp cocoa butter
1/2 c coconut oil
vanilla extract


If you didn’t already, start cooking the quinoa following package directions.

Toast oats, nuts and coconut at 350 ¬ļF until you smell them. ¬†(Then remove immediately! ¬†You’ll smell the loveliness about 60 seconds before it starts burning. ¬†Maybe 10 minutes minimum, and max 20 mins)

In a big bowl, mix toasted stuff with puffed rice through salt.

In a saucepan, melt dextrose over medium heat. ¬†Then on medium to low heat, stirring very regularly, slowly let water evaporate until you have a syrup. ¬†Careful not to burn. ¬†If dextrose starts to yellow, turn the heat down quick and stir more. ¬† Once thick enough that it leaves a trail when you stir (can’t get too thick… can only burn), turn off heat, add cocoa butter and peanut butter, and stir thoroughly. ¬† Then add coconut oil and vanilla extract (last – the heat will cause it to boil and evaporate).

Stir liquid mix into dry stuff. ¬†I found it easier to put a plastic bag on my ¬†hand and really give it hell. ¬†Line a cookie sheet/baking pan/baking dish with baking paper and press it into the receptacle as hard and evenly as you can. ¬†Cool 20 minutes in freezer, cut to desired size. Store in fridge or freezer. ¬†Unless you’re going on a canoe trip. ¬†Then just carry them around in your backpack.

Hope you love these as much as everyone else did!


1 well, actually, most people can’t say “quinoa,” but that’s an optional ingredient. ūüôā

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