What kind of snacks do you pack when you travel? It gives me so much comfort to know there’s something delicious tucked away in my bag. For our upcoming trip, I’ll be bringing along these energy bars. They’re packed with nutrients and the recipe is super easy to customize. Try using sesame seeds or ground flax seeds in place of the chia seeds. If you can’t find date syrup (look for it in Middle Eastern markets), use maple syrup or a little more honey instead. And feel free to substitute your favorite kind of nut for the almonds and any nut butter for the peanut butter.
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons date syrup
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened whole-grain puffed cereal
¾ cup dried fruit (such as cherries or blueberries, or apricots, chopped)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an 8-inch square dish with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang a couple of inches over the sides.
Place the oats on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the almonds and pumpkin seeds to the baking sheet and toast for another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, warm the date syrup, peanut butter, and honey over medium-low heat until runny and easily pourable.
In a large bowl, combine the toasted oats, almonds, and pumpkin seeds with the chia seeds, puffed cereal, dried fruit, vanilla, and salt. Pour in the honey mixture and mix very well with a rubber spatula. Transfer to the prepared dish, using the spatula to spread evenly and then to press down gently on the bars. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut into 8 bars and serve.
(Store the energy bars, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They keep well for hours at room temperature and make terrific travel snacks.)