Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Recipe Connection: Almond Power Bars

July 1st, 2009 · 81 Comments · Do It Yourself, Recipes

These bars have such incredible flavor, you’d never guess they don’t have any sugar and only a smidge of natural sweeteners.  Gluten free and with four Super Foods, they pack a nutritional punch, and really fill you up between meals.  It’s hard to say whether they’re a dessert or a breakfast food! Great for the lunchbox, like my other healthy lunch packing ideas.




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The pictorial recipe is below this print version.


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Almond Power Bars
Print
Recipe type: Desserts
Author: Katie Kimball

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almonds (raw or crispy nuts)
  • ½ cup flax meal (flax seeds ground in a blender)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup unsalted almond butter (like peanut butter, made from almonds instead)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil (unrefined is best; could probably sub butter here)
  • 1-2 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2-3 teaspoons homemade vanilla extract (or at least real)
  • a few squares dark chocolate, less than half a bar needed for thin layer (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place almonds, flax meal, shredded coconut, almond butter and salt in a food processor
  2. Pulse briefly, about 10 seconds
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over very low heat,
  4. Remove coconut oil from stove, stir sweeteners and vanilla into oil
  5. Add coconut oil mixture to food processor and pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste
  6. Press mixture into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish
  7. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture hardens
  8. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously
  9. Spread melted chocolate over bars; return to refrigerator for 30 minutes, until chocolate hardens
  10. Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars and serve
  11. Makes 20 bars

Adapted from Elana’s Pantry

 

Almond Power Bars

Ingredients

2 cups almonds (raw or crispy nuts)
½ cup flax meal (flax seeds ground in a blender)
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup unsalted almond butter (like peanut butter, made from almonds instead)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut oil (unrefined is best; could probably sub butter here)
1-2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs maple syrup
2-3 teaspoons homemade vanilla extract (or at least real)
a few squares dark chocolate, less than half a bar needed for thin layer (optional)

Method

  1. Place almonds, flax meal, shredded coconut, almond butter and salt in a food processor
  2. Pulse briefly, about 10 seconds
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over very low heat,
  4. Remove coconut oil from stove, stir sweeteners and vanilla into oil
  5. Add coconut oil mixture to food processor and pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste
    img_7454
  6. Press mixture into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish
  7. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture hardens
  8. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously
  9. Spread melted chocolate over bars; return to refrigerator for 30 minutes, until chocolate hardens
  10. Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars and serve

Makes 20 bars
Adapted from Elana’s Pantry

healthy bar recipe

UPDATE:  I tried this recipe again, absolutely thinking I needed the dark chocolate to make it taste good, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they’re delicious without it!

Be sure to check out the Walnut-Oat Pie crust too, a healthy alternative to graham cracker crusts.

Check out the “Bean and Veggie Meal Plan Analysis“.  I’ll help you find ways to include healthy beans and veggies in the foods you and your family already serve and enjoy!

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Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Other Healthy Recipes you may enjoy:


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81 Comments so far ↓

  • Tara

    Num!! I’m always looking for a good snack bar recipe. I’ll have to give this a try. Although I’ll have to sub out organic peanut butter for almond butter and butter for coconut oil. And sadly – no chocolate in the house! geez – maybe I should just wait it out till I have the proper ingredients!

    Tara’s last blog post.."omelets" ~ fast food style

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    I did have to complete the 1/2 cup almond butter with a bit of peanut butter, and I bet butter instead of c.oil would be just fine – go for it! The chocolate definitely helped, though, you may want to wait for that. Good luck! I visited your blog, too — good stuff!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Emma Reply:

    This looks delicious. I am trying to eat a lot less refined sugar. I found flax seeds upset my stomach – do you have any alternative suggestions please?
    Thank you.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Emma,
    Sorry I missed your comment for so long – I would think the flax doesn’t have any special binding purpose, so you could just use coconut, maybe even applesauce at half the quantity, more nuts or sunflower seeds, or ground chia seeds. Hopefully one of those will help! Enjoy! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Emma Reply:

    Thank you Katie.
    :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance

    Ooh this is good. Healthy snacks are key. Thanks for sharing!

    Michelle @ Find Your Balance’s last blog post..You. Need. Fat.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

    I also made Elana’s power bars and loved them! They are so great!

    Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet’s last blog post..“Raw” Berry Freezer Jam (Honey Sweetened)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Carrie

    These bars are really incredibly delicious. I didn’t have any coconut oil so I used Crisco (no trans-fats, but still not ideal). After reading up on the health benefits of coconut oil, and being generally skeptical of soybean oil, I’m planning on buying coconut oil for the next batch, which will surely be soon.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Nice. Crisco no trans fats? I dunno about that. I think Crisco is kind of the epitome of trans fats…let’s look into this. What do the ingredients list? I would always default to butter as the sub for coconut oil if I didn’t have any. Check here for my best price on a gallon of c. oil: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/08/13/a-good-deal-on-top-fats/

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nourishing Protein Bars – A Great Whole Foods Snack – Passionate Homemaking

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  • Anjanette

    We just made these and my husband’s response was, “you have to make these like every day!!” :)
    .-= Anjanette´s last blog ..Disclosure Policy =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • gfe--gluten free easily

    What a fantastic recipe, Katie! It’s going on my list right now. :-)

    Shirley
    .-= gfe–gluten free easily´s last blog ..Eating My Words with Honey-Sweetened Corn Muffins (March Muffin Madness) =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Carolyn

    How did it go, substituting peanut butter for almond butter and butter for coconut oil? Anyone? That’s where I am with ingredients right now …

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Carolyn,
    The PB for almond butter works great, and I believe Carrie told me the butter was fine as well. Should be a go! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Brooke Kingston

    Used unsalted butter and they were great! DS (2 1/2) ate them like they were going out of style! Think I’ll cut and wrap them individually and get them into the freezer so I can space them out a bit…they’d be gone in a day if my boys had their druthers! AWESOME! And we didn’t even add the chocolate…

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Debbie

    wow–this recipe looks healthy AND yummy!

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • Jen

    Hi Katie,

    I found your blog through Heavenly Homemakers, and I just made your power bars, which are so good! Two of my sons have nut allergies, so I substituted raw sunflower seeds for the almonds, and sunflower seed butter for the almond butter, so they’re still classified as protein bars and they turned out great! Thanks for the great, easy recipe!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jen,
    It’s great to know about viable allergy-friendly alternatives! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Bonnie B Greene

    These are the best bars. I make them every Sunday now. I used peanut butter and butter before and they taste great also. I don’t use the chocolate either. This time I incorporated pecans with the almonds. I think it is going to be good. I love this recipe!!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Shari

    Anyone have an idea what the calorie/fat content is to these? They look amazing!!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Shari,
    Honestly, with wholesome ingredients like these and practically no sweetener, I wouldn’t worry a whit about calories or fat! These are all good, healthy fats, and I’m sure a calorie count would look terrible because nuts have a high fat/high cal content. But healthy is healthy, no matter what the “numbers” say! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Donna

    These bars are awesome! I brought these in to work for people to try and they loved them! I really LOVE your website…I could spend all day looking at-up things. I have made several of your recipes and really just love everything you have here. Wanted to let you know Katie.
    Donna

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Thanks, Donna! I love to hear from readers!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kara

    Is a vitamix a food processor? I just tried making these in mine, and was a big failure! It wouldn`t mix, I had to add water to get it to halfway go! Any tips for me??! Thanks! They sound really yummy…

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Kara,
    Do you mean you have and used a Vitamix? I can only imagine that should do a great job with the bars. ??? I make them in my normal food processor, but yes, a Vitamix is supposed to be a super powerful food processor. The coconut oil really gets them to stick together. I hope you can make them worK! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Stephanie M Reply:

    I would make sure your liquid ingredients are at the bottom and use your tamper to push everything down.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Natalie

    I made these bars the other day and they are “FABULOUS”. I gave them to all my non health food eating friends and family and they too loved them. I added some goji berries for a little extra nutritional kick and it was a great contrast. Thanks!!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jennie@ Pure Homemaking

    Oh this looks positively divine! I just finished making a variation of your regular granola bars (peanut butter and chocolate) and I must give these a go next time I get some almonds! This sounds so good!

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • KP

    Absolutely delicious, but mine are all crumbly. Don’t hold together. Any ideas? Which ingredient should I add more of?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    KP,
    did you refrigerate them? That makes a world of difference. If they’re still crumbly, I’m sure a bit more coconut oil or almond butter would do the trick. You can see in the photo that mine are pretty gooey in the food processor but harden up nicely in the fridge. They shouldn’t be crumbly for sure – I’m sure you’ll be able to get them to stick! :) katie

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • Amarea

    I don’t have a food processor? Is it still possible to make this? (I am a complete newbie to this whole homemade thing, so sorry if this is a silly question!! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Amarea,
    A good blender might do the trick, or a mini food chopper *maybe*…you would need something to get the almonds chopped really, really finely (you can tell in the picture that a knife, for example, probably wouldn’t be enough). No silly questions! Good for you to start down the path to making more of your own! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Louise

    Hi Katie,
    I really want to try this and the granola bar recipes but my problem is this – I really, really don’t like coconut. I can manage coconut oil in things, but not the actual shredded coconut, both texture and flavour do weird things to me. Can you suggest a reasonable substitute for the shredded coconut?
    Many thanks,
    Louise

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Louise,
    First, because everything is chopped in the food processor, I’m not sure if you could pick out the texture of the coconut (not my fav either). I’m thinking you could always try simply omitting it, or add extra flax or maybe ground nuts to compensate.

    I don’t actually call for coconut in the granola bars, though.
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Louise Reply:

    Right you are, I was thinking the actual granola rather than the granola bars. I will definitely try substituting, I have lots of ground flax available or could grind up some nuts fairly easily. I just don’t want to risk making a whole batch of something and not wanting to eat it because I can taste the coconut. Thanks so much for the response! I’ve never been really confident when it comes to altering recipes, so it helps to have some experienced input. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • Sandra

    Do these need to be stored in the fridge to hold together? I’m wondering what your thoughts are as to whether they would hold up well enough to take backpacking or would they just crumble to pieces. Did anyone who is a backpacker make these and what do you think?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Sandra,
    If you’re backpacking in summer heat, I don’t think they would quite work great. They do fine at room temperature here in the winter though.

    For backpacking, I highly recommend a homemade larabar-type dried-fruit-and-nut bar. They really hold together well (I make little balls out of them for ease of serving/eating), hold up in heat, and are SO yummy and energizing. I have 14 variations in my eBook, but you can also find recipes via Google searches.
    Thanks! Katie
    (ebook: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/04/26/healthy-snacks-to-go-ebook-now-on-sale/)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • KellyinPA

    Can wheat germ be substituted for the flax seed in this recipe? I just bought some raw almonds over the weekend and really want to try this recipe;)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Kelly,
    Probably (?) but I don’t usually recommend taking the germ out of the wheat… Maybe just skip the flax or add a bit more almonds? Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Michael Magliulo

    Amazingly delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Lucy

    Made these for the first time this weekend. They’re good, and they hold together, but they’re kind of “wet”. Any advice? Thanks.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lucy,
    You can always add some almonds or adjust the almond butter, or whatever is making them too wet. Sometimes mine are denser than others, true…fiddle until they fit your tastes! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sproxno

    Found your site today and have been reading a few of your great posts!

    Wanted to comment on this one as I’ve been trying to come up with recipes for my own energy bars.

    These sound delicious but I don’t know if I’d call them “power bars”. Maybe a natural candy bar?

    They don’t offer much in the way of either carbs or protein and almost 90% of the calories come from fat.

    They sound great and will try them out as a nice treat but wouldn’t use them to replace protein or energy bars as I thought might be the case since you used “power bars” in the name.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    True – but all those nuts have quite a bit of protein, wouldn’t you say? And mmm, fat, good source of energy! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Sproxno Reply:

    Katie,

    You can go to http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php and analyze the recipe yourself.

    I got 16.3g of fat, 6.3g carbs and 3.7g protein per serving.

    Compare that to an energy bar like a Clif bar that has 7g fat, 41g carbs, 10g protein.

    Or a PowerBar wich has 5g fat, 38g carbs, 23g protein.

    Fat takes longer to convert to energy (up to 6 hours) than carbs or proteins do. Apparently fats can be good if you’re doing something long like running a marathon.

    I’m just being nit-picky about the naming since power bar makes me think of PowerBar which is a protein bar.

    These are tasty treats that I would enjoy :) just not something I would grab for some quick energy before I go out for a run. I’m about to do that just now. It’s been a few hours since I last ate and I scarfed down a homemade energy bar I made for a boost.

    I will be trying these too because they look so good :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Lucy Reply:

    At least you admit that you’re being nit-picky. That’s the first step, right?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Kelley Reply:

    I love the fact that these are so low in carbs…..and that they taste wonderful!!!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Megan

    Thanks for the recipe- excellent combination or ingredients and a great platform to modify or add things to. I used chis seeds instead of flax (allergic to flax), turned out great and have added antioxidants. Keep up the inspiring work!

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • Rebekah

    Raw almonds are SO sweet! I love them!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Shannon

    According to the Nourishing Traditions of Weston A Price, you should soak or sprout nuts and seeds to obtain all the nutritional benefits things like almonds and flax seed. Has anyone tried this recipe, but soaked/sprouted the items first?

    It looks really yummy and I want to try making them, but would like to make them as “healthy” as possible.

    Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Shannon,
    I always make “crispy nuts” by soaking and dehydrating nuts first, so you’re good to go on the almonds. I don’t make my own almond butter, but I’m sure the recipe would be good with “crispy” almond butter. It is however much tastier with roasted almond butter, I will say. :)

    As for flax, I don’t know that it’s possible to soak or sprout flaxseed. They get so gelatinous in water; it seems like it would be impossible to get them back “apart.” Have you ever soaked or sprouted flax?

    Let me know how it goes! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Helen via Facebook

    this is one of our family’s all time favorite recipes!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Amy via Facebook

    Want to make these so bad. Just what I need for a pregnant grab & go snack.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nicole

    I so want to try making these asap! Loving this site & now following. Looking forward to more healthy ideas :)

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • Chris

    I made these tonight but used pecans because that’s the only raw nut I had. They are amazing!!! Even my kids loved them! Said they tasted like cookies! I’ll be making these a lot! Thanks for the recipe!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Melissa J.

    I made these with walnuts and PB as I didn’t have almonds or almond butter. They were yummy but salty for my taste. I suppose I should have cut out the salt if my PB had salt in it?

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Lora L

    I made these this week and was too lazy (i.e., strapped on time because I have a 5 month old) to do the chocolate topping. So instead and just threw a handful of carob chips in the processor with everything else and blended them in. Yum. My sister made the original recipe so we compared tastes and agreed mine tastes just a bit richer….which works for me because I’m using these as a desert snack each night. So happy because this recipe is super easy and fast enough to make while my baby is taking a 20 minute nap!!! : ) Oh, and I used almond extract because I was out of vanilla. Another reason they probably taste a little more rich. This will be a new staple recipe in our household.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kristin

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks for this. What a delicious recipe!!!!!! I’m wondering, however, how to get the chocolate to stick to the bar and then not to crack. Maybe if I add some coconut oil to the chocolate? Not sure if that would help of hinder…

    Thanks so much!!
    Kristin

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Kristin,
    You know, it has been a while since I’ve made this one, and I cannot remember that happening. I imagine there are many types of chocolate. You’re probably onto something with the coconut oil, though. Good luck! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • DramaMama

    I tried these today and it seems my large cuisinart food processor could not handle it. Did you soak the almonds first? My FP is fairly new – 3 years, I think, so I find it hard to believe it couldn’t do it! I don’t know what I did wrong, but I even tried our blender. No luck. Everything was in rock hard clumps and the almonds just didn’t want to budge. Any advice is appreciated! They look so very tasty and I hate to throw away food!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    DM,
    I usually use crispy nuts, soaked and dehydrated. Hmmm…did the coconut oil harden and cause problems? I grind nuts in my food processor all the time without problem. Can you eat the clumps? :) That’s probably what I would try… :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

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  • Christine

    I love these! I cut the maple syrup & Honey by 1/2 and added Enjoy Life mini chips in batter inside of chocolate on top

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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