Sunday, March 18, 2018

Energy Bars

I've been meaning to write this post, for several weeks now. It's a staple, we cook almost weekly. I love a flexible recipe, using whatever ingredients are in the pantry - but also saves on buying, more expensive and packaged food for the family.

I'm referring to the humble muesli bar, which I've dubbed, the Energy Bar. Because it's designed to be a meal on the run. Something for energy, but of course, not to be eaten all the time. Once a day, is plenty!

Inside an energy bar

For anyone giving up sugar, this is not the recipe for you. Because it relies on the soft toffee, achieved by simmering sugar, honey and butter! This binds the ingredients together (once chilled) enough to form a solid mass. As this bar is not cooked in the oven, it requires something to solidify it.

Dry ingredients, mixed together

The way I have tweaked the recipe, is to make it Gluten free - using gluten free cereals. You don't have to do this however. Just use any breakfast cereal (dry, rolled oats, or toasted) if that's what you have in your pantry.

Cereal is just one component in this recipe - there's also dried fruit, and seeds. You could even add nuts, if that's your thing! I ran out of sunflower seeds once, and substituted desiccated coconut. Just substitute the same amount, of one dry ingredient, for another. This is what makes it such an easy recipe to work with.

Cooling in the slice pan

It fits perfectly in an 18 x 28 cm (7" x 11") slice pan. Packed down evenly, with the back of a spoon. Never use your hand, with hot sugar. The pan is lined with greaseproof paper, and sprayed with oil.

Retain this lining, after the slice is turned out of the pan - as it makes an excellent separator, if you need to stack the bars on top of each other, when they go in the fridge. They will stick together, otherwise!

Starting to simmer

There's a word of caution I should mention, when working with boiling sugar, which retains heat. Always keep it to a simmer or gentle rolling boil, on the stove. You don't want it splattering into your eye, or hitting your skin in general. This stuff stings, and can give you third-degree burns, if you were to accidentally tip it on yourself.

Gentle, rolling boil - start to time your 5 minutes

General safety guidelines should always be observed in the kitchen. Keep your pot handles turned away from the edge, and don't leave it unattended, with children around.

I've been making this for years now, without incident. But I'm a stickler for safety, and would encourage others to do the same, with this particular recipe. Treat it like you would, hot oil in the kitchen.

Divided up

Once it's chilled in the fridge for at least a half hour, it can be turned onto a chopping board. Using your largest, sharp knife, gently score at 1.5" intervals. It's easier to cut once they've been scored, first. Do the same. Once. Length- ways.

It should yield 14 bars in total, with a few extra slivers to taste, on the end. My favourite part of making this recipe! The taste test.

Stir well

It's really easy to remember this recipe, once you've done it a few times. Just add your dry ingredients into a bowl (stir) then add your hot, wet ingredients, directly from the stove. Stir to coat everything, immediately. It's not something you want to race-off and hang the laundry out - or it will start solidifying, and make it harder to coat the rest.

Oh yes, and if you ARE going to lick the bowl/spoon, wait until it cools first! It will be more toffee like, but at least you won't burn your tongue. Enjoy!

Energy Bars

~ Note the reused, greaseproof paper ~

Dry ingredients:

1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup apricots (chopped)
1/3 cup sultanas
3 x Gluten Free Weet-Bix (crushed)
3/4 cup Gluten Free Rice Puffs
3/4 cup Gluten Free Cocoa Puffs/Balls

Wet ingredients: 

3 oz butter (I used salted, use what you prefer)
2/3 cup white sugar
1.5 tablespoons honey


  • Add dry ingredients to a large bowl, stir, until combined. Set aside.

  • Add wet ingredients to small saucepan. Gently bring to a rolling boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir regularly to stop catching on bottom.

  • Add wet ingredients, to dry; stir until combined.

  • Tip into a lined and greased, slice pan. Press down, with the back of a spoon. 

  • Set pan aside in fridge, on an oven mitt, for 30 minutes.

  • Once chilled, turn onto a chopping board - slice into 14 bars.

  • Keep stored in fridge, in a plastic container. My son has a smaller plastic container, we reuse, for him to take one in his lunch box.

Remember, you aren't limited by the dry ingredients, I have shared. Just substitute your own ingredients, to the same amount. You can eliminate the Rice and Cocoa Puffs, altogether, and add nuts/coconut, different dried fruits, etc (to make up the 1.5 cups) instead.

While we are still generating some wrapping, in purchasing breakfast cereals, it's much less, than if we were also purchasing muesli bars.


  1. They look delicious, Chris. I like that you can substitute different ingredients and make them depending on what you have. Great that there's less wrapping too. Might even be able to get some cereal ingredients from bulk food section of grocer. Meg:)

    1. I was thinking of checking out, our local "source" store that sells in bulk. I don't know if they do cereals, but still have plenty of stuff that could fill a bar! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Wow they do look good, hubby would love them, I don't like honey (I know I'm crazy), I have started making bars with rolled oats, like a flapjack, but I like your ingredients, might have to add more to mine.

    1. I wonder if maple syrup, or golden syrup, could be used in place of honey? It would alter the flavour a little. Whatever works for your pantry and taste buds though. Your flapjack ones sound interesting. :)

  3. Sounds yummy, Chris. Not for me though of course due to the sugar content. I would have make these years ago when my children were growing up.

    1. Absolutely, Chel. I wanted to put it out there, upfront, because I know some avoid sugar for health reasons. While not a fan of the sugar content, either, at least I know what's going into these. I try to avoid soy lecithin, which seems to be in everything nowadays. Moderation, in eating, is the key for our Energy bars. :)


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