Healthy Flax Seed and Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Healthy Flax Seed and Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Made with a handful of whole ingredients and lightly sweetened with maple syrup, these energy bars are a nutritious, kid-friendly snack. Get the recipe now!

Bonus post time! I get it, not everyone likes the taste or texture of protein powder, plus it can be expensive to buy a good quality brand. That’s where these healthy energy bars come in.

Healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bar on spatula

I’m obsessed with these healthy energy bars and I know you will be too!

Kid-friendly, perfect for hiking season, and an all-around easy recipe to make.

Plus, they taste like you’re eating chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough, so that’s a win in my book regardless of nutrition.

Initially I was going to make them with dates, but started thinking that: 1. I already have a few nut and date energy bites on the blog and 2. It’s time to reach out of my comfort zone and make a bar that doesn’t rely on dates or protein powder to hold it together.

So, I started with the same base as my Vegan Peanut Butter Protein bars: oats, peanut butter, maple syrup, nuts and milk.

But then started playing around with ways to still add protein, but without using a powder supplement.

Healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bars

As I’ve really been digging flax seeds lately, I figured it was worth adding some in. However, ½ cup of flax seed sounded like a lot. And I was right.

After some playing around ¼ cup was just right. Of course, I then had to adjust the peanut butter and milk to get the texture just right.

And the result? While still slightly lower in protein than the bars made with protein powder, these guys are still full of healthy fats and fiber while being relatively low in carbohydrate.

If using for hiking and want a little carb boost, feel free to add in chocolate chips (like I did) or dried fruit.

Sliced healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bars

What You’ll Need to Make these Healthy Energy Bars

  • Rolled oats
  • Cashews (or nuts of choice)
  • Ground flax seed
  • Natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Salt
  • Milk of choice (soy or cow’s will have more protein)
  • Optional add-ins, such as dark chocolate chips or dried fruit

What makes these energy bars healthier?

As convenient as store-bought snack bars are, they’re usually packed with added sugars (or artificial sweeteners), are low in either fiber or protein, and contain a list of additives.

While there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a bar in a pinch, making your own at home is not only healthier but easy.

These bars on the other hand have a good amount of fiber, 4 grams per serving, 6-grams of plant-based protein, and just 5 grams of natural sugar from the maple syrup.

Oh, and let’s not forget all those healthy fats – 5 grams monounsaturated and 3 grams of polyunsaturated fats!

Health benefits of flax seeds

It took me awhile to actually buy flax seeds and I have no idea why.

As a dietitian, I’m constantly counseling and writing about how good they are for us, yet I use chia seeds so often that I just never appreciated how useful flax seeds can also be.

Just 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains almost 2 grams of fiber, 1.3 grams of protein, and 1,597 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids!

They’re also a good source of magnesium (needed for good bone health) and B-vitamins (important for energy levels and brain functioning).

Healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bars stacked

Why buy Ground Flax Seeds?

It’s important to use ground flax seeds when cooking, baking or sprinkling them on your food as our bodies can’t properly break down the hard outer shells.

As a result, our bodies aren’t able to absorb all the nutrients found in flax seed and we may experience GI distress.

However, ground flax seeds can sometimes be cheaper and have a longer shelf-life. WHen ready to use, all you need is a spice or coffee grinder.

Personally, I go through ground flax seeds pretty quickly, so I end up buying pre-ground flax seed (often called flax seed meal) for the convenience factor.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Cover a 7×11 baking sheet or 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside. Measure out ingredients.  

Healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bars ingredients

Step 2: Pulse oats in a food processor until it forms a coarse flour. Pour into a large mixing bowl.

Pulsed oats in food processor

Step 3: Place cashews in food processor and pulse into small pieces, similar to coarse sand. Add to mixing bowl with flour.

Pulsed cashews in food processor

Step 4: Pour remaining ingredients into mixing bowl and stir well to combine. The texture should resemble a sticky oatmeal cookie dough batter.

Healthy flax seed and peanut butter engird bar batter

Step 5: Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula.

Step 6: Place bars in the fridge for 20 minutes. Remove bars from pan by lifting parchment paper.

Removing healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bars from pan

Slice into 12 squares.

Cutting healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bars

Store bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Taking these healthy energy bars on the go

Whether you’re hiking or need a snack while you’re out and about, I recommend freezing as many bars as you’ll need overnight in an airtight container.

The next day, wrap each bar individually and place in a small food container or zip bag. The bar will soften throughout the day.

Healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bar on spatula

More Healthy On-the-Go Snack Recipes

Make your coworkers or hiking buddies jealous with these homemade healthy energy bars! And be sure to tag @TheHealthyToast_RD on Instagram of your bar creations 😉

Healthy flax seed and peanut butter energy bars Pinterest image

Healthy Flax Seed & Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Made with a handful of whole ingredients and lightly sweetened with maple syrup, these energy bars are a nutritious, kid-friendly snack.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy energy bar, Healthy Snack
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 184kcal
Author: Kelli McGrane, MS, RD

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¾ cup raw cashews or nuts of choice
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter creamy or chunky
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 5 tablespoons milk of choice soy and cow’s will add a little extra protein
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons of mini dark chocolate chips or dried cranberries

Instructions

  • Cover a 7×11 baking sheet or 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Pulse oats in a food processor until it forms a coarse flour. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Place cashews in food processor and pulse into small pieces, similar to coarse sand. Add to mixing bowl with flour.
  • Pour remaining ingredients into mixing bowl and stir well to combine. The texture should resemble a sticky oatmeal cookie dough batter.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula.
  • Place bars in the fridge for 20 minutes. Remove bars from pan by lifting parchment paper and then slice into 12 squares. Store bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

Nutrition for 1 bar (without chocolate chips or fruit): 184 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated, 5 g MUFA, 3 g PUFA), 16 g carb, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 6 g protein Nutrition for 1 bar with mini chocolate chips: 195 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated, 5 g MUFA, 3 g PUFA), 18 g carb, 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 6 g protein

Add a comment

2 Comments

  • Gemma AvatarGemmaa year ago

    These are great! I made them last night for my whole family. My husband and I kept snacking on little pieces. My kids had some today after their lunch and my little boy kept saying “yum” as he took bites. Thank you for this easy and tasty recipe!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toasta year ago

      Thank you Gemma! I’m so glad they were a hit with the whole family 🙂

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

    Nutrition Tips

    Tips for an Organized and Functional Kitchen
    How to have a healthy diet with a busy lifestyle
    What to eat before working out for best results
    Why Breakfast Really is the Most Important Meal of the Day

    Recent Posts

    Healthy Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Casserole Recipe
    The Best Chai Sugar Cookies
    Bourbon-Spiked Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread Recipe
    Pumpkin Vegan French Toast Casserole
    The Healthy Toast
    Data and Cookie Consent
    In order to provide a more personal user experience, we and our partners use technology such as cookies to store and/or access device information.
    By clicking “Accept” you consent to these technologies which will allow us and
    our partners
    to process non-sensitive data such as IP address, unique ID, and browsing data for the purposes of serving personalized ads and content, ad and content measurement, audience insights, and to develop and improve products.
    Your choices on this site will be applied only for this site. You can change your settings at any time, including withdrawing your consent, by going to the
    Privacy Policy
    page of this site.
    Manage Settings
    Accept