Poster Girl: Energy Bars

I’ve been planning this post for ages, because this recipe is super useful but I keep losing it and have to go searching through my Gmail inbox. It is also going to take a while to type because I’ve just started watching The Wire and I’ve got to keep an eye on the TV screen. I’m on the episode where Omar appears for the first time and it is hard not to smile. Not because he isn’t threatening (he is), but because my cousin called the dog after him. This is the dog in question:

OmarLook at that face. Wouldn’t know threatening if it licked him on the nose.

Anyway, back to my recipe spiel. I’ve made these energy bars a few times now for the girls to eat on the side of the pitch at GAA tournaments and for some crazy folks who walked 100km in 30 hours for charity. I also made them for my first ever 10km race, in Dendermonde in March last year. We are going back again this year and when I went to register, guess who was on the front page?

Screenshot 2014-01-14 22.13.00

I thought it was amazing enough that I had the ability to run a 10km, but then in October, I managed to do the Brussels half-marathon (click here to see me *(pink) and Heather (green) crossing the line in the Grand Place, around 28 seconds in). Amid all the emotion, I did wonder if we would have done it in an even better time if I had made these energy bars beforehand. Martha on her Martha-thon 2013 blog would have a better analysis of pre-marathon nutrition, but I fear that she would not approve of the amount of butter in these energy bars.

Jane introduced this recipe to me originally, suggesting the addition of more oats to avoid the mix getting too wet. It is actually based on a Weight Watchers recipe, but I’ve added bits and pieces to it over time. Feel free to add anything else you might like. As with most things in life, the fruitier and nuttier, the better.

Energy bars


150g butter

150g honey

210g porridge oats

100g light brown sugar

Pinch of salt

70g dried apricots, chopped

70g dried dates, chopped

50g raisins

50g dried cranberries

25g almonds/hazelnuts, chopped

30g sunflower seeds

30g pumpkin seeds

50g desiccated coconut


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees fan oven).

Grease and line a 23cm square baking tin with baking parchment. Leave a bit hanging over the edges so that it is easier to remove the bars.

Melt the butter with the honey in a large saucepan over a low heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

Mix together the porridge oats, sugar, salt, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and coconut. Add to the saucepan and stir together until completely mixed.

Tip the mix into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until it is golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes, remove from the tin and cut into bars. Cool completely on a wire rack and then keep in an airtight container. I suppose they will keep for about a week like this, but they’ve never survived that long.

2013-08-21 22.15.59

Update: Martha has given her seal of approval and suggested subbing in coconut oil for butter and some agave for the sugar.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. sarahdudek80 says:

    Going to have to try these!


    1. You should – they are flavoursome! Hope they turn out well for you


  2. martha says:

    NYOM. You could try subbing in coconut oil for butter and some agave for the sugar. I need to make some of these for winter run boosters this weekend.


    1. Good thinking, Marthus. Thanks for reading 🙂


  3. Claire Ahern says:

    Will you bring some to Pareeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee for us!?!xxx


    1. Good point – we will need the energy that weekend. Can’t wait!!!


  4. Annie says:

    Ooooo yum! Found your blog through the Brussels Food Bloggers and love it! This looks like a great recipe (and since you’re in Brussels, I know I can find all of the ingredients 😉 ) Is it just for working out? Or could it just be for a healthy snack throughout the day too?


    1. Oh you could have them as breakfast bars or as a snack. They are quite sweet so I try to cut them nice and small. All the ingredients are natural so you could be eating a lot worse! Thanks for reading 🙂


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