Energy Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Serves: 4

Sometimes, you need to bring a lot of calories with you. On a Whole-Foods Plant-Based diet, the options are almost entirely low calorie foods. Whole foods usually consist largely of water, fiber, minerals, and other things your body doesn’t use for energy, and this is part of why you can eat such an extraordinary amount without worrying about weight. One of the advantages of the Standard American Diet is that it packs an enormous amount of calories into a teeny tiny space (and usually your gut thereafter).

On thirty miles hikes in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I calculated I was often burning as many as 5000 calories in a single hike, perhaps more, and I couldn’t very well bring that many calories of apples (about 53 apples or about 20 pounds) or even that many potatoes (about three five pound bags of cooked potatoes). So I was at a bit of an impasse. Prepared food bars are filled with oil and other gross stuff my body doesn’t need, least of all when I’m exercising. So what now?

These bars are the answer. They are an incredibly simple, effective, and delicious snack for all of your exercise needs. If you’re not exercising, you might just consider these as an upgrade to candy bars!


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup figs, stemmed
  • ¼ cup prunes
  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place all ingredients in food processor and process together. Add either 1/4 cup of water (which draws the sugar out of the dried fruit) or use the optional quarter cup of maple syrup. Process until they form together into large, sticky chunks.
  3. Spread evenly in Pyrex baking dish (7″x11″ in my case, or similar). (If you don’t have an appropriate dish, they can be shaped to some degree on parchment paper, but this is a more delicate art.)
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Longer makes them crispier, but I enjoy the softer consistency.
  5. Allow to cool. When cooled, cut neatly into bar shapes with a knife, and then scoop them out with a spatula!

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