Want healthy meals your kids will love?

Cashew-Date Energy Bars


These crunchy, chewy, Cashew-Date Energy Bars are deliciously free of refined sugars and grains.

Energy Bars! Larabars made at home, for half the cost!

We like Larabars, because they have simple, unprocessed ingredients, and they’re energy dense for active kids (and grownups!) But at $1.50 a pop, a Larabar habit can get really expensive.

I started to wonder if I could make my own bars at home to save some money and try out my own flavor combinations. Turns out, making Energy Bars is not just really easy to do, it also creates a bar that’s SO much more fresh and yummy than store-bought! I may never go back to buying Larabars again.

Healthy Energy

These healthy little energy bars are perfect for active families. They provide lots of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Plus, they’re vegan and gluten-free. So you can share them with friends who follow special diets.

Because these bars are so sweet and energy-dense, I would choose a different snack for an everyday occasion like after-school time. Where these Energy Bars shine is on the trail… think a family hiking or camping trip. That’s when you’re spending lots of energy, but looking to pack light and healthy.

Then they’re just about perfect…

Energy Bars! Larabars made at home, for half the cost!

Easy Energy

Making these bars is as simple as blending up two ingredients: cashews and dates. Just buzz them in the food processor and then press the mixture into chunks. You could try other simple shapes, too, like a ball or a heart.

If you’re feeling creative, try these tasty ingredients that add even more nutrition:

  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • peanut butter
  • sesame seeds
  • crushed almonds

You can add as many add-ins as you like, up to a point. Eventually, the dates will lose their power to hold everything together. If this happens, just add another smooshed-up date or two, and they’ll stick just fine.

Energy Bars! Larabars made at home, for half the cost!

Kid Appeal

Here’s another reason we love these Energy Bars: the kids love them. No cajoling required. We understand why feeding kids can feel frustrating at times. When the foods you prepare with love get a lukewarm response (or worse!) it can really sap your cooking mojo. So it’s a great feeling to provide something healthy and fresh that you know will be a hit with your family. And this is one of those recipes!

I hope you’ll give these a try, and make your next hike in the woods a little extra sweet and special. 🙂

cashew date bars - homemade lara bars

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3.8 from 16 votes

Energy Bars!

Wholesome nuts and seeds combine with sticky-sweet dates and dried coconut to make a wholesome, energy-dense snack for home or on the go.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Calories: 202kcal


  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 9 large dates, pitted

Add ins

  • 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 oz pumpkin seed kernels


  • Blend ingredients in a food processor. Once all combined, press it into chunks.
  • Optional add-ins
  • non sweetened coconut
  • sesame seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • pumpkin seeds


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g
Keyword : Energy Bars


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie
3.82 from 16 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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I have a similar recipe but with walnuts, dates, and dried bing cherries. They are delicious. I will have to try your version-isn’t it funny that the best stuff is the simplest stuff?

Great idea! I’m really not a fan of the flavor of energy bars, but my husband is – at least when he’s hiking. I’ll have to give these a try!

Already tried ’em… my kids LOVE them!!! I’ve been looking for something just like that for snacks for my girls… since going gluten, dairy, and egg free, they eat a lot of fruits and veggies, smoothies, etc… but I really needed something that would “stick to their ribs” for a longer time! And they LOVE it! T.H.A.N.K you!!!!!!

These look so great! I agree with you – store bought processed bars get old. This is a perfect solution.

I love these. We also buy Lara bars with just about the exact stuff in it. I am also glad some one else is using hemp for healthy food. Its so often gets over looked and is so healthy for you.

I have been trying to change our thoughts about food, but I am worried that if I make all these things, I still have to think about stuff for my 3 boys to take to school, as most schools are so worried about nut allergies. What are your thoughts can you send these to school with your kids. We have no allergies in our house and we love nuts and dates, so these would be perfect.

@saspee- I probably wouldn’t send them to school if your school is nut free. They still haven’t gone to that in our local schools, but when they do, we won’t be sending them.
@stephanie- we used raw cashews.

I broke my food processor blade on dates once so now I soak them a little before blending/pulsing. Tried these today and they are great! I added 1 tbsp each of coconut, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. What proportions did you use? I am thinking these were about right not sure if they would hold together if I used more dry ingredients. I used roasted salted cashews.

Good idea Laura! I used 1/2 cup cashews with 8-9 dates. They hold together, even when I include a variety of add-ins.


How many bars should this make? How do you get them so square? I ended up using my cookie dough round scooper to shape them. Do you refrigerate them to make them more solid? Unless I mixed mine too long?

I keep them in the fridge to store them, but they can be shaped pretty well without chilling.
They always make a different amount depending on how big I make them. I actually just shaped those squares with my fingers. lol.

I’ve thought about making my own Lara bars (the cherry pie ones are my favorite!) but cashews and dates are not inexpensive ingredients. I’ve wondered if there would actually be a notable price difference between homemade and store bought. Do you know how much these cost you to make? I never remember to check prices for the ingredients while I’m at the store. Thanks!

Great question Adrienne! I haven’t priced it out, but usually get a large box of dates at Costco for about $6. I’ll have to see how many that would make next time!