Trail Food-No-Bake Energy Bars

No Bake Energy Bars
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Nut-free, no-bake energy bars high in protein with no refined sugar. Perfect homemade camping and hiking snack for those high energy days!

I like to be a bit outdoorsy.  But often what comes with the great outdoors is crazy raving hunger.  And I’m mean when I get too hungry.  So for the well being of everyone spending time with me outside, I have learned to carry snacks….lots of snacks.

This no-bake granola bar recipe is to to help with that hunger for trips where all I’m doing is exerting energy.


This is not your standard granola bar.  These babies weigh in at about 450 calories and about 9 grams of protein apiece, so they are meant for days when you are working your tail off (also they make a nice breakfast).

Obviously you can cut them into small bars for a smaller caloric punch if you aren’t hiking a mountain that day.


  • Nut nut free to accommodate friends with nut allergies and general nut dislike.  
  • Sweetened with honey and pure maple syrup for cohesiveness and no refined sugar.
  • No butter so they won’t spoil out on the trail. 
  • Soft and bendable so they can tolerate being tossed into a backpack
  • Taste like dessert and will keep you going.
  • Freeze nicely for those of us who prep in advance.

The ingredient list is long but substitutions can be made.  For me, each ingredient was specifically chosen.  

It seems like there is a lot of steps, but the food processor does most of the work.  No baking involved but they do seem to benefit from a little time in the freezer, they seem to stick together better and all the flavors meld nicely.

No-Bake Energy Bars

Course Snack
Prep Time 28 minutes
Servings 8 bars


  • Food processor


  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup crisp rice cereal
  • 18 pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup if you only have Mrs. Butterworth, make it 1/2 cup honey and skip the syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries, raisins, etc.
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips mini is important, they stick in the bars better


  • Put oats in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until powdered (like flour).
  • Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Next, put sunflower seeds and 2 tablespoons oil into the bowl of food processor and pulse until you have made sunflower seed butter.
  • Pour into mixing bowl with oats.
  • Put dates and 1 tablespoon oil into bowl of food processor, pulse until you have made a smooth paste. Dump into mixing bowl.
  • Next , to the mixing bowl, add in flaxseed meal, wheat germ, and crisp rice cereal. Mix all to combine.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, pour in honey and maple syrup. Microwave for about 30-40 seconds. This makes everything a little more liquidy. Pour into granola mixture. Stir to combine. Finally, mix in dried cranberries and chocolate chips.
  • Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper. Dump granola bar mixture into the bowl. Press firmly and evenly into the pan. I usually just use the palm of my hand, but a clean drinking glass also works. Allow to sit for an hour or two. Cut bars to desired size, wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze or eat immediately.

If you’re looking for other great food for the trail, you might want to check out my recipe for spiced pecans or homemade granola (this stuff makes an especially good camp breakfast). For an overnight, I like trail chicken and dumplings.

Happy Baking!