Apricot Cashew Energy Bars

These delicious and healthy apricot cashew energy bars are made with only whole food ingredients, packed with energy, fibre, protein, and healthy fats, and they are dairy free, gluten free and plant-based!

Apricot Cashew Energy Bars stacked

Apricot Cashew Energy Bars

 

One of my favourite snacks to make at home is energy bars, balls, or bites. They are super easy to whip up, convenient for on-the-go, and really simple when it comes to ingredients. 

These tasty apricot cashew energy bars are filled with whole-food healthy ingredients including dried apricots, raw cashews, hemp seed, unsweetened coconut, and rolled oats. While many packaged energy bars or snack bars can contain artificial flavors, colors, and added sugars, these are a great alternative and super easy to make!

They taste wonderfully sweet with a lovely apricot flavour and a subtle hint of coconut. The combination is really delicious and the touch of sea salt brings everything together. 

Apricot Cashew Energy Bars on a wood board

Do Energy Bars Actually Give You Energy?

 

Yes! While energy bars can vary greatly in ingredients they almost always contain a specific ingredient (or a few) that contribute specifically to energy production. Energy bars almost always contain a source of simple carbohydrates such as dried fruit or honey, which break down quickly during digestion and are used for immediate energy. 

Energy bars often also contain nuts and/or seeds which contain a mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and help boost energy levels. 

One important thing to consider when consuming energy bars is to enjoy them when you need them, such as before a workout, in the middle of a busy day, or first thing in the morning rather than later in the evening when you are about to go to bed (our bodies don’t typically need a boost of energy then….unless maybe you have a toddler or baby, ha!)

Ingredients for Apricot Cashew Energy Bars in a food processor

Energizing Ingredients in Apricot Cashew Energy Bars

 

These delicious and easy energy bars contain only seven main ingredients, all whole-foods, and many you likely already have in your kitchen! Here’s what you need and a little explanation of the energy-boosting effects of these foods: 

  • Dried apricots (a source of simple carbohydrates for immediate energy boosting)
  • Raw cashews (a balanced mix of healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates for energy production)
  • Shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut (a great source of healthy fats which helps balance out the carbohydrates in the bar)
  • Hemp seeds (a balanced mix of healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates for energy production)
  • Coconut oil (a great source of healthy fats which helps balance out the carbohydrates in the bar)
  • Raw honey or pure maple syrup (unrefined simple carbohydrates for immediate energy boosting)
  • Sea salt (to amplify the flavours in the bar)

How To Make Energy Bars in a Food Processor

 

To make these energy bars it’s best to use a good quality food processor. I love the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor (affiliate link) as it’s super sturdy and makes processing a breeze! All you need is a little patience and a sturdy processor for awesome bars. Here’s what you’ll do to make these apricot cashew energy bars:

  1. Add cashews (or other nuts such as almonds or walnuts) to the food processor and process on high until crumbly, about 10 seconds. 
  2. Add in dried apricots (or other dried fruits such as pitted dates) along with other dry ingredients (seeds, oats, spices, etc.). 
  3. Add in wet ingredients such as coconut oil liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, etc.), or non-dairy milk. 
  4. Process on high for 30-seconds to 1-minute, stopping every 20-seconds to scrape the sides with a spatula. 
  5. A crumbly and sticky mixture will be achieved, or everything may begin to clump together into a ball in the processor (this is fine). 
  6. Transfer energy bar “batter” to a baking pan and press firmly and evenly into the pan. 
  7. Chill for at least an hour, then cut evenly into bars or squares.  

Stack of 5 Apricot Cashew Energy Bars

How Do You Store Energy Bars At Home?

 

Homemade energy bars like these apricot cashew energy bars are super simple to store. I recommend putting them in a Tupperware container and storing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also store them on the counter in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. 

These bars are great for on-the-go and can be placed in a ziplock or reusable bag and taken along with you, I just recommend avoiding storing them or keeping them in hot temperatures as they will get sticky and overly soft, and may not maintain their shape as well. 

Apricot Cashew Energy Bars on a wood board with apricots

Do you make your own homemade energy bars? I’d love to hear about the mix of ingredients you use in the comments. Be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this one for later! 

 
Apricot Cashew Energy Bars stacked

Apricot Cashew Energy Bars

Yield: Makes 8-10 Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

These delicious apricot energy bars are gluten free, dairy free, vegan or plant-based and wonderfully healthy for energy boosting any time of day!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups dried apricots (see notes)
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw honey or pure maple syrup (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons water (if needed, see notes)

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom of an 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add cashews, hemp seeds, sea salt, and coconut to the food processor and pulse on high for about 10 seconds until crumbly.
  3. Add in the dried apricots along with the honey or maple syrup, and coconut oil and process again on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stopping intermittently 2-3 times to scrape the sides of the processor with a spatula, until a crumbly, sticky mixture is achieved.
  4. The mixture should start to clump together in the food processor. Next, transfer the nixture to a baking pan lined with parchment.
  5. Firmly press the energy bar mixture into the baking pan using a spatula to make an even, smooth layer.
  6. Place pan in the freezer for one hour, then remove and cut into 8-10 bars or squares.
  7. Place bars in an airtight container and store for up to 1 week on the countertop, 2 weeks in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer.

Notes

- If your apricots are on the harder side, rather than a soft and squishy texture (they usually harden if exposed to air for longer periods), soak them in hot water for 10 minutes and drain before adding to the food processor. This will ensure the apricots process nicely with the other ingredients.

- If the mixture isn't getting sticky enough or seems too dry or crumbly, add in an extra tablespoon of honey/maple syrup OR 1-2 tablespoons of water WHILE the mixture is processing through the top opening of the food processor. This will make the batter stickier and clump together in a ball, then transfer to the pan with a spatula to avoid sticky hands!

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Apricot Cashew Energy Bars pin 2

 

More Homemade Bar Recipes You’ll Love:

 

Have a wonderful day!

Christal // NITK

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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  • These were fantastic! Looked nothing like the picture (might be because I used some pumpkin seeds as well as cashews) but they tasted super good! Look forward to snacking on them on a future long move 🙂

    • Thanks K! Yes, I imagine pumpkin seeds would change the look but I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the taste! 🙂

  • Just recently found your website as I was hunting for some healthy on-the-go snacks. Wasn’t sure if I would take to apricot bars, but gave it a go. They are so delicious! I will definitely make them again! I had a little trouble grinding up the apricots in my food processor so I helped it out by chopping them with a knife first. After throwing them back into the food processor I sprinkled a little bit of water on them, and that seemed to help. (I also added a few prunes since I had them on hand.) After adding everything else, it all blended together very nicely. Sprinkling them with water also probably helped ensure that the mixture would be nice and sticky. When I spread it in the pan, they were too thin for my liking. I like my bars to be thick, so I picked up one end of the saran wrap and folded it in half (omelette style) and squished it down. This gave me only half a pan, but I prefer my bars to be more brick-shaped. Thanks for sharing this. I plan on trying some of the other energy bars on this site too!

    • Hey Lisa! You are a genius! A great way to adapt the recipe to work for you and yes, I think sometimes with dried fruit like apricots or dates, even soaking the fruit in advance is a great way to get them to blend better with the rest of the ingredients! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Maybe for next time you can 1.5x the recipe batch and you’ll get thicker bars that fit the whole pan! 🙂

  • Really good, made them last night. A little sweet though. Would they still stick together with less agave or should I just double the hemp and add a few more cashews?

  • They look very tasty, I would like to try this recipe.

    Would it be possible to get the measurements in grams? I don’t really want to much leftovers from the ingredients and it’s hard to estimate how much I would need to buy with the measurements in cups.

    • Hi Chris, I don’t have the measurements in grams, sorry! Use a regular sized coffee mug as your “cup” and it should work out fine! 🙂

      • Thanks for the answer, but that’s not really helpful. Since I only want to try it out at first, I only want to make a small batch. Unfortunately I don’t use any ingredients usually and I would have to buy all of them. I’m not sure if I would use the ingredients afterwards and I don’t like to waste them.
        So weight measurements would help figuring out how much I would have to buy with as little excess as possible.

        Another question regarding the recipe. If I want to substitute the apricots with a different dried fruit, are there any factors that would prevent a fruit from being used?

        • Hi Chris, I’d have to make the recipe again and measure it out myself to know the exact grams amount so I’ve googled some numbers and it would approximately be – 30g oats, 85g cashews, 190g apricots, 70g shredded coconut.

          You could substitute other dried fruit like dried peaches, pears, or dates would work well. 🙂

  • Could I substitute cranberries for the apricots? This is my first time trying any homemade bars, I’m hoping to find a great recipe that is delicious and healthy for myself and my 3 girl’s… and they really love cranberries.

    • Hi Erin! I wouldn’t completely substitute cranberries but you could add some into the mix! Add in 1/4 cup of cranberries to the recipe and they should turn out great!

  • Think i’ve converted the cup measures into grams incorrectly. My mixture is too small for an 8inch pan. Why do the measurements have to be in cups??? Are these US or UK cups?

    • Hi Lynne, it would be US cup sizes. That is the measurements that Deryn chose to use as it’s more common here in Canada to use cups for measurements.

  • Turned out good. But I wouldn’t make again. I don’t like a bar mainly made up of apricots (regardless that I love apricots).

  • This looks scrumptious. I’m going to give it a try today.
    Although I dont have access to Rolled Oats. We do use Steel Cut Oats — Can i use the Steel Cut oats instead — or i could boil them a bit to make them softer?
    Also, did anyone try to add any additional natural ingredients to “increase” the “Protein” in these bars? I’d love to have them as a post workout snack if they had more protein.

    • Hi Sachin! I think you might have trouble with steel cut oats as they won’t blend in as easily. What you could do is blend up the oats first to create more like an oat flour, then use that with the rest of the ingredients! You could easily add in a scoop of protein powder if you wanted!

    • I added 2 scoops pea protein 1/2orange fresh squeezed juice and 4-5 tablespoons water. You sort have to eyeball it to get the consistency. I’ve made this subbing dates and almonds. It’s now my go to bar recipe. I love it!

  • Just made these over the weekend and they are delicious! I wasn’t able to find hemp seeds, so I used Chia seeds instead. Also used honey rather than agave syrup.

    Although they’re a bit on the crumbly side, these will be a staple in our house from now on.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Jim! Thanks for the feedback! 🙂 Next time try using a little almond milk or even water (about 1-2 tablespoons) in the mix and that should help them stick better!