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I’m an outdoorsy girl and creating healthy, gluten-free food that travels well in the backcountry is a passion of mine. This energy bar recipe is a take-off from the granola I make, but with several variations.

You can substitute any of these ingredients for something similar. This recipe is just a “launching pad” for whatever you want to come up with. Be creative and play with your food. That makes life more fun, don’t you agree?

Melissa’s Mile High Energy Bars

What you need

• 1 tablespoon coconut oil, olive oil, or butter (to grease the pan)
• 1/2 cup chopped almonds
• 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
• 1 cup GF rolled oats (I use Gifts of Nature’s certified GF rolled oats) * (see below)
• 1 cup Erewhon Organic GF Crispy Brown Rice Cereal (make sure it’s the GF version)
• 1 cup Arrowhead Mills Organic GF Maple Buckwheat Flakes (pulsed in a food processor to a medium chop)
• 3/4 cup finely shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic unsweetened organic coconut)
• 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
• 1/3 cup raisins
• 1/4 cup lightly ground flax seeds (I pulse them a couple times in a small coffee grinder I use
exclusively for seed and spice grinding)
• 1/4 cup honey or agave (agave isn’t as thick, which works better – but either one is okay)
• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 1/4 cup almond butter
• 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

What you do

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with oil.
Mix chopped nuts, oats, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, and lightly ground flax seeds and spread out on rimmed cookie sheet. Put in the oven and set timer for 3 to 4 minutes. Watch carefully as this stuff can burn in no time. Stir and reset timer for another 3 minutes. This mixture should be a nice toasted golden color. Adjust according to what works best for your oven. Remove from oven and cool. Mix in a large bowl with the rice cereal, chopped buckwheat cereal, raisins, and the cocoa nibs.

Combine honey (or agave), maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in saucepan and bring to low boil over low to medium heat. Stir constantly and let boil for 3 or 4 minutes. You want this thick enough to hold the energy bar ingredients together, but not so thick it’s hard to work with.

Pour over the cereal mixture and stir well to mix it all together.

Spread into your prepared 9 x 13 inch pan, cover, and cool in the fridge before cutting into bar sizes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. These make great treats for hiking, backpacking, skiing, and life in general!


* According to the Celiac Sprue Association, oats should be considered with caution. I have used the GF options with no problem, although I don’t eat a lot of them. Apparently some people can’t tolerate even small amounts of GF oats. Here is some current information to help you make an informed decision regarding what would be best for you. If you don’t want to try oats, just substitute something else for that ingredient – no problem.

In good health,

19 Responses to “Melissa’s mile high energy bars”

  1. Wow! These sound (and look) really, really good! I’m looking forward to trying them.!
    Where do you get your buckwheat flakes? I haven’t been able to find them anywhere!

  2. Melissa says:

    Hey Jennifer — I get them at Whole Foods, but if you don’t have a WF where you live, just substitute something else. Anything and everything works. That’s what’s fun about making your own energy bars — once you have a good launching pad, anything goes! A friend and I were talking about coming up with a non-sweet, savory version. Since you’re a chef, do you have any ideas?

  3. oooooh! what a fun challenge! The wheels are turning …. Off to the kitchen… I’ll let you know if I come up with anything. 🙂

  4. Nick says:

    That’s a whole lotta stuff in those bars. Looks mighty tasty but quite a few ingredients to gather if you don’t already have them, of course substitution works real well here I’m sure. I bet they pack you full of energy though.

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  5. Tevis says:

    Oh Mom, those look amazing! Sadly, I’m still a bit too scared to try gluten free oats, even though if I was celiac free, I’d be a complete oat addict!!

  6. Melissa says:

    Hey Nick — Yeah, I know. When I started writing out the recipe I had scribbled on the back of an envelope, I realized I had thrown half the pantry into these things. I thought twice about even posting it. But, it is a good “launching pad” so substitute your peanut butter and go for it. Hmmm? Maybe peanut butter, raisins, dried bananas, rice cereal. Come on, Nick, come up with something good and post it on your blog. 🙂

    Well, I don’t blame you Tevis. You have enough food issues as it is. But make some out of peanut butter, the rice cereal, and a few other goodies. Just substitute peanut butter for almond and go for it. Check out Nick’s blog. He’s the peanut butter boy!

  7. Lizzie says:

    YUM! I’m always looking for “portable” foods to have with me as I go through my day. These look great! Thanks for adding the oats link, too. I can tolerate oats in pretty small amounts (about a half a cup of cooked oats seems to be my limit in one sitting).

  8. Jo says:

    I don’t mind putting in half of the pantry in a recipe if it is a worthwhile one. That beats buying a product that is only so-so. Based on the sampling of some of your past creations that I’ve had the pleasure of doing (yeah, I was a bit spoiled), Melissa, I can be sure that this recipe is delicious!

  9. Kim says:

    As always another good recipe to comment on, as I dare say I had to skip the does my butt look big post. Since I have been food blogging, my butt does look big.
    My other daughter, her husband and my just one year old grandson live in Alaska and are always skiing with Wyatt in tow. I am going to make these and send them a care package.

    Changed my site as I have a new project. You will be proud; in addition to the Buttermilk Fried Chicken I will be consuming I am including lots of fresh local produce for the year.

  10. Melissa says:

    Lizzie — skip the oats if you think they’ll bother you. Add something else. This is just a guide — make up your own version! I bet Henry would like his own version!

    Jo — are you okay with oats? Your kids would like these. Add some GF/DF chocolate chips. Or some cocoa powder instead of the nibs (they can be kind of bitter tasting to a kid). Add the cocoa powder to the mix when you blend up the sticky stuff on the stove. That makes them darker and richer. Yum!

    Hi Kim — oh no, the “bum” story had a happy ending! You gave up too soon. But, yes, I know what you mean, food blogs do seem to contribute to a few extra calories here and there. Hey, you have to taste and retaste! And test and retest! I’ll go check out your new project. Thanks for the “head’s up” on that! And very cool that your kids are skiing with kids in tow. That’s the way to get them involved!

  11. Nick says:

    Ok! I wrote it down on my list of things to make. I’ll work on a good energy bar soon with peanut butter =). I’ve actually got a granola type bar in the works but it’s a little different and has oats and some wheat =/. I’ll see what I can do.

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  12. Jo says:

    I’m okay with eating GF oats, as far as I can tell. I don’t eat them often because I don’t like them as much as regular organic rolled oats. Besides Oreos (yes, I know…), the only other non-GF food I really miss is those regular oats! I loved regular oats! I’ve tried 2 different kinds of GF oats, and neither is as creamy or as deliciously scented. Does anyone know why that is? Do you think traces of gluten in regular oats make them more yummy? For your recipe, I am going to skip the nibs and use cocoa powder instead. Thanks for that suggestion.

  13. Melissa says:

    Jo — I add more water than what they call for and 2 tablespoons or so of ground flax seeds when I make oatmeal. I also put cinnamon, a little vanilla, chopped apples, walnuts — stuff like that in the mix. And right before it’s finished, I stir in some raisins, chopped dates, figs, or something like that. Top with coconut milk and it’s plenty creamy. And yeah, cocoa nibs are pretty bitter. For a treat, you could add some chocolate chips. I made a batch of these granola bars the other day and added diced dried pineapple and figs. You can do absolutely anything with this recipe as a “launching pad.” Enjoy!

    Yes, go — Nick — go! And let us know when you come up with something! Thanks!

  14. Elana says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for leaving a comment about my power bars, I just got back to it this evening. I like your recipe for energy bars, especially the cocoa nibs, that must give them a good energy kick! I might try to make these without the oats (and other grains) since I am not only gun-shy on oats, also don’t eat grains. You have so many yummy ingredients in the recipe and they look delicious in the photo. Hope you are well!


  15. naomi says:

    I’m going to try making these, but grain free. Can’t have the cocoa nibs either – damn, those cocoa nibs sound good!

    I’ll let you know how I get on.

    Oh, nearly forgot – I nominated you for a meme. It’s only a tiny meme of 6 words that sum up your essence. Check out the details on my blog, if you fancy it. We’d love to know more about you (albeit in a haiku-like and succinct form)

    x x x

  16. alyssa says:

    These look amazing! Can you think of a subsitute for the nut butter? I don’t have any on hand and I want to try them NOW =D

  17. […] ♥ Melissa’s Mile High Energy Bars at Gluten Free For Good […]

  18. Maha says:

    These bars look yummy!!! Can’t wait to make them!

  19. […] are some more yummy gluten free power bar recipes you may like: -Melissa’s Mile High Energy Bars by Melissa from Gluten Free For Good -Chocolate, Cardamom and Coconut Power Bars from Naomi of Milk […]

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