Cranberry Chia Energy Bars (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

We just can’t seem to get enough of these delicious, nutrient dense energy bars!

They have taken over as the ‘granola’ bar of choice in this home and every couple weeks I try and come up with a new set of ingredients to keep things interesting.

Not only are these energy bars a snap to make – 10 minutes is all you will need to assemble these no-bake beauties – but they are also filled with health building nuts, seeds, fibre, protein and natural fats.  They make a perfect snack or grab n’ go breakfast.

A concentrated energy source with a low glycemic index, these bars will help you feel fuller longer and assist in preventing major jags in insulin/energy levels.

The best part though?

They are just so darn *delicious*

I made this cranberry chia version last Sunday for the boys’ school lunches and, well, err… there were non left by Monday to put in their lunches! (happily, it didn’t take long to assemble more…).

You have to try them for yourselves to see!

Cranberry Chia Energy Bars (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)
  • 1 heaping cup raw almonds or any other nut of choice
  • 1/2 heaping cup dried, pitted dates that have been soaked in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften (substitute dried cherries, figs or prunes for dates)
  • 1/3 cup just nuts walnut butter or nut butter of choice
  • 3 heaping Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberry

Chia – chia seeds offer plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants and an impressive array of minerals. Unlike flaxseed, chia does not have to be ground to be bioavailable (ie: to be absorbed and usable by the body). Flaxseed has a similar nutrition profile to chia (with slightly less nutrients – fibre, omega-3s, minerals – per serving) but flaxseed has the added benefit of containing lignans – plant compounds believed to be protective of breast health – which chia does not.  Chia is more expensive than flaxseed but due to the highly concentrated nature of its nutrients on a gram per gram basis, a small amount of chia goes a long way.


You can easily double the quantity of this recipe and play around with different ingredient choices as desired.

Be sure to read through the directions for best results.


 Makes about 8 bars or 16 squares
 Place almonds in blender or food processor and blend for about 30 seconds or until nuts are fairly well ground.  Add drained dates, walnut butter, 2 Tbsp chia seeds, vanilla and honey/maple syrup blending until the entire mixture is well combined.
The most important part of the recipe: you want to make sure that the mixture is sticky – if it is too dry, your bars will crumble to pieces and you won’t be happy.  Add a touch more nut butter to achieve sticky consistency.  The sticky factor will also help adhere cranberries and chia to the surface of the bars. If the mixture is too wet, your batter will never gel into a bar (it will end up like a blob of cookie dough – yummy but a bar it will never be).  If you find yourself in the latter situation, you can add some dry nuts/seeds to the mix.

Meanwhile, place a piece of wax or parchment paper into a loaf pan (the pan should be in the range of  8″ x 4″) such that it hangs over the sides.

Remove mixture from blender and press it into the base of the loaf pan using the back of a spoon or other implement to flatten and smooth it down.

Sprinkle the surface of the mixture with cranberries and remaining Tbsp of chia seeds, pressing down gently with your fingers so that they adhere to the surface.

Fold both sides of the hanging wax or parchment paper inward, one at a time, over the mixture and gently press down one last time with your hand on top of the paper resting over the mixture.

Place the pan in the fridge and allow the mixture to gel somewhat into a singular slab for about 1 hour or so.  If you wish to accelerate the process, you can pop the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes or so and return it to the fridge.

When you’re ready to slice the bars, simply remove the pan from the fridge and gently elevate the slab by pulling up on the ends of the wax/parchment.


Slice the slab into bar shapes or squares as desired.  Store any remaining portions in the fridge.

Happy Friday everyone, I’m going to be taking some time off to enjoy the March break with my family next week.  See you again soon.

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone


  1. says

    I’ve recently become addicted to granola type things- energy bars, granola, muesli. These look really yummy and I love the combo you packed into them! No wonder they disappeared so quickly.

  2. says

    Another delicious bar, thanks Kelly. We still have the quinoa bars I made several weeks ago (that man of mine has such self control, fortuntely, I’ve forgotten that we have them in the freezer, otherwise they would be gone!) but I will bookmark to make in the future. I have hazelnut butter too, it would be lovely with the cranberries.

  3. Sallybr says

    Enjoy your break! I actually have all ingredients for this… unless “someone” hit the bag of almonds in our pantry (sigh) ;-)

    Enjoy your break!

  4. Koko says

    Awesome recipe! Chia is really a remarkable ingredient. Lucky boys to get to eat these amazing bars instead of crappy, nutrition-less Quaker bars. Enjoy the break Kelly, I hope it’s great!!

    I have the same measuring cups, and also measuring spoons as you! ha ha!

  5. says

    Kelly, these bars look so beautiful and appetising, I’m sure your children are the only ones who prefer healthy sweets from industrial snacks. You have such a talent to transform healthy ingredients into gorgeous treats… I have some dried cranberries but have never used them. I was furious to discover that the majority of what looks like dried cranberries is sugar and oil! Even in organic shops they add both. Why??? If cranberries were not so expensive here, I would dry them on my own (the fresh ones are imported from Canada, so they are quite expensive).

  6. says

    You make the best energy snacks! I love anything with cranberries but I’ve never had the combination of cranberries and chai. I can certainly see what you can’t get enough of these!

    • kelly says

      what a great way to kick-off my day :) thanks so much for stopping by Jess! I’m delighted to hear your enjoying these bars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *