Restricted Diets: Road Trip Energy Bar Recipe

This post is part of our restricted diet series from Beth of Tasty Yummies.

After sharing my tips for traveling with a restricted diet last week, I thought it would be great to share one of my favorite recipes for traveling. These Road Trip Energy Bars are one of my go-to treats to make and bring along on every trip. They travel well and they are super simple to make, plus you can really play around with the recipe to make these your own using what you have on hand.

The espresso powder is optional, but if you like coffee, you have to add it. It brings a nice subtle coffee flavor which compliments the chocolate and peanut butter perfectly, plus you get some of those great energy benefits of caffeine – perfect for a long day of travel!

I make these for almost every long road trip we take. They are so easy to make the night before you leave, and I love knowing that I always have something safe to eat. Have fun with this recipe by adding in your favorite dried fruit or nut, or if you are like me, these bars can double as the perfect way to clean out the pantry just before you hit the road, adding in anything and everything that is just hanging out!

energy bar recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Road Trip Energy Bars – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free

Makes 8 bars (you can also cut them into smaller squares to 16 or more)

1 ripe organic banana, mashed (try adding a second or third banana if you wish to make these sugar-free)
2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour (or just process some gluten-free rolled oats into a fine powder)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, vegan + gluten-free

1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (you could also use honey, coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, etc. – or skip and add extra bananas)
1/2 cup organic natural peanut butter, chunky or creamy (or any other nut or seed butter)
2 tablespoons organic baking cocoa
2 tablespoons chia seeds, (you could also use flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, etc)
1/4 cup almond slivers (or any other nut of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – 2 tablespoons espresso powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

*Note – Remember, you can easily make these energy bars your own, by adding, substituting and skipping ingredients as you’d like. To make these sugar-free replace the syrup with stevia or another banana. They could also easily be made nut-free by skipping the almonds and using sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. If you don’t like coffee, skip the espresso powder. Have fun with this recipe!

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ glass baking pan very well, or line it with foil, leaving some overhang on two of the sides so you can easily pull it out of the pan to make cutting even easier (this is what I did).

In a large mixing bowl, add all of your ingredients. Mix and mash up very well until it is all well combined. Get your hands in there!

Press the mixture firmly and evenly into your pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry if the bars seem a bit soft, they will firm up as they cool. After it has completely cooled, either lift the entire thing out of the pan and cut into bars or squares, or cut while it is in the pan.

These can be stored individually in the fridge or freezer. Since I made these two days ago, I stored them in the fridge and then wrapped each one individually in a little piece of parchment paper and a sandwich bag for easy eating in the car!

What is your favorite homemade snack to pack for a long road trip?

For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.

More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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10 years ago

thanks so much for this! im ging to try making them raw – so straight into the fridge without baking – i think it could work!

10 years ago

I love travel and every time I spend so much money. So I will try this way before I leave, then maybe I can save some money and spend a great vacation!

10 years ago

Thank you so very much for sharing your lovely recipes thank you for also including the substitutions you are such a blessing and I want you to know I so appreciate all you share. Thank you.

10 years ago

These are delicious! I made them as stated… they are especially good warm and gooey from the oven. They are definitely for road trips and for ANY time!!

10 years ago

You can also add Maca, which is an energizing root powder instead of espresso.

10 years ago

I can’t wait to try this! I’m SO excited I found your website. Your recipes are simple, healthy, delicious, gluten free, and vegan… what I’ve been looking for for so long. I will be trying many of your recipes. You should make a cookbook!! I would want to buy it.

10 years ago

Hi. Just come across your blog and have found loads of great, healthy and Gluten free recipes! I have been on the British Para-cycling Development Team for 6 months and find it difficult to eat good nutritious AND gluten free food when on training camps!! Finding your blog useful and will be trying the orange granola and chocolate energy bars which will be a great on the bike energy boost. Unfortunately nearly all of the purpose made energy products contain gluten and the ones that don’t taste horrible and are very expensive. Thanks for your recipes! :-)

10 years ago

These turned out amazing. I made them because I thought they looked tasty.. and now my guy is obsessed. He eats them for breakfast.

8 years ago

Thank you so much for this recipe! I wanted some healthy treats for a road trip and this fit the bill! I added shredded coconut on top which made it even better thanks so much for the recipe.

8 years ago

Just wanted to say for anyone that is curious… yes these are delicious. I am not vegan or gluten free, but they looked so easy I figured i’d try making them. Better than any store bought bar out there, super easy too. Easily substitute ingredients or adjust if you run out of something… I’m often out of oat flour so I just use regular flour or arrowroot flour… or if i’m out of chia seeds, i’ll use flax… etc. Sometimes I like to put Maca Powder or Shredded Coconut, etc. Very customizable. Great for road trips, plane flights, or a quick breakfast (I always have a batch in the freezer for those days when you are on the go!). My boyfriend who doesn’t care much about healthy eating happily grabs them out of the freezer for breakfast all the time, and bugs me about making them before every trip.

7 years ago

These look yum but oats are not deemed gluten free here in Australia so be careful!