Pre-Workout Energy Bars

What to eat before working out in the morning, or just to snack on instead of ripping open a package of something pre-made and full of preservatives? I am a fan of a blueberry cacao performance cereal from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Energy Cookbook but even cereal can be bothersome. I also like an energy bar recipe from Ellie Krieger. I decided to mix-and-match from both to create a pre-workout energy bar that is easy to make and eat!

The oats help lower cholesterol and will prolong efficient muscle function; the sunflower seeds and nonfat powdered milk are loaded with protein; the cacao will release natural serotonin to help mental focus; the dates will provide immediate energy; and the flaxseed will enhance the body’s ability to burn fat.

Yields about 20 bars


  • 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup ​ground flaxseed​
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pitted ​medjool ​dates
  • 1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 teas​p​oon ground cinnamon​
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • ​1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with ​coconut oil​.

Place all ingredients except the syrup and eggs in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Then add the syrup and eggs and pulse until the mixture is well combined, i.e. thick and sticky!

Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake about 20-25 minutes.

Cool and cut into squares or bars or whatever suits your fancy!