Vegan PB & J Energy Bars


It’s Sunday already, whaaaa?! The weekend is almost over, what the heck, where did it go?! Hmmph.

If you’ve got 10 extra minutes this beautiful Sunday, why don’t you make some of these energy bars as a breakfast on-the-go or a  healthy snack to have during the week – you can take them to work to perk you up in the afternoon, have them for the kids to enjoy after school before sports, or munch on these pre-workout! Enjoy in moderation of course … these ARE “energy bars” so they do pack calories and natural sugars!

A peanut butter and jam sandwich… just the thought makes my mouth water and brings back memories of being a kid.

Peanut butter and jam is just truly a match made in heaven… unfortunately not always the healthiest match. I guess this all depends on how you make it, but typically – what I remember from my childhood sandwiches was hydrogenated sweetened peanut butter with sugar-laden jam on top of two slices of glistening white “roll-it-into-a-ball” Wonderbread. Nutritional value = zilch, nada, nil, zero.. you get the point.

Well, these energy bars, actually, no-word-of-a-lie, taste like a PB & J sandwich.. and they sure pack a punch! They are high in energy, high in fiber, a good source of protein, delicious tasting, and you can whip them up in less than 10 minutes (plus 30 min freezing time).

They are made with only 5 ingredients which is great because many energy bars out there on the grocery store shelves have a Novel of an ingredients list; filled with added sugars, stabilizers, fillers, flavors, preservatives, and more. And well, your body just doesn’t need that junk-o-la! So make these lovely bars instead, and bring yourself back to the days of PB & J!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and stay tuned for some more amazing recipes on the blog this week!

4.5 from 6 reviews
Vegan PB & J Energy Bars
Serves: 8
  • 1¾ cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter (no added sugars or oils, just peanuts)
  • ¼ cup whole raw almonds
  • ½ cup instant plain oats (gluten free if you need!)
  1. Soak the dates in warm water for 15 minutes, and drain.
  2. Place dates, dried cranberries, almonds, peanut butter, and oats in a food processor and blend until combined well.
  3. Scoop mixture into a square baking pan, and firmly press down to make an even layer.
  4. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set, then cut into 8 rectangle bars.
  5. Store in the freezer or fridge.


Nutritionist in the Kitch



  1. truly says

    So that’s the problem. I used Medjool dates and soaked them. You should really mention that Medjools are the exception. My bars are so soft they won’t act like bars, more like bendy rubber. They are too soft to put in lunches, etc and I just wasted £15 worth of ingredients.

    • Christal says

      I don’t understand what you mean by Medjools being the exception? Have you put the bars in the freezer?

  2. Sachin says

    Hi Christal.
    Love the sight of these bars. I’m going to try them later today. But is there another suggestion apart from Cranberries? I dont have them available to me. Thx.

    • Christal says

      Any other dried berry would be great! Or you could just use all dates and add in a couple tablespoons of natural fruit jam!

  3. says

    These were fantastic Christal 😀 Posted them today and linked to this here website of yours as always :)

    They reminded me a lot of the Nak’d bars and I was tempted to call them Nakr’d (as in knackered, for these are the perfect pick-me-up if you’re low on energy!) but that didn’t sound remotely festive 😛

    Wishing you a merry christmas and a happy new year 😀 xx

  4. hannah says

    I don’t have a processor… Do you think the recipe would work if I just mixed all ingredients together and rolled into balls? With added water for stickiness?

  5. Danielle says

    I made these and LOVE them! I love peanut butter so these definitely hit the spot, a little too sweet with the cranberries so might cut back on them a bit next time. I’ve also made some of the other energy bars/balls and am loving the whole idea of them with the dates and everything. You’ve hooked me Christal! Thanks for some amazing recipes!

    • Christal Sczebel says

      SO glad to hear you love the energy balls/bars! They are a super easy and cheap snack option than store bought bars!

  6. Jay says

    Hi, really want to make these do you have the measurements in grams lol I in England and the cup measurement guides all say so,etching different.


    • Christal says

      Hey – try this:

      220g pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained)
      50g unsweetened dried cranberries
      60g natural peanut butter (no added sugars or oils, just peanuts)
      40g whole raw almonds
      40g instant plain oats (gluten free if you need!)

  7. Mic says

    Delicious. Great lunch box snack. Heck of a work out for my food processor tho. Had to do it in a couple of batches as it kept stalling.

    • Christal says

      Lol! Yeah, some food processors struggle with these – I’ve had to do in batches before as well!

    • Sydney says

      My poor weak food processor had trouble with this too, haha.

      For anyone who is worried about theirs – I just put each ingredient in separately to chop them up individually, and then mixed them together (you can either do this in the food processor or by hand). So good!!

  8. april says

    do you think it’s okay to keep these on the room temperature about 10 days? because i want to bring these for travel.

    • Christal says

      They may be a little soft/mushy if they get too warm, but that can be corrected by tossing them in the fridge!

  9. Lori says

    Made these last night for my kids to use as a grab-n-go breakfast on school mornings. Not gonna lie – I snuck one. They are GOOD (surprisingly filling, too)! Love that they’re sweetened naturally with the dates. The only problem I had with them is, after freezing, I wanted to cut them into small bars and put them into ziplock baggies and they seemed to crumble rather than hold in bar. I think next time I make them I may slightly reduce the amount of oats or add a Tbsp-ish of water.

  10. Bethany says

    I’ve been trying lots of raw desserts recently, and I’ve noticed a theme with the dates. They are crazy sticky, so I’m guessing they act as a binder of sorts. Question though. You recipes are the first I’ve come across so far that soak the dates first. What is the purpose of that? Also, the other similar recipes I’ve thus tried specifically suggest mehjool dates. I’m curious if you are familiar with these versus other dates I might find as the store.

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Christal says

      Hey Bethany! The reason I suggest to soak the dates is that when soaked they soften and are easier to work with – they blend/process better and aren’t as sticky! Medjool dates are the best for these types of recipes because they are larger, softer, and moister than other date varieties!

          • Monika says

            Great, thanks for the clarification! I’ve tried a few of your other recipes that called for medjool dates, and they never needed soaking. So glad to hear i don’t need to soak for this recipe (mine are usually soft).

  11. Laura says

    I’ve had them on the freezer for several hours :( maybe it was the type of date I used. Trying to think of how to salvage this.

    • Christal says

      That’s really odd! I have no idea why?! Did you drain the dates well before processing? Hmm, I’m really sorry Laura!! :(

  12. Laura says

    I followed you directions exactly and they are too mushy to even be called bars! Is there any thing I can do? Bake them?

    • Christal says

      Hi Laura! Did you let them firm in the freezer?? They are supposed to be stored in the fridge or freezer, at room temperature they will become very soft.

    • Christal says

      The dates make up the bulk of them… if you wanted to try something else, you could try using raisins and add in extra oats and nut butter! I’m not totally sure how well it would turn out though!

  13. Amy says

    Hi! I’m starting a Daniel Fast tomorrow and this recipe is wonderful! I do have one question however. How long do you think these bars last unrefrigerated? I would like to send some to my brother down in California. (I’m from Oregon). Do you think they’ll survive the trip?

    • Christal says

      Hi Amy! That’s great! I would guess that the bars should stay good for at least a week even if left unrefrigerated. I always keep mine in the freezer and they last at least a month – that’s usually when I’ve eaten them all!! I would recommend packing them with a sheet of wax paper between each bar and in an airtight container. They do soften quite a bit when left unrefrigerated so this would prevent them from sticking together and turning into one big sticky bar! Also maybe consider freezing them before shipping!

    • Christal says

      Thanks Katie!! They are wonderful as a bring along snack! I had one packed in my purse yesterday while I was out and about on-the-go! :)

  14. Randy Reichardt says

    Christal: With recipes like these that require a food processor, do you use the smaller bowl, i.e., the 3-cup bowl with the blade to slice this stuff up and blend it? I haven’t tried this one, or the Hallowe’en cookies, or those delicious bars, but I want to, but I’m hesitant, because I don’t know HOW to use the food processor on these recipes, exactly.

    • Christal says

      Hey Randy! I always only just use the large bowl in my food processor, with the one blade at the bottom – so technically I use it much like a blender! I don’t often use the other blades and functions!


Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: