Sweet Potato Energy Bars are a healthy, on-the-go snack made with natural ingredients and cozy, fall spices.
We had our first snowstorm Sunday. I know. Don’t mind me while I grasp for the pumpkin pie spice. It may be a futile attempt to hold onto the fall season, but I’ll do whatever it takes.
I’m hoping for clearer skies this weekend for a trip to Washington DC. I’m going for a nutrition conference, but I’d love to walk around during breaks if the weather cooperates. (DC residents, get ready for 10,000+ dietitians to take over your city. Fair warning: we like to eat.)
I’m looking forward to a session on food porn dilemmas, as well as a healthy mix of fitness classes and happy hours at the conference, but I also know I’m going to need an extra burst of energy to make it through all the festivities.
Enter these spiced-with-everything-nice sweet potato energy bars. They’ve got it all. Carbs, fat, protein, fiber. Plus lots of cozy flavors from cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.
They scream fall, but there are literally thousands of ways you could switch up the ingredients to make new variations all year long. Coconut matcha bars have been popular here on the blog. 5-ingredient energy balls were also a hit.
In this very cool and crisp moment, though, nothing sounds better than these sweet potato energy bars. (Nothing, that is, other than adding on a warm bowl of pumpkin curry, perhaps.)
So if you’re looking for something new to make with your pumpkin pie spice, or just need something healthy to grab on your way out the door, make these. Promise you’ll fall for them immediately.
- 12 chopped pitted dates (1 heaping cup)
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup walnut halves and pieces
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
- ½ cup mashed sweet potato (see note)
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted if desired (see note)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted if desired (see note)
Combine dates, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, mashed sweet potato, coconut flakes, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor container. (I used a Ninja blender.) Pulse 5 times, or until mixture is broken up into small pieces. (The mixture should stick together when pressed between your fingers.)
Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper if desired. (This makes it easier to pull out and cut.) Spread energy-bar mixture in pan and press down firmly on the surface with a spatula. (This helps the bars stick together, so be sure to press firmly.) Press additional pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes on top if desired.
Cover and freeze in baking pan for at least 2 hours. Remove from baking pan and pull out parchment paper (if using) to transfer mixture to cutting board. Slice into 8 or 12 bars (depending on desired size). Enjoy immediately or store in freezer.
To prepare mashed sweet potato: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce sweet potato multiple times with a fork and place directly on the center rack of oven. Bake 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove sweet potato from oven, allow to cool, and slice in half. Remove skin and mash until smooth.
To prepare toasted coconut: add coconut flakes to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until brown. Remove from heat immediately to avoid burning.
Save these Sweet Potato Energy Bars on for later:
What kind of snacks have you been into lately?