Make Your Own: Energy Bars

Anyone who’s walked through a grocery store can tell you just how many energy or granola bars there are on the market these days. While these prepackaged snacks are compact and efficient, it can also be fun—not to mention healthier—to make your own at home before heading out on a trip. Furthermore, this is a great way to get your kids involved in the trip, which goes a long way towards boosting their excitement, as well as making more memories to cherish.

At-Home Energy Bars (main ingredients)

2 cups crisp rice cereal

2 cups oats

¼ cup toasted wheat germ

1 cup corn syrup

1 cup peanut butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

*optional indredients

Sunflower seeds


Dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, raisins, etc)

Chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc)

Chocolate chips


1.   In a large bowl, combine cereal, oats, wheat germ, and any added optional ingredients.

2.   Combine corn syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat—stirring occasionally—until the peanut butter is melted.

3.   Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour over the dry mixture and mix well.

4.   Spread mixture into a greased baking pan and allow it to cool. Once cooled, cut into bars and either serve or wrap for transport on the trail.


There are several ingredients you can add to your own energy bars and I’ve listed a few of the ones I’ve used above. I love trail mix and energy bars, but I often also like to buy the ingredients individually and customize my own. Not only does this guarantee that you get exactly the ingredients you want, but it also gives you more control over the overall sugar or salt content of your food, which is something I always strive for.