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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. Iโ€™m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything weโ€™ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 08 2009

Primal Energy Bar Redux: Making a Better Bar

By Worker Bee
158 Comments

When you talk, we listen. You loved the Primal Energy Bar recipe we featured in September, but the comment section lit up with suggestions about how to modify and improve the recipe.

Specifically, you guys wanted to up the protein ante, with commenter Paul recommending adding a few scoops of protein powder, and Anna offering some great suggestions for firming up what was originally a pretty fragile bar (because, lets face it, eating your protein bar with a spoon kind of defeats the purpose!)

So with that, we went to our unofficial Mark’s Daily Apple kitchen to put it to the test! There were a couple of missteps (and even one small toasting incident that could have constituted a fire!) but we think we’ve finally nailed it.

The following is the new and improved official Mark’s Daily Apple Primal Energy Bar:

Primal Energy Bar Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup almond butter (although cashew, hazelnut, walnut and even pumpkin butters will work well too!)
1/4 cup coconut oil (check your local health food store)

1/4 cup almond meal (simply pulse approximately 1/4 cup of almonds until it creates a coarse flour)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of raw honey (although, this is really kind of optional because the egg will help hold the mixture together)
1/2 cup unsweetened whey protein powder (or 60g)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. On a cookie sheet, toast nuts and shredded coconut until golden brown. In order for them to cook evenly, you need to shake up the tray at least once during cooking…trust us!
  2. Once toasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground (sort of the consistency of bread crumbs).
  3. In a mixing bowl, melt coconut oil and almond butter (about 30 seconds). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
  4. Add vanilla extract, honey and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Fold in nut mixture, almond meal and protein powder until mixed thoroughly.
  6. Add whole egg and mix thoroughly.
  7. Fold in blueberries/cranberries.
  8. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 loaf pan (a modification that we made to keep everything crisper and help the bars to hold together).
  9. Cook in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven, sprinkle a ยผ cup of shredded coconut on top and place under broiler until top begins to brown.
  11. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces/bars.
  12. Enjoy or stack on wax paper/parchment and store in an airtight container.

Note: You can also add dark chocolate chips instead of the cranberries/blueberries (available at Whole Foods or health food store). If you add the chips while the mixing bowl is warm (from the coconut oil/almond butter mixture), they will melt into the mixture and you will have yourself a chocolate primal bar. Alternatively, you can just let the mix cool, then add the chips, then refrigerate the pan to get chocolate chip primal bars. The bars stick together pretty well without being cooked.

Nutrition Information:

Nutrition for 1/12 of the batch. Nutritional breakdown courtesy of FitDay.com:

Calories: 184

Fat: 15.4 grams

Carbohydrates: 6.4 grams

Protein: 7.5 grams

And, for those of you who feared they would eat the whole pan… the total nutritional breakdown for the whole darn lot!

Calories: 2,206

Fat: 184.3 grams

Carbohydrates: 77.2 grams

Protein: 90.1 grams

That’s 1659 calories from fat, 309 calories from carbs and 360 calories from protein. Or 72% fat, 14% carbs and 16% protein. A pretty decent Primal balance.

Give ’em a try and let everyone know what you think in the comment boards!

Further Reading:

How to Make Dried Fruit

How to Make Your Own Jerky

10 Delicious DIY Salad Dressings

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158 thoughts on “Primal Energy Bar Redux: Making a Better Bar”

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  1. Lol! Mark, you weren’t joking. We ended up with almost exactly the same thing independently. Good stuff. Primal minds think alike? Thank you again for re-aligning my perception.

    The SoG

    1. Try looking up pemmican the original energy bar used by native americans

      Waltj3

  2. I missed the first recipe for these so I’m stoked you put up a new and improved one. I’m definitely going to be making these for those meals on the go.

  3. Can’t wait to try this. Protein bars are a regular part of my diet, but I’d much rather eat something that tastes like almonds than cardboard.

  4. Look great! Can’t wait to give them a try!
    And finally, a Primal use for bread crumbs! As a comparison for sizes to grind your nuts and coconut too.

    1. I made these a little while ago. After I added my protein powder, the batter just turned into clumps. Maybe I should have just kept mixing and it would have been OK, but I ended up adding an extra egg. When I took them out at the appointed time, there was a lot of oil runoff and they still seemed too wet in the middle. Again, I may have been mistaken here, but I continued baking them. They weren’t bad, but they were a bit hard and dry. Next time I will try following the recipe and see what happens.

      BTW, I bought slivered almonds without realizing that it was going to be thrown in the food processor. It seems pointless to list slivered almonds when regular almonds or almond meal would have been fine.

  5. I made 3 batches of the originals… loved ’em. The only problem I had was that I couldn’t stop eating them!

  6. Past several months i’ve been eating alot of blackberries every day. I think blackberries would go great in this recipe, too.
    This recipe is great, i love it!

  7. This looks delicious. A question about measurements – you say that for 1/4 c almond meal you can grind 1/4 c almonds – wouldn’t 1/4 c almonds yield a smaller volume of almond meal? Just making sure the 1/4 cup refers to post-grinding. Thanks!

  8. Mark,
    When number crunching in FitDay did you use the measurements as shown, or in grams? I’m becoming a gram-measure nazi, to make sure my “1/2c oats, 40g” isn’t really 57g, et cetera.

    If you’d like to lambast me for eating oats and not going fully Primal, feel free. My oats and I can handle it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. It is definitely a good idea to get unsweetened shredded coconut. One time I bought a big bag, and lo and behold it was the sweetest, tastiest thing I ever bought. I was looking at the ingredients after chugging down most of the bag and found it was loaded with added sugar. A real D’oh moment if I may say so.

  10. I made the originals and loved them but they weren’t too firm unless they were straight out of the fridge.

    Mark,
    Do you think they will ship well? I am heading to Iraq in three weeks and I would love for my wife to send some in a care package. I will be eating as primal as possible there but it will be tough.

    Thanks for all the good advice and I plan on reading the blog everyday like I do now, even though I can’t make the meals or control much of what I eat.

    Kevin

  11. I just made a batch. When baking, a lot of oil came to the top and made it look like it wasn’t cooking properly. I drained off the off, at least a quarter cup, and continued baking — it took about 15 minutes today. The only change I made to th recipe is I used walnut butter rather than almost butter.

    1. I just made some (slightly altered the recipe) and oil came to the top of mine too… I think that’s normal. If you let it cool for 20 minutes or so, the oil soaks back in making them totally moist and yummy.

  12. I would have to change out the pecans (disgusting) and if you aren’t careful just about every whey protein is chalked full of sucralose which destroy’s my stomach anyways.

    While a good idea, I will stick to jerky and nuts. Much easier to make.

    1. get dr mercolas pro optimal whey or mircle whey its grass fed and tastes really good. all flavors except the mircle whey – strawberry are great

    2. Herbalife makes one allergen free protein that is vanilla flavored. No soy, dairy, or any of that junk. May be worth checking out. Just make sure you specifically look up the allergen free protein powder.

  13. What would one use if they did not have a micro wave? I moved about three years ago and decided to leave my micro wave and not get a new one. Have not missed it till now.

    Can’t wait to try these.

    1. Lessee…how about a stove? Fire? Hot pavement? Magnifying glass under the sun?

  14. Any ideas where to get dried blueberries or cranberries that don’t have added sugar? I checked the label on both at the store and was surprised to find they were sweetened with cane sugar (or cane juice can’t remember). I had to look far and wide to find unsweetened shredded coconut. It ain’t easy being primal in a added sugar and everything contains grain products world!

    1. Hello,

      You can find dried fruit with no added sugars (or anything else for that matter) from justtomatoes.com

      They make all types of dried fruits and vegetables and don’t add any oils or sugars. I’ve found them at my local Whole Foods too (the website has a store locator too)

      Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I think most co-op health food stores should have unsweetened cranberries and unsweetened coconut in their bulk items area…

    2. If you are up for a little extra work, I recommend buying baby thai coconuts (about $1 to $2 each yeilding 8 to 12 oz water and 3/4 to 1 cup chopped meat)for both fresh coconut water (delicious!) and your raw, unsweetened coconut meat. For the easiest way to open and retrieve the water and meat see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THEdI_gSNQ4
      Once opened, drain off the coconut water, get a spoon and scrape out the meat. Place meat in food processor to finely chop. If you want, place chopped raw coconut meat into a non-stick pan over med-high heat, stir frequently and it will lightly toast.

  15. Dave,
    I have not been able to find unsweetened cranberries (the only company that sells them online has a 4 pound minimum!). Believe me, I have looked pretty thoroughly.
    As for blueberries, you can find them most anywhere freeze dried. I order mine by the can online from a company called Honeyville Grain (lol I know grain in the name.. ironic right?). They have good almond flour too.

    The SoG

  16. Andrea – We just used the FitDay volume measurements. If we used 1/2 cup I put 1/2 cup into FitDay. I hope that answers your question.

  17. Whats the protein count on this if you opt to not use the unsweetened whey powder, or what is a good substitute?

    I have no idea where to get unsweetened whey, except for the website above, and I really want to make these tomorrow haha I will probably more than likely order a jug of the custom true protein stuff, but I dont want to wait x amount of buisness days to make it when I can go get all the ingredients besides that on my way home from work tomorrow.

  18. I made them! With modifications as people are wont to do, of course…

    Here are my ingredients:
    80g toasted ground almonds
    50g toasted chopped walnuts
    30g toasted ground coconut
    50g almond butter
    2tsp vanilla
    60g whey (mix of choc and plain)
    2 omega3 eggs
    1tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    28g freeze dried blueberries
    40g chopped dark chocolate
    ~10 drops liquid stevia

    What happened: I followed instructions but only chopped walnuts instead of grinding. Mixing with the extra egg was fine, since I omitted the coconut oil (was afraid of the extra runoff reported above).

    What went wrong: oven temp a shade too high (340), and I cooked for about 14 min – too long!
    Ended up tasty but a little dry – I would fix the baking time and probably use 3 omega egg yolks instead of 2 whole eggs – I know that egg whites toughen up batters with scary efficiency.

    What went right – these taste good! I like the adding of some chocolate as a partial sub for the coconut oil. I would also add a little more stevia for some extra sweetness.

    Good luck, ya’ll! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. I made them yesterday. They were great but a little crumbly coming out of the pan. I think I’ll add an extra egg next time. I used Agave nectar instead of honey. I also used vanilla protein powder which was all I had on hand. I’ll definitely be making these again!

    1. I added two eggs and a little more coconut and they crumbled less for me. I also think not toasting the nuts/coconut too much or not toasting them at all can help that. Oh and I added 1/4 c butter, heh. These are like cookies to me, have to try not to eat too many. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I made these today, I dont know what I did wrong, but they didnt turn out for me…Ill stick to jerky and trail mix…

  21. Brandon,
    If they were too tough (like mine), keep the baking time/temp to 10min and 325 and no more – you’ll be tempted to overbake which does even worse things with these bars than it does to brownies. Turns them into bricks!

    If you think you might have overbaked a little, take them directly from the oven to the freezer or a snowbank outside to halt the cooking. On your counter it will keep cooking for at least 5 minutes as it starts to cool….

  22. No, it was taste. Probably the whey powder I used. I tend to fail at primal baking. With the exception of meats, all I can really bake is primal banana bread. Im better at stovetop.

    1. Primal banana bread sounds tasty…got the recipe on hand?

      1. Here you go! I don’t remember exactly where I found this so I can’t give due credit, but I’ve been using it for months now and it’s awesome! The bread stays moist, even if its left out for two weeks… In the fridge it can last for around three, but any more and you’re pushing it. I prefer using sunflower seed to replace the almond, but that’s because I’m a picky paleo ๐Ÿ™‚ To me, its very sweet, filling, and almost addictive… Using an 8in X 5in baking pan makes the bread around 1in to 1.5in in width, but its thick and makes a great breakfast with just one slice. It won’t hold up to heavy loading with thin slices, so if you want bread for sandwiches I would go to
        http://www.google.com/url?q=http://paleoforkids.net/paleo-breakfast-bread/&sa=U&ei=MrtLUcnxDMeoiALv5oDIBA&ved=0CBgQFjAA&sig2=xMax55GtbjX-SNnvh-MShA&usg=AFQjCNEr_SDkBPbmwmfCRg-mBnN8e2wKkA
        and quadrupled to make a “normal” sized loaf that is sturdy, thick, and just as delicious. No matter which way you go, good luck with your baking. Enjoy!

        Paleo Banana Bread
        Prep time
        10 mins
        Cook time
        60 mins
        Total time
        1 hour 10 mins

        Serves: 8
        Ingredients

        * 4 bananas, yellow (they do not need to be overly ripe but
        you can if you want)
        * 4 eggs
        * 1/2 cup almond butter (or any nut butter, i.e. macadamia,
        pecan, etc)
        * 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, melted (can substitute
        coconut oil)
        * 1/2 cup coconut flour
        * 1 tablespoon cinnamon
        * 1 teaspoon baking soda
        * 1 teaspoon baking powder
        * 1 teaspoon vanilla
        * pinch of sea salt

        Instructions

        1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
        2. Combine your bananas, eggs, and nut butter, and grass-fed
        butter in a blendtec, blender, food processor, or mixing bowl and
        mix well (if using a mixing bowl you need a good hand-mixer)
        3. Once all of your ingredients are blended, add in your
        coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and
        sea salt and mix well
        4. Grease a 9ร—5 glass (see notes) loaf pan with a fat of your
        choice (I used grass-fed butter). If you use a metal pan it will
        probably bake in 35-40 minutes so start checking at 35 to ensure
        the middle stays moist
        5. Pour in your batter and spread it evenly throughout
        6. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 55-60 minutes or
        until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
        7. Remove from oven and flip your bread out onto a cooling
        rack
        8. Slice and serve

        Variations

        1. Cranberry Orange โ€“ Only use 3 tablespoons of butter. Add
        zest of one whole orange diced, juice of one whole orange, and1
        cup dried cranberries or fresh if you want
        2. Chocolate Blueberry โ€“ Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries and ยฝ
        cup of cocoa powder
        3. Pumpkin Pecan โ€“ Reduce the almond butter to ยผ cup and add ยฝ
        cup of pumpkin puree and 1 cup of roughly chopped pecan pieces

        Notes
        If you want to make these into muffins, use the same recipe and
        for mini muffins bake approximately 25 mins and normal size
        muffins 30-35 minutes.

  23. I loved the original recipe, but was definitely excited to try new version to get the added protein. I followed recipe to a T but left out the honey and used Jay Robb vanilla whey powder instead of unsweetened. It came out really dry and crumbly, not moist and sweet like the original ๐Ÿ™ I think I’ll make another batch and cut the baking time in half, see if it helps cuz I really want to make it work!

  24. I tried to make these this morning but they came out super oily and not very tasty. I have to admit, I can’t see myself eating these but feeding them to the squirrels instead.

    Any ideas?

  25. I have been using Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Protein – Gold Standard for many years. It seems to have a better taste than most protein powders. Of course I have only used the chocolate so I’m not sure about the other flavors.

    Last time I needed to order some I noticed they now have the same powder sweetened with stevia. It’s called 100% Whey Protein – Gold Standard (natural). It’s not very sweet at all. It has a very light but pleasant chocolaty taste. I like to mix it with 3/4 cup of cold water and 1/4 cream for a quick and light low carb breakfast or snack.

    Amazon has about the best price I have found.

  26. Matt, ON also makes a variety called “AnyWhey” which is meant for cooking and is completely unflavored/sweetened.

    That might be just the ticket here.

    FWIW, I find the best prices on most of my supplementy things at LuckyVitamin.

  27. I absolutely love these bars however, they are coming out crumbly and I have to eat them with a spoon. Does anyone have any suggestions to make them more “bar” like?

    Thanks

    1. This is a LATE reply but I’ve made this recipe a few times and found that adding an extra egg to the recipe helps it hold together better.

  28. Mark,

    My two teen-age boys have been a challenge when it comes to wholesome snacks so I was delighted when I made a batch of your Primal Energy Bar (Redux) yesterday, so tasty I left very little for them and will be doubling up on the recipe in future.

    I substituted dried gooseberries for blueberries, added some walnuts & macadamians to the almonds – it solidified nicely and no excess oil as others have previously noted.

    These will be added to their school lunches along with the jerky (beef & salmon) I’ve been making for some time.

    I’ve yet to try your salsa recipe but I’ve found home-made always vastly superior to the store bought variety – fresh & crunchy springs to mind as a major difference.

    Best wishes,

    Scott

  29. I’d just like to say that I made this a couple days ago without the egg, protein powder or toasting anything and tried it uncooked and it tasted even better than the cooked version. I now eat it in the mornings as a breakfest along with black tea.

  30. I’ve made these twice now in the past couple of weeks. Good stuff, thanks Mark. I did not use shredded coconut, but I did use coconut oil. My first batch I used a few extra almonds and pecans to make up the difference. The second batch I subbed sunflower seeds which weren’t bad (though they were salted.. just used bagged stuff, not the best). Used a full dose of chocolate whey protein powder instead of unsweetened which gave it a good chocolate kick without using the dark chocolate (although I would have rather gone unsweetened with dark chocolate, probably next time). Everything else I followed the recipe. I did not find it too oily while baking. It’s going to be naturally oily.. hey it’s 72% fat. But nothing drippy or anything. Both batches were very crumbly though. I’d like to find a modification to this that will make a bar that’s well held together so I can carry it with me without a bowl. They’re delicious as a quick and easy snack or small breakfast though!

  31. Mark,

    Can you break down the fat content and let us know what of the 15.4g is saturated fat? I know there’s an option on http://www.myfitnesspal.com to get just saturated fat but I’m not familiar with FitDay.

    Thanks,

    – Jude

  32. Hi Jude,

    The saturated fat content per serving (1/12 of the entire batch) is 5.6 grams. The entire batch contains 67.1 grams of saturated fat.

  33. Thanks Worker Bee!

    I’m currently on the P90X Fat shedding stage so watching my intake of saturated fat. That’s not too bad at all though =)

  34. Sounds delicious!

    I entered all the ingredients into fitday, and came up with wildly different numbers (much higher carbs). Can you post the details, by ingredient, if you have them?

    Thanks!

  35. I know I’m a bit late on the postings, but I tried a batch tonight. I followed the recipe and only came out to about 5 bars…and they didn’t hold together that well. Any advice from those who have already made a batch? At least they taste good!

  36. some ingredients/processes that people might consider:

    1. figs. if you food process dried black mission figs, they turn into a paste that’s a good base for mixing other chopped/processed things in — no need for other wet ingredients.
    2. oats. in fact, in my first bar experiment (not using the recipe above, sorry, Mark) the fig glop was a bit too wet, so i food processed organic rolled oats into a flour. as these are precooked and dried, they’re fine to eat.
    3. quinoa. quinoa is a grain high in protein and rather bland (or easily overpowered by fig), and it doesn’t bulk up the bars much.

    process:
    1. food processing every ingredient turns the result into less of a crunchy cookie. you really have to like figs, though.

  37. I’ve made these a couple of times – excellent. The first time I made them I sprinkled the coconut on top as per the instructions, but when I brought a couple of pieces for lunch all the coconut fell off. So the last time I mixed the coconut in with everything else and baked for 13 minutes. They turned out great (maybe bake a couple minutes longer next time), and no lost coconut.

  38. This looks fantastic! Wondering what I could substitute for the coconut–one of the few things I REALLY don’t like. I know I can leave it sprinkled off the top, but what about in the mix? Maybe just more nuts? or some steel cut oats as mentioned above? Any suggestions appreciated.
    Oh, Mark and anyone else–what do you think of rice bran oil (instead of coconut oil)?
    THANKS from a newbie!

  39. I don’t think you’ll really notice the coconut flavor in the bars themselves. A little extra vanilla extract perhaps? They don’t have much of a coconut flavor IMHO.

    The almond butter will cover the coconut oil flavor when you mix that together. Oats are a grass and rice is a grain so neither are considered Primal. They are on the list of items to use minimally so if you really don’t like the bars with coconut you could use those substitutes but I would try it with the coconut first.

  40. I made these the other day per the directions, except I didn’t use any protein powder.

    They taste good, but, were definitely a little crumbly. After some time in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap, they did maintain the bar shape. (I used the crumbs like granola and put them in my yogurt. The crumbs could probably be eaten like cereal with raw milk.)

    I will make these again, but, with another egg.

  41. I have made a batch of this every week for a couple of months now – great stuff!

    I have halved the prep time by doing the following:

    -cut out steps 1 & 2 by using more almond flour instead of toasting and grinding the nuts (smash the pecans in a mortar and pestle without toasting

    mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
    then add the wet ingredients – only uses 1 bowl.

    i also only use 1 scoop of protein powder as I find 2 scoops gives a strange crumbly texture to the bars.

  42. I made a batch of these yesterday and they turned out delicious. I subbed unsweetened raisins for the berries since I couldn’t find any unsweetened cranberries or blueberries. Still just as sweet and tasty in my opinion. I also added a second egg since my mixture looked like it would have been very crumbly.

    I wonder if adding fresh and/or frozen berries would work in this. I always have frozen berries on hand. Any thoughts?

    1. I’ve never tried using frozen berries in this recipe, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work – as long as you make sure the berries are well-spaced out. Don’t add too many! Fresh and frozen berries will release a lot of moisture while baking, so too many berries could mean soggy bars.

  43. These look great, thanks for the recipe! If you like coconut, and don’t have whey (or don’t want to use it) you can probably sub out coconut flour for the whey powder.

    FYI – I’ve found dried unsweetened blueberries and cranberries at Trader Joe’s. I’m sure any co-op or health food store would have them also.

  44. Many thanks to all who posted before me — your advice was invaluable. Very delicious. My modifications:

    * used two medium eggs
    * Trader Joe’s crunchy unsalted almond butter
    * put toasted nuts/coconut in a plastic bag and crushed to large chunks

    They held together well and have a satisfying crunch to them. Made one batch with freeze-dried blueberries (and found them rather bland). Made the second batch with the dark chocolate chips & chocolate whey powder. Addictive little suckers!

  45. I cannot eat dairy (casein intolerant, and gluten also). Do you think it would have the same texture with powdered egg protein instead of whey? Vitol brand looks great and I’m thinking of trying it in this. Thanks!

    1. In case anyone else is wondering… I don’t do whey either, so I used ~45g of dried egg whites in this recipe instead of whey.

      Added 1/2 cup water to reconstitute egg whites, and omitted honey and egg altogether.

      The bar tastes delicious, holds VERY well together, but is a bit dry. Next time I might add more water, coconut oil, or a banana perhaps to make the bar a bit more moist.

  46. i just discovered this site a couple of days ago, and i’ve spending a lot of time since then, reading. ๐Ÿ™‚ i’ve had weight issues all my life (not very severe, but persistent), but after i found out about low-carb eating from Atkins, i’ve been a believer. i feel SO much better, it’s a revelation.

    i was wondering what you all think about hemp protein powder?

  47. I just made these tonight, and wow, I suspect they’ll be a lifesaver!

    I halved the protein powder, and since I didn’t have a loaf pan, I used my silicone muffin “tins”, and divided the dough into 12, pressing it into the bottom of each well. Has anyone tried this yet? They are nice and crisp around the edges- I can eat them like a cookie, they stick together really well.

  48. I made these yesterday, and although they are delicious, I would make a few adjustments. First, I would decrease the coconut oil to 1/8 of a cup because of the amount of nut butter. I think they are a little on the oily side. Like others, I would add an extra egg for binding. An additional step to take after the bars have cooled, and before cutting them is to place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes; then cut them into 18 small, rectangles. These are very rich, so a little goes a long way. Store the bars covered in the freezer. Because of the high oil content, they thaw quickly. I purchased the bulk unsweetened whey protein isolate and the unsweetened/ unsulphured dried berries at Trader Joe’s. I just ate one of these and I’m going back for a second ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Curious what the average cost per batch/bar might come to on something like this. I absolutely love the Pro Bar (theprobar.com, Art’s Original Blend) but at $3+ per bar, I’d rather make my own.

  50. I made 3 pans of these last night but did some major modifications. Instead of almonds and pecans, I’m allergic, I used Alton Brown’s cashew butter recipe for the butter part. I then substituted 1 cup of whole cashews, 1/2 cup of macadamia and soy nuts each, 1/2 cup of coconut flour, 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut, tripled the whey protein (GNC Pro Performanceยฎ AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60โ„ข – Vanilla worked great), half the vanilla extract, 1 more Tbl spoon of honey, 3/4 cup of coconut oil and added 2 more eggs. I had to add the extra eggs, oil and honey for the extra whey and coconut flour I added to make it stick together better. I read all the above posts from other people and didn’t want to chance it coming out crumbly. I excluded the salt from the recipe as I used salted nuts. Put in freeze dried blueberries.
    I followed some other advice in a post above and mixed some of the unchopped coconut in the batter instead of toasting it on top after baking. The result-
    These came out awesome! Just like a coconut and blueberry blondie. I will be making more this weekend, suran wrapped to have ready for next week’s workouts (On P90X Doubles, Bring It!). I think I will do some more modifying in the subsequent batches. Dark Chocolate peppermint with a white chocolate drisel sounds like it would be good.

  51. So, I decided to give this recipe a try and it turned out pretty darn good! I was too chicken to try them by myself, so I brought them to Crossfit this morning. I am new to the whole primal baking thing, and for the first attempt, I didn’t find them too oily or too dry.

    I’m glad that I have a healthy snack available instead of always giving in to my brownie and cake cravings. Thanks
    for posting!

  52. Just thought I’d add that at the Sam’s Club I go to (Tucson, AZ), they sell 3-lb bags of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips for a very reasonable price. They also sell smaller bags of these chips at the Cost Plus World Market next door. Not sure if they have a high enough cacao content for the likes of you, but I thought I’d pass it on, since I’ve found that dark chocolate chips are hard to find.

  53. hey! great recipe! i made a slight modification: 1 banana to replace the honey. plenty of sweetness plus itll give you some potassium before a workout

  54. these have become a staple with me, and i’ve never made them exactly the same way twice. last time, i added some maca powder (in use in S. America for centuries), and they’re better than ever.

  55. I have made several batches of these and they are awesome! My 2 year old LOVES them! I will also mix and match the nuts. I have used hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, and walnuts in varying combinations, and each way is great! I added a little nutmeg and cinnamon with a batch that was heavy on walnuts and they turned out fantastic! This is great for grokers like me who need something simple and quick during the day that doesn’t require a spoon or fork. I have also used organic peanut butter when I don’t have almond butter on hand with great results.

  56. Unfortunately I have to say I didn’t like this recipe as much as the original. I found the taste of the whey protein wasn’t comprable with the other ingredients and had an aftertaste. (could have been the kind I used) And the egg made is a little greasy.

    I really love the original Primal Energy Bar recipe though. Need to find how to add protein and retains the taste/texture.

  57. I love, love, love these bars. I made them last night, but a raw version, omitting the egg completely, and I used a tablespoon of organic agave nectar rather than honey. The dough is sticky and oily enough to hold together without the egg binder. I made small dough balls and rolled them in unsweetened, toasted coconut. I refrigerated them overnight (because it’s beginning to get very warm where I live) so they won’t melt. Straight out of the refrigerator, I just sampled one (as did my husband) and they are scrumptious. My next batch I’m planning to prepare in the same fashion, but roll in dutch processed cocoa powder. Yummy!

  58. My husband and I made these and they are very tasty! I baked them up in mini quiche pans, so they would be a little more bite size. They turned out nice and crispy!MMmmmmm

    We are planning to try your idea for “banana’s foster” (bananas browned in coconut oil, with a dash of sugar, you mentioned it in your book) for desert tonight ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you!

  59. Made these today turned out amazing love them i just want to keep eating them, used olive oil instead and made my own almond meal and almond butter.

  60. Dear All,

    Just wanted to share the way I do the protein bar, roll, whatever you call it. Easy, fast, and healthy. Much easier then Mark’s (sorry, Mark). I’ve tried so many different bar recipes during my bodybuilding years. They all turn out to be TOO SWEET for me. Here we go:

    Three basic ingredients:
    ———————-

    – protein powder – the one you like best. I like the raw one without sweeteners and artificial flavouring;

    – cottage cheese (curds) – fat or no fat depending on your diet and what else you are going to put into;

    – one-two eggs.

    You take 1 cup of each. Proportions will have to be adjusted to the actual kind of cottage cheese you use (solid, soft, etc.)

    The cottage cheese will give the bar/roll nice consistency. The roll will not get hard or sticky like typical protein bar.

    I use silicone baking molds (for muffins) so not to worry about the form of my rolls. They also cook faster and more uniform this way.

    Mix the ingredients. Add milk/water if too dry. BAKE. JUST DON’T OVERBAKE IT. 10-15 minutes at 180-200 DEG Celsius is fine.

    And the rest is UP TO YOU! I mean – you put WHATEVER fits you best – raisins, honey, nuts, oil, fresh fruit anyone? – also!

    Because the base components are simply put almost PURE proteins, the rest is up to your taste AND you diet (slimming, bulking, maintenance).

    Feel free to ask for tasty tips at vyalikh (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Not bad, Eugene. Simple, flexible, and good. I didn’t think it would work. I added some stuff and made as drop cookies.

  61. These are great except for the coconut on top because mine always falls off. I stopped adding it.

  62. I just started making these last week and I’m addicted.

    The last batch I made I threw in an extra egg and a banana along with the cranberries. It came out softer than the original redux recipe, but it reminds me of cookie dough… so good. I would definitely advise trying it.

  63. These are SO tasty! I love that they aren’t very sweet at all. So many commercial bars, even if they’re otherwise okay, are mostly fruit! I’m not wild about protein powder, so I added some coconut flour instead. And then I baked them in a muffin tin with muffin papers. Makes it easy to figure out what a serving is and helps ’em hold together under stress (like in my purse!).

  64. I made these yesterday, and they are great. I did not have any pecans on hand so substituted sunflower seeds.
    A very flexible recipe.

  65. I just tried these this weekend and they turned out great. As I was wrestling them from the pan, some crumbled and I got an idea…I will try using them as a crumb topping for fruit cobblers or even primal apple pie for Thanksgiving, I think it will be awesome. Thanks Mark for the inspiration!

  66. I made them with the modification of two eggs and baked for ten minutes. I can really taste the sea salt, that was probably not necessary or the amount is too much. Other than that they taste pretty good.

  67. i love what is IN these… and they taste great. they were just a bit too crumbly though. i will add 2 more eggs for a total of 3. and maybe some more blueberries.

    thanks for all you do mark sisson.

  68. If I wanted to make these without the Protein Powder, what suggestions would you guys have to make sure they still come out right? Would I need to alter the liquid/solid amounts to keep them solid enough, or should they work out mostly the same?

    1. Somewhat after the fact here, but I’ve used coconut flour to sub for protein powder.

  69. I made these without the protein powder, which I replaced with almond meal. They turned out a little crumbly, but they mostly stuck together. They were quite tastey. I ate the whole batch in three days, so I am trying to postpone making another batch. Mine turned out a bit too salty. I used Trader Joe’s salted crunchy almond butter with flaxseed. Next time, I will skip the additional salt.

  70. Should have read the comments first. They taste great but are very crumbly. Next time I’ll try some of the variations others have mentioned.

  71. Recipe looks great but now i’m reading heating nuts is very bad as it oxidizes the oils in the nuts which can wreak havoc in the body. I just started eating paleo and i’m getting very frustrated when i think i’m eating well to then read about another food item i shouldnt’ eat. comments?

    1. Hey Christine – I’ve also heard this and would love to hear more if anybody knows.

      Other than that thank you Mark and everybody on here – I found this site about two months ago and I’ve started trying to go primal (already been wearing Vibrams for a few years for running and got half the beard) – lost about 7kg in 6 weeks so far and feel great! Thank you thank you thank you!

      Peace n love.

      C

  72. made these last night…OH BOY PURE DELICIOUSNESS!!! I used a vanilla whey protein (all I had) and they are wonderful! My new favorite snack.

  73. My first batch came out a bit crumbly and slightly dry so the second round I used 1 cup of coconut butter in place of 1/2 cup of almond butter and 1/2 cup of coconut oil. As well as two eggs. I also baked them in a muffin pan. Held together well and do not seem to be as dry or crumbly as my first batch. Thanks for everyone’s input!

  74. My mouth is watering right now. Can wait to get home and try this one. Thanks!

  75. I made these yesterday and used two eggs and added a variety of dried berries. I had a hard time stopping myself from eating the whole pan! Yum. Highly recommend.

  76. These sound awesome. Thanks for the weekend project! ๐Ÿ™‚ Been looking for a new protein convenience food. This will work great!

  77. these do sound great and will try to make em tomorrow! The family wants to try them too as they are juggling with the primal blueprint idea. So no pressure ๐Ÿ˜€

    I just wondered if anyone had any more answers regarding heating the nuts…?

  78. Err, just been readin up and discovered almonds contain a higher ration of phyla/P enzyme than other grains. May not be so healthy after all, especially with the oxidative effect of heating nuts. Can anyone more qualified shed light on this…?

  79. Can these be made without the protien powder? if so what would be a suitable substitute?

  80. Mark, the bars look great and I will be making them for my son. I have to say I was a little shocked and a lot dismayed by the fact that you endorse using a microwave to do anything with food. Microwaves change the molecular structure of food. I have stopped using mine except to warm up flax seed bags. Expensive warmer, I know. But I’m now (thanks to you) more interested in eating food how it was meant to be eaten vs. changing the molecular structure of it and then expecting it to truly feed my body. Just putting it out there.

  81. Great Recipe! I added two egg whites instead of whole eggs, also a 1/2 cup flax meal and a teaspoon of baking soda. Put them in a 8 X 11 pan and cut into 24…around 110 calories each…I think…still working on the nutritional breakdown.

  82. You might try using coconut flour in this recipe. You can buy it at Whole Foods. It adds a nice flavor and texture to both raw and baked protein bars.

  83. These are awesome! I tweaked a little bit: instead of t?!e dried cranberries and blueberries (which I simply could NOT find without added sugar and- ?!- vegetable oil), I used 1/4 c dried cherries (which I WAS able to find with no added ingredients) and 1/4 c dark chocolate chips. Yum. I’ve been looking for a good recipe for homemade energy bars for a while (my husband works 2 very physically demanding jobs, and I want to give him an alternative to canned energy drinks). These really seem to fit the bill. Thanks, Mark! You rock!

  84. I did a few things differently. I used my food processor and with one of the attachments I shaved the whole almonds and I pulverized the coconut. I even processed the 1/4 cup which was intended for the top of the bars. I set aside the 1/4 cup of coconut for use later. I did not have any of the “butters” mentioned, so I made my own. I took 1/4 cup of almonds, mixed it with the coconut oil, salt, vanilla, everything else…except for the coconut and almonds that I toasted. I used cranberries. They were processed along with everything else. When the almonds and coconut were toasted I added 1/2 cup of dark chocolate to the warm mixture. Allowed it to cool and then added everything together. Instead of making bars I made cookies. Instead of adding the coconut later and putting them under the broiler I coated the cookies with the coconut and then baked them for about 15 minutes, convection bake at 325*…they are a great energy bar. Thanks for the recipe.

  85. If the ingredients are more uniform in size and mixed in a food processor I believe you would have better results. When there is little to hold the batter together, such as flour, etc., you would benefit by processing the ingredients so they blend together and hold together during the baking process. That is my opinion. I baked them as cookies, not bars, processed the ingredients well and the cookies are not dry and they are not crumbly. Hope this helps.

  86. I’m baking this right now, so excited! I bought a food processor today and made some almond butter for it and it was sooo tasty. ๐Ÿ˜€

  87. Can you substitute hemp protein for whey protein in this recipe?

  88. I made these last night and followed the recipe to a T – unfortunately they just don’t have much flavor…they hold together ok but they are just kind of dry and bland. I’d have to load them up with the blueberries or chocolate chips to make them taste better.

  89. I made these yesterday, I doubled the recipe but still came out with 12 squares…Should I be concerned about eating 360 calories/30g of fat from a bar? Or the fact that I ate 2 of them today?

  90. Is the protein powder absolutely necessary? I try to avoid using anything like that because I want to try my best to get stuff naturally (I have no problem with people using it, just a personal little goal). Are there substitutes?

  91. So if I end up with a dry crumble what did I do wrong? The only thing I could not comply with the first go round was the 8×8 loaf pan (will have to get one)

  92. I made these for the first time….and they didn’t turn out. Even using a spoon, they crumbled trying to get them out of the pan. They were still like batter, and I even baked them for an additional 10 min. Any idea what went wrong? I followed the directions, exactly….the only thing I can think of is maybe I ground the nuts to much? (they were coarse like breadcrumbs).

  93. I’ve just made some, I couldnt resist more, it smelled so good. I let them cool for 15 minutes and there were no oil remaining. They’re delicious.

    I didn’t have some of the ingredients so I replaced it by others.

    Pecans => Brazil and Macadamia nuts
    Whey protein powder => Egg whites
    Dried blueberries => Dried dates

    For the rest I followed the recipe.
    Thanks !

  94. I already use My Fitness Pal, so I added the info there as well. You can find it under Mark Sissons Primal Energy Bar

  95. Doubled the recipe right away but that was risky… better doing small batch first, adjust the parameter and then go full process. I feel my first try to be a little bit too heavy on salt…

    So like most I have changed a few things. Grinded 90% chocolate with the nuts, added some pistachio for fun, used unreasonable quantity of frozen blueberry and 4 eggs total (2 per batch). No whey and no honey.

    Did look like a failure out of oven even if I have tried to cook it longer, blueberry probably added too much water to the mix.

    Cut it in small bits and send it straight to freezer. Took the broken bits and rebinded them with pressure in a plastic film. Out of freezer the closest comparison I can think of in term of texture and taste is nanaimo bar. So next time with less salt (or maybe with banana) should be fantasticalicious.

    I’m not scared one bit of eating too much of it.. it’s good but you do feel quickly the “I had enough” point.

    The energy bar will be good for me at work as under stress I was sometimes cheating with less healthy option when getting a coffee, but then again I’m transitionning to tea to reduce the triggers, so I will see. I will have a better option for the occasionnal home cheating too…

    Thanks for the book and blog. Implementing paleo/primal is definitively adding life in my life… success story in the making!

  96. I know this is an OLD post, but wanted to suggest pressing the mix into patty pans (Australian here sorry.. maybe you call them muffin papers? Cupcake paper cups?) and then at least you can take them into the wild (school lunch box again, sorry we are Aussies we don’t get “school cafeterias)with out them falling apart? I also thought that icing them with a good quality chocolate might help them hold together and make the kids want to eat them more.

  97. Made em and its now paleo-granola! Super relish and my 9 yo daughter can’t wait to have some for breakfast tomorrow!

  98. How long do I bake these at if I go the muffin tin method instead of the 8×8 loaf pan method??

    Many of you said that worked better for you. Help us out with the cooking times.

  99. This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t like using protein powders, though, so I may have to find a substitute… I haven’t tried making pumpkin butter/meal yet, so I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    I’m just glad that Publix sells Louan’s Coconut Oil for about $5 now-a-days. It’s the best for cooking just about anything. Thanks Mark for making and testing this out! Awesome pick-me-up -thumbs up-

  100. I’ve made a couple of batches of this recipe, with the only modifications being to use black chia seeds instead of the whey powder (I react to it) and using local dried cherries for the fruit flavoring. My wife has started stealing them to take to work for breakfast so now I have to make double batches! Good stuff.

  101. How exactly is whey protein “primal”? Kinda defeats the point of having a “primal” energy bar.

  102. I tripled the recipe and cooked in a 9×13 for a potluck. Just due to time I did not toast the nuts/coconut. I thought it tuned out pretty well, although crumbly… next time I would add another egg or two to help bind it together. I’m hoping that sticking in the fridge overnight will help it stay together!

  103. Amazingly delicious!! I am a pastry chef (the one that uses alot of the “no” foods listed in the Paleo lifestyle guides). These bars can easily replace any other energy bars I USED to making using oatmeal and other grain products.
    Congratulations!!! I am sold.

  104. Quick question for you Mark,

    I added dried Goji berries, instead of the blueberries, after following the recipe to the letter, they came out super dry (there was no oil on top when i removed them from the oven as had happened first time around without any berries), I think the Goji berries soaked up the oil, leaving very little in the mix to hold it together, any suggestions to prevent this?

    cheers

  105. We should all try and wake our inner caveman…getting back to basics is a great way to flush out life’s toxins and get your inner self back!

  106. Can the protein powder be left out or replaced with something else?

  107. This is a tasty recipe, but not the direction I went. I used a almond butter and date base, I added hempseed and tart cherries.These are my favorite bars. They are full paleo and they taste delicious. I also throw in some dehydrated organic grass fed beef..
    https://pribars.com/

  108. I made the recipe exactly as stated but mine were very crumbly and would not hold together. I did like the taste, however.

    Any suggestions???

  109. Hi Danielle – I had the same problem – what I did was use an extra egg and split the yoke and the white. The white I added to the general mixture as “glue” and the yoke I painted on top with a little food brush so the coconut shreds stick better and don’t fall off all over the place! I put it on just before I put on the coconut – then back in. If that makes sense ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good luck hope it works for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  110. Great flavor, but definitely too crumbly to eat as a bar. I did not use the 1/2 tsp honey, as my whey protein powder was sweetened. I also subbed chopped dried apricots for the berries because I couldn’t find any dried cranberries or blueberries that were unsweetened. There was some oil on the top after baking, as several people have mentioned, but I sifted some plain unsweetened cocoa powder on top instead of the additional toasted coconut.

    In the end, I simply spooned the mixture into a 2-cup measuring cup, packed it down, and will eat approx 1/12 as a snack! This was way too much work. I’m just as happy with a handful of nuts or a square of extra dark chocolate!

  111. My wife and I do quite a lot of hiking and long distance backpacking and have been trying to get my on-trail food plan to the primal stage. One to the biggest challenges is that the commercial food bars are carb bombs. I’ve tested this recipe and am certain that these bars will not hold up in a bear canister for 7-9 days. Will pay around and report back. We’ve used soaked flaxseed in the past as a binder and that may work here. I’ll report back

    ~Wanderin’ Jack

  112. Okay, this is an old article, so who knows if anyone will find this comment, but FWIW, the Kirkland Nut Bars sold by Costco offer an almost identical macronutritional profile as the single serving Primal bar. I like to spread coconut oil on these bars for an additional energy punch (and incredible taste).