Recipe for Homemade Energy Bars Both You and Your Dog Can Eat
I finally cooked a treat for the dogs….kind of.
While these homemade energy bars are safe for dogs to eat, I initially made them more for myself.
These energy bars, or trail mix bars, are called Hike and Hound Energy Bars.
Most homemade energy bar recipes out there contain chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, but these do not.
I am not big on cooking but these were surprisingly fast to make.
I think it only took me 10 minutes to mix the ingredients together.
Recipe for Hike and Hound Trail Bars
- 2 large very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, unsweetened
- 1/4 cup chopped or sliced almonds, raw or toasted and unsalted
- 1 cup dried apricots, no added sugar
- 1 cup dried blueberries, no added sugar
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats, uncooked
- 2-4 Tbs Chia Seeds
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (or more to taste)
Makes approximately 16-24 small square bars (depending on the size baking dish used and how thin you spread them out).
Optional ingredient ideas:
You can swap out of the any dried fruit ingredients above for these options, based on your personal preference.
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Carob chips (not chocolate! which is toxic to dogs)
- Substitute almond butter for the peanut butter
- Dried strawberries
- Dried apples
- Dried mango
- Dried pineapple
Be sure to use the same measured amount as the ingredient you’re swapping out for the same consistency of finished product.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a square 2(ish) quart baking pan with parchment paper, or grease it with a light coating of olive or coconut oil, so the bars don’t stick.
- In a food processor, puree the bananas until smooth. Set aside.
- Microwave the peanut butter for 15-30 seconds until completely melted.
- Chop the raw almonds and apricots into small, pea-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, add the almonds, dried fruits, and rolled oats.
- Add in the mashed bananas, melted peanut butter, and vanilla extract.
- Mix everything together until it becomes a uniform batter (If the batter is too wet, you can add a little more oats. If it is too dry, you can add a bit more banana or peanut butter).
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and use a spatula or spoon to flatten and spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool completely before cutting into squares using a knife or pizza cutter.
Lessons Learned During My First Attempt
I modified the recipe a little to suit my tastes and what I had on hand:
- I didn’t include the lemon zest because I didn’t have any
- I mixed in 2 Tbs of chia seeds
- I didn’t have any vanilla bean so I added 1/4 tsp vanilla extract instead.
After I baked and tasted my first batch, here were the things that I noted:
- I bought the dried blueberries and apricots at my local health food store. They were organic and preservative-free. I am all for nutritious hippie food when possible but these sucked. They were really dried out – not moist like the preservative-filled Sunmaid type ones. They weren’t as tangy as the moister ones usually are. I do have to say that they softened up nicely after being baked but I think I will try the standard versions next time
- The vanilla extract (instead of vanilla bean) worked out just fine. The taste was really subtle so I might try adding a little more next time.
- Because I like a tangier taste, I will definitely add the lemon zest next time….once I can figure out how to actually zest one without a zester 🙂
- I didn’t notice the chia seeds and they did not mess up the ratio of the mixture. I will probably add twice as many next time….because who doesn’t need more fiber in their diet?
- The recipe said to heat the peanut butter in a small pot (and the banana, which I did not do). I am too lazy so I heated the peanut butter in the microwave. The world did not end.
- I used a knife instead of a pizza cutter to cut them into small pieces. The world also did not end then.
I will warn that these treats are yummy but not low calorie. It’s probably a good idea to keep them in the freezer and not eat them unless you are actually hiking.
I spread the mixture into a 2.2 Quart (2 Liter) casserole dish. After they baked, I cut them into 24 little pieces. According to my calculations, with my modified recipe, each square was 120 calories.
I am going to try the recipe again and may try to reduce the calories they contain.
These dog friendly trail bars are a great snack to bring when you are hiking with your dog because they do double duty.
Because they only contain dog-safe ingredients, you can feel free to share little bites with your furry friend during breaks.
Note: The recipe was originally created by our friends over at NewfandHound from a few vegan recipes they found online. They are no longer online so I can’t link for proper credit.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.
Just scanning my reader and read your title and made me smile. Great! The no-bake recipes are always good. Of course it is okay to make adjustments to the recipe (the world will not end). Make sure the dried fruit does not include “sugar” as some of them do. Okay be very careful with vanilla extract as t can be dangerous to the dogs, vanilla extract has a alcohol content(pure is made at least 35%alcohol) There’s a Vanilla herb that is only for dogs (but if you use this you can’t eat the treats). Enjoy the treats. Happy Tasty Tuesday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
Thanks Sugar. You do bake these treats for 30 minutes so I thought the alcohol in the vanilla would burn off. Is that not the case? Could it still be bad for them, even in such a tiny amount?
Jessica … your Tasty Tuesday code is incorrect.
Thanks, I know. I am fixing it now. Just getting up….it’s only 7 am here 🙂 I checked your last comment when the dogs woke me up to eat.
Those are my favorites kinds of treats to bake. Ones for me that I can feed the dogs. 🙂
Dried fruit is pure sugar, even if none is added. And grains should not be given to dogs. They are bad for many people too including me. Much better for people and dogs would be dehydrated beef. It works well for a hike because it doesn’t spoil and is light.
Hmmm, interesting recipe. But looking at the comments, maybe i will eat them all.
These look delicious! We love tasty and easy recipes! I loved your comments too. ( :
You’re too funny. They look pretty tasty! If you need to zest something you can simply use a grater.
Won’t that take too much of the rind off though and make it bitter?
Nope. Here is a funny youtube video that shows you. The guy is using a micro grater, but any grater with small holes will work. It’s all about the pressure that you apply to the lemon. 🙂
Mmmm. Those look nummy. Reminds me, I used to make these energy bars that were eaten raw for the hubs and me. I wonder what I ever did with that recipe?? They were pretty good – but can’t remember for the life of me what all went in them.
I spend enough money on energy bars for me and don’t even like them that much. I should make my own more often.
1 problem… I probably wouldn’t be very good at leaving them and not eating them if I wasn’t hiking haha!
I haven’t been. They are half gone already 🙂
Thanks for the link and I’m glad you tried them!! I love that these are so quick to make and you can make them with almost any fruit really. If people are squeamish about the sugar content in the fruit then just substitute or minimize the ingredients which is the beauty of this recipe! My husband ate the last of my bars so I need to make some more!
I guess I didn’t realize that making energy bars (that will mostly be for me) were so easy. I might experiment with different fruits. I wanted to use raisins but of course the dogs couldn’t eat those. I also might try substituting part of the fruit and oats with rice crispies.
Yeah, these wouldn’t stay in the freezer. I’d be like, “Oh, I’ll just have one piece…” Later, a piece after dinner. A little late night snack. Then a piece the next morning. A little snack in the afternoon won’t hurt. You get the idea. The wieners would be lucky to get any at all. And while I’ve gone pretty much completely grain-free around here in regards to their food/treats, a little oatmeal never hurt anyone. The world won’t end. 😉
I mostly feed Chester and Gretel grain-free food. Not because they have allergies but because it contains more of the nutrients that matter to them. I am not worried about a few carbs here and there. Personally though, I LOVE dried fruit. I can’t keep it in the house or I would eat it all of the time….and I know all the sugar and calories is not good for my waistline.
I know, right? I could almost say that I like dried fruit more than fresh fruit. Dried fruit is like candy to me. So I totally hear ya. Do yourself a favor and never buy the Pomegranate Infused Craisins. They are ridiculously addictive AND they have added sugar! Doh! I can plow through a whole bag in no time, so I quit buying them 🙁 And don’t get me started on dried apricots…
As far as the wieners, one of them needs to lose weight… so we’ve been trying to cut back on treats and food. It’s too bad, because with all the Tasty Tuesday posts, I come across great recipes like this for treats that they would love.
You tell me about all this goodness and then tell me to put them in the freezer unless I’m actually hiking?! Gah! lol They sound really good!
This batch never made it to the freezer because my hubby was going to take them to work. Now I fear they won’t make it to work with him 🙂
I’m laughing with you after reading all the comments! I think we are all thinking the same nibbling thoughts! These do sound wonderful and I would have to eat them all on the way to our hike, too. I’ll have to try them soon, for the dogs of course (not)!
p.s. I think you can buy lemon zest pre-made. Not sure if I’ve seen it dried and in the spice section or in a jar in the produce section?
Perfect! I’m not much of a cook but I will try these out. cool that I can eat the dog treats too!
“The world did not end.”
LOL, I feel like this is a great mantra and I may have it painted right onto my kitchen wall. Those look delish and I’ll definitely try them. I’m putting carob chips in mine though. (PS – I giggled at your comment on the originating post! Never say never, eh?)
My Mom never let me eat chocolate, only carob. In third grade there was a class camp out at a student’s house and we made smores. My Mom sent with a little tinfoil packet of carob….but of course I snuck chocolate. never looked back 🙂
I bet Katie and I would love them but mom would not eat them…she is super picky! We get lots of exercise so even though they are high cal we could eat them now and then and keep the rest in the freezer as you say. Mom says not to worry about substituting on the recipe as that is what cooks do…constantly revising and bettering a recipe 🙂
Great idea as perfect for sharing. Have a terrific Thursday.
Best wishes Molly
I love the recipe and so did my mutts, however I removed the vanilla and added finely minced bits of jerky. Which is delicious! It added even more calories, but that is where the energy comes from. This lovely treat keeps me and my huskies going on those outings! Thank you for sharing!
That’s the great thing about recipes – you can substitute to fit your tastes. I almost never follow directions exactly and often add in things that I like.