Lulu's Kitchen: Play-All-Day Energy Bars


A week in the life of our 12-year-old Lulu’s Kitchen host can look pretty hectic… Early-morning buses to catch, Year 7 classes to stay awake in, homework to finish, waves to surf, friends to hang with, a dog to walk, a mum to roll your eyes at, and 55,000 dance classes to get to in between. Phew, it’s enough to make anyone’s eyes roll!

Luckily, Lulu knows the importance of having healthy high-energy snacks on hand to keep her going and going and going. As parents, we’re always looking for ways to ‘feed the beasts’ without resorting to quick-fix junk food, so what’s not to love about these yummy Play-All-Day Energy Bars that feature nutritional trade-ups the hangry mob won’t even notice?

The seeds, grains and rolled oats, provide slow-release carbohydrates and protein for lasting energy and a lasting feeling of fullness. This no-oven recipe is a great one for starter cooks, and for those kids new to using cookbooks, Miss Lulu has this advice: “Read each step two or three times before you start, to make sure you really understand what to do.”





2 cups (180g) rolled oats (a bit chewy)

1 cup (30g) puffed quinoa (crispy)

1/2 cup (80g) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/2 cup (80g) sunflower seeds

8 soft fresh dates (160g), pitted and chopped (pssst! they taste like caramel)

1/2 cup (65g) dried cranberries

1/3 cup (120g) honey

1/3 cup (95g) natural smooth almond butter

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Step 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, line a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with non-stick baking paper leaving 4cm of paper overhanging on the long sides. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Step 2. Spread the oats, puffed quinoa, pepitas and sunflower seeds evenly over the prepared baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until toasted and a bit golden. Wearing oven gloves, carefully remove the oat mixture from the oven. Allow to cool on the tray.

Step 3. Place the dates and cranberries in a food processor and process until chopped. Add the oat mixture and process until well chopped (try 5 pulses for 2 seconds each). Transfer to a big bowl.

Step 4. Place the honey, almond butter, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir with a spatula until melted and smooth, then add to the oat mixture. Stir really well to combine.

Step 5. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared tin, using a fork. Freeze for 1 hour or until nice and firm.

Step 6. Use the paper to help you lift the slice from the tin. Cut it into bars with a sharp knife. Store the energy bars in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat. 

Makes 26 

Recipe from Basics to Brillance Kids by Donna Hay