Anna Jones’s recipe for homemade energy bars

I am something of a snacker. I marvel at people who stop at three meals a day. This past year, thanks to becoming a mother, I have had less time to cook than ever before, but it has been vital that I feed myself well. In the kitchen, this has put the spotlight on a handful of things that I had never given much thought to before: traybake dinners prepared during a baby nap, meals that can be cooked with one hand, and ready-to-go bites of energy that can perk you up when dinner seems a long way away.

I use ingredients such as nuts, seeds, dates, maple syrup and nut butters to make filling little snacks, and now I try always to have a stack to hand in the fridge or freezer. It’s a comfort to know I am never far away from something energising and homemade.

Both the chocolate chip bites and sesame green olive bars are very simple, requiring just a little toasting, chopping and mixing. They also keep well out of the fridge, which makes them perfect for journeys and days out.

The brownie bites take a little more time (still no real cooking), but look more polished – I’d happily serve them to friends for dinner.

Brownie energy bites with maple pumpkin praline

If you are using the usual dried dates you get packed in rows or bricks as opposed to fresh ones, then soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes first.

Brownie energy bites with maple pumpkin praline

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