Pumpkin Cranberry Energy Bars

Best cure for a case of the Moan-days? A trip to the park to feed the ducks πŸ™‚ Even better with pumpkin cranberry energy bars for a snack (recipe below!).

ducks at the park

I headed to the gym early this morning to get in a water treadmill run for the first time. Per an awesome suggestion, I wrapped my iPod cord up into my bun and clipped it in my hair. I was able to run the entire time without it getting wet!

iPod head

I got my podcast playing, hopped into the GLORIOUSLY warm indoor pool -like 80-something degrees- to get started,

Water treadmill

and the knob wouldn’t turn. The treadmill wasn’t working. Soooo, I ventured to the outdoor water treadmills and got my run in, even though I was frozen. (The pool was still heated, but not as warm and I am a giant weenie.) I realized that the lack of swimming in my life has no correlation whatsoever to the enjoyment factor; I just really loathe cold water. Even though it was a little chilly, the podcast distracted me and and it felt amazing on my joints.

I came home, the Pilot left for work, and while I waited for Oliv to wake up, I made her some fun pancakes to go with her fruit:

Mickey pancakes

(She loved them! It was amazing when she saw her plate, gasped and said, “Minnie Mouse Pancake!”)

I’m not sure what happened, but the rest of the morning spontaneously combusted. 

The remedy? We grabbed a bag of grapes -did you know ducks love grapes?!- picked up nana, and headed to the park.

Reid ducks

Watch out, they can get a little aggressive. πŸ˜‰

Liv kept a safe distance, waving and saying “HI DUCKS!” until one would get a little too close and she’d scream.

Liv feeding the ducks

You can always count on the park when nothing else seems to be working out in your favor, haha.

Pumpkin Cranberry Energy Bars

Whenever we leave for an adventure, I’ll pack a bag full of waters and snacks to have while we’re out and about. A current fave is energy bars, because I realized you can throw pretty much anything in an energy bar and it will be delicious. The only tricky part is the texture issue; I try to make sure they aren’t crumbly or too crunchy. Usually it’s a trial and error kind of thing, using whatever we have in our pantry. I made some little pumpkin pies, and figured the rest of the pumpkin puree would be perfect in these bars. Along with cranberries, dried chocolate and cashews, they’re a delicious and energizing combo.

Pumpkin cranberry energy bars are perfect for a healthy, grab-and-go snack! fitnessista.com

Hope you enjoy!



Pumpkin Cranberry Energy Bars

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A delicious grain-free option to make ahead and enjoy during the week!

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: 8 1x


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • heaping tablespoon of honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 and grease your favorite brownie pan.
  2. In a food processor, grind the cashews. Then, add your cranberries, dates and pulse until everything is chopped. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour into your baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until set and golden brown.
  5. Let cool, cut into squares and store in the fridge.


  • This is also amazing straight out of the oven with some ice cream on top. Just sayin’



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  1. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on October 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    those bars sound great!

    i’ve never heard of a water treadmill — what’s it like? did you walk/run?

    • Fitnessista on October 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      i ran- it was amazing! i could go fast and my joints didn’t feel the impact. it was nice that i got added resistance from the water

  2. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on October 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I can’t tell you how jealous I am of the water treadmill! I want to try one of these so bad since I am injured.

    I ventured into the pool today as well – 1 mile of lap swimming and 30 minutes of pool running (sans treadmill). Still a good workout!

    Those bars looks DELICIOUS!

  3. Britt on October 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I want to try a water treadmill so badly!!!!!!! I can’t find a gym with one in my area.

    Today was a sucky day for me but hoping tomorrow it better. Found out my cousin had a miscarriage which is the 4th trial/hardship that my family has had with in less than 3 months. life sucks but I still count my blessings every day.

    I can’t wait to make those bars!!!!! They look amazing!

    • ashley on October 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      I don’t know you, but hugs. So many hugs. Here’s to a better tomorrow!!

      • Britt on October 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

        Thank you so much Ashley. I’m gonna have a pedicure tomorrow so that always makes me feel good!

      • Fitnessista on October 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

        amen. thinking of you <3

        • Britt on October 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm

          Thank you Gina. I’m doing much better. Can’t wait for my “me-time” tomorrow! It will be nice! I haven’t done that in FOREVER! It’s about time I do something to make me feel better!

    • Olena on October 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      Aww… Sending you lots of love! It’s gonna turn around for your family! Just believe in it!

  4. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on October 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    The water treadmill looks so cool! It must be neat to be able to run without the stress on your joints!

    • Captain Competition on October 22, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Water treadmill is an amazing idea. I don’t know of any gyms in the area that have one but want so badly to try one out now.

  5. Ty on October 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Thank-you for the pumpkin cranberry bar recipe… i have been looking for some good protein bar recipes… I don’t like the majority of the one’s in the store so am looking forward to trying this recipe!

  6. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on October 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Pumpkin and chocolate have been a favourite combo for a while now, but I’ve never tried to add in something like cranberries — sounds delicious! And I’m with you on energy bars making the perfect snack AND the perfect way to get rid of the random odds & ends that are lying around πŸ˜‰

  7. Jay Scott on October 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Water treadmill? That’s a new one for me – going to have to google that one!

    Cranberry bars look delicious – thanks for the recipe, I’ll be giving those a try!


  8. leigh @ beach and back runner on October 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Never seen a water treadmill before – looks neat!

    That shirt on Liv is adorable, love it!

  9. Jess on October 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    GIRL! The hair bun-clipped ipod trick worked for you! YAY! I was stoked to see you tried it! Wooot! Happy (water) running πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on October 21, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      YES! thank you again so much for suggesting it!

  10. Star on October 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    These look delicious but I am not a fan of dates in bars. Do you have any suggestions for a substitution?

    • Fitnessista on October 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      hmmm, how about another dried fruit you like?

      • Star on October 22, 2013 at 1:28 am

        Do you think dried cherries would work? Or maybe I should just add more cranberries?

        • Erin on October 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm

          I don’t know about cherries (because of the pumpkin being in the mix) but maybe you could do figs?

  11. Larissa @ Running with the Dragonflies on October 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Yay! I’m so excited to make these and try these!

    Thanks for posting these πŸ™‚

  12. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More on October 21, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Water treadmill, say WHAT?!

    But seriously, those bars look delicious!

  13. Dominique @ That's What Domi Said on October 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Well now I’m dying to try a water treadmill! I think the novelty of it all would make treadmill workouts much more enjoyable (at least until I got used to it, haha!).

    Liv with the ducks – too cute! I remember I loved feeding the ducks/geese at the park when I was her age, until one day a big ol’ goose charged me and tried to attack! I’ve HAAAATED ducks/geese/swans/turkeys/things-with-wings ever since!

  14. Jackie on October 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I’d love to try a water treadmill!!!

  15. Livi on October 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    pumpkin anything is AMAZING! I have to make these πŸ™‚

  16. C. on October 21, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Yum – I love the combo of cranberry and pumpkin!

  17. Ari@The Diva Dish on October 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Awe we have those plates!
    And I have never heard of treadmill/water…What is this?? Sounds so fun!

  18. Alex @ Kenzie Life on October 22, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Cranberry orange flavored things are the best! Such a great combination! I’m excited to try them with pumpkin!

  19. Lucie on October 22, 2013 at 3:48 am

    I love the idea of the water treadmill, I never saw one before!

  20. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on October 22, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Delicious! I am a granola bar lover through and through…totally pinning this for later πŸ™‚

  21. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on October 22, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Love these bars! I think I even have all the ingredients at home right now too! πŸ™‚

  22. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on October 22, 2013 at 8:11 am

    This recipe sounds great Gina! Just out of curiosity, which recipe plugin do you use?

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

      recipe card! you can customize everything πŸ™‚

  23. Erin @ The Almond Eater on October 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

    My dad told me he took my little sister (she’s 4) to the park the other day to feed the ducks and they basically attacked her once they saw she had bread haha. They’re crazy! Those energy bars look delicious!! I’m always eating energy/granola bars anyway so I should probably try to start making my own.

  24. Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl on October 22, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I’ve been waiting for this recipe ever since seeing these on Instagram! Love all of the Fall-inspired flavors… can’t wait to give them a try!

  25. Megan on October 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Water treadmill sounds awesome – I’ve been using an Alter G treadmill at Physical Therapy for a few months, which is also great. Up to 3 miles now! My first non-mommy/daddy word was “quack”, as my parents used to take me to visit the ducks when I was little. πŸ™‚

  26. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on October 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve never been on a treadmill in the water but I have been on a bike! It was weird because it felt hard but I didn’t feel the cardio as much, maybe because I was not able to go as fast. Clipping into your hair is a great idea!

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      i’ve heard of those classes! sounds interesting! the calorie burn in the water is about equal (or more from the added resistance of the water) but perceived exertion is lower.

  27. Anna @ Fitness Γ  la Anna on October 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Okay, so I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under, but I’ve never actually heard of water treadmills…SO COOL! I have heard of pool running, and was going to try it out soon since I have a bit of a running injury (pulled a tendon in my foot) so I haven’t been able to get out running in way too long!

  28. Megan (The Lyons' Share) on October 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    How cool … the water treadmill looks awesome!!! (So do the bars πŸ™‚ – thanks!)

  29. Karin on October 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Made these cranberry bars this morning. These are just wonderful!!! I used pecans, as I didn’t have any cashews and they turned out great. Hopefully my four year old will like them. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      yay, i hope your kiddo likes them too! πŸ™‚

  30. Erin on October 22, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    These bars look so good! I can’t wait to try them. I wonder if I could sub in some protein powder somewhere in there… Hmmm, I will have to try it & see what happens.

  31. Emily on October 22, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Haha, I always have a box of raisins in my purse for those emergency snacks! You can always tell a mom by the random snacks and toiletries in her purse. Boy Scouts must’ve stolen the “Always be prepared” motto from their mothers!

  32. April on October 23, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Just curious if you use shoes in the pool or if you just go barefoot?

    I’m a barefoot baby (love my Vibrams!) on the road and for most other types of exercise, and have recently taken to the water during my pregnancy. We live in Hawaii so I get the ocean year-round, but since I’m not a strong swimmer, whenever I get tired, I just jog or even walk “laps” in the ocean. It really is an incredible workout, especially when you need a low impact day. Anyway, I’ve seen a handful of runners and swimmers here using shoes in the water and wanted to know your thoughts!

    I’ve also seen Tai Chi, Yoga, and bodyweight exercises being done on stand-up paddle boards. I don’t trust my balance for all that at the moment, but maybe some day I’ll get around to trying it! I imagine it would be similar to a BOSU or something πŸ™‚

  33. Gigi on October 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    I think you’ve just got everyone googling their zip code & “Water Treadmill”!! What a great idea!! (love the tip about pinning your ipod to your bun too!!)

  34. Caitlin on October 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Hey Gina, did you make these in an 8×8 pan?

    • Fitnessista on October 23, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      no, it was slightly smaller.

  35. Lindsay on November 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

    These are amazing!! Such a great breakfast. I doubled the recipe and freezed half of it. I didn’t need the full 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and just used cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Fitnessista on November 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      so happy you like it!

  36. Jessica on November 13, 2013 at 8:43 am

    These are great! I’ve made them twice already and have been subbing dried figs for dates, and 3/4 c. of walnuts + 1/4 c. hemp seeds for the 1 c. of cashews. I love these & they’re perfect for my toddler & for sharing with my coworkers. Thank you!

  37. Ashley on November 22, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I just made these bars and they were incredible! I made them Whole 30-compliant by omitting the honey and chocolate chips, adding in an extra date, and subbing dried cherries for cranberries because I couldn’t find any cranberries that didn’t have added sugar.

    Seriously, delicious. I’m forwarding this recipe to all of my friends who are doing Whole 30 right now as a great Whole 30 Thanksgiving dessert. Thank you!

    • Fitnessista on November 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

      whoo hoo! thank you for letting me know. so happy you like them!

  38. Lindsay on April 16, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Can I use flax eggs in this recipe?

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