Jan 15, 2010

DIY Energy Bars




I love the concept of the energy bar.  A tasty, portable meal-in-a-bar, chock full of nutrition along with just enough carbs, protein, and a little fat to keep you moving and satisfied.  What I DON'T love is commercially made energy bars that are basically glorified candy bars with ingredients like tropical oils, high-fructose corn syrup, or in the low-carb varieties, sugar alcohols (they can do a number on your digestive system).  If I'm gonna eat a candy bar, make mine a Milky Way, please.

Then, there are the "all-natural" energy bars with nothing but wholesome goodness in them, but a price tag that I just cannot stomach.  (Although, Trader Joe's does have the best prices out there.)

I was watching an episode of "Shark Tank" (LOVE that show!!) one day and a guy came on wanting the Sharks to invest in his custom-made energy bar company.  I checked out his website and loved the concept of choosing from a variety of high-quality, whole ingredients and having someone make an energy bar exactly to my taste, but again, the price tag was CRAZY!  I mean, my kids need to eat too!  So I thought, "I know a thing or two about cooking and nutrition.  I should just make my own!".

Now, this is NOT a cooking blog, and I never thought I would be posting a recipe, but, I love this idea so much, I just had to share it.  I did a quick internet search, and found an energy bar recipe that is easily customized to anyone's tastes and so easy to make, even a cooking novice can create the energy bar of their dreams.  Seriously, its just mix the wet ingredients, sift together the dry, combine and then fold in the chunky stuff.  It also costs far less than any bar you can buy and provides much more nutritional bang for your buck.

The recipe makes quite a bit, so I'd half it the first time, just to make sure you like it and don't waste ingredients.  I like to think of this recipe as a foundation from which to build.  You could pretty much add whatever you want, or experiment with quantities of ingredients to your heart's content.  It's similar to a cookie recipe, but unlike cookie dough, the batter is simply to bind the chunkier ingredients together.  This is what it looks like after it's mixed and pressed into a 13x9 baking pan.


 Once baked, let them cool and then you can cut them into squares or bars, individually wrap them in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for a week or two, or in the freezer for up to three months. I grab one whenever I don't have the time to eat breakfast and it seriously lasts me until lunch. 


(this picture refuses to center!!!)

Home-Style Bike Snack Bar Recipe

JoJo's modification of George's Bar

  • 1/4 cup canola oil (you can also use melted butter, or natural PB)
  • 4 large eggs; beaten (or 2 whole eggs and 4 whites)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk powder (or protein powder)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar (or honey, brown sugar, or Splenda for baking)
  • 2 cups chopped dried fruit (raisins, dates, currants, dried berries, dried cranberries)
  • 2 1/2 cups nuts; chopped (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips or M&M's (I prefer mini)
  • 3 Tbsp whole flax seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. Beat together eggs and oil, sift together dry ingredients except fruit. Add flour to eggs, combine, then stir in fruit, nuts, and chips. Spread evenly in pan, bake 30 minutes, they are still soft when done. Cool, cut into 24 pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

Original recipe from recumbent-bikes-truth-for-you.com, modified by Me.  
Have fun!

6 comments:

Emily said...

Seriously.....I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!! I have been wanting to find a good energy bar recipe to make at home. I do really like the breakfast cookies I make, but I also like a good yummy, chewy energy bar :)

Angie C said...

These are really moist and chewy. They're also really high in fiber which most American's don't get nearly enough of. I hope you like them.

The Strong Family said...

just found your blog, I love yummy bars and am always trying to find one that is high in fiber I can grab before my walk if I don't have time for cereal or oatmeal! Thanks angie i will try this weekend!

Vivian said...

See, I would eat the "tropical oils" (LOVE coconut oil) but NOT sugar! Different strokes for different folks, I guess! I don't eat sugar, Splenda, or white flour at all. They look yummy, though, and I am sure for mainstream America they are an improvement from the packed-with-chemical bars!

Angie C said...

You're a stronger person than I am, Vivian. I tried swearing off sugar and lasted 2 weeks. Splenda would definitely work in this recipe, though.

Domestica said...

I just found your blog and I have really enjoyed scrolling through your posts! I totally want to try baking these bars, they look delish!
Thanks,
Domestica

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