Energy Bars Take Two

Last week, I went on a training trip with my team to Austin, Texas.

Training trip = (Sleep + Eat + Row + Eat + Sleep + Eat + Row + Eat) * (Numbers of days in trip)

It was exhausting, but really, really fun. We also made a lot of great strides as a team, both physically and technically. While I'm glad to be back home with D, I'm also really glad we took the trip.

As you can see, I ate a lot during my training. Most mornings before practice, I ate a bar, because they were easy to eat, kept me going through practice, and were light enough that I could do the warmup run without getting cramps.

For a while I've been trying to find bars that give me energy and make me feel good. I tried a lot of different bars, from the FiberOne bars, to Clif bars to Nutrigrain. Finally I settled on Larabars. I really like that they only have a few relatively simple ingredients, they fill me up, and I can exercise right after eating them.

Wholesome, delicious ingredients.
I don't like how expensive they are, how difficult they are to find, or that I didn't make them myself! So I started to look for recipes. There were a lot of recipes for homemade Larabars, but lack of food processor basically took all of those out of the equations.

Before we left on our training trip, I tried to make a batch of energy bars. The recipe I used claimed to not taste as healthy as the input ingredients. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case--they tasted awful. I rarely throw away food, but these were that bad. Granted, I think I burned them a little bit, but there wasn't much goodness to begin with.

Over the course of the trip, I looked for more recipes, and found two that I liked. One of them is called "oatmeal crispies" and is basically oats, flour, butter and sugar baked into bar shape. I may try these in the future, but the other recipe sounded more like what I wanted: oats, nut butter and honey, with a whole bunch of yummy add ins.

It was really, really snowy here.
So today, D and I ventured through the snow in search of missing ingredients. We came home, mixed these up, and immediately devoured way too many of them. They're incredible!!! The rest I have wrapped up in my fridge ready to take to practice or as an afternoon snack. I'd also like to try making different versions of these.

Below, I have the general version of the recipe, which you can customize to taste however you want. I've also included our version at the very bottom (because it's that delicious) and the version I'd like to try next!

We both had these for dessert, that's how good they are.
----- ----- -----
Customizable Energy Bars
adapted from (never_home)maker
makes approximately 20 bars


1.5c nut butter
1c honey (or other liquid sweetener, like sugar syrup or agave)
1t vanilla
0.75c water 

2.5c quick cooking grains
0.5c powder (e.g. protein/cocoa/milk)
1c coconut flakes (you could probably replace this with more grains)
1.5c nuts (chopped) and seeds
1.5c dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.
2c fresh fruit, chopped into small pieces
1c crunchy, salty stuff

They wrap up really well for snacking on the go.
1. Put the nut butter, honey, vanilla and water into the microwave for 1 minute.
2. Mix the grains, powder, coconut, nuts/seeds, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and crunchy/salty stuff together in a large bowl. Leave out any ingredients that melt, like chocolate chips.
3. Stir together the nut butter mixture and pour into the grain mixture. Stir together and then fold in all the melty ingredients. It will be a little bit crumbly at this point, which is ok.
4. Press the mixture into a well greased 9"x9" baking pan. (I used a silicone pan with parchment paper underneath.) Use the back of a spoon to flatten the mixture.
5. Bake for 25 minutes at 325°F, or until the mixture has dried out significantly.
6. Cool completely and then cut into approximately 20 squares. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
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nut butter = peanut butter
grains = 1.5c quick oats, 0.5c 5 grain hot cereal (by Bob's Red Mill), 0.5c quinoa
powder = cocoa powder
nuts/seeds = 0.75c almonds, 0.75c walnuts
dried fruit/chips = 0.5c dried cranberries, 1c chocolate chips
fresh fruit = 2 bananas, chopped up
crunchy/salty stuff = pretzels

Next time I'd leave the pretzels out, and use something else--maybe puffed rice?

nut butter = almond butter
grains = 5 grain hot cereal, quinoa
powder = milk powder or protein powder, plus some cinnamon
nuts/seeds = almonds or walnuts
dried fruit = dried apples
fresh fruit = apples
crunchy stuff = puffed rice, or cereal

What would you put in your granola bars???

Like the looks of these? Check out my Chocolate-Mint Energy Bars!

1 comment:

  1. LARABARs are gluten-free grain-free -- how can an energy bar with quick grains (or the potential for puffed rice cereal) be likened to them?


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