Saturday, May 9, 2009

Energy Bar Recipe

There are a lot of pre-packaged energy bars out there. Many of them are loaded with chemicals, fat, and refined sugar. For the high-performance athlete, these ingredients may be easily processed, but for those of us who are really trying to watch what we're eating, these bars can be worse for you than a lot of the things on fast-food restaurant menus. So I surfed the internet for various recipes, and didn't really find one I liked. That said, I took the best features of many and came up with this. I tested them with the staff at my gym, and everyone who I spoke to seemed to like them. Well, I like them, so I guess that's all that matters. So, if you're so inclined, try this one out. (Nutritional info at the end of the recipe).

Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups instant rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pitted dried dates
  • 1 cup powdered nonfat instant milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup (or unsweetened apple sauce)
  • 4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray the paper with the cooking spray.

Process all of the ingredients except the flour, milk powder, cinnamon, syrup and eggs in the food processor. Be sure to pulse it so that everything gets well chopped, and is nicely mixed. Try to make sure there are no big chunks in the mixture. Then add the flour, milk powder, and cinnamon, and pulse the mixture until well blended. Finally, gently whip the eggs in a cup, and add them along with the syrup to the mixture until it is well combined. It should resemble really thick sand -- very granular. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to split the recipe into two batches, mixing each thoroughly and then taking a few minutes to combine them in a bowl with a good strong wooden spoon and some elbow grease.

Pour out the mixture to the cookie sheet, and press it evenly into the pan. Lightly wet your hands, and press it into the corners, etc. Bake the bars in the oven for about 20 minutes. Upon removing the tray, leave it to cool for a few minutes, and then transfer the slab of bars by lifting the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Let them cool for about an hour before cutting into approximately 30 bars. They can be individually wrapped, or stored in an air-tight container. Either way, keep them in the fridge, and and they'll be nice and chewy when you need them!

If you want to increase the amount of protein, you could substitute the milk powder with the equivalent amount of protein powder. Just remember that doing so will up increase the calories significantly, and will also likely add some sugar to the mix. In order to add more protein, I smeared one of my bars with a tablespoon or so of natural peanut butter.

Nutritional Data (per serving, approximately 50 grams)

Calories 190
Total fat 7 g
Saturated fat 1 g
Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Sodium 21 mg
Carbohydrates 28 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 14 g
Protein 7 g

2 comments:

  1. Plus, making them sounds like a workout! ;o) You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How do you know how to do all this? You're amazing.

    ReplyDelete