Use less environmental energy and gain better quality food energy.
Welcome to part 2 of the energy bar discussion– if you haven’t read part 1 yet, please do.
Today we’ll see some key ingredients in creating your own energy bars. If there is something I haven’t included that you would like to see, please tell me via email or the comment section.
At the center of every bar is a couple of points: it should be healthy (well… most of the time), and obviously be energy dense. The idea is to get a maximum energy with little volume.
Nuts: Nuts are now your best friends. Go nuts for ’em! With the myriad of varieties now available at stores, infinite combinations await you. A list to start you out is: walnuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, pecans, Brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and probably more.
Dried fruit: This will sweeten you bars, and bind everything together while adding the nutrition of fruit. Yes, they are high in sugar (because majority of the water is gone, the sugars are more concentrated), but that is exactly why they are so calorie dense! A favorite is dates (pictured above), because they are super-sweet without adding any other unwanted flavors. Raisins, prunes, dried cranberries, etc. are good candidates as well, but they add a flavor of their own, so be mindful of that when tossing them in the mix. Sometimes I use a combination of dates and raisins to add an extra flavor without having it be overpowering.
Oats: Carbalicious! Oats add starch and substance to your bars. Not to mention adding a delicious oaty flavor, too! For all those gluten-free-ers out there (holla!), not only does Bob’s Red Mill carry the expensive small bags of gluten-free oats, but they now have twenty-five pound bags for our eating pleasure at a fraction of the price (it’s under the drop-down selection for “size”)! This makes those yummy GF oats a mere $1.26 per pound (not including shipping). Compare that to $6.77 for a small (plastic-packaged) two-pound sack . Our twenty-five pound (paper which equals biodegradable) bag arrived the other day, and mommy dearest and I have been eating oats every chance we get. No longer is the heart-healthy oat unattainable for the gluten-free!
The ingredients noted above create a Larabar type deal. Some extra add-ins could be:
- Dried coconut (or coconut butter!)
- Chocolate chips
- Spices (cinnamon, ginger, etc.)
But what about baked bars? Fruit filled bars? Those are for another time, my friends (however, if you would like to see those, see the question below).
Today’s Question: What bar would you like to see be homemade? Who knows, maybe I’ll create a recipe for it 🙂