Homemade energy bars

I received a question about energy bars asking about versions that weren’t too sweet. There are many types of energy bars going around these days. Most grocery stores, health stores and even corner stores are now carrying them. They come in all shapes, sizes and textures, and they often cost a lot. Most, for the purpose of preserving their flavor properly are full of sodium and sugar, not to mention a host of other vague ingredients. Be careful when buying them, you might be surprised to discover that they have more calories then actual chocolate bars, perhaps even more sugar too. What’s most unfortunate however, is that they are very easy to make, and thus, one shouldn’t spend the money on buying them as far as I’m concerned.

One caveat is that you need to own a food processor if you want to accelerate the process of making them. Often what I’ll do is make a bunch early during the week and take one with me when I leave the house for exercise or work. It takes me less than 20 min. to make a dozen small ones.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting a series of energy bar recipes of different styles all easily made at home and with different nutritional values.

Here’s the first version:

date, nut, seed and pear energy bars. +ricotta balls covered with toasted sesame

*** THERE ARE NO SPECIFIC GUIDELINES TO MAKING AN ENERGY BAR!***

Essentially, what you are trying to do is mix a group of ingredients that have a high nutrition content, are easily digestible and are a mix of both simple and complex carbohydrates. (Your body processes the simple carbs faster and gives you a quick energy burst that is then maintained by the complex carbohydrates. More on this soon. You can read this post for more information on food and exercise if you’d like: https://healthytastebuds.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/eating-for-exercise/ )

In the above mentioned bars I mixed the following:

-A handful of dried dates

-Half a fresh pear, (or an apple)

-Some grated ginger

-A handful of pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and pecans

-A large Tbls of popped amaranth. (mini healthy popcorn! I use this to bind the ingredients, but it isn’t necessary.)

I blend the ingredients and add a few dates if it’s not sticking together when I shape it, or I have seeds, nuts, or popped amaranth if it is too gooey. I then shaped them and put them to the side while I toasted some sesame seeds to cover them with. I rolled the bars in the sesames when toasted and placed them in the fridge where they harden a bit and become easier to handle. You can adapt the consistency by blending the ingredients more of less depending on the “crunch” level you are looking for.

In these bars you have good amounts of protein, some carbs and healthy fats, Iron, Magnesium and much more.

This version is semi-sweet, not overwhelming but not savory either. You can add different nuts for different flavors and different nutritional values. For example, pumpkin seeds are are fantastic source of Iron, and so, if you’re specifically looking for more Iron in your diet, add pumpkin seeds to the mix.

These bars will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.

Enjoy.

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