While browsing the aisles at any grocer, you are likely to see 10s or even 100s of “energy” or “food” bar options. Not only are these processed, full of sugar and often contain preservatives, they are also often pricey. The bars my husband and son prefer run between $0.99 (on sale) to $2.00. The fruit-and-nut bars I sometimes purchase for my gluten-free crew average $1.59. And yet, we buy a few each week anyway! Why? Because my husband and son are into sports, a lot. When you are burning tons of energy, a quick protein-packed fill-up is a good way to get through until your next meal. When we are out and about, and I’ve forgotten a snack, its a quick, simple fix. Well, we are moving on. We try not to purchase pre-packaged/processed foods, so I’m experimenting with making our own “energy” bars. Here are recipes for a oat based (can be gluten free if GF oats are used) and a fruit-and-nut bar. Enjoy!
Oatmeal Banana Energy Bars
(Makes a 9 inch square pan)
Add-ins if desired
Mix all ingredients together (well), and place in prepared 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 40-45 minutes. Cool and slice into desired size bars. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator. For travel, we simply remove bars and wrap them in a cloth napkin secured with a safety pin, string or band.
We like to make fruit purees (pumpkin, zucchini, apple, banana, prune, fig, etc.) and store in the freezer in 1 cup portions, then the desired flavor can be pulled out and used in baking and cooking.
Fruit and Nut Bars (Gluten Free)
Makes one brownie pan (ours is about 6×10)
Spray or oil pan, set aside.
Place fruit, dates, zest and extract in food processor/blender/Vitamix and process until you have a smooth paste. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Pulse nuts in blender until finely chopped but not pureed/mushy.
Combine nuts and paste. Mix well (fingers work best). Transfer to prepared pan, smooth and allow to sit until firm. Store tightly covered in refrigerator, makes about 8 bars.
Eat Well. Be Well.
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By Jamie Ervin, Green Options
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