Monday, February 23, 2009

Energy Bars

Just yesterday I was walking through Superstore and decided that I'd mosey on down to the "health-food" section. When I got there, I noticed that they were having a sale on energy bars! Being on a real "running-high" and trying to maximize my nutritional intake and athletic performance, I was excited to try a whole bunch of different energy bars. I simply love Clif bars (my favorite is the Oatmeal Raisin Walnut) and Luna Bars, and usually stick to my favorites for fear of spending money on something that tastes nasty, so when I saw that they were 5 for $5 I was ecstatic. Usually they're $1.49 each, so $1 per bar was a steal. I left the supermarket proud of my purchase, and headed home.

The next day, I thought to myself "hey, it can't be that difficult to make my own energy bars?!" What a brilliant idea! So, I grabbed all of the "healthy" ingredients in my pantry and began sorting out what flavor combinations I wanted to create. I couldn't really decide on the "right" combination so I basically made a hodge-podge energy bar full of ingredients that I deemed energy-bar-worthy.

I can't quite remember the exact proportions of ingredients that I added to my energy bars, but here is the list of the various ingredients and their rough measurements:

Jo's Energy Bars

Yields 6 bars

- 1 medium banana, mashed

- 1/4 cup steamed zucchini, mashed
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/4 cup 7-grain cereal (hot breakfast cereal, Roger's brand)
- 1/8 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp espresso powder
- 3 tbsp dried cranberries

- 1 tbsp chocolate chips

- 1 1/4 cup Multi-grain cheerios
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 2 tbsp no sugar added maple syrup

1. Mash together the zucchini and the bananas, set aside

2. Combine the remaining ingredients together (except for the maple syrup), tossing well

3. Add the mashed zucchini mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until the entire mixture is moistened. Add in the maple syrup, to taste
4. Press into half of an 8x8 square pan, and bake at 350F for 15-20minutes or until the mixture is firmed up (honestly, it's difficult to tell if the mixture is fully cooked... but there's no egg in it, so there's no risk of salmonella :P)

5. Remove from oven, allow to cool and cut into 6 bars.
6. Cool bars completely and wrap individually in saran or aluminum foil.

These bars were great! There fairly dense, so I wasn't tempted to eat more than one and they tasted very much like dark chocolate. I think the next time I make this recipe I will add a bit more sugar (or at least some more sugary ingredients) to counter-balance the unsweetened cocoa powder taste. The espresso powder was a nice flavor boost to the bar, and I'm sure the caffeine did something to give me energy :P I usually will eat half of an energy bar before a run (if the run is longer than 75mins) and then have the other half-bar post-run. It's always important to replenish your energy store after a great run, and don't forget to hydrate!

1 comment:

Shelly said...

These look really good! I have most of the ingredients on hand right now...might have to make them this weekend :)