Sunday, October 31, 2010

energy bars

Energy bars are a great snack to have in your pantry.  They are handy and healthy for after school, wonderful if you need a little something in the afternoon to tide you over until dinner, great for after a workout, and easily portable for on the road.  Unfortunately many of the commercial bars are loaded with chemicals and preservatives (which should be avoided as much as possible).

You can bypass the chemicals and preservatives in commercial energy bars if you make them yourself.  My favorite way to do this is to start with a batch of my own Great Granola.  It's easy to make in your slow cooker, delicious, healthy, and very reasonably priced.  The overall cost of these homemade energy bars is typically less than purchasing them in the store.

To boost the nutrition of my energy bars I add sesame seeds, which are high in copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.  They also add fiber and a great nutty flavor.  Another addition is almond butter.  Almonds are an alkalizing nut with heart healthy monounsaturated fat.  Studies have shown they can limit the rise in blood sugar which normally happens after you eat; they also provide antioxidants.  Almond butter can be purchased in a number of grocery stores from the grind-your-own machine, you can make it very easily in a food processor, or you can purchase commercial varieties.  If you purchase commercial almond butter look for one with no added oil, sugar, or preservatives.

After making the bars I wrap them individually in wax paper and store them in an airtight container.  They keep well although given their popularity I have yet to figure out exactly how long they will last.

Great Granola Energy Bars
makes 16

3 C. granola
3/4 C. sesame seeds
1 C. almond butter
1/2 C. raw honey

Toast sesame seeds lightly in a pan until golden
In a double boiler combine almond butter and honey
Stir together as it begins to soften and melt
When very warm and liquid add in sesame seeds
In a large bowl thoroughly combine granola and honey, almond butter, sesame seeds
Oil a baking pan (I use either grapeseed or walnut oil)
Pour mixture onto pan
Lightly oil your hands and press mixture onto the pan
Allow mixture to cool completely before cutting into bars


Esther said...

I have been on the hunt for a kid friendly energy bar and I'm curious what kind of granola you are using for these?

Mira Dessy said...

I use my own granola but you can use any granola. That's part of what makes the recipe so simple.

These are a huge hit with adults and kids alike.