Do you love granola bars? And did you know that most of them are loaded with extra sugar, preservatives and artificial colors? Nothing beats the flavor, nutrition and taste of homemade energy bars. Here are our picks for 4 mouth watering and power packed energy bars that you can have at breakfast or as lunch.
1. Cashew Apricot
You will need a cup of dried Turkish apricots, half a cup of raw cashews (you can experiment with roasted cashews, too), 3/4 cup of freshly shredded coconut, 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1 tablespoon each of melted coconut oil and agave syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds.
First, crumble the cashews and finely chop the apricots. You can use a food processor or do it manually, if you prefer. Now keep the cashews aside, add all other ingredients to the apricots and blend into an even mixture. Finally, add the cashews and blend again. Now you have a yummy golden yellow mixture. Line a baking dish with Saran Wrap and pour the mixture into the dish, freeze for an hour and then cut into rectangular pieces. Your bars are now ready to eat and you can preserve them for up to a month if you store them in an airtight container inside the fridge.
2. Apple Cinnamon
You will need an oven for this one (and for the next one, as well). For ingredients, you need pecans and rolled oats (2 cups of each), 1 1/2 cups dates (halved and pitted), cinnamon (2 teaspoons), salt (1/4 teaspoon), and 2 cups of chopped apples. Preheat oven (350°F), bake the pecans and oats for about 15 minutes until they give off fragrance. Maintain the temperature at 350°F. Prepare an 8″ baking pan lined with parchment paper. Put all the ingredients except the apple in a food processor and pulse until they are a crumbly mix. Add the apple and pulse again to form a sticky mixture. Fill the baking pan with the mixture – flatten it well with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, cool for 15 minutes, cut into bars, and eat them! Once the bars are completely cool, you can store them in an airtight containers in the fridge.
3. Dark Chocolate Kamut
Kamut is an ancient grain loaded with protein, selenium (a powerful antioxidant) and B vitamins. This is a healthy and flexible recipe. You will need a sugar substitute, first – dates, prunes or dried cranberries are good (use any two – maybe, 2/3 cup of each). Get some dark chocolate chips (1/2 cup), 1½ cups water, 1 cup oats (large flake), 3/4 cup kamut flour, 3/4 cup shredded coconut, 1 mashed banana, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and then add whatever else you like – toasted pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts – this recipe is open to experimenting!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a cookie pan with grease. Boil the prunes in the water and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir the coconuts to a golden brown color over a dry pan in medium heat. Blend all the ingredients (except the prunes and water) manually in a bowl. Use a blender to turn the prune – water combination into paste. Now stir the paste into the mixture you created in the bowl. Put the result into the cookie dish and flatten the surface well. Bake for 30 minutes and then cut into squares (heard of square-bars?). Yes, you can have them now!
4. Superfood Delight
One more flexible recipe, and this one does not need baking. You can’t store the bars for long, however – just over a week in the fridge. But they are so delicious you’ll finish them off even earlier!
List out a few ingredients that you know are extremely nutrient dense. Good examples would be seeds of pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, poppy, and chia. Goji berries, maca powder and hemp seeds are also great. Lots of medjool dates, some cacao powder and a little coconut oil should go well with this recipe. Use vanilla bean or extract for flavor and rolled oats for binder. To make this even more interesting, consider adding a bit of bee pollen.
Now, you don’t have to use all of the ingredients unless you want to. The aim, here, is to create a nutrient dense, raw energy bar. Sort the ingredients into dry and wet groups and blend each group separately. You want a crunchy feel to the dry ingredients. Mix them together really well. Use your hands if necessary. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and refrigerate. After 30 minutes, cut them into bars and – well, go ahead and eat them, of course!
Adam Evans is a team member at – RedstoneCatering porcelite crockery. He write blogs for restaurant reviews, improve catering business, recipes and more. In his free time he likes to read about new places and try new recipes.