Making your own energy bars will not only save a few bucks, but these bars are a lot healthier than any you’ll find at a store. Homemade bars tend to be better fuel for your workout since they don’t contain any preservatives or artificial sweeteners. They’re super easy, too. Here are two different recipes, one chocolatey and one fruity, with the option to make them chewy bars or crunchy. Enjoy!
Crunchy peanut butter, chocolate granola bars
from Emma Christensen, TheKitchn.com
Note: Double the rice syrup in this recipe if you’d prefer chewy bars.
Makes 8 large or 16 small bars.
½ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cups crispy rice cereal
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Heat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with parchment so the ends hang over the sides of the pan. A little cooking spray helps hold the parchment in place.
2. Combine the peanuts and rolled oats on a baking sheet. Toast until the nuts are fragrant, 8-10 minutes. Combine the nuts, oats and cereal in a large mixing bowl.Combine the rice syrup, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the syrup loosens to a pourable consistency and bubbles appear on the surface, 4-5 minutes.
3. Pour the syrup over the nuts and cereal. Stir with a heat-proof spoon until the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Scrape the mixture into the pan and pat it firmly into the corners. Bake for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bars and bake for another 2 minutes. Spread the softened chocolate evenly over the top of the bars. Cool overnight. Refrigerate as necessary in warm weather to set the chocolate.
Friend Bars (Compare to Kind Bars)
MAKES 10 BARS
1 ½ cups chopped assorted raw or toasted nuts and/or seeds (e.g., cashews, sunflower seeds, green pumpkin seeds, peanuts, or pecans)
1/3 cup crisp brown rice cereal
½ cup chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, apricots, berries, or dates)
1/3 cup organic light corn syrup or brown rice syrup
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)
1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Preheat oven to 325°F.
3. Stir together the nuts or seeds, cereal, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
4. Add the syrup and salt (if using) to the nut mixture and stir until evenly coated.
5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Place a large piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap (coated with nonstick cooking spray) atop the bar mixture and use it to spread, flatten, and very firmly compact the mixture evenly in the pan. Discard the paper or plastic.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 17 to 20 minutes, or until slightly browned at the edges, but still somewhat soft at the center. Let cool 20 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
7. Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 10 bars. Cool completely.
Nutrition facts per bar: Calories: 150; Fat: 8.6 g; Saturated Fat: 0.5 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 42 mg; Carbs: 17.6 g; Fiber: 1.3 g; Sugar: 13.9 g; Protein: 3.8 g