Welcome to Food and Fitness Saturday, and the first day of Blogathon 2010! One of the two reasons I started Food and Fitness Saturdays is pretty simplistic: I just wanted to make energy bars.
For me, energy bars are the perfect sweet snack before going for a run or to the gym. They don’t upset my stomach; they don’t weight me down; and they give me (gasp) energy. And let me be honest, I don’t really consider them “fuel,” (although they are). I just like sweets, and they taste pretty good to me, especially Clif Bar’s peanut butter chocolate chip bar. I make them last too – half a bar is all I need.
But lately I’ve been thinking that my Clif Bar habit is a little expensive, even though, at $1/bar, their price has gone down considerably. So, of course, I wanted to make my own wholesome, healthy bar, and see how it stacked up next to my favorite Clif Bar.
But first, I needed to find a recipe. I thought the first page of Google would have a good recipe from Runner’s World or Bicycling magazine, one with optimal ingredients for performance. But I was wrong. The ultra-energy bar recipe I used came from The Well-Rounded Pregnancy Cookbook via Slashfood.com. It has peanut butter, maple syrup, raisins, nuts, oats – all of my favorite things.
The bars turned out slightly crumbly with a peanut butter/maple flavor, and a mild sweetness compared to the Clif Bar, which is chewy, sticky, and much more sweet. I still like Clif Bars. But this is what put the homemade version over the edge for me is the price.
Even with expensive ingredients like the syrup and nuts, Slashfood.com found that the homemade bars were cheaper. (Of course, this isn’t news. Homemade is often cheaper than store-bought, but I feel a lovely rush because of my savings prowess all the same.) I don’t want to steal Slashfood’s accounting work, so you’ll have to visit the site to find out just how much you can save. Enjoy!
Ultra Energy Bars
Slashfood.com has The Well-Rounded Pregnancy Cookbook‘s recipe for Ultra-Energy Bars. Here’s some pictures of the very easy, fast process:
Clockwise from top left:
1) Wet Ingredients: Mix the peanut butter and maple syrup together. You don’t even need a mixer, just a wooden spoon.
2) Dry Ingredients: Mix your dry ingredients, including raisins and nuts, together in another bowl.
3) Mix Together: Stir together the dry ingredients and wet ingredients. You’ll have a sticky, moist mass.
4) Bake: Press the mixture with your fingers into a greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. When done, scour into squares, but leave in the pan until the mixture cools. Then fuel up!