Monday, January 25, 2010

homemade: energy bars

brett is not a big breakfast eater, which i don't understand. i spring out of bed ready for a 5-course meal, so i don't understand what it's like for my stomach to not be "awake" as he puts it. to get anything in him before lunch he has to have something available that he can eat on the go an hour or so after he leaves home or he will go the whole morning without eating, then be ravenous for lunch. i've been buying energy bars for him to take with him, but now i'm mad at myself for spending over a dollar on each of these because in my goal to not buy anything i can make myself, i have 2 great recipes to make my own! if you've ever had either of these bars, the below versions don't taste identical, but they are really good, healthy, cost efficient, and brett and k and b all like them. it's great for me because i've always got something on hand to send with him for breakfast, or a quick snack to grab k and b that i know is healthy. if you like either of the recipes, it's definitely worth a bake day once a week to have something healthy and convenient on hand.

clif bars
i'm not super excited that these have processed cereal in them, but i'm not sure what else to use to replicate the consistency of the original bars...

1 1/4 cups rice krispies
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3 T ground flaxseed meal (healthy of course, but if cost is a concern and you don't want to buy unnecessary ingredients, feel free to leave it out)
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (i use whole foods brand...they're dark chocolate chunks with 70% cacao. most chocolate chips' main ingredient is sugar, but their's is chocolate liquor. again, you can leave the chocolate out, but it adds not only taste but extra antioxidants)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (toasted is better but you can make them without toasting first)
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 t vanilla extract
a few dashes of sea salt

in a large bowl, mix the rice krispies, oats, flaxseed, craisins, chocolate chips, and almonds. in a pot, heat the honey, then add the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt, stirring constantly until melted. pour this mixture over the cereal mixture and mix well. let it sit for a few minutes until it stiffens, then press it into an 8x8 or 9x9 pan. cut into bars. i haven't figured out yet how to make the bars not crumbly, so i wrap them each individually in aluminum foil. i buy the individual reynolds wrappers, then cut these in half. i put one bar on each sheet, form the bar again if it has crumbled, then wrap the bar up, forming it as i go...does that make sense? store the individually wrapped bars in a big ziploc in the refrigerator. ours have never lasted long, but i'm guessing according to the ingredients that the shelf life should be several weeks.

i'm often intimidated by recipes with long ingredient lists because i automatically think it will be more expensive for me to go out and buy the name brand than make them, but you can make a lot of bars by buying all of these ingredients. brett takes them for his office to eat so i make tons of them. i sixed the recipe (i'm well aware that's not a word, but i don't know what else to call it...think doubled but did it times 6) and made 40 last night and still had leftover ingredients. i've calculated it and these seem to come out to about 50 cents each.

peanut butter cookie lara bars
my sister-in-law kary sent me a blog with an idea for homemade lara bars, which i made a few weeks ago. this recipe called for dates, which is the main ingredient in lara bars. i tried it out and they tasted fine, but i figured that raisins would give a similar taste and they are way cheaper, so that's what i went with. i also don't think lara bars have salt, but i love sweet/salty combos, so i added some sea salt in...

in a food processor, combine 1/3 cup raisins, 1/2 cup peanuts, and a few dashes of sea salt to make 2 bars. for each bar, form it with your hands and wrap in saran wrap or aluminum foil as i described with the clif bars.



  1. I def. going to enjoy these recipes. Thanks so much for sharing!