Guest Author - Lori Phillips
Power bars aren’t created equal. You need to consider your own nutritional needs before choosing one at the store. Some are designed for athletes who require a lot of fast-absorbing carbohydrates while others are low-calorie meal replacements for dieters.
If you want to make your own, here are some considerations:
For high energy bars, you need to add a combination of complex carbs that release slowly for endurance and simple carbs for fast absorption into the bloodstream for immediate use. It might seem unhealthy to add sugar and corn syrup, but it is a common ingredient in commercially made high energy bars. Great for cyclists and hikers.
High Energy Cereal Bars
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
¾ cup almond butter or peanut butter
4 cups dry cereal
Line a 13 x 9” pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Combine sugar, corn syrup and almond or peanut butter in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and then remove from heat immediately. Mix in cereal and quickly press into the prepared pan. Cool and cut into bars. Individually wrap with foil or plastic wrap.
For nutritious, lower calorie bars:
Protein Power Bars
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup chopped nuts (almonds or cashews are my favorites)
¼ cup wheat germ
¼ cup sunflower seed
¾ cup chopped, dried fruit
½ cup peanut or almond butter
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
¼ cup agave nectar or honey
¼ cup applesauce
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Grease a 9 x 9” baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine applesauce, peanut butter, egg, melted butter and honey or agave nectar. Pour into dry ingredients and coat well. Press into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. Individually wrap with foil or plastic wrap.