Home Made Energy Bars

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Home Made Energy Bars

Most of us lead busy lives and we end up eating packaged “convenience” foods more than we’d like. Energy bars may seem like a smart source of fuel when you're in a rush, but many of the store-bought options contain amounts of sugar that can make an otherwise balanced diet unbalanced. Americans are already overdoing it when it comes to sugar: Research shows that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons (355 calories) of added sugar a day, with a large majority coming from processed and prepared foods. But if you make your own energy bars, you can get all of the macronutrients and a variety of vitamins and minerals without all of the added sugar and additives. Read on to learn how to make nutritious, delicious DIY energy bars.

Home Made Energy Bars

iStock Most of us lead busy lives and we end up eating packaged “convenience” foods more than we’d like. Energy bars may seem like a smart source of fuel when you're in a rush, but many of the store-bought options contain amounts of sugar that can make an otherwise balanced diet unbalanced. Americans are already overdoing it when it comes to sugar: Research shows that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons (355 calories) of added sugar a day, with a large majority coming from processed and prepared foods. But if you make your own energy bars, you can get all of the macronutrients and a variety of vitamins and minerals without all of the added sugar and additives. Read on to learn how to make nutritious, delicious DIY energy bars.

Home Made Energy Bars

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11. Rise and Shine Bars Get up and at ‘em with these gluten-free crunch bars. Puffed brown rice cereal provides a lower calorie base than most store-bought bars, while flax seeds, pine nuts, pecans and dried cranberries add healthy fats and antioxidants. To make these bars even healthier, ditch the brown sugar in favor of honey. Photo and Recipe: Meg / Beard & Bonnet

Home Made Energy Bars

10. Savory Energy Bars Photo: Comfortably Domestic There’s nothing seedy about these energy bars—except maybe the ingredient list. Quinoa plus sunflower, chia, pumpkin, and flax seeds provide protein for lasting energy. Some finely shredded hard cheese of your choice will give this the salty boost your taste buds are looking for, and a bit of garlic powder makes them taste like a healthy version of your favorite breadsticks.

Home Made Energy Bars

Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health, well-being and the prevention of disease. Superfood ingredients like hemp, chia and coconut are popular in energy bars marketed to health-conscious consumers, but they’re often paired with added sugars such as agave, coconut sugar or honey. To avoid the excess sweetness without sacrificing the great health benefits of these foods, try making these Hemp Protein Bars recommended by Andrea Kapner, a certified Health Educator who teaches nutrition and cooking classes to children and adults in New York City. Kapner says, “These bars are incredibly easy to make once you have all the ingredients on hand. Chia seeds are small but pack in fiber, protein and omega-3s.” INGREDIENTS: 1 cup pumpkin seeds, 1 cup dried shredded coconut, 1/2 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds), 1/2 cup hemp protein powder (you can use hemp hearts instead), 4 tablespoons chia seeds, 20 fresh Medjool dates (pitted), 6 tablespoons coconut oil, 4 tablespoons cacao powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla, 6 tablespoons rolled oats, and 2 tablespoons poppy seeds. Click the link below to see full directions and complete calorie and nutrition information.

Home Made Energy Bars

21. No-Bake Chocolate Cherry Almond Energy Bars Photo: Dramatic Pancake Chocolate + cherry + almond is one of our favorite combos, and these bars don’t disappoint. The date base makes the bars soft, while nuts add a satisfying crunch. If you have extra time, try soaking the dates in water for an hour before you start, so that they’ll blend up better in the food processor. 

Home Made Energy Bars

13. Five Seed Bars These bars are super seedy — times five! Made with chia, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin and poppy seeds, there’s plenty of flavor — and fiber — rolled into these no-bake bars. Add in coconut, dates and cocoa powder, and we’ll be looking forward to these all week long. Photo and Recipe: Renee / Nourish Your Roots

Home Made Energy Bars

8. Superfood Energy Bars With Cacao Photo: This Rawsome Vegan Life This energy bar packs in more superfoods than we can think of off the top of our heads! With a combo of chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, dates, cacao nibs, and walnuts, this recipe has tons of nutritional benefits. You can shape the mixture into bars or into little cupcakes topped with raw chocolate (yum!), as this blogger suggests. 

I am a huge fan of chewy, nutty, fruit-filled energy bars of the sort made by Lärabar. These little bars are enough to spur me on to an afternoon work-out and keep The Hangry at bay. It was looking at the ingredient list of my favorite Cherry Pie Lärabar that made me first consider making them myself. The ingredients were just dates, almonds, and cherries. So simple. So incredibly mind-blowing.

8. Apple Cinnamon Bars Full of fall flavor, these bars mix pecans, oats, dates, cinnamon, granny smith apples and just a touch of salt. Bake the pecans before pulsing in the food processor for a more robust, roasted flavor. if you’d like these bars a little extra spicy, don’t be afraid to go to town on the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Photo and Recipe: Alexandra / Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

26. Fuel-to-Go Homemade Protein Bars Photo: Art and the Kitchen With four varieties of seeds, two different berries, and some crisped rice, these bars pack a lot of flavor into a small package. They come together the same way as traditional Rice Krispie treats—but with peanut butter rather than marshmallows. A much better choice for protein bars (as much as we love marshmallows—in cocoa or desserts, that is).

Energy bars are a convenient, on-the-go snack to toss in your gym bag, but they can be full of added sugar and other not-so-desirable ingredients. Plus, they’re not exactly cheap. These recipes are healthy, quick (all it takes is a quick spin in the food processor) and mostly no-bake. Freeze your homemade creations — with a variety of nuts, seeds, fruit, and grains — for a later date, or pack the freshly made bars in a Ziploc bag for a portable breakfast or mid-morning snack.

Making your own energy bars at home from nutritious whole ingredients is a great way to get “real” food throughout the day, without all the added sugar. Remember to include a variety of macro- and micronutrients: carbs from cereal grains and dried fruit, fat and protein from nuts, seeds, protein powders and nut butters. Many bars can be stored for one to two weeks in an airtight container.

7. Fig and Walnut Energy Bars  We can’t think of a better way to deliver nature’s candy — in this case, dried cranberries, Turkish figs and apricots. Make a big batch of these hearty bars and you’ll be set on healthy snacks for up to 10 days. Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn 

14. Whole-Grain Raspberry Energy Bars These wholesome breakfast bars are filled with fiber from oats, flax seeds and raspberries. They’re also packed with wheat germ, the nutrient-rich embryo of the wheat kernel that is removed during the refining process. Enjoy a bar with a cup of yogurt for a heart-healthy morning meal. Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

5. Apricot and Cashew Bars For a tropical treat, try these scrumptious bars made with apricots, cashews and unsweetened coconut. Rolled oats and hemp seeds, packed with omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids, hold all the ingredients together. If you don’t have agave syrup on hand, honey works too. Photo and Recipe: Christal / Nutritionist in the Kitch

This Paleo-friendly energy bar doesn't contain any added sugar and is grain- and dairy-free. Many of the ingredients used in non-Paleo energy bars such as dried fruit and nuts are included in these too, but the Paleo versions have unique twists that make them fun to try and to taste. For instance the Primal Palate, a site dedicated to recipes and menus that fit the Paleo lifestyle, makes a snack bar with eggs as a protein source and coconut oil for added fat. INGREDIENTS: 1 cup dried apricots, 1 cup almonds, 1 cup cashews, 2 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 vanilla bean pod, scraped, and 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil. Click the link below to see full directions and complete calorie and nutrition information.

There’s nothing seedy about these energy bars—except maybe the ingredient list. Quinoa plus sunflower, chia, pumpkin, and flax seeds provide protein for lasting energy. Some finely shredded hard cheese of your choice will give this the salty boost your taste buds are looking for, and a bit of garlic powder makes them taste like a healthy version of your favorite breadsticks.

These chewy, no-bake bars are more like the healthy version of the store-bought granola bars we ate as kids. Blogger Cookie and Kate loves them as a healthy snack for traveling, and says you can use almond or peanut butter, depending on your personal preference.

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