FOOD & COOKING

How to Make Energy Bars: Why They are Good for Your Health

Granola Bars That Are Actually Healthy

Energy bars were first presented to the market as a food for athletes. They were introduced right next to snack bars and were advertised as a snack which gives you a fast energy fuel. However, they are a highly energetic food, and not recommended for everyone. People with high energy consumption, hikers or backpackers for instance, are recommended to take a few, for their trail hikes. One excellent option is to learn how to make your own trail mix to complement your energy bars when trekking.

People who are less active, however, are recommended to consume only one per day. Even energy bars are considered as a healthy food which contains much fiber and nutrients, experts say that there is such a thing as too many nutrients and vitamins.

How to Make Energy Bars

Therefore, before you learn how to make energy bars on your own, which is not that complicated actually, you need to know more about them and why they are good, or not good for your health.

Why are they good for our health

There are plenty of energy bars intended to be used before the practice, some of which are used as an additional energy during the practice, and there are those which are recommended to be taken after practice. So, the sports bars are not all the same. Before using energy bars, you should choose a power bar with more carbs, which would provide your body with more energy for the practice. During the activity, if you feel like you have the need to consume something, it means that your body is lacking energy, so you are in need of an instant refill. These energy bars are filled with nutrients and they provide you a small, but instant, flow of energy through your body. Their protein level however is low.

paleo KIND granola energy bars (nut and seed bars, gluten free, grain free

And the last type of power energy bars, are the ones which athletes use for after practice snack, and they are rich in proteins. It gives the muscle the ability to heal and to become larger. This is also recommended for people who go to the gym and try to lose weight. If you are tormenting the muscle with a large amount of weight, it will become sore unless you give him the right muscle food. After practice, the muscle needs to be fed with a high protein amount energy bar. This way, your muscles will become less sore the next day and you will feel great and full of energy.

Things you need to know about energy bars

If you decide to implement energy bars in your daily nutrition, there are several things which you should be informed about. For instance, there are several types of energy bars. Each type is suitable for different persons. There are energy bars which could replace a meal, there are sports energy bars, which are known as power bars, and there are snack bars which you could consummate more than one per day.

Each energy bar contains information on their label. By reading the ingredients you could notice which type of energy bar it is. Sports energy bars, or power energy bars, contain more proteins than carbs. The ones which can replace a meal are balanced, which means that they contain carbs, fat and proteins. And the snack energy bars contain much less energy than other types. So in order to be safe and not overstep the daily limit of any nutrient and vitamin, remember to always read the label.

Seed and nut energy bars

Snack bars should contain around 100 to 200 calories, if you are a highly active person. They should contain around 10 grams of protein, around 5 grams of fat and 20 grams of carbs. These values could be changed according to your daily activity. For instance, if today you are not active and you decide to spend your day in bed, it is not a bad idea to avoid snacking on energy bars, or at least minimize their consumption. Of course, if you want to gain some weight, then, snack on!.

If you are normal weight, and you want to add energy bars which will replace your meal because you are lacking time for a normal meal or some other reason, you should look for meal bars of around 300 calories and 20 grams of proteins. Depending on how many  bars you intake daily, you can calculate your daily amount of calories.

Raw Superfood and Seed Energy Bars

As for the proteins, you also have several proteins which the manufacturers use in the energy bars. Some of them contain gelatin or collagen, which is a protein derived from animals. These proteins have a very high value compared to vegan proteins. However, it is best that you choose a bar with soy, whey, milk or egg proteins. They taste better and the experts say that they are healthier for your body too.

Furthermore, a couple of years ago, Sweden announced that healthy fats are recommended to be consummated with every meal. After several years, this was becoming catchy to the whole world. Nowadays, there is no quality, energy bar without healthy fats inside. These are all important information for when you wish to choose your energy bar manufacturer.

However, if you are not able to find the right combination for you, you could be the manufacturer, at least for yourself. The advice above should be considered even when you are making your own energy bar.

Healthy recipes for delicious energy bars

We will present several recipes which you could choose from. However, feel free to experiment with the ingredients by following the main pointers we provided in this article.

Energy bars on wooden cutting board

The main recipes for making energy bars could be divided into several main groups. We will start with salted energy bars and work our way to sweet ones.

  • So, first you should include proteins: You could choose between beans and chickpeas. If you choose beans you could go with your favorite type of beans whether that is Adzuki, pinto, black or white beans.
  • You will need the main ingredient which almost always is oats, because oats is a great binder. It is also a powerful probiotic, contains a high amount of proteins and it rises like a dough when you add any liquid.
  • After that you will also need a dry base such as a protein powder, spelt flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour or even cocoa. You should choose the dry ingredient, according to the type of bar which you prefer to make, and the carb and protein amount in every type of flour.
  • Next, you need a binder which would combine all the ingredients together. From binders, you can choose almond butter, peanut butter, blended avocado, blended pumpkin,
  • You could also add some dry fruit if you want a powerful energy bar which could be filled with mashed banana, dates, pineapple, dried cranberries, applesauce or any other dry fruit you favor.
  • Now come the fats. You could choose from coconut oil, a fresh coconut, dried apricots, nuts, dry cereal, raisins, cacao or even chocolate chips.
  • Even if you are making a sweet energy bar, the main ingredients are the same: proteins, carbs and fats. You would only need to add some sweeteners. The most popular sweeteners are maple syrup. For those of you who are dedicated to healthy eating habits, you should try to find above grade C maple syrup, a maple syrup grade B or A as the most quality one. Brown rice syrup is another healthy option and agave nectar as the most popular one.
  • To spice things up a little bit you can add some dry spaces of your choice, such as: cinnamon, ginger, coffee, cardamom, clove or nutmeg. The spices will improve the after taste of the energy bar and it will make it more tasteful. Just make sure you don’t put any of the spices which you haven’t tried before since it can ruin the whole batch.
  • And last but not least, an energy bar without an extract wouldn’t taste the same. As an extract you can use your favorite flavor. As some of the most popular recommendations, we are suggesting vanilla, chocolate, almond, lemon, orange, coconut and coffee to wake you up. You can even put some rum in it if you are a fan of this drink.
  • As you can notice from the energy bar ingredient suggestions, you could include anything you like, as long as you like its taste, and you know its content, whether it is protein, fat or carb. The rest is only calculation, at least if you are on a strict diet. In addition, you have the quantities which would make soft and the right taste.
1 cup basic ingredients
1,5 cup main ingredient (cooked)
two spoons sweetener, or more if you prefer it to be sweeter
¼ cup dry fruits
1 teaspoon extract of your choice
1 teaspoon dry spice of your choice
½ cup dry base of your choice
1,5 cup oats
½ cup binder + ¼ cup water + ¼ cup flax seed (make sure that you blend the flax seed right before usage since otherwise all the nutrients it has are wasted and your body is not able to consume them)
1 cup fats

Combine all of the ingredients of your choice in the food processor and make the ultimate energy bar which you will enjoy eating before a workout, during, or after one. The ingredients which you should blend are the base, the main ingredient, sweetener, extract, dry spice and fats. Make sure you don’t add all of the ingredients which we suggested, but choose one of each category.  Blend until it is smooth. After that, add the dry base ingredients and the oats, and blend some more, just until they are combined.

Granola Bard made at Home

The second time, you only need to pulse instead of blend the ingredients. Depending on the manufacture of each product, the mixture will be too runny or too dry. To make it just right, add some water or some dry base ingredients. After preparing the mixture, grease a pan and spread the mixture onto a baking paper inside the pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 16-20 minutes. Enjoy your dessert and be prepared for your hard workout.

Here’s our article containing a hiking food guide to keep you nourished while on the trail.

We have prepared another great recipe for you and your family or friends. Read the instruction below and find out if it matches your taste.

Energy bars made of four ingredients

If you are searching for a fast and healthy meal all you need to buy are bananas, flakes, fruit seed and dried dates. This type of a bar could be ideal for breakfast, dessert or afternoon snack. For improving the taste, you could add vanilla or cinnamon.

Cinnamon Can Help Lower Blood Sugar

With this recipe, you could get nine bars, each one with one hundred and nineteen calories, thirty-five grams proteins, nineteen grams carbohydrates and thirty-four grams fat.

Ingredients:

  • Two big bananas
  • Two cups flakes
  • One quarter dried dates
  • One quarter fruit seed (nuts, almonds)
  • Vanilla or cinnamon by your choice

Preparation:

  • Heat the oven to 350 C
  • You need a pan for roasting that should be wrinkled with olive oils
  • Squeeze the bananas and add a cinnamon
  • Mix the dried dates, flakes and fruit seed and after a few minutes add the bananas.
  • Put the mixing on the pan and then in the oven for 30 minutes. Remember that the oven should be heated previously.

Raw Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

Show your colleagues that you are great in the kitchen, and recommend this healthy and delicious recipe to them.

Final thoughts

Energy bars are a good choice after your meals or between them. You could take them also before or after your workout or other sports activity because they will boost your energy and you would be fresh for the hard period that comes. But, besides the fact that they are expensive, the energy bars that we can find on the market, are often full with additional sweeteners and many other unhealthy ingredients.

This is why we recommend you to make them in your kitchen. The process is simple and you could make it with your own choice of your favorite ingredients. This way, you would save money, and be sure that you don’t put unhealthy things in your body, as you would control its components for your own health.

Energy Bar Recipe for Camping

When making a homemade energy, bar you should consider that they have to contain all the nutritious ingredients that provide energy and these are proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. Those made with more protein are ideal for the people who want to increase the quantity of protein in their body. Keep in mind that the energy bars are not a replacement for the main meals.

It is known that we eat the energy bars between our main meals. Remember to always drink water after eating one of them because they are dehydrated and the water plays a key role that gives you the feeling of being full. This is an especially important thing for the protein bars. Be sure you have water on the go. See our article on the top water bottles to help you stay hydrated.

Homemade energy bars are made of flakes that are a source of carbohydrates, fruits as a source of proteins, and coconut flour as a source of fat. The energy bars are ideal when you are in a rush, but as mentioned, they are not your main meal. Some people that are used to consuming energy bars, affirm that they are getting hungrier after eating one. They also say that if you don’t exercise after that, it is highly likely that you will gain weight.

Energy Bar Recipe for Camping

So, be careful when you decide to add them in your daily diet.  Every one of us should inform well when consuming a new product. We recommend you to take care of your health and instead of purchasing the energy bars from the market, try to make some time and prepare it at home.

We suggested you some homemade recipes above. Try, make them in your kitchen and feel how these delicious bars increase your level of energy. And of course, if you have some recipes that you would like to share with our readers, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca J. Crawford
Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of Rebecca is ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy.

  • Mike O’brian

    I started my hiking expeditions over twenty years ago. Those days there was nothing like energy bars for carrying to eat during the trail. We hikers had to carry tinned foods. These foods also did not supply instant energy like energy bars do. I particularly like to make my own energy bars. Before I hike I usually make several bars.one is usually loaded with carbs the other has high protein content. I usually consume an energy bar packed with energy before I start my hike to ensure that am supplied with instant energy. After my hike in the evenings I usually consume an energy bar packed with protein to feed my usually highly exhausted muscles.

    • Rebecca J. Crawford

      When you make your own energy bars, you get to control the ingredients and ensure that you include all the macronutrients and a variety of minerals and vitamins minus excess sugars and additives.

  • Geoffrey Bertram

    As a seasoned hiker I know how exhausting it usually becomes while on the trail. I usually am in constant need of energy. It is for this particular reasons I always devote some time for making my own energy bars before I go hiking. I prefer making my own bars because I can choose to add in my favorite flavors as those manufactured bars have never quite met my tastes. I always make two types of bars ones that contain high level carbs to take before I start my hike and the others highly packed with proteins to take after hiking to ensure my exhausted muscles heal and are re-energized.

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