Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why not try: Homemade Energy Bars

I am so excited to add to Carolyn's Folk Friday Series... but until then why not try making your own energy bars!

I'm a pretty active girl... if you don't know me, let me just give you a small taste of one of my favorite hobbies. On any given day you'll find me swimming, biking, or running, lifting, stretching, or eating all in preparation to race triathlons. I've been racing for four years and I'm becoming just a wee bit competitive. Okay maybe more than a "wee." To help fuel my "multi-sport" life, I've done some self testing on the best foods for triathletes and in today's why not try I want to share it!

I am a big fan of Clif bar products. They are my go to during a two plus hour bike followed by an hour run. Or when I need something quick between the track and training at the gym. But as filling as they are, I found my pocket book to emptying. So I found a few recipes to make my very own energy bars.

I started my shopping at Henry's, SoCal's answer for Whole Foods (side note, there are a few Whole Foods Markets in the area... few and far between). I picked myself up some whole figs, hazelnuts, raw almonds, craisins, dried cherries, and some old fashioned rolled oats. In a food processor I threw in all the fruit ingredients, plus the almonds and hazelnuts (finely chopped) and some honey. I let the f.p. do its job, then dumped out the contents on a cutting board and formed it into a long rectangle. I sprinkled the oats on top and wrapped the whole thing in clear wrap and threw it in the freezer. In a second batch I added some natural peanut butter as I mushed the mess into a square. Within a few hours, I had an awesome little snack that my coach even couldn't resist. In fact he ate the three servings I gave him in under 20 minutes!

Here is just one of many links to a recipe (if you hate mine). Energy Bar Recipe

And since we are technically a book blog I thought i would add a quick review of... THE ATHLETE'S PALATE. This is a fun little cookbook full of gourmet but very healthy recipes specifically for athletes. I've made a bunch and the directions are pretty easy to follow. My dad is himself a great cook, so he likes to peak over my shoulder as a cook and add his flair. Really we just add some extra peppers and spices. There is a awesome energy bar recipe in here too!

Really most of recipes you find will have the same basic format. What is fun is adding your own little details to make the bars your own trademark. If you love raisins, but hate walnuts, well hold off the walnuts and go a little crazy with those dries grapes. Some little extras you could always throw in could be things like flax seed, hazelnuts, natural peanut butter, almonds, or dried fruits of all kinds! So have some fun in your kitchen and make some nutritious and energizing snack bars. Go on give it a "tri" :)

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