Homemade Snack Bars

This recipe catches my attention after I spend a weekend bicycling from Seattle to Portland. For two days I crave water only to find canned and bottled substitutes more available, each with their own claim of being better than water while being comprised mostly of water. And I can’t decipher the ingredients lists because I opted for physics over chemistry in college. That’s not to say I think they are bad for me. I simply don’t know and don’t trust the food and non-alcoholic drink packagers by default.

As with the hydration, the majority of the fuel support teams and volunteers offer comes in sealed packages, from Cliff bars to Rice Krispy bars to granola snacks to electrolyte chews. Eating upwards of 5,000+ calories in one day is difficult, so I quickly decide to skip attempting to decipher what I’m eating and commit to further investigation after I make it home.

So I’m very excited to try this pre-ride or pre-run snack bar recipe. If it’s as tasty as it looks, I’ll be enjoying the extra cash from not having to buy snack bars at $2-$3 a pop as well as the energy. (Source: Active.com.)

Coconut-Almond Bars

How To: Combine two cups rolled oats, one cup unsweetened coconut, and ½ cup each: dates (or raisins), raw almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews. Mix 1 ½ cups tahini (or natural peanut butter) with one cup honey and one teaspoon vanilla. Microwave for one minute. Combine wet and dry ingredients. On a greased baking sheet, spread mixture into a one-inch-high rectangle. Cut into 12 bars. Or, if time allows, bake at 350° F for 15 minutes.

How Come: This recipe for energy bars, adapted from The Bakery in New Paltz, New York, has powered runners, bikers, and climbers for nearly 30 years. The dates and honey provide quick carbs, while the nuts are high in healthy fats, which help sustain energy levels. “People doing the fat-free thing often find they’re hungry all the time,” says Cooke. The oats keep cholesterol in check, and research shows “the fiber in oats may offset the risk of upper-respiratory infections, which are common in runners,” says Dikos.