Energy Bars are the Answer When You Need a Boost

As you may have gathered, Ginger and Nutmeg are both reasonably athletic. Nutmeg might be a bit more dedicated, regardless Ginger will still beat her every time.  Nutmeg does not prescribe to commercial “power bars” on a regular basis although they are handy for endurance activities or outdoor sports, particularly if weather can be a factor.

For longer endurance exercise, such as road riding, you do need a power boost (and may not even realize it). Choose energy bars with the right ingredients or better yet make your own.  The challenge is the array of meal replacement bar products are vast,  and include a range of questionable snacks, many of which are barely better than a good old chocolate bar.  Not to mention an expensive option.  Nutmeg has a recipe for a homemade version if you are so inclined (printable recipe below):

Stamina BarsIf you do not have time to try these no bake recipes and need a fix, then at least use the following as your guideline:

  • look for whole food ingredients (ie things you recognize like dates, nuts, dried fruit….not unpronounceable chemicals)
  • target for at least 5 grams of protein (long endurance you may want to look for a higher protein level)
  • at least 3 grams of fibre (no explanation required…)
  • fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • limit high fat proteins and focus on small servings of lean protein rich foods
  • if you are exercising for more than 90 minutes choose carbohydrates with a medium-low glycemic index (bananas, oatmeal, apples, lentils)

AVOID:

  • high-fructose corn syrup, or other similar ingredients
  • chocolate or candy coatings
  • candy ingredients like marshmallows (despite what you may think there is nothing good in these)

So if you need an energy boost, a power bar (homemade or purchased) with the right ingredients is the answer.  Of course Ginger does not prescribe to this theory at all – he loves a double scoop ice cream cone to keep him going.

Stamina Bars (Grown-up Rice Crispy Squares)
Recipe type: Dessert or Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 bars
 
Who does not remember making rice crispy squares, before the microwave? The semi-melted marshmallow would stick to the pot, the wooden spoon and anything else that it came into contact with enroute to the pan. Traditional rice crispy squares are also pretty low on the nutritional scale. This grown-up version is very easy to make and does offer some good nutritional value as well as the boost you might need to get through your workout.

Ingredients
  • ¾ Cup Dried Apricots
  • ¾ Cup Dried Apple
  • 4 Multi-grain Rice Crackers, or rice cereal
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut
  • ½ Cup Sunflower Seeds, unsalted and toasted
  • ½ Cup Pumpkin Seeds, unsalted and toasted
  • ⅓ Cup Sesame Seeds, toasted
  • ½ Cup A Mixture of: Oats, Wheat Bran and Flax seed
  • ½ Cup Apple Sauce, unsweetened
  • ½ Cup Agave Nectar, or other fruit sweetener
  • ½ Cup Peanut or Almond Butter
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, pulse apricots, apples and brown rice cakes, until crumbly
  2. Pour into a bowl
  3. Next in the food processor, pulse seeds, coconut and oat mixture, until mixed
  4. Add to the fruit mixture in the bowl
  5. Warm the peanut butter and add to the mixture
  6. Add the Agave and stir until well mixed
  7. Press into a 8" x 10" pan
  8. Let it set in the fridge for at least an hour
  9. Cut into squares and serve

 

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