Energy Granola Bar

 
During a fast paced day many of us turn to cereal or energy bars as a quick snack to help push back or even replace a meal. Through marketing and often misleading packaging, these 'energy bars' lead us to believe that they are a healthy alternative. While some may be what they claim, others are not even made from foods at all, rather composed of synthetic derivatives from poor-quality sources. Here is some advice on what to look for as a warning sign to stay away or perhaps think of them as good for you as a candy bar.

Common Ingredients of Store Bought 'Energy Bars':
  1. High-fructose corn syrup:Added as an inexpensive sweetener.
  2. Soy isolate:Used to add texture and protein content.
  3. Whey protein:Used to increase protein content.
  4. Natural flavour:Can come from far too many sources.
  5. Fractioned palm oil:A cheap oil used for its high heat stability.
  6. Maltodextrine (corn):Genetically modified cheap sweetener.
  7. Artificial sweeteners (malitol, sucralose):Genetically modified sweeteners
Things to Look for in a more Nutritious 'Energy Bar':
  1. Natural protein source (nuts, seeds, quinoa, brown rice protein, hemp protein)
  2. Natural sweeteners (brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, stevia)
  3. An understandable, short ingredient list
  4. It doesn't double as a candy bar (containing 24 grams of sugar, which is the same amount found in chocolate bars!)
  5. As few processed ingredients as possible.
ENERGY GRANOLA BAR

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup rice syrup
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1 cup dried apricots and raisins
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Directions:
  1. Line a 139-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to low setting (180-200F).
  3. In medium saucepan, lightly toast sesame seeds over medium heat until they brown. Remove from heat.
  4. Add oil, honey, almond butter and rice syrup. Stir until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, combine remainder of ingredients. Pour liquid mixture over top, and stir to combine. Do not over-mix.
  6. Pack mixture into pan, pressing down firmly with back of warm, wet spatula or hands.
  7. Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool and cut into bars with warm, wet knife. Store in fridge or freeze up to three months.
This recipe was sourced from Fully Nourished by Marni Wasserman.
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