I have been on a health kick lately, so I’ve been making my own version of a health bar. There are whole sections of health food stores with these. Some are OK, but most taste like cardboard. And many load them up with questionable Soy Protein Isolate, a refined protein filler.
Packing a energy bar with Soy Protein Isolate helps with texture, moisture and creates a nice high protein ratio on the label, but it is questionable if its healthy.
My snack bars are full of natural goodness. They are 1 part toasted sesame seed, 1 part toast oats and two part organic rice crispy, with enough rice syrup and nut butter to hold them together.
Are they low fat, low sugar and high protein? Probably not.
But I’d rather have these then anything in a vending machine or on the health food store “health bar” shelf.
Feel free to adapt the recipe. I include options below.
Either way, most health bars are still high calorie with 200-250 calories just like a candy bar. I am not sure where these rank on calories, probably about the same. But my trick is to cut them into small squares and grab one when I need it.
Its sure better then hitting up my co-workers never ending Halloween bowl with candy.
Homemade Energy Bars: Base Recipe
1 cup of unhulled toasted sesame seeds (or untoasted hulled)
1 cup of Toasted whole oats
2 cups of organic rice crispy
1/2-3/4 cup rice syrup
1/2 cup of peanut butter (natural just ground peanuts and salt, I use health food store freshly ground)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of salt
Other nuts and seeds (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews)
Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates, etc..)
Sweet miso (cooked with the syrup mixture if using)
Crumpled Seaweed Nori
Wash and drain the sesame seed. Place in a cast iron plan and slowly toast until the seeds are toasted. A test is when the seed do not stick to a metal spoon and you can press them into powder. (If you are using hulled sesame seeds you do not need to toast them)
Next toast the oats for a few minutes on medium heat until it is slightly brown.
Place the seeds, oats and the rice crispy into a large bowl.
In a sauce pan, combine the peanut butter, rice syrup, maple, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Heat just until the mixture melts together.
Add the warm mixture to the seed, oats rice and mixture to combine.
Press the mixture into a pan in an even level about an inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate to set.
Cut square from the pan. Eat at room temperature.
I like to cut them into squares and put them in snack size ziplocks. Each bag is about the size of a health snack bar. They make great work snacks and travel food.
They usually don’t last long, but you can refrigerate or freeze them.