Friday, 21 February 2014

Nutty Energy Bars

If you love granola bars or flapjacks then these are without a doubt the bars for you! Like all my recipes, they're grain and refined sugar free... I know what you're thinking though, granola bars are healthy already so why is she making a big deal about making a healthy version..... 

Bad news... commercially manufactured granola bars are laced with sugar and vegetable oil. That 'healthy' option of a Nature Valley Granola Bar contains 4 tsp of sugar... I bet you'd never consider putting 4 tsp of sugar into your coffee..

What about flapjacks? Do you choose them in a cafe because you think they're the better option? The only good ingredient in a flapjack is the butter! I'm not a fan of grains because of their inflammatory properties, so aside from the oats, a flapjack is brown sugar, butter and golden syrup... There's an awful lot of sugar in that 'healthy' option... 

I'm honestly not trying to spoil how you see your favourite foods. I just think it's really important to be aware of what your food contains...then you can make an informed decision. There's nothing worse than thinking you're choosing the 'healthy' option, only to be told that there's as much sugar in that Innocent smoothie and in a can of Coke...... Oh, sorry! Did you not know that?!

I've had a few people ask me for a recipe for grain free 'granola' bars or energy bars. These are a great snack, they're loaded with nuts & seeds, only use natural foods to sweeten and are brilliant to take with you if you're on the go. Why not keep a couple in an airtight container in the car? If you get delayed, you won't be tempted to silence your children with a chocolate bar! 

  • 150g dessicated coconut
  • 200g mixed nuts, chopped in a food processor
  • 50g flaked almonds 
  • 50g flax seed
  • 25g pumpkin seeds
  • 25g sunflower seeds
  • 4 dried figs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 large dessert apple,  stew 3/4 (peel, slice & microwave until softened is the quickest way) & coarsely grate the remaining 1/4
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp raw honey (optional... this is purely personal preference)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 160d (fan). Line a swiss roll tin with baking parchment. 

Add all your ingredients to a large bowl & mix until well combined.

Press into lined baking tray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden & firm. (They will firm up a little more as they cool so don't wait until they're rock hard or they'll be dry & will more than likely break your teeth). 

Allow to cool before drizzling with chocolate. As usual, you can use dark chocolate if you wish, just make sure it's good quality & has a high cocoa solid content. I simply melted 1 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder & 1 tsp honey together until smooth & glossy. 

Leave to set before cutting into bars. This recipe will make 18 bars. They will keep for up to a week in an airtight container. 

They're a perfect cross between a granola bar & a flapjack.. 

I rarely talk about the nutritional content in my recipes (I prefer a common sense approach to nutrition), but I was curious on this occasion... 

GLBTK Nutty Energy Bars 48g serving size 
  • 199 calories
  • 17.1g fat
  • 8.6g carbs (3.8g sugars)
  • 5.2g protein
Nature Valley Granola Bar 42g serving size
  • 190 calories
  • 6g fat
  • 29g carbs (12g sugars)
  • 4g protein

There's a pretty clear winner! 

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