Recently I’ve been in the kitchen trying to dream up the perfect energy bar; one that tastes great, is easy to make, and easy to eat on a ride The first bar out of our ‘test kitchen’ was a soft Maple Almond Cranberry Bar with oatmeal, rice, and coconut which we adapted from this recipe.
The great thing about these bars is that they are pretty simple to make, can be altered fairly easily to adapt to your tastes, and you know 100% what is going into them so you’re getting quality fuel over rubbish! They are also really cheap to make, though the “start up cost” may seem a bit steep if you don’t have any of the ingredients on hand. Still you can’t get very many energy bars for the price of these raw ingredients.
There are a few alterations that we might make to this particular bar to make it that much better in the future (ie reduce the amount of water), but we are pretty happy with them so far… in fact they didn’t actually make it out onto the bike with us as they disappeared too quickly!
Give em a try and tell us what you think!
Cranberry Maple Almond Energy Bars Makes 15
1/2 cup uncooked rice (we used broken rice)
1 cup almonds
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup protein powder (we used pumpkin seed powder)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries (chopped)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup maple syrup plus 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup oil (pick a neutral flavor like canola, sunflower seed, or rapeseed)
1 cup water
1. Cook 1/2 cup of rice as directed, and leave to cool. Meanwhile spread out your almonds in a baking tray and evenly toss with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Bake in a pre heated oven at 160C or 320F for approximately 20 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes. You can omit this step, however we like the depth of flavor that this brings to the bars. Once cooled use either a food processor or good old fashioned knife to chop the almonds into small pieces. It is ok to have some pieces smaller than others (even fine crumbs are ok) just make sure that no pieces are too big, otherwise you will be left with very crumbly bars.
2. In a large bowl combine 2 cups of oats, with 1/2 cup of protein powder, 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (you can use less, though we love it for it’s role in stabilizing blood glucose levels, and in slowing down digestion), 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, chopped almonds, 1/2 cup of chopped cranberries, and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.
3. In a separate bowl mix together cooked rice with 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1/4 cup of oil (we used rapeseed) and 1 cup of water.
4. Mix rice mixture into the oatmeal mixture. Make sure that you mix it well, but take care not to over mix or you will have overly chewy bars.
5. Evenly spread mixture into a greased brownie pan (30cm x 20cm or 13″ x 9″), making sure to keep the top level. Bake in a preheated oven at 175C or 350F for 20minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. This recipe should make 15 bars, but you can cut each into two for easier ride snacking.
Individually wrap bars in aluminum foil to easily grab on your away out for a ride. Bars will keep for about a week in the fridge, we recommend freezing what you wont consume within that time.