Forum Index > Food & Grub > DYI Energy Bars?  What's your recipe?
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Downhill
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PostMon Dec 23, 2019 12:23 am 
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I like packing bars in the mountains.  I'm fine with some GU and trail mix now and then, in a pinch, but they are less satisfying to me than a savory or chocolatey bar.  There are a good number of commercially available bars on the market that I enjoy, not only for the carb, fat, protein offering but also the taste.  But assuming you're getting out every week or so, or maybe even more frequently, the cost of these adds up quickly.  Besides the financial - motivation, I just love to cook.  I love making something from scratch, with whole ingredients of my choosing, adding in the things I like and opting out of those I don't care for.  This is the backdrop of my quest for the ultimate homemade energy bar!!

After some internet recipe searching, I made a batch of bars incorporating bits and pieces of recipes, modifying each to my preferences.  I specifically opted for no-bake options.  Here's what I made mine from:

Quick oats
Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts (powdered in my blender)
Coconut oil
Shredded coconut
Cocoa powder
Fresh figs

Most recipes I found called for dried figs or dried dates, but I went for the fresh figs - big mistake.  My bars never set up, even after a night in the fridge.  I had energy paste that was super yummy and packed full of energy-producing goodness but had the consistency of wood putty, playdough or worse.  I think that if I'd used dried figs or dried dates, it would have set up firmly as I'd expected.  A lesson learned.

Have you "home-maded" some energy bars that you're happy with??  If so, please share.  If you tried and failed but have a funny story to share, that's good too!!
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Brushwork
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PostTue Dec 24, 2019 1:10 am 
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I havenít made any energy bars yet but Iíve looked at recipes.   I think you just didnít have enough dried fruit.   Seems to me that in uncooked recipes itís the fruit that does the thickening and binding.  Ground chia seeds might help too, they have a ďthickeningĒ quality, though it might require a little liquid.   

Sounds good though!

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Downhill
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PostWed Dec 25, 2019 10:50 am 
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Brushwork wrote:
I think you just didnít have enough dried fruit.

Yes, that's exactly my assessment as well.  And using dried dates or figs instead of fresh figs - less moisture.  I ended up adding in more oats and powdered almonds to absorb some of the moisture
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sarbar
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PostTue Jan 14, 2020 7:56 pm 
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Medjool dates are key to raw bars. They act like nothing else out there to bind. Don't skimp on it! Costco is the cheapest to buy - back in the produce section. They don't need to be chilled.

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https://trailcooking.com/ Eat well on the trail.
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sarbar
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PostTue Jan 14, 2020 8:07 pm 
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https://trailcooking.com/snacks/date-walnut-energy-bars/

That was a fave of mine when we could have nuts in the house (our youngest has severe food allergies)

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https://trailcooking.com/ Eat well on the trail.
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Downhill
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PostTue Jan 14, 2020 8:13 pm 
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sarbar wrote:
Medjool dates are key to raw bars. They act like nothing else out there to bind. Don't skimp on it! Costco is the cheapest to buy - back in the produce section. They don't need to be chilled.

Great advice!!!  Thank you!
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Snuffy
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PostFri Jan 17, 2020 10:50 pm 
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I agree with sarbar that medjools are key.  I have had luck with softened dried apricots or prunes but learned the hard way that my innards didn't care for that much dried apricots or prunes.  I have made tons of different kinds of bars over the years following a basic formula of:

1 cup medjool dates
1 cup nuts or seeds
1 cup small dried fruit pieces or shredded coconut

You can add things like cacoa powder or protein powder, you may just need a bit more date.  I have also had fun with extracts like liquid smoke (just a tad).

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Anne Elk
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PostMon Jan 20, 2020 4:38 pm 
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Why go through all the work of making bars? I seem to do fine with custom trail mix in whatever size zip-lock bag I want, for economy snacking.  I'm into time conservation. Just visit some grocery that sells a wide variety of bulk foods, load up on your faves, then combine at home.  I like dried date niblets, cranberries, choco-covered blueberries and/or raisins, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, pecans, chocolate bits, etc.  Landjaeger on the side is fine for savory/protein.  It seems Fred Meyer's cut down on their selection since their remodel  huh.gif so now I have to go to two stores to get what I want.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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sarbar
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PostMon Jan 20, 2020 7:38 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
Why go through all the work of making bars?

I know when I had braces on for multiple years bars were the only way. After that...I just never got back into eating trail mix. For some it is the texture as well. My oldest son won't eat a lot of things unless I grind them up. He's 22 now.....so I know it ain't changing...lol

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Snuffy
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PostMon Jan 20, 2020 10:08 pm 
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I donít discriminate, I like both bars and trail mix. There are some foods that are better made into bars, like smaller seeds and such.

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Downhill
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PostFri Jan 31, 2020 9:58 pm 
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Snuffy wrote:
I donít discriminate, I like both bars and trail mix. There are some foods that are better made into bars, like smaller seeds and such.

That's me = bars, mix, landjagers, jerky - all of the above.  I like having pocket snacks to keep me going on the trail without needing to stop and fish around for food.
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