Healthy Homemade Granola Energy Bars
Healthy Energy Bar Recipe
If you're an avid runner or an exercise nut, you might appreciate an energy bar that not only curbs your hunger but also gives you a boost of energy to run that extra mile or do a few more extra push ups. If you hate to exercise, don't press the "back" button just yet. This energy bar is still a lovely treat for you. Loaded with antioxidants and energy-boosting ingredients, these are the perfect bars to snack on. Take them to the office or stash them in your kid's lunchbox.
Did you know that commercial energy bars are loaded with artificial ingredients and too much sugar? I wish someone had warned me about them when I was younger. Energy bars are marketed as a “healthy meal” in a bar packed with energy. The only problem is that most energy bars on the market are full of mystery ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup, poor quality fats, and preservatives. Those same ingredients may be the culprit in causing diseases in the long run.
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup almonds (or other nut), chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pure honey
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 cup dried cranberries, dried fruit, or dark chocolate chips, optional
If you are on a low-sugar or low-salt diet, decrease the amount of these ingredients. It's up to you! You can also substitute for Stevia packets.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the rolled oats, flax seeds, sesame seed, and almonds. Spread them evenly on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Toast for about 15-30 minutes until golden. Be sure to stir occasionally so it doesn't burn.
- n a large bowl, put vanilla, honey, butter (or coconut oil) and brown sugar. Microwave for 1 minute until it slightly boils and the sugar is dissolved.
- In a large bowl, combine sea salt, coconut, cinnamon, and dried cranberries.
- When the oat mixture is finished toasting, add it to the coconut mixture and stir.
- Add honey mixture and stir.
- Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with waxed paper (or spray with Pam). Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press to create a smooth surface. Place another piece of waxed paper (saran paper works fine too) on top and press down tightly until it's even.
- Place pan in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to cool completely. Use a knife to cut into bars.
Benefits of Ingredients in This Recipe
Almonds contain potassium and iron; both are essential in maintaining energy levels
In general, nuts can give you a healthy energy boost and have some nutritional benefits:
- Nuts have protein, a great source of sustained energy.
- Nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which provides energy to the muscles and organs.
- Nuts help lower LDL ("bad" cholesterol).
Flax seeds provide one of the only non-animal sources of omega-3 and omega-6. These fats are necessary for tissue growth, cell renewal, and the proper metabolism of all body cells.
Sesame seeds are small yet pack a powerful punch full of beneficial nutrients. They are very high in copper, magnesium, and calcium. Magnesium is essential for your cells to convert food into energy.
Coconut oil and coconut meat are packed with nutrients and fats that give our body increased energy.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Kim Lam