Homemade and Healthy 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 a high level of antioxidants and energy boosting ingredients, it is the perfect bar to snack on. Take it to the office, or stash it in your kids lunchbox. Best of all, they are quick and easy to make.
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. Speaking of run...
When I used to run track in high school, the only things you would find in my gym bag aside from running gear were BenGay and PowerBars. Sure, it has some ingredients that kept me sustained for a few hours during the track meet, but there are also harmful ingredients that are not ideal for optimal function.
I found myself trying to search for the perfect granola energy bar recipe that incorporates all of the "energy foods." The great thing about this recipe is how easy and quick it is to make! You can make it in large batches and store some in the refrigerator.
So, let's talk about the recipe, shall we?
Almonds contain potassium and iron; both are essential in maintaining energy levels
Nuts, in general can give you a healthy energy boost. They also keep you going longer than caffeine-laden drinks or sugary snacks do.
- Nuts have protein, a great source of sustained energy.
- Nuts contain Omega 3 fatty acids, provides energy to the muscles and organs.
- Nuts help lower LDL ("bad" cholesterol)
Flaxseed provides 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 good fats that give our body increased energy.
Ingredients for Healthy Granola Bar Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cups flax seed
- 1/4 cup sesame seed
- 1 cup chopped almonds (optional: any other kind of nuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 cups shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pure honey
- 4 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 cup dried cranberries (optional: other chopped dried fruits or dark chocolate chips)
NOTE: If you are on a low-sugar or low-salt diet, decrease the amount. It's up to you! You can also substitute for Stevia packets.
How to Make Homemade Healthy Granola Energy bars
- 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.
- In 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.
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