#CareInTheTimeOfCorona Breakfast Desserts Recipes Snacks

Homemade Energy Bars

If you’re a snacker like me, it can be really tempting to reach for a packaged sweet or savoury snack for some mid-meal sustenance. We all crave a little something every now and then but it is often the most overlooked part of meal prepping and planning.

Snacks, most often, are packaged in wasteful plastic. The shiny interiors of your favourite snack bar or potato crisps is made my fusing aluminium and plastic together. This extremely thin fusion is hard to recycle because to separate them increases the cost multifold. When landfilled or incinerated, these bags pollute the environment and pose health risks to humans as well as wildlife. Food packaging is also the main source of the plastic pollution, often washes up on shores, clogs the ocean and is expected to exceed the weight of all fish by 2050 if we maintain the current rates.

Energy bars are extremely simple and easy to make at home. It’s no secret that knowing what goes into your food, especially if you cook it yourself, is a good step towards a balanced, healthy diet. And just because you make them at home doesn’t mean you have to miss out on interesting and fun options.

Fill your bellies, not garbage bins. Who’s with me?

What you will need –
  1. Old fashioned/Rolled oats – 3 cups
  2. Roasted almonds – 2 cups (roughly chopped)
  3. Dates – 1 heaping cup (approx 200 gms, use soft and fleshy varieties like medjool or deglet noor)
  4. Honey – 1/2 cup (sub with maple syrup/liquid jaggery to keep it vegan)
  5. Peanut butter – 1/2 cup (creamy, unsweetened)
  6. Salt – a generous pinch
  7. Seeds of choice – 6 teaspoons (optional)
  8. Dried fruit of choice – 2 tablespoons (optional)

Ideas for customisation –

Chocolate chips, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, apple sauce, any kind of seeds, any kind of dried fruit- raisins, cranberries, apricot, etcetera

Method –
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add nuts and oats to a baking tray and roast until slightly golden brown, about 15-20 mins.
  2. Add dates to a food processor and process till you’re left with a doughy ball. (This should take only a few seconds).
    Do not add any water to the dates. A syrupy consistency will lead to a not-so-great taste. Ask me how I know.
  3. Add all ingredients except the date paste to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Add date paste to the mixing bowl a little at a time. Use a spatula to break it up and evenly disperse throughout the mix. Repeat till all date paste is added.
  5. Grease a 12×12-inch baking dish (or any flat bottomed dish) with a little oil. Transfer the mix to baking dish and roughly flatten with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  6. Press down to make it uniformly flat. I like to use a sheet parchment paper and a flat bottomed bowl to really pack the bars, cause nobody likes a crumbly, fall apart energy bar.
  7. Pop the dish in the fridge to firm up for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Remove dish from the fridge and chop into 12 even bars.

Storage notes :

Put a parchment paper under each bar (yes, reuse the sheet you used before by cutting it into smaller pieces), stack the bars in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month. (But seriously, they’ll be devoured way before that)

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

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