Stash these healthy energy bars in your purse, desk, or car so you’re prepared when hunger inevitably strikes and you need a quick and healthy energy boost. We all know energy levels are running low during this time of the year, as we wait for our Christmas holiday to approach. Your children will also fall in love with these snacks while studying for their end of year exams.
COCONUT ALMOND BARS
The basic recipe contains only unsweetened coconut, nuts, honey and pinch of salt. That’s it.
A COUPLE TIPS:
- Lightly toast the coconut and nuts.
- The most important thing is heating the honey to a very specific temperature – to 135°C. Hence, the need for the candy thermometer.
- Cut the bars after they cool, but before they cool completely. This prevents breaking.
If you heat the honey any longer it will still taste good, but result in a very brittle bar. If you heat the honey to a lower temp, the bars will be too soft and not hold together.
Heating the honey may take longer than you think.…about 20 minutes on med-low heat.
¾ cup raw almonds, lightly toasted
¾ cup raw cashews, lightly toasted
1 ½ cup unsweetened coconut FLAKES, lightly toasted
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons water
Generous pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
Other optional ingredients to add: dried fruit, any other nut, seeds (chia, sesame, flax, poppy), vanilla, puffed rice or millet.
SEE ASLO: Lime And Coconut Tray Bake
- Preheat Oven to 160°C. ( to toast nuts and coconut)
- Heat honey, salt, water and vanilla (optional) in a small pot over medium heat until it starts bubbling. Stir occasionally. Lower to med-low heat and continue simmering uncovered until honey reaches 135°C. You need to use a candy thermometer to get this exact ( available at most grocery stores in the baking section.) This will take about 25 minutes on med-low heat, and will happen rapidly once it reaches 135°C.
- In the mean time, lightly toast nuts and coconut, in the oven, just until coconut is fragrant and lightly golden about 8-10 minutes.
- When the honey has reached 135°C, turn heat off and pour the nuts and coconuts into the pot, stirring well to coat. Mixture may seem dry, but just keep mixing, until evenly coated. Spread out on a parchment lined 8×8 inch pan, or baking sheet, to about 2cm thick.
- Using a greased spatula, spread out evenly and press down firmly, compressing it down as much as you can. Cover with parchment and use the bottom of a cup or pot or even your hands (if it’s not too hot) and press down really hard, compacting it as much as possible. This will help the bars stay together when you go to cut them. Let cool uncovered on the kitchen counter for 45 minutes. ( no longer)
- Once it has cooled 45 minutes, place a cutting board over the mixure and gently flip it onto the cutting board (in one piece). With a big sharp knife, cut bars before they cool down completely (otherwise they will break when you try to cut them).
- After you cut them, let them cool down completely on parchment (a couple hours) before storing. Store in an air tight container layered with parchment, or just leave them on the counter like I do and watch them disappear. Or wrap them individually with parchment and string.
SEE ALSO: Homemade Butterscotch Pudding
PB&J ENERGY PROTEIN BITES
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (or sub finely chopped dates)
2 Tbsp protein powder* (optional – just omit if you don’t have any)
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
2 1/2 Tbsp flax seed
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup dried fruit (i.e. dried strawberries, cherries, blueberries, cranberries)
- To a large mixing bowl, add peanut butter, maple syrup, protein powder, rolled oats, flaxseed, chia seeds, and dried fruit of choice. Mix until well combined. If too dry/crumbly, add more peanut butter or maple syrup. If too sticky or wet, add a little bit more oats.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Then scoop out 1 1/2 Tbsp amounts and roll into balls. The “dough” should yield about 13-14 balls.
- Enjoy immediately and store well-sealed leftovers in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month.
BLUEBERRY YOGHURT ENERGY BARS
2 cups oats
1 1/2 cup rice krispies
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup whole roasted almonds roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dried blueberries
GREEK YOGURT COATING
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of salt
2 cups icing sugar
- Line an 9×13 square Pyrex pan with wax or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine the oats, rice krispies, coconut, almonds, chia seeds and salt. Mix together.
- In a small microwave safe bowl combine the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the mixture is hot and pourable. Add the vanilla and mix again.
- Add the honey mixture to the dry oat mixture and mix until everything is moist and combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and then using the back of a measuring cup press the mixture into the pan until it is tightly packed. Cover and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Cut into 9-12 bars and return to the freezer.
- Make the greek yogurt coating. Combine the water and vanilla in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and whisk with a fork until the gelatin is evenly distributed. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until needed. It will set into a thick paste.
- In another small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, and salt. Microwave on 15 second bursts, stirring in between each burst, until the yogurt is liquidy and very warm to the touch. Don’t let it start to boil or the yogurt will curdle. I microwaved mine for 30 seconds total.
- Whisk the gelatin into the warm yogurt mixture. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Scrape the yogurt mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Pour the powdered sugar on top. Use a mixer or whisk until the yogurt and powdered sugar combine into a thick, but pourable, coating.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with one frozen bar at a time, dip the bottom of the bar into the yogurt and allow any excess to drip off. Flip the bars over so the yogurt coated side faces up and place on the prepared baking sheet. They will be very sticky. Repeat with the remaining bars. Let the bars sit, uncovered, without touching, overnight or up to 2 days until the yogurt is dry to touch.
- Once the bars are completely dry, flip them over so the yogurt coated side is now facing down. Drizzle the remaining coating over the bars and allow the bars to sit overnight or up to 2 days until the yogurt is dry to touch.
- Once the bars are completely dry, store in an airtight container at room temperature for an to grab snack for an energy boost.