|Energy Granola Bar
During a fast paced day many of us turn to cereal or energy bars as a quick snack to help push back or even replace a meal. Through marketing and often misleading packaging, these 'energy bars' lead us to believe that they are a healthy alternative. While some may be what they claim, others are not even made from foods at all, rather composed of synthetic derivatives from poor-quality sources. Here is some advice on what to look for as a warning sign to stay away or perhaps think of them as good for you as a candy bar.
Common Ingredients of Store Bought 'Energy Bars':
Things to Look for in a more Nutritious 'Energy Bar':
- High-fructose corn syrup: Added as an inexpensive sweetener.
- Soy isolate: Used to add texture and protein content.
- Whey protein: Used to increase protein content.
- Natural flavour: Can come from far too many sources.
- Fractioned palm oil: A cheap oil used for its high heat stability.
- Maltodextrine (corn): Genetically modified cheap sweetener.
- Artificial sweeteners (malitol, sucralose): Genetically modified sweeteners
You can also make your own whole-food energy bars instead. Click here for this month's healthy recipe "Energy Granola Bars"
- Natural protein source (nuts, seeds, quinoa, brown rice protein, hemp protein)
- Natural sweeteners (brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, stevia)
- An understandable, short ingredient list
- It doesn't double as a candy bar (containing 24 grams of sugar, which is the same amount found in chocolate bars!)
- As few processed ingredients as possible.
ENERGY GRANOLA BAR
- 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup rice syrup
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
- 1 cup dried apricots and raisins
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
This recipe was sourced from Fully Nourished by Marni Wasserman.
- Line a 13×9-inch pan with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to low setting (180-200F).
- In medium saucepan, lightly toast sesame seeds over medium heat until they brown. Remove from heat.
- Add oil, honey, almond butter and rice syrup. Stir until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine remainder of ingredients. Pour liquid mixture over top, and stir to combine. Do not over-mix.
- Pack mixture into pan, pressing down firmly with back of warm, wet spatula or hands.
- Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool and cut into bars with warm, wet knife. Store in fridge or freeze up to three months.