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How To Make An Energy Bar

As healthy and organic foods become more popular, many individuals are becoming interested in making their own foods at home. A popular homemade food in many families is energy bars. They are simple to make and require only a few ingredients.

Why Homemade Energy Bars Are Popular

Homemade energy bars are loved by children and adults. As long as they are not too chewy, even very young children can enjoy them. While they taste delicious to children, parents can rest assured that the sweet flavor is full of healthy energy.

Homemade bars can also save a family money. If these bars are eaten by two or three people twice a day, a family could go through six or seven boxes of expensive store-bought bars in a week. However, a 9 by 13 inch pan of the homemade bars can last for up to four days. Of course, the high quality ingredients that go into these bars can seem dauntingly expensive at first. However, when purchased in large quantities, they are far cheaper than store-bought brands.

Although it takes a little time to create the bars, parents can know what they are feeding themselves and their children. Store-bought brands are often filled with preservatives to extend shelf life as well as artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils. Individuals need to make their own bars in order to get the most natural product with the fewest ingredients.

Finally, it is great to know how to make a homemade energy bar because they are perfect for quick afternoon snacks or for grabbing quickly before leaving home. When these healthy bars are on hand, individuals do not have to worry about taking the time to create a delicious snack when they are busy. In addition, these bars decrease the likelihood that individuals will reach for an unhealthy snack, such as a brownie or a cookie, when they are rushed.

Typical Ingredients in Homemade Energy Bars

Each ingredient in an energy bar should be nutritious and should pack the highest amount of energy into the smallest volume. Carbohydrates and proteins are the most vital parts of energy bars. Carbohydrates give the body immediate energy as the food is broken down into simple sugars. However, proteins give a longer lasting energy that will continue to power the body long after the simple sugars are depleted.

Carbohydrates are best found in dried fruits. Typical dried fruits that are used include raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, dates, apples and apricots. Dried pineapple, papaya and mango give a tropical flavor to a bar. Some energy bars may include chocolate as well. Dark chocolate is the best option because it is known for its great antioxidant properties. Rolled oats may also be added for a more filling bar and a chewier texture.

Proteins are usually found in nuts. Virtually any kind of nut can be used although pecans, walnuts and almonds are the top three. Another option is peanut butter or almond butter. Almond butter is usually preferred over peanut butter because almonds contain healthier fats.

Several other ingredients may be added to the bar. Brown sugar, corn syrup or brown rice syrup adds a sticky sweetness. A premixed granola cereal could be used as a time saving step. In addition, protein powder is a great way to get a smooth bar that has a high amount of long-lasting protein energy in it.

Tricks for Making Delicious Energy Bars

There are numerous ways to create homemade energy bars. Many of them do not require any baking. Others may require some microwaving of the ingredients to help everything stick together. Some require only a bit of time and a food processor.

To create a sweet, smooth bar, all that is truly needed is a food processor. Dates are the key to these bars. Simply add two or three other ingredients, such as dried fruits or nuts to the dates, blend them in a food processor until they are smooth and press them into a greased pan.

To create a bar that is chewy and full of texture, one will need to add rolled oats or granola. These can be mixed together in a bowl with peanut butter and other healthy ingredients and can then be pressed into a greased pan.

A few other helpful hints can make this endeavor successful. Energy bars that include eggs must be baked for safety. Coating one’s hands with cooking spray before pressing the mixture into a prepared pan will help the mixture to be spread smoothly. Adding fresh fruits and even vegetables to a bar is a creative alternative to the typical dried versions. Kale, for example, is a great source of energy and nutrients.

How to Preserve Homemade Energy Bars

Once the energy bars are made, it is vital to preserve them effectively so as not to waste the healthy ingredients that are in them. Because homemade bars are not filled with preservatives, they will certainly not last as long on the shelf as store-bought varieties do. In addition, knowing how to preserve the bar depends on the recipe and the ingredients that are used. Cooks should follow the directions if their recipes list storage tips.

In general, however, homemade energy bars can last at room temperature for one to two days. If they will be around longer than this, they should be stored in the refrigerator. Refrigerated bars can last up to a week. Another great option is to store the bars in smaller batches in the freezer where they can last up to three months. Whichever method is chosen, the bars should be cut, and each should be wrapped in plastic wrap.

Homemade energy bars are a fabulous alternative to store-bought varieties, which often contain unhealthy ingredients. These bars can be made quickly and healthfully at home for great cost savings. Children and adults find that these bars are a wonderful solution for quick snacks whether at home and away from home.