Sunday, November 13, 2016

Homemade Energy Bars

I was wanting a cookie or bar that had whole grains, and enough sugar and fat to hold me pre-workout, as I do some intense cardio and strength training.

I came up with these, adapting a couple of different recipes on-line into one and really liked how they turned out.  They are NOT super low fat or low sugar, but they are choc-FULL of good grains and fiber, perfect before a run or workout, and sturdy enough you can tote one with you just wrapped in a little foil. Plus my husband really liked the taste and asked for one in his lunch each day this week. The texture is almost a cakey granola bar, but the taste is  very much like a blondie (butterscotch brownie).

They are also super easy and quick to make.

They will also go gluten-free quite easily, just replace the pastry flour with gluten free flour and add 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum, ensuring your oats are also gluten free.  Oats themselves are but they might be prepared in factories where cross contamination can occur.  When I'm doing gluten free with oats for my friend, I use Bob's Red Mill brand.

Energy Bars - makes 16-20 depending on how big you cut them,

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (it retains all the nutrition of whole wheat but has a texture like regular white flour).
3/4 cup plus sugar
2 teaspoons Molasses
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1⁄2 cup butter melted and cooled
2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant packet kind, the sturdier ones)
1 and 1/4 cups raisins (or dried fruit of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 8 x 8 pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in vanilla, molasses,egg and melted butter until smooth. Stir in oats and raisins.  Replace some of the raisins with chopped walnuts if you wish less sugar and more protein.
Before Baking

Pour dough into prepared pan and spread into an even layer with a spatula or your fingers. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center no longer looks wet (center will still be soft though).  Don't overcook, if you cook until the center is really firm, they will dry out. My oven is very old and the temperature isn't always exact, so check yours at 22 minutes and then every few minutes.
When cool, cut into bars and leave out until completely cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.


  1. Any suggestions for a lower sugar version? Maybe maple syrup, or honey? I know I could use Splenda for Dave, but then I won't eat it.

    1. Honey might change the base as it usually requires adjusting the dry ingredients, but it's worth a try - I'd just go with half a cup and (which is for 20 bars) and replace some of the raisins with almonds or walnuts.


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