How to Make Your Own Energy Bars
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Energy bars are an excellent choice for athletes or anyone looking for a quick, easy source of complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals. They're conveniently portable, making them desirable additions to gym bags and briefcases. A variety of energy bars are commercially available, but they're pricey.
You can make your own energy bars quickly and easily using common ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen. The fun part is forming the dough into bars or whatever shapes you want. This recipe is very forgiving, so feel free to make substitutions with anything you prefer or happen to have on hand. Try using your favorite nuts or dried fruits instead of the dates. Good choices are walnuts, pecans, peanuts, raisins, cranberries, apricots and pineapple.
Finely chop one cup of dried dates and set them aside.
Whisk two egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until they're foamy. Add ¾ cup honey, ½ tsp. vanilla, and ¼ cup orange juice and whisk well to blend. Mash two bananas in a separate bowl. Fold into the egg white mixture, and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Combine 3½ cups of rolled oats, 8 tbsp. vanilla-flavored protein powder, 1½ cups nonfat dry milk, and 1 tbsp. cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly.
Turn the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and mix everything well.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet. Drop large spoonfuls of the energy bar batter onto the sheet, about two inches apart. Grease your fingers and form the batter into bars or whatever shape you prefer, about ¼" thick.
Bake the energy bars for about 15 minutes, or until the bottoms turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. They'll be soft coming right from the oven, but will become firmer as they cool.
Seal each energy bar individually in plastic wrap. Store them at room temperature for up to two weeks.