Happy Monday #fitfam ! Quite a title, right? Well, it needed to get out there! I wanted to add “Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free” to the description of the energy bars, oh and probably chocolate, blueberry, walnuts, and oats as well, since I mean, come on, those things all mean, well, clean, healthy, deliciousness. Did I mention quick and grab n’ go? But, let’s be real, Bloglovin cuts off the titles of articles around 5 words in. Oh, also, crunchy, chewy, sweet and salty would’ve definitely gone in my all-inclusive title. Lets’ see: The Perfect Sweet and Salty, Crunchy and Chewy, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Walnut, Chocolate, Blueberry, Oat, Quick, Grab n’ Go Energy Bars to Power You Through Your Week But Not Your Wallet. Quite a mouthful, right?! Well, these bars are too!
There are three things I always look for when buying energy or protein bars:
1) Can I pronounce and recognize all the ingredients?
2) Are there less than 10g of sugar?
3) The type of protein used – specifically, making sure there’s no soy protein or soy protein isolate in the ingredients list.
Energy bars that meet all these criteria are actually great as quick, healthy snacks, pre-workout fuel, post-workout recovery, or even as a quick meal replacement (if they have enough calories). There are a lot of awesome bars out there that meet these requirements. However, they usually cost at least $3 a pop. If you have even just one a day as a snack, it adds up!
After biting into a lot of overly soggy, burnt, plain, and chalky attempts at creating my own affordable energy bar, I finally did it! To reiterate, these bars are soft and chewy from the oats, dried blueberries, and chocolate chips but not underdone. The edges get perfectly crispy and the walnuts, sunflower seeds give it a nice crunch. With a dash of salt and lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup (or Stevia), they are “the perfect combination of salty and sweet,” as my eager taste tester (aka my boyfriend Robby) put it best.
No need for guar gum, gelatin, fancy kitchen tools, or even expensive protein powder (though you can definitely add in some plant-based protein if you decide you want to!) either! These babies are 100% natural, refined sugar- free, vegetarian, gluten-free, and there’s no need to go out and buy an expensive food processor!
The Everything Energy Bar
Makes about 12 bars
2 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dried, unsweetend blueberries (or whatever dried fruit you prefer – just check the ingredients to make sure there is no sugar added!)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or 1/4 cup granulated Stevia
1/2 cup egg whites
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with coconut oil cooking spray.
2. Mix together the oats, almond flour, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, walnuts, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond butter, egg whites, almond milk, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Add in the maple syrup or Stevia and mix in completely.
6. Spread the batter out on the baking sheet. Depending on the size of your baking pan, there should be about an inch of space from the edge of the pan to the dough all around. Or, the batter should be about 1/2 inch thick on the pan.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and then slice into bars. I like to individually wrap mine in tin foil to make them easy to grab n’ go!
Nutrition info per bar: Calories 265, Fat 15g, Carbs 23g, Fiber 5g, Sugar 7g (2 g if you use Stevia), Protein 8g
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