In which Basil makes energy bars
Wooot! Baptizing the blog! Borage is off to an appointment, and before she left, I asked, “Is it okay with you if I write in our blog? I made energy bars! I think it would make a good first post.” She said to go for it, so here I go!
This morning I made energy bars using my favorite recipe from Matt Frazier, who wrote No Meat Athlete. I aspire to eat a fully plant-based diet, and with books like this, I’m doing pretty well. I highly recommend it. The soups are delicious, and these energy bars are amazing.
You don’t have to buy the book to try the bars, though, the whole recipe is online: The Ultimate Energy Bar Formula. The recipe consists of:
- soft fruit
- dry spice
- dry base
Here are my notes on those:
I’ve used white beans, cannellini, navy, and pinto, and they’re all very good. I don’t notice any bean flavor in the finished bar.
Peanut butter contributes a definite peanut-y taste, which I loved, but some might not. Cashew butter has a delicious and mild flavor, but it costs significantly more than peanut butter. I haven’t tried almond butter yet, but I bet that’s also delicious. In the most recent batch, I used pureed pumpkin, which made my pumpkin-hating husband turn up his nose, but my kids and I couldn’t taste much of a difference.
I have used up the last of our agave and won’t be buying more. So next time we’ll likely go with maple syrup or honey.
We’ve gone with a banana every time. I use a whole one, even though the recipe calls for half. What am I going to do with half a banana? I know, I know; eat it. But I used half for the first batch of these, and a whole banana for the second, and didn’t notice any difference, so now I just throw in the whole banana.
Vanilla is great, but almond is best! For some reason, almond just makes them smell and taste more like cookies.
I use a little bit of cinnamon every time, but I also put in a whole teaspoon of cardamom, because I just love that stuff. I keep my spices in my own jars, and the cardamom jar doesn’t even have the name written on it, it just has a big heart drawn on. I know what’s in there.
I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats.
Here is where you can put in protein powders. I was using Spiru-Tein for awhile, but I’ve come to wonder about the safety of soy protein isolate, and so I’ve switched over to using Vega. Another favorite powder, although I haven’t tried it in this recipe yet, is Garden of Life’s RAW.
Oddly enough, I haven’t stirred anything in, yet. I keep meaning to get some dried fruit and try that, but I never do. And yet, they still come out delicious. When I finally buy some raisins or cherries or something, I’ll update this post.
And that’s it. Put it all together, add the oats and protein powder at the end, and add a little water if it’s too thick. You want to be able to spread it out in a pan. I’ve had some batches come out a little bit too thick – you want them on the thinner side, less than a half-inch thick, otherwise it’s hard to bake them all the way through without burning the bottom.
I use them for breakfasts, snacks, and especially as travel food when I have to run errands for a few hours and I know I won’t be able to stop and get healthy food. Both my kids love these bars.