In the summer when I’m biking & hiking a lot I go through a lot of those Nature Vally Granola Bars, mostly the peanut butter kind and more clif bars than I should admit. The Nature Valley ones taste pretty good but I’d rather eat something a little bit more real.
For me, Clif bars are the best tasting “energy bars” but I have to be REALLY hungry or on top of a mountain to be able to chew AND swallow them. They’re so expensive though. I think the best deal I’ve ever seen was about $1 a piece.
So I started searching online for a granola/energy bar recipe. There were a lot of them that seemed like they were trying hard to be clif bars with rice syrup and other weird stuff. I just wanted something simple, with lots of calories, and a reasonable balance of protien, fat, & carbs.
This is the inspiration recipe: Easy Granola Bars
What Brian made was a little different.
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup brown sugar (or white sugar + molasses)
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1tsp vanilla
In a very large bowl (so stuff doesn’t fly out when you’re stirring it together) mix:
- 6 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1.5 cups salted peanuts
- 1.5 cups salted sesame seeds (I meant sunflower seeds. Sesame seeds would probably taste good too. So besides not being able to cook, this is another reason I don’t write cook books.)
Pour all that dry stuff in with the scalding sugary stuff and hopefully you’ve been lifting weights because it gets really hard to stir. Stir it until it is all evenly coated with the sugary goo or until you’re too tired to stir and don’t care anymore.
Dump everything into a 9×13 pan that you have sprayed with cooking spray.
Smash it all down until it is as dense as you can get it… you’re going for a singularity of calories. This is energy food, not diet food. Also you don’t want them to crumble and fall out of your hand.
Wait a couple of hours and then cut them up and individually wrap them for transportability.
They taste really really good. They are way better than clif bars and are far cheaper. My family ate an entire tray in less than a week.
The wrapping is really where the store bought bars excel.
If you cut the pan into 24 servings. Each bar has:
- 335 calories
- Total Fat: 15g (23%)
- Carbs: 46g (15%)
- Dietary Fiber: 5g (19%)
- Protein 9g
Note to household: I cut this weeks pan into 16 bars so that’s more like 550 calories.