And the Best Energy-Protein Bar is…..

A while ago I was covertly encouraged by a certain thru-hiker to do a review and recommend the best energy-protein bar to take on the trail. I’ve been dragging my feet to write this post mostly because to do a review would entail actually trying the bars in question and to be perfectly honest I am not too keen on that – I’d be eating thousands of extra calories! Also, as I am trying to promote wholesome and minimally processed foods it goes against my beliefs to recommend any of these mass manufactured bars. However, as I do understand the convenience of an energy bar while hiking (or at any point during a busy workday) I decided to make my version of a bar that will not only be good for you but it most certainly taste delicious – and I can vouch for the taste-test myself 🙂

Energy Protein Bar
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8.6
  • Serving size: 100g
  • Calories: 153
  • Fat: 3.5
  • Saturated fat: 1.8
  • Carbohydrates: 26.4
  • Sugar: 16
  • Fiber: 3.5
  • Protein: 2.9
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Packs an enormous amount of goodness!
Ingredients
  • 100g Medjool Dates
  • 100g Dried Figs
  • 100g Dried Apricots
  • 200g Oats
  • 2Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5tsp Yacon Gold Syrup (can substitute for honey or maple syrup)
  • 28g Unsweetened Baker's chocolate
  • 2Tbsp Raw Coconut Butter
  • 100g walnuts
  • 60g Protein Powder
Instructions
  1. Chop dried fruit and walnuts
  2. Add all ingredients together and mix well.
  3. Add water as desired to bind all the ingredients.
  4. Line a pyrex dish with aluminum foil and spread out the mixture from edge to edge.
  5. Pop in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 30-45 minutes.
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These came out so delicious that I am having a hard time keeping my hands off them! I did not use any sugar in these, all the sweetness comes from the dried fruits (that also did not contain any added sugar) and a bit from the Yukon Syrup which is a low-glycemic sweetener. I think these would go very well with some natural nut butter, like cashew butter, but they are also perfectly fine on their own.

Now, I know hikers (or most of the serious ones, anyway) are always concerned with the weight of their hiking gear. It makes sense to minimize it as much as possible so that one can hike most comfortably with all the necessary conveniences of daily life – or at least enough to get by. Keeping this in mind I will say that these are not light by any means – I don’t know how they compare to any commercially made bars – however one serving of my bar is 100g. The whole batch weighed at about 860g, so I don’t think you’d be taking the whole batch with you, but with a day hike in mind I don’t think it would be extremely inconvenient to take 2 servings.

 

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This was so easy and not time-consuming at all to make that I keep getting puzzled any time I hear people say it is so difficult for them to find time to cook.

 

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I love the different textures of this bar when you sink your teeth into it. The gooiness of the dried fruit combined with crunchiness of the walnuts and the bitterness of the baker’s chocolate just make me want to keep going for more.

 

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Of course I had to take my bar for a photoshoot on my back porch! How could I recommend this bar and not take it outdoors with me. I doubt these will last long enough to test them out in the woods, but who knows, they are so easy to make I might have to make them a staple.

 

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Forgive my food processor in the background! Now that I can use it again, it seems to have inserted itself in one of the best pictures of the bar!

 

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PS. If you absolutely have to get a store bought bar I would go for Larabar. Having briefly looked at the ingredients of most readily available bars in a Canadian grocery store (as in no fancy, specialty bars) I can say with utmost certainty that it’s the most minimally processed bar that I would be willing to eat with pretty much the same ingredients as my bar. The weight of a Larabar is 48g, so half the size as my bar, however much denser in terms of caloric value: 190 calories, 10g fat, 24g carbs and 4g protein. Now, from a hiker’s perspective this might be a good thing since it weighs less but packs in more nutritional value. From my perspective, I’d rather have more to chew on, so to me smaller size means I’m chewing less 😉 To each their own!