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Written by
Frances McCann
Frances McCann

Make your own tasty energy bars

Ask any of our team at Macs Adventure for a top 10 "don't leave home without" list, and food (usually in the form of energy bars or cereal bars) is always a pretty high priority. It isn't that we're greedy (well, maybe a bit), but we know how important it is to be prepared on the trail. You never know when your energy levels might drop, and even with the best preparation weather conditions or any number of other circumstances might mean you go off track or get delayed, and having a high energy snack on board to sustain you becomes essential. Better safe than sorry. Cereal bars and energy bars are great, but for a bit of fun (and to keep an eye on exactly what's going into your food) it's quite easy to make your own. We've tested two recipes for making your own energy bars. Happy baking!:

Tasty Maple, Fruit & Nut Home Made Energy Bars

Home made energy bars Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Oats*
  • 1/2 Cup Mixed Chopped Nuts or Seeds Of Choice
  • 1 Cup Dried Fruit (We used chopped apricots and cranberries)
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil or Sunflower Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Peanut Butter (Optional)

* In Britain cups are not a standard measurement, but using a cappuccino cup works pretty well and makes it really easy. Grease and line the base of a baking tray (around 9x9 inch or similar) with cooking foil. Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Put the oil and maple syrup (plus optional peanut butter) in a microwaveable bowl, microwave on med power for about 30 seconds then whisk to mix, adding the salt and vanilla as you whisk. Mix together the oats and dried fruits in a large bowl, then stir in the liquid until all the oats and fruit are coated. The mixture should be sticky and starting to form clumps. If it seems too dry then add maple syrup to taste and achieve sticky texture. Press very firmly into the baking tray as evenly as possible, then bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until turning golden on top. Cool in the tray before placing in the refrigerator to chill. Slice once chilled. Wrap up the bars individually in food wrap film. The verdict: These went down a treat! There is quite a bit of sugar, but it is all natural sugar from the fruit and maple syrup, and the oats and nuts mean plenty of energy to sustain. Delicious.

Simple 4 Ingredient Home Made Energy Bars

home made simple energy bars Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Very Ripe Bananas (must be very ripe / brown)
  • 2 Cups Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Dried Dates
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Mixed nuts
  • (Optional - 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons honey)

Grease a baking tray (around 9x9 inch or similar) with cooking foil. Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Mash up the bananas in a large mixing bowl until they turn to a liquid. (Add optional honey, salt and cinnamon) Mix in oats, dates, and nuts. Press the mixture into the baking tray then bake for 30 minutes. Slice whilst slightly warm and finish cooling on a wire rack. Wrap up the bars individually in food wrap film. The Verdict: These are really simple to make, and packed with energy from the banana and oats, however, they weren't as tasty and a bit dry textured - an injection of cinnamon and honey would spice these up. The also didn't stay fresh for as long. They are however low fat and super healthy, with the natural sweetness of the banana and dates instead of refined sugar. You can't really go too wrong with some oats, nuts, and fruit, then shoving it in the oven for 20 - 30 mins, so we suggest you experiment, have fun, and feel free to send us your favourite recipe. For more of what to pack when you're out walking or cycling, see our blogs what to pack for a cycling holiday, or what to carry with you on a walking holiday for some ideas.

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