I don’t know about you, but there are only so many gels that I can handle whilst out on a long run or bike ride before I start to feel queasy. They have their place, as do handfuls of jelly babies when a quick hit of sugar is needed to keep the wall at bay, but when I’m wanting something a little slower releasing to stoke the engine, I’ve increasingly found myself reaching for proper food to nibble on instead, like chewy granola bars and flapjacks.
Energy bars from companies like getbuzzing are really nice- they’re palatable, easily portable and full of slow releasing goodness to keep me pedalling or running. Unfortunately they’re also pretty expensive, so after some extensive research into how to make that perfect sticky texture that will stay portable and not crumble all over my handlebars, I present my cyclists’ chewy granola bars.
The recipe is a super adaptable formula, to use up whatever you like your fuel to taste of, or whatever you happen to have in the cupboard. It also doesn’t matter what size cup you use, as long as it’s the same one to measure all of the ingredients in! I used a standard size coffee mug, but if you go bigger, just use a slightly larger cake tin.
1) Rolled grains – 2 1/2 cups
I used jumbo porridge oats for the bars above.
2) Nuts, seeds & spices – 1 cup
I used a mixture of milled linseed, chopped brazil nuts and walnuts and a spoonful of sunflower seeds, with a teaspoon of ground cinammon.
3) Sticky sweetener – 1/3 cup + 1/4 cup
I used honey, but other ideas include maple syrup or molasses.
4) Dried fruits – 1 cup
Here is where you can empty the cupboard- I used chopped dates, raisins & cranberries.
5) Binder – 1 cup
I used half apple sauce and half almond butter here, but pureed dried fruit or other nut butters would work too.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease and line a 23cmx23cm brownie tin.
- Pop all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, and the sweetener and binder in a saucepan.
- Warm through and stir together the binder and the sweetener, and then pour over the dry ingredients.
- Flex those guns and give the ingredients a really good mix- the oats, fruit and nuts should just be sticking together, and the mix should feel quite ‘stiff’ to stir.
- Pop the mix in the lined tin and press it down firmly and levelly with the back of a spatula, then bake for 25 minutes.
- Allow to cool at room temperature until the tin is cool to the touch, and then transfer to the fridge for an hour to finish setting.
- Remove from the tin and cut into whatever size bar best fits your snack preference and pocket size, and devour on your next adventure 😉
Recipe adapted from the excellent Brown Eyed Baker website.