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6th Place
237 Votes

The Ultimate Energy Bar Formula

Serves: 10 | Time to prepare: 25 minutes

Recipes are great. But formulas are where it’s at.

The problem with recipes is that it’s easy to rely on them too much, especially if you’re like me and you’re scared to mess with them. Eventually you find yourself stuck in a box, where you eat the same thing over and over and never venture beyond the safe comfort of your trusty recipes.

This energy bar formula gives you the amounts of each general type of ingredient, but allows you to pick and choose exactly which ingredients you'll use from the list of suggestions, found below the formula. By mixing and matching ingredients in the proportions we suggest, the possibilities for creating your own energy bars are endless. And to top if off, the example recipe for Cranberry-Pistachio Protein Bars based on the formula is spectacular!

Ingredients

  • The Formula
  • 1 pound can of beans, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked beans)
  • 1/2 cup binder
  • 1/4 cup sweetener
  • 1/4 cup soft sweet fruit
  • 1 teaspoon extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dry spice (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (you can toast them if you want but I can’t tell the difference)
  • 1 cup dry base ingredient
  • 1 cup stir-ins
  •    
  • Some Possibilities:
  • Beans: white, black pinto, chickpeas and adzuki
  • Binders: almond or peanut butter, grownd flax seed mixed with water, pureed pumpkin, mashed avocado
  • Sweetners: maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar
  • Soft, sweet fruit: applesauce, mashed banana, chopped dates, crushed pineapple
  • Optional Extracts: vanilla, almond, lemon, coconut, coffee
  • Dry spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, instant coffee
  • Dry base ingredient (a combination is usually best): protein powder, brown rice flour, spelt flour, cocoa (max ½ cup), whole-wheat flour, buckwheat flour
  • Stir-ins: shredded coconut, dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, chopped nuts, cacao nibs, dry cereal, crushed pretzels, chocolate
  •    
  • Ultimate Inspiration: Cranberry-Pistachio Protein Bars
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup binder: ¼ cup of ground flax seed with ¼ cup water
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups oats
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup pistachios + ½ cup dried cranberries

Directions

1)In a food processor, combine beans, binder, sweetener, soft fruit, extract, spice, and salt until smooth. Add the oats and dry base ingredients and pulse just to combine. Add stir-ins and pulse again just to combine. If the consistency seems spreadable, you’re good. If it’s too dry, add 1/4 cup of water; if it’s too runny, add an additional 1/4 cup of the dry base ingredient.
2)Grease 13×9 pan with baking spray or rub with 1 tablespoon oil, then spread mixture into pan.
3)Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.