5 homemade energy bar recipes without sugar

We explain the benefits of homemade energy bars, why do we recommend them before training, and 5 energy bar recipes to prepare at home.

19.03.2021

5 homemade energy bar recipes without sugar

Energy bars are convenient, portable and fast sources of energy, ideal to be taken before running, hiking, cycling or any other high-energy training. In this article we explain why they are a convenient part of a diet and how to make a healthy alternatives at home.

If you need extra energy before workout

Think of the human body as a car; right before you go for a long road trip you take it to the gas station to make sure it has enough fuel to endure the road. It is the same with the body. Eating the proper foods before a high intensity workout session will provide the body with the right nutrients to keep it going, which is specially needed for endurance sports that require high amounts of energy.

Energy bars are often fortified with fibres, vitamins and minerals and combine different macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) in different ratios according to their purpose; hence not every energy bar is the same. But don’t forget that in the fitness world energy is a synonym of calories, meaning that it provides calories so they should be taken into account when working on your diet plan and your overall calorie intake.

Carbs help maximize glycogen, the body’s preferred source of fuel and enabler of muscle performance, making carbs ideal for short-interval high-intensity exercises. Fats help providing fuel to the body for exercise performed in longer periods of time and moderate intensity; like endurance sports, for example. Proteins improve muscle protein synthesis and support recovery for the damaged tissue during workout.

The balance of these three macronutrients is the main difference between energy bars and protein bars. Energy bars are mostly focused on carbohydrates and fats in order to provide the body with energy to be used during the workout, while protein bars aim at supporting muscle recovery and help keeping you fuller for a longer period of time, often consumed as a snack to add protein to the diet or after a workout. Energy bars are not recommended on resting days (days without training) as they will add extra calories that will not be burned with exercise.

WHAT ARE THE BEST INGREDIENTS FOR ENERGY BARS?

What are the best ingredients for energy bars?

  • Nuts: Among nuts, some of the best alternatives are peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts. Peanuts are rich in protein and fats; they also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc as well as different vitamins. Almonds contain a lot of polyunsaturated fats, and it is an important source of Omega-6, manganese, copper, magnesium, vitamin E and vitamin B2. Brazil nuts have a high content of polyunsaturated fats, particularly Omega-6 and are an excellent selenium source. Hazelnuts have an excellent fat content, which mostly consists of Omega-6. Also an excellent source of vitamin E, vitamin B1, copper and manganese.

  • Dried fruits: Fruits are an important element of a health-conscious diet. They are not only natural vitamin sources, but they are also very rich in fibre, magnesium, iron, calcium and other minerals. Dried fruits are a quick source of simple carbohydrates that are easily digestible for the body to use them as energy. A handful of dried berries, apricots, fig or pineapples are in great pre-workout snack.

  • Dates: These are naturally high in sugar, which is something that would scare most people, but they actually provide slow-releasing carbs, making them a steady source of energy throughout the workout. 100g of dates contain 282 calories, 75g of carbohydrates and 8g of fibres.

  • Oats: They are usually consumed for breakfast, but oats are also an ideal ingredient for many daily snacks. They are a plant-based source of protein, high in fibre and come packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

  • Chia seeds: These are recognized as a modern superfood as they are a definite nutritional bomb. They are very similar to flaxseeds as they are both very high in fibre and omega-3 fats. They also contain antioxidants and help lowering blood sugar.

  • Peanut or Almond butter: Most people don’t know that, in order to be considered peanut butter, it needs to contain at least 90% peanuts. Meaning it is a great way to rip off the benefits of peanuts or almonds mentioned previously. Peanut and almond butter are fairly balanced supplies of proteins, fats and carbohydrates and a powerful source of energy before a workout.

Healthy and quick energy bar recipes you must try

Peanut Butter Biscuits / Bars

  • Preparation: Mix all the ingredients until you have a uniform dough, then separate it in the shape of biscuits, bars or any shape your prefer. Put the biscuits in a pre-heated oven at 170 °C, and let them baking for 15 minutes. Take out, let them cool down and enjoy!

Chia seed bar - No bake (By Daily Burn)

  • Ingredients:

    • For the raspberry chia jam:

      • 1 cup raspberries

      • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

      • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

      • 1 teaspoon honey

  • For the bars:

    • 1 cup rolled oats

    • 1 ¼ pitted dates

    • 1 cup walnuts

    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • Preparation: Mix the jam ingredients in a food processor and leave to thicken for 15 minutes. Grindr the oats in the (cleaned) processor to get a flour texture, then add the walnuts, the vanilla extract and the salt. With the processor running, add the dates one by one until the texture is uniform. Spread the ¾ of the bar dough on a tray and please evenly the jam on top. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ of the bar mixture and cover, then leave in the fridge for an hour before cutting into bars or any preferred shape.

 CHOCOLATE, CASHEW AND ALMOND BARS

Chocolate, cashew and almond bars (By Seasaltwithfood)

  • Ingredients:

    • 300 g pitted and chopped dates

    • 280 g cashews

    • 60 g peeled almonds

    • 75 g cocoa powder

    • 40 g unsweetened shredded coconut

    • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

    • 3 tablespoons water

    • A pinch of sea salt

  • Preparation: Mix the dates, cashews, almonds, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor until the texture is homogenous. Then add the coconut and the vanilla extract and mix slowly, adding a bit of water until it is moist dough. Spread the mix evenly on a tray over baking paper and let chill for an hour before cutting into bars. For a higher protein content, add 50g Iso Whey Zero to the initial mix.

COCOA AND HAZELNUT CREAM LINZER COOKIES

Cocoa and hazelnut cream linzer cookies (By @fitten_pozitivan)

  • Ingredients:

    • 215 g of oats

    • 215 g of rice flour

    • 1 serving of Vanilla or Cinnamon Vegan Protein

    • 250 g of coconut butter

    • 60 g of coconut sugar

    • 1 egg

    • 2 tablespoons water

    • Extra: BioTechUSA’s Protein Cream

  • Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a food processor, except for the Protein Cream. When the dough has come together, stretch it on a floured surface and spread it evenly until it is approx. 0.5 cm thick. Cut in the desired shapes, and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Then bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. Pair up two cookies by spreading Protein Cream in between to glue them together.

Cranberry muesli bars

  • Ingredients:

    • 120 g oats

    • 100 g of dried fruit (we’re using cranberries)

    • 4 teaspoons honey

    • 1 mushed banana

    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

    • Little vanilla aroma

    • 30 g walnut kernels

    • 3 g sesame seeds

  • Preparation: Smash the nuts and toast the seeds separately, also toast the oats for about 2 minutes (it doesn’t need to turn brown). Mix them all in a bowl, cut the fruit together, mix it, drizzle with the honey and the mushed banana. Then add lemon juice and vanilla aroma and mix it all up. Spread the mix over a baking tray covered in parchment paper and flatten it until it is about 1,5 cm thick. Bake for about 30 minutes at 175 degrees, let cool down and pack in a sealed box.

You can increase the protein content of any of these recipes by adding protein powder, an excellent alternative is 100% Pure Whey unflavoured, which won’t change the taste of your recipe as it contains no aroma.

And if you don't have time to cook or cooking is not your thing, we recommend the selection of BioTechUSA bars, which includes Nuts & Fruits, Nuts & Honey, Oats & Fruits y Oats & Nuts.

German Henao


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