I like these all-natural energy bars because they only contain a few easy-to-find ingredients and allow you to get protein and a burst of simple sugar while also satisfying a chocolate craving. They’re great to have during endurance training or when setting off on a hike or bike ride. The recipe below calls for cocoa but use carob powder instead if you are sensitive to the effects of the caffeine or theobromine found in cocoa.
- 1 cup local, raw honey
- 1 cup organic peanut butter (or mix half cup peanut butter and half cup almond butter)
- 1 cup cocoa
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup sesame seeds
In a saucepan, heat the honey over low heat until warm. Slowly stir in the nut butter until it is mixable. Remove from heat and add the cocoa and seeds. You can substitute with pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, etc. or add some additional nuts but just be mindful you don’t put in too many seeds/nuts or use something that would affect the cohesiveness. For example, use slivered nuts instead of big whole nuts. I have accidentally gone a bit nut crazy at times and they were sort of crumbly. Feel free to add other dried fruits like blueberries, cherries, cranberries or goji berries.
Spread mixture in to an oiled (I use coconut) 8 x 8 inch pan. Dust with coarsely ground sea salt and cinnamon and allow to cool in the fridge for a few hours. They will keep in there for about a month and can be frozen indefinitely.
Cut in to squares of 25 or 16 depending on the size you prefer.
I like the health benefits of the almond butter but I think they make them a bit more gooey, especially if using the freshly ground stuff. You may want to initially try them with just peanut butter if you eat peanuts.
After the first night in the fridge, I like to remove the squares and individually wrap them in cling wrap and put half in the freezer. They make great on-the-go breakfasts in a pinch and Chief loves bringing them to golf. I also think they would make a great snack for a child’s sports match when feeding the team. If primarily serving these to kids, it might be a good idea to use the carob powder I mentioned earlier (because of the caffeine factor). Carob powder is not quite as chocolately tasting but has a similar look and texture to cocoa. It can be found in the baking aisle of a natural grocer.