GUEST BLOG – Ultimate Energy Bar Formula – The No Meat Athlete

I have been following Matt Frazier’s blog, the No Meat Athlete for some time now.  Matt is a running fanatic who is fueled exclusively by plants, thus the title, No Meat Athlete.  Matt ran his first marathon on 2002, but it wasn’t until he became a vegetarian that he qualified for the Boston Marathon.  He has since moved on to ultrarunning…we are talking 50K, 50 miles, and beyond (all fueled by a plant-based diet)!!!  If that is not inspirational, then I don’t know what is. Matt has great tips on his site for running and athletics in general as well as product reviews and recipes (He also sells really cute shirts).  Today Matt has graciously agreed to share his go to formula for energy bars.  We have all bought them, but did any of you realize how easy (and how much less expensive) they are to make at home?  Matt’s sister-in-law came-up with the winning formula.  What’s great about using a formula versus a recipe is how easy it is to customize it to each person’s taste…some people would go gaga for a chocolate peanut butter energy bar and other people would prefer a cranberry walnut bar…to each their own. Today’s Guest Blog will not disappoint.

The Ultimate Energy Bar Formula

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-pound can of beans, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked beans)
  • ½ cup binder
  • ¼ cup sweetener
  • ¼ cup soft sweet fruit
  • 1 teaspoon of extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of dry spice (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats (you can toast them if you want but I can’t tell the difference)
  • 1 cup dry base ingredient
  • 1 cup stir-ins

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. Grease 13×9 pan with baking spray or rub with 1 tablespoon oil, then spread mixture into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Note: You’ll have the most success if you use unsalted, unsweetened versions of the ingredients, and control the sweetness and saltiness through the sweetener and added salt.

Recommended beans

  • White beans
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Adzuki beans

Recommended binders

  • Almond butter
  • Peanut butter
  • ¼ cup of ground flax seed mixed with ¼ cup water
  • Pureed pumpkin
  • Mashed avocado

Recommended sweeteners

  • Maple syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Agave nectar
  • Honey (if you’re not vegan)

Recommended soft, sweet fruit

  • Applesauce
  • Mashed banana (about half of one)
  • Chopped dates (remove the pits!)
  • Crushed pineapple

Recommended optional extracts

  • Vanilla
  • Almond
  • Lemon
  • Coconut
  • Coffee

Recommended dry spices

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  •  Instant coffee

*For stronger spices like nutmeg and cardamom, use just a ¼-½ teaspoon and combine with less intense spices like cinnamon. Recommended dry base ingredient (a combination is usually best)

  • Protein powder (we’re fans of hemp, rice, and pea protein)
  • Brown rice flour
  • Spelt flour
  • Cocoa (max ½ cup)
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Buckwheat flour

Recommended stir-ins

  • Shredded coconut
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Dried apricots
  • Chopped nuts
  • Cacao nibs
  • Dry cereal
  • Crushed pretzels
  • Chocolate chips

So that’s the basic formula! To help get you started, here are three variations Christine came up with.  For each of them, follow the same procedure from above for mixing and baking.

Example #1: chocolate black bean happy bars

  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1.5 cups)
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup agave
  • ¼ cup mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • 1/2 cup cocoa + ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup shredded coconut + ½ cup raisins

Example #2: cranberry-pistachio protein bars

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup binder: ¼ cup of ground flax seed with ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup pistachios + ½ cup dried cranberries

Example #3: maple pumpkin health bars

  • 1 can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin
  • ½ cup maple syrup (Christine used more maple syrup in place of the sweet fruit here, for more maple flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup raisin bran cereal

So there you go, three examples to get you started.  But really, the point is for you to create your own, using the basic formula as the framework.  So I hope you’ll do that, and let us know what you come up with! Photo courtesy of the No Meat Athlete. Click here to read the original post.

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10 Comments

Filed under Beans/Legumes, Breakfast, Dessert, Energy Bars, Gluten Free, Guest Blog, Kid Friendly, Nuts, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

10 responses to “GUEST BLOG – Ultimate Energy Bar Formula – The No Meat Athlete

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve always been interested in creating my own energy bars, but I’ve always kind of been at a loss of what to put in them.

  2. I like that blog, too. Cool formula for energy bars. It allows for tons of variations. I bet my kids would be interested in trying to make up their own using those guidelines.

  3. Pingback: NO MEAT ATHLETE SHIRTS | VEGGIE GRETTIE

  4. Pingback: Use Energy Strength To Become The Stronger Sex

  5. KrIsten

    Oh my goodness, these are great! My favorite energy bar to date! I try to make a batch every week or two. Thank you so much for the post! It’s perfect for my gluten-dairy-cane sugar-free self!

  6. i have an allergy to oats. is there something else that can be used instead of oats?

  7. Pingback: Pumpkin Energy Bar

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