When at his office, my husband used to survive on microwave popcorn and pots and pots of coffee; not the healthiest thing in the world. For a while I packed him a lunch but most of the time it came back uneaten. I’ve fitted him out with nuts and dried fruit only to have him complain of gas. (Believe me, this is an occupational no-no! Who wants to spend an hour talking about his problems shut up in an office with a gaseous man?) He really likes Odwalla Bars and Clif Bars but in order to eat them regularly they’d need a budget line item of their own. So I experimented with ingredients and came up with these moist and tasty bars.
Homemade Energy Bars
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
2 2/3 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup dried mango, chopped
1/2 cup slivered raw almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix honey, peanut butter, vanilla, and eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients. Stir this mixture into the peanut butter mixture to make a uniform dough. Press it into the pan.
4. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cut into bars while still warm but allow to cool completely in the pan. Wrap each bar individually and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.
I used apricots and mangos because that’s what my husband requested, and almonds because I had some left over from making granola. Feel free to substitute other fruits and nuts or add chocolate chips, and leave me a comment about what you came up with.