Most commercial “energy bars” are nutritionally unbalanced and contain unhealthful ingredients, such as high-glycemic sugars, highly processed proteins and synthetic chemical vitamins. Just read the labels. Anyone concerned with health avoids things like maltodextrin, soy protein isolate, ascorbic acid, and any other ingredient that does not sound like food.
Maltrodextrin is a high-glycemic sugar. Soy protein isolate contains MSG from processing. Ascorbic acid is synthetic vitamin C. And the list goes on . . .
Why not make your own energy bars from real food? Here’s an easy, quick recipe for a fresh four-ingredient bar that should provide a couple day’s snacking (or less if you are really hungry). This will make four medium-sized bars. Amounts are approximate and may vary due to consistency of the ingredients. Also, you may wish to adjust measurements to better suit your taste and needs.
In a shallow bowl or plate, combine:
6 tbs almond butter
2-3 tbs honey
2 tbs raw sesame seeds.
2 tbs whey protein powder (whey protein concentrate, not isolate)
Mix these ingredients together until the resulting mixture does not stick to the spoon, then spread it out flat (about a half inch thick) and shape into a rectangle, circle or whatever shape you like.
Sprinkle more sesame seeds over the top to coat, then press the seeds into the top with the back of the spoon. Flip the bars and repeat on the back side.
Refrigerate until firm, then cut into squares or bars.
By the way, sesame seeds contain a powerful phytonutrient called sesamin that can help prevent your body from converting polyunsaturated fats to saturated fat, and thus can help reduce chronic inflammation.
Whey protein contains cysteine, which the body uses to produce glutathione, its most powerful antioxidant.
So by making your own energy bars, you’re not only avoiding health-compromising ingredients, you’re getting real health-promoting foods.