What's Cool In Road Cycling

Pocket Rocket: Home-made Energy Bars

‘Tis the time of the year for feasting galore and matching Ullrich mano-a-mano in the weight gain department. While we’re not going to give away Pez’s patented turkey stuffing recipe, we will pass along a terrific recipe for homemade nutty, chocolaty energy bars and one from a Pez-fan…


1 C rolled oats
1/2 C sesame seeds
1.5 C dried apricots, finely chopped
1 C blanched almonds, chopped
1/2 C nonfat dried milk
1/2 C roasted wheat germ or oat bran
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp butter
1/2 C corn syrup/honey (either one or a combo)
1/4 C peanut butter (give me crunchy or give me death!)
Chocolate chips

What do I do with the stuff?
Chop apricots and almonds.
Lightly toast sesame seeds, almonds, and wheat germ/oat bran separately in an oven.
Combine all ingredients above up to butter in a large mixing bowl.
Lightly heat and melt butter, corn syrup/honey, and peanut butter in pan until runny, stirring constantly.
Mix dry and wet ingredients until well-combined (it’s hot so don’t use your hands!)
Spread on a flat baking sheet lined with foil or wax paper. Press very flat.
While everything’s still warm, spread chocolate chips over the top.
With oven still warm from toasting, put whole thing into oven and heat for 5 min, stirring with a spatula to melt the chocolate chips into a top layer.
Place uncovered in fridge or freezer to harden.
Cut into separate portions (above makes ~30), wrap with foil, and keep in freezer until your ride.

Why not just buy energy bars?
OK, you can be butt-lazy and just go down to the local bike shop and buy a crate-load of energy bars. But the math is very simple – the above maybe costs $5 to make and gives me 30 bars! How much does 30 bars cost to buy in the stores?

Plus it’s an idiot-proof recipe even for those of us who don’t know a crescent wrench from a croissant. Believe me, the above is really simple (how simple? I made it the first time without the fire department showing up at the door, even with my two little boys helping me!), and provides lots of opportunity to make to your own taste. You can change pretty much anything in the recipe, such as adding chocolate chips to the mix and forgoing the chocolate layer (less messy when warm), or change the type of dried fruit or nuts.

Reader Recipe
Ira Birt from Prince Edward Island, Canada, saw the article and sent in his own family recipe. thanks Ira!

I’ve been using this recipe for the past 12 years or so. It’s a good alternative to buying energy bars- these are cheap, easy to make, don’t melt in hot weather, and actually taste pretty good. You can substitute just about any dried fruit for the figs. Using figs, they’re about 180 Kcal per ball (or so I’ve been told, I’m not a dietician).

24 dried figs

1/3 cup honey

4 Tbsp orange juice

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp canola oil

1/4 cup dark corn syrup

2 egg whites

1 cup oat bran (I use rolled oats)

Instructions: mix figs, honey, OJ and lemon juice in a food processor. Mix all other ingredients separately (except oat bran). Combine 2 mixtures, roll into golf ball sized balls (makes 20-24), coat with oat bran, and bake at 350 deg for 10-15 minutes. Store finished product in the refrigerator or freezer.

Ira Birt
PEI, Canada

Got a favourite home-made energy bar recipe! ‘Tis the season of giving, so send it along to [email protected] and we’ll share it here on Pez! Happy Holidays!

About Stephen:
Stephen Cheung is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and hasn’t suffered food poisoning at his own hands yet this century. Stephen’s company, Podium Performance, also provides elite sport science and training support to provincial and national-level athletes in a number of sports. He can be reached for comments or coaching inquiries at [email protected].

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