Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars {that Kids and Adults will love!}

Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars  - BoulderLocavore.com #glutenfree

I’m going broke buying granola bars.   ‘Stop buying them then’; it’s easier said than done.  My dilemma is that I have two gluten-free kids who are both athletes and have after school activities.  My daughter is on a high school swim team swimming two hour practices, mostly Butterfly at that, and she in particular needs fuel.  We need on-the-go snacks that are gluten-free, nutritious, and taste great.  A snack bar is perfect…if the perfect one can be found.

We’ve tried many, many gluten-free granola or snack bars.  Each seems to have their own little thing that makes them sub-optimum.  There is a weird flavor.  They are too hard (especially when the kids were both recently in braces, they were non-starters).  Though I don’t eat them as often, I don’t love an overabundance of oats.  Some with puffed cereal seem to be ALL puffed cereal and become stale easily.  AND they are expensive; $5-$6 for a box of 5 bars.   I’ve felt sure there is a way for me to make something comparable at home that fills the bill and saves some cash.

Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars  - BoulderLocavore.com #snacks

I consulted with the kids about what they love about the bars they like and what they don’t care for in those that miss the mark.  I personally like texture and good visual appeal.  I’m not as partial to the fully ground up fruits and nut bars; I like to see some color, some shapes and have some variable texture with great flavor.  The kids like seeds and nuts but prefer larger nuts or fruits to be ground so they aren’t stopped cold on a large, hard nut.  Pretty much any nuts or seeds were a go.  Love peanut butter (the elder in particular).

Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars  - BoulderLocavore.com

Here was my criteria:  I wanted them to be nutritious, packed with energy-supportive calories, and no fillers.  We add Chia and Hemp seeds to many gluten-free baked good to pump up the protein and fiber; those were a must.  I also don’t love the idea of bars sweetened with lots of processed sugar.  I knew I’d want dates to be one of the dried fruits as they provide dense natural sweetening.  I also like the idea of using honey (more quickly processed) and agave (doesn’t spike the glycemic index, meaning doesn’t give that rise in blood sugar that is followed with that drastic fall) for sweetening.  We always strive to eat organic and of course must eat gluten-free.

After making and sticking the bars in the fridge to cool overnight, I’m over the moon this morning.  My first thought was I love the look of them.  I love seeing full seeds in different sizes and colors.  The texture is soft so no one’s teeth are in jeopardy.  The flavor of peanut butter and honey are prominent which I also love.  The kid’s reaction?  They loved them.  They liked the softer bite, the texture and flavors.  I’ve wrapped them up in wax paper and they are in the lunchboxes for school.

Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars  - BoulderLocavore.com  #glutenfree

Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: Aproximately 24-4 1/2 inch long 1 inch wide bars

These easy to make energy bars are chock full of healthy nuts, seeds and energy powerhouses like Chia seeds and Hemp seeds. All the ingredients are thoughtfully chosen to offer a clean, delicious snack bar both kids and adults will love.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Peanut Butter (I use ground nut only natural peanut butter with nothing else added)
  • ¼ cup Wildflower Honey
  • ½ cup Agave Nectar
  • 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup Raw Almonds, chopped in a food processor or chopper
  • 3 tablespoons Chia Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Hemp Hulls
  • 2 tablespoons Raw Pumpkin Seeds (shelled)
  • 2 tablespoons Raw Sunflower hulls
  • 3 tablespoons Roasted, Salted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ cup dried Dates, chopped in a food processor or chopper
  • ¼ cup dried Cranberries, sweetened (preferably with juice)
  • ¼ cup dried Cherries, depending on your needs) sweetened
  • 4 cup Puffed Brown Rice Cereal (gluten-free or regular

Instructions

  1. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almonds, all the seeds, dried fruits and the rice cereal. Toss with hands to fully combine.
  3. In a large pot (large enough to hold all the ingredients with room to mix them together) combine the honey, agave nectar and peanut butter on medium low heat. Stir frequently until the peanut butter (and honey if semi-solid) melt and begin to bubble; approximately 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in the salt and vanilla.
  4. Pour the cereal-nut-fruit mixture into the saucepan and mix together to ensure the dry mixture is all coated with the wet ingredients.
  5. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread it evenly around the pan. With the back of a mixing spoon, press the mixture down to compress it and flatten the top. Place wax paper on the top of the bars and place in the refrigerator until fully set (approximately 2 hours).
  6. Slice and keep refrigerated in and air tight container or freeze.

Notes

Adapted from About.com

http://boulderlocavore.com/2014/01/supersonic-peanut-butter-energy-bars-that-kids-and-adults-will-love.html

Comments

    • says

      Ha Jaime! I’d love that to be my modus operandi but truly it feels to be such a waste to spend so much on these to-go snacks and be unsure of the nutritive value or not absolutely love them (or have filling replaced from their consistency!). I like ‘easy’ too!

  1. says

    I am posting an excellent granola bar recipe this month. I have been making the recipe every week since Christmas, but for a change of pace, I am going to give these a shot. Great looking recipe!

  2. says

    You should be over the moon. These look great and perfect for any butterfly swimmer. My kids both swam, but not the fly! These would be perfect to send to my daughter. She always needs healthy snacks loathes buying them. And if she doesn’t eat, she gets very crabby!

    • says

      I think we all get a little crabby when we are over hungry, just as adults we forget we are just like little kids in that way only larger in size! If your kids swam you understand the need to ply them with calories! My daughter’s high school team is really into the nutrition aspect of the sport and have food for them as soon as they get out of the pool; chocolate milk, nuts, jelly beans which all sounded funky to me until I read the study about the carbohydrate presentation on chocolate milk being the right type for post exercise assimilation and recovery…..’who knew?!’ I can relate to your daughter’s loathing I felt like I was spending hundreds on granola bars, especially those gluten-free become really pricey. I’m hopeful of iterations on this being the ticket in our household as they are so quick and simple to make!

  3. says

    Those look amazing! I love granola bars!! I eat them all the time. They are great fuel and they keep my going. Will definitely give these a try!!

    • says

      I agree Meeling. Especially with the chia and hemp superfood seeds. I’m sure adding all the seeds and nuts must be better than bars with fillers. Can’t wait to make more!

  4. says

    This is exactly what I need to tide me over between lunch and dinner while I’m at work so I don’t go catatonic at 2pm sharp! Love that these are all natural and so full of health benefits. They look so tasty and perfect. Must make a big batch this weekend!

    • says

      Isn’t that right Julia? I’ll embarrassingly admit when I was working full time in high tech I would crash around 3:30 and drink a Diet Coke and eat M&M’s. Nice, right? These are so much better and with the agave that helps stabilize the blood sugar level they prevent that crazy spike and fall later.

    • says

      It’s hard to decide what I like best about these Hannah but I think it may be the texture. It took us a week or so to work through them and they never got hard or stiff. They stay together nicely but are still soft with no worry you’ll pull or crack a filling on something too hard!

  5. Elizabeth says

    How sweet are they? I always find the homemade ones too sweet. Even my kids think so. There’s some magic binder in processed granola bars that isn’t sickly sweet.

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth. I’m not quite sure how to answer you as sweetness is such an individual preference. I do not find these overly sweet, nor did my kids. One reason I used honey and agave was the type of sweetness they convey. I find them to be more flavorful (honey especially) and full bodied over traditional sugar as well as have more health benefits. The trick is balancing the binding as you saw with the degree of sweetness you prefer I think. For us these are perfect and I’m not a big bar eater.

    • says

      I must agree Laura and one batch lasts the same time as several boxes so are definitely most cost effective to make. I like the versatility to add exactly what I want in them too!

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