When my husband and I decided to start training for our first marathon, I knew it would benefit us to start eating “like runners.” Sure, we had always eaten healthy…but I knew that serious runners ate different. I wanted to learn about how to eat carbs that would really help us, instead of just loading up on pasta. I wanted to learn to not enjoy my empty-calorie-filled candies as much. I wanted to learn to not fear good fats.
So, I hit Amazon. The cookbook I found has literally changed the way that we have trained: The Runner’s World Cookbook.
I spent days scouring the pages, and started carefully planning our meals. However, it wasn’t just our meals that were important…it was also our snacks. I came across a recipe for energy bars that was so perfect and easy, I made it constantly. In fact, I make this recipe so much that we almost get sick of it! Almost 😉
I needed new flavors, but the recipe was such a perfect base. I started experimenting, and this is one of the best variations I have come up with so far…
mandarin orange ginger energy bars
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (or 1 package of coconut chips from Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 4 oz candied ginger (Trader Joe’s)
- 5 oz dried mandarin oranges (Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 16 oz organic agave nectar
- 1 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- Cooking spray
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the oats, coconut, almonds, cashews, ginger, oranges, and sunflower seeds into a mixing bowl (you can mix by hand or with a stand mixer).
3. Combine the agave, peanut butter, and vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl.
4. Warm the agave mixture in the microwave for about 1 minute.
5. Add the agave mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well-blended.
6. Pour the mixture into a 9″ x 13″ pan that has been sprayed with the cooking spray. Other size pans will work, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.
7. Bake until the edges of the bars are golden brown (17-19 minutes). It’s fine if the bars appear undone in the middle, they’ll continue to cook after you take them out. Do not over-bake your bars!
8. Wait until the bars cool, then cut.
This recipe should make about 24 bars. They are great for providing you with sustained energy, with: 298 calories, 7.2 grams of protein, and 37 grams of carbs.
The benefits of these bars include:
- 7+ grams of protein
- Under 300 calories (good, healthy calories!) when cut into 24 bars
- Natural sweetness from agave and dried mandarin oranges
- A natural digestive aid/tummy soother from candied ginger
These bars are sweet, spicy, and a perfect quick breakfast or snack!