Question:

I’d like to make my own ‘breakfast bar’ to eat in the morning on the car-ride to the gym to play racquetball. Sweet is OK, but most of the manufactured ones have chocolate and that is a little hard to swallow at 5am. Doc says I need to watch/lower my carb intake so I need to be conscious of that too. Even purchasing them at the wholesale club is costly, so would love to be able to make my own. Any proven recipes you can share?

– Jerrey S. Fell

Answer:

While I’ve only made my own bar once, I’d rely on reviews for taste and acceptability. Nutritionally, it sounds like you’d like a meal replacement vs. an energy bar or protein bar. For the base sweet component, mashed bananas are easiest, but using ground dates and/or dried coconut also makes for a sturdy bar. Oats or puffed rice are good starches to use for bulk without a pasty texture that flour would give. A nut butter or protein powder will balance out the carbohydrates. Buying mainstream ingredients in bulk then properly storing the remainder will keep your costs down. Generally, store bought bars cost $1 per ounce.

Here’s a great option without chocolate:

In a food processor combine 1 C nuts, 1 C shredded coconut, ½ C wheat germ, and 2 ripe bananas. Transfer to bowl and mix in 1 C whole wheat flour, 1 C oats, 1 C vanilla Greek yogurt, 2 beaten eggs, tsp. cinnamon and tsp. baking soda. Spread evenly in greased rectangular baking pan. Bake in 350o F oven for 20 minutes or until light golden brown; cut into 12 bars. Let cool completely before removing from pan. Each 227 Calories, 10.5 gm Fat , 27 gm Carb, 9 gm Protein.

For more of a granola flavor without baking:

Blend 1 C peanut butter, 1/2 C honey with mixer until mixed thoroughly. Adding a little at a time, mix in 1/2 C dry powdered milk and 1/3 C vanilla soy protein powder. Stir in 2 C puffed rice, 1/3 C finely diced dried fruit and 1/3 C finely diced nuts. If dough is too sticky, add more powdered milk. Press firmly into a wax paper lined pan until flat, about a half inch thick. Cool in fridge until solid and slice into 12 bars. Each 239 Calories, 13 gm Fat, 25 gm Carb, 9.5 gm Protein. Use a low carb protein powder to reduce carbohydrates.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

 

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