Saturday, September 5, 2015

Home-made energy bars - small bars packed with big energy

Yum

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Last week I connected with an old friend, we spoke to each other after a long time. Time just melted away, it felt that we had never lost touch. Some relationships are effortless, it’s a blessing to have such a friend in your life. I think a lot of it has to do with expectation - some people just give you the time and space, you don’t feel the pressure of keeping up the relationship. It is done out of pleasure not pressure. We chatted for almost two hours on the phone and that is a lot for me as am not much of a phone person. Talking about school days brought back so many memories…there was no sport that we were not part of.  We would be out on the tracks preparing for a race in 40C.

One year I remember my dad was the chief-guest for the sports event at school. I felt like a celebrity, telling everyone he was my dad. Even though dad did not voice his appreciation as much, I could see his pride for me in his eyes. I recollect praying  secretly that he kept his speech to the school very short as everyone hated long speeches.

I don’t think we had sports drink or energy bars those days - we just had water and some snacks. The coach had a first-aid kit and some glucose powder, which was given only if you felt sick. I  wonder  how we managed.  A few weeks back teen told me she is joining tennis, I was surprised (she’s not crazy about sports). I loaded her tennis bag with sports drinks energy bars and what have you. And still that was not good enough for me so I made these energy bars for her….Don’t give me that look, ok ! go ahead judge me. I think I should kick myself for not having tried this earlier. Loved the taste and the ingredient list - healthy.

It’s a great snack for post-workout.  Guilt free too. You can make it in large quantities and probably refrigerate them.
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3 cups cheerios
1 cup nuts of your choice : I used almond, walnuts & pistachio
3 tbsp Nutella
3 tbsp Matcha ground tea
2 scoops protein powder of your choice (optional)
2 tbsp chai seeds roasted
2 cups dates
3 cups water
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
additional sugar optional - I added 2 tbsp organic sugar

Powder the  cheerios coarsely - it will reduce to a little less than 2 cups.

Chop the nuts - it will add unto around 1 and 1/2 cups

Roast chai seeds and let it cool.

Mix all the dry ingredients and add the Nutella and mix with your hands.

Ground the dates into fine paste with water.

In a saucepan heat the dates when it comes to boil, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and keep adding the dry ingredients 1/2 cup at a time, making sure it is mixing well with the puree dates. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, add the rest of the coconut oil and the vanilla extract, keep stirring at medium-low flame, till the mixture starts  to form a ball. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer to a square pan about 12inch in size, lined with parchment and spread the mix with a spatula.  Let it cool for an hour and refrigerate for another hour, before you cut it.

Wrap it in parchment so it is easy to carry on the go.

If you think your bars are not that well formed, add another quarter cup of crushed cheerios and reheat.


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