I eat a lot of bars. They’re easy to pack for climbing days, and I’ll bring a couple to the gym for longer workouts. While this makes sense for convenience, the plastic packaging begins to add up. Yet making my own bars seemed like an annoying undertaking. Turns out I’m kind of lazy, hence the whole grab-and-go snack habit. Though I’ll continue to buy pre-made snacks, I did manage to create an easy, quick, and energy-packed alternative to help reduce plastic waste.
These bars require seven common ingredients and one pot. One pot! All the ingredients can be bought in bulk at your health food store, offering another way to reduce waste. (I wash my plastic bags out with hot water and soap and reuse them.) To wrap them, I use beeswax paper wraps. My friend turned me on to this plastic bag and wrap alternative. They are easy to clean, and though an initial investment, (usually around $20 for a pack of three), they offer a great way to cover leftovers, wrap sandwiches, preserve cheese…the list goes on.
I put currants in the recipe below, but raisins or any other dried, small fruit will do. Make sure to buy the large shreds of coconut, as that texture helps bind the ingredients together. I intend to experiment with chopped nuts and perhaps some spices, but for now the recipe remains simple and ready for your own experiments.
Homemade Energy Bars
What You’ll Need
2 C Large coconut flakes
1/2 C Currants (or raisins, blueberries, cranberries, etc.)
1/2 C Almond butter
1/4 C Honey
1 T Coconut oil
1 t Vanilla
1/2 t Salt
What You’ll Do
1. In a stainless steel pot, (or any pot without teflon on the bottom), melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the almond butter, honey, and vanilla. Stir with a metal spoon until combined; a little bubbling is okay, but avoid overheating or the mixture will stick to the pot.
2. Once combined, take the pot off the stove and stir in the coconut shreds, currants, and salt.
3. Line a 9X9 inch pan with baking paper. Press the mixture into the pan; I use washed hands to do this, as it’s easiest. Smooth the mixture until it is flat and even and place it in the fridge for about an hour.
4. Once hardened, cut the mixture into squares with a sharp knife. You can keep it out of the fridge, covered, and wrap the bars individually on a need basis.
Delicious, easy, and relatively environmentally-friendly. Enjoy—and happy adventuring!