When doing any kind of long-distance training for a race, it’s important to choose a snack that gives you the right balance of carbohydrates and protein so that you slowly burn off the energy from the snack, thus allowing you to go further.
Energy bars are an easy and convenient way to do this. There are a lot of energy bars on the shelves of your local market or health food store (check out this great article at Cooking Light for a list of their top 8 store-bought energy bars), but it’s just as easy to make your own.
After doing some searches for something natural, quick to make, and tasty, I found and tested this recipe from Runner’s World for “Coconut Almond Bars”. They take less than 30 minutes with prep and baking time and they are delicious!
Runner’s World Coconut Almond Bars
2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned)
1/2 cup whole cashews
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels (you can find these in the nut aisle)
1/2 cup chopped dates (you can find these in the same aisle as the raisins)
1 cup flaked or shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (it’s best to use a mass-produced natural creamy like Jiff Natural)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (oats, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, dates, coconut). Set aside.
In a medium microwavable bowl, stir together the peanut butter and honey. Microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the peanut butter and honey can be stirred together. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is coated evenly.
On a baking sheet, press the mixture into a “rectangle” (I put quotes because mine was a very loose interpretation of a rectangle) that’s about one inch high.
Place baking sheet in oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Let the bars fully cool and then cut into 12-24 bars. (The calories range from 200 per bar for 24 bars to 400 per bar for 12 bars.)
For a great video tutorial of this recipe, visit the Runners World site here.
Do you have a favorite snack or recipe that helps get you through training? It’s always great to have new ideas on fueling up for a race, so please share in the comments below.