Fuel your ride as nature intended

Nothing beats an energy bar when fatigue starts to take its toll and the legs turn to lead. Too bad, then, that so many big-name products are little more than overpriced sugar bombs bulked out with cheap, processed fillers and with an ingredients label that reads more like a pharmacy’s stock list than anything resembling real food.

The solution? Make your own. A homemade energy bar wins on all counts: it’s tastier, healthier, fresher and a whole lot cheaper. Forget those overhyped fructose/glucose ratios, dried fruit and honey will provide all the sugar your muscles need, while nothing beats plain old oats for a sustained energy release.

>>> Why is fitness such a taboo subject in mountain biking?

Add nuts and seeds for crunchiness, bind the mix with an egg or two for added protein and you’ve got all bases covered… if you can make them last until your ride, that is.

Flapjack-style mega seeds monster bar

flapjack

These bars are the nuts

A flapjack-style energy bar will provide you with a perfect mix of long and short chain carbohydrates to give you a sustained energy boost. Here’s our very own kitchen creation:

Ingredients  

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 100g honey
  • 200g oats
  • 150g finely chopped dates
  • 50g crushed, toasted almonds
  • 45g cranberries
  • 40g pumpkin seeds
  • 25g flax seeds  

Method  

  1. Melt the oil and honey together in a saucepan.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix together thoroughly.
  3. Transfer mixture to an 8in lined baking tray and press down until firm.
  4. Transfer to preheated oven and bake at 150°C for 25 minutes.
  5. Let the mix cool then cut into slices.

Raw Power

Raw energy bar

For the ultimate in simplicity, make a raw energy bar using this formula: 1/3 dates (Medjool dates work best), 1/3 dried fruit, 1/3 nuts/seeds. Mix thoroughly in a food processor, press firmly into a baking tray, refrigerate and cut into slices.

The key ingredients

Almonds

almonds

Rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, and also contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Coconut Oil

coconut-oil copy

Contains medium chain fats that are rapidly converted into energy, much like carbs.

Cranberries

cranberry

 

Contain anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and vitamin C so are ideal for offsetting exercise-induced muscle damage.

Dates

dates

Their stickiness helps bind the other ingredients while their simple sugars give you an immediate performance boost.

Flax Seeds

flax

Flax seeds are a great source of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which protects blood vessels from inflammatory damage.

Honey

glass jar of honey and stick isolated on white

Honey has a lower glycaemic index than refined sugar, meaning it raises blood glucose more slowly making it perfect for an energy bar.

Oats

There’s a reason porridge is a classic cycling breakfast: oats are the perfect slow-release fuel
for your ride.

Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin

High zinc content is good news for avoiding infections after a hard ride as this mineral is crucial to healthy immune function.

  • Shelby Robert Alexander

    if you have paper use that otherwise oil or butter is fine, i made these but changed recipe used rape seed oil instead as coconut oil v expensive

  • Simon Kelly

    What do you line the baking tray with? Greaseproof paper or margarine?