Cooking Healthy – nutrition & fuel for your body

In the past few years the endurance nutrition industry has seen a massive increase in companies, products, and flavors. No two people have the same stomach or can handle the exact same flavors or consistencies and companies are starting to see this. These companies are growing their product lines to make room for each person’s needs and wants.

chefMost companies are seeing the desire for healthier ingredients, fewer preservatives, and a wider expansion of flavors, which is making it easier and easier to find the exact piece of nutrition for you. It never hurts though to try something new and know exactly what is going into each and every one of your energy bars. For those of you with a little baking experience or a desire to try something new, test out these chef-inspired bars that are sure to impress.

Napa Valley Chef Michael Chiarello’s Energy Bars As seen in the Wall Street Journal on 30 December 2014

Mr. Chiarello says he’s long been a fan of Clif Bar for fueling long bike rides. Being a chef, he was inspired to make his own version of an energy bar with a bit more texture from dried apricots, almonds and raisins. The result is slightly sweet and provides 28 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fat and 179 calories. He served them this year at the Bottega Gran Fondo.

Yield: 18 bars, 1 bar per serving

1 cup quick-cooking oats
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup dark raisins
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried apricots
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup golden molasses
1 egg
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup nonfat dry milk
¼ cup toasted wheat germ
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
½ cup milk (2% is preferable)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place oats and sliced almonds on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 10 minutes. Set aside. Turn the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Place raisins, apricots, oats, and almonds in a food processor. Pulse about 10 times until coarsely chopped. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter, brown sugar, molasses and egg until light and fluffy.
5. In a separate bowl, combine both flours, dry milk, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Add the milk and mix thoroughly. Add dried fruit mixture.
6. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Pour in the batter and spread evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, until set. Cool in the pan. Cut into 18 bars.
7. To store, wrap bars individually in plastic wrap. They will keep for about one week.

For longer storage, freeze for up to three months.

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