After an early Saturday morning of errands and working out at the gym (and it was a good elliptical machine and weight workout routine), I had an uneventful yet productive afternoon at home checking many other to-do’s off my list. And yet, now at 9:30 in the evening I still feel like I have so many things that I didn’t have time to get to–do you ever feel like you just are never able to reach the bottom of your lists? I needed a break from cleaning, folding laundry and browsing wedding registries for the multitude of weddings I’m attending this year. So I flipped through my cookbook to find a new “athlete” recipe to test my baker’s hand. This recipe is a win in my book. These energy bars are delicious and fairly healthy. And in honor of Earth Day, which was yesterday, making these did not require a drive to the store to buy the ingredients or wasteful packaging that would come with a store-bought snack. I had all the items I needed right in my very own kitchen and the best part is that I know exactly what was put into the bars. As the author of the recipe states, these bars will help you “power up for fast races, or enjoy as a post-workout recovery treat!” I am looking forward to trying them when my summer marathon training gears up.
Mrs. Jackson’s Famous Natural Energy Bars
(The Runner’s Cookbook compiled by Alison Wade; recipe recommended by Victoria Jackson, the 2006 NCAA 10,000m champion for Arizona State. These bars are her mother’s recipe.)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 oz. container vanilla or fruit-flavored lowfat yogurt (I used vanilla)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or substitute with applesauce (I used applesauce)
2 tbsp. skim milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups uncooked oats (either quick or old-fashioned) 1 cup diced mixed fruit, raisins, or cranberries (I used dried apricots and blueberry and pomegranate-infused cranberries) 1/2 cup mixed nuts (I used slivered almonds) 2 tbsp. flaxseed (optional, but I used)
1 tsp. ginger (optional, but I used)
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine both sugars, yogurt, beaten egg whites, oil/applesauce, milk, and vanilla extract; mix well.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, flaxseed, and ginger; mix well.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the yogurt mixture in the large bowl; mix well.
4. Stir in oats, dried fruit, and mixed nuts. Spread the dough onto the bottom of an ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan.
5. Bake for 25 to 32 minutes, or until the bars are light brown and a knife placed in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars; makes two dozen.