I am participating in a 60 day STRICT paleo challenge at CrossFit. There's a lot more to it than just the food, but for the purpose of this post, "just the facts, ma'am." So, with a marathon looming ahead, I was told that my Gu's would count as a "cheat meal," which would cost me 10 points. OH, HECK NO! If I'm going to have a cheat meal, it is going to be something sinfully scrumptious, not stinkin' Gu. Enough said.
So a friend suggested that I try homemade energy bars instead. She had a recipe (100% paleo!) that she was quite fond of, so I gave it a whirl. The original recipe can be found here.
Chasen and I decided have a go of it, so he sped off to the store to get all, whopping three ingredients:
- 1 cups almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup dates
That's all, folks. Really. How simple!
I put each into my tiny food processor, individually, because it can't fit much more than one cup. After mere seconds each was blended to smithereens. I then dumped it into a large bowl and moved on to the next ingredient. So fast!
*Note: I added a bit of salt because it's something I desperately need while running.
Here is the mix, sticky dates included. So good you could eat it with a spoon!
Next I elected to put just a splash of water in to make it mix up a touch easier. It smelled just like pecan pie! Who wouldn't love that? FYI the dates are what "hold it all together."
Now it's ready to move on to the next, easy step.
I filled an 8x8 pan with wax paper and pressed the mix into it.
The pan needed to chill in the fridge until the gigantic bar was firm. I let it do so overnight.
The next morning I removed it from the pan. Easy peasy.
Using a pizza cutter, I sliced it into Gu-sized strips.
My typical Gu has 100 calories. The entire pan of bars has about 1900 calories. I sliced it into eight (yes, only six are pictured -- quality control, people!) and each had about 238 calories. I certainly do NOT worry about counting calories while running a marathon, but I was comforted knowing that I'd be getting more per serving.
The snack sized bags could easily be safety pinned to my fuel belt, I was certain. After all, they're only a tiny bit larger than a typical energy gel.
We liked these so much, from a taste standpoint, that Isaac and I immediately made another batch the next morning just to have around the house. When you can please a "nut job" runner, a man with high standards, and a 4-year-old all in one go... well, that's saying something. I hope you love them as much as we do!