Sunday, October 27, 2013

Recipe: DIY fuel bars

I think Bugaboo could eat me out of house and home with her ferocity for Lara bars or Picky Bars and the cost to keep them in the house in ready supply.  So... why buy them (or any bar that hefts a heavy price) and why not make your own for a fraction of the cost?  Also, getting to control the ingredients and make fuel organic is a big bonus for me.  (Especially if I'm going to share them with my little running partners.)

 Bugaboo has named them "Running Cookies" because she only gets one when we are out on a run together.

Outrunning The Rain's "Running Cookies"
  • 1 Cup dry (old fashioned) oats
  • 2/3 Cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder (or wheat germ or other dry ingredient of your choice)
  • 2 Tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 1/4 Cup cocoa powder (instant coffee might be a good substitute.)
  • 10 ounces Medjool dates (without pits)
  • 1/4 Cup dried fruit (such as cranberries or cherries... whatever you enjoy)
  • 1 Tablespoons coarse salt (or more. 2T will taste salty, but I use that much because I sweat a lot...  If you don't sweat much or don't want to taste salt, try just 1T.)
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut butter (I prefer crunchy, but creamy is fine.)
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
If your food processor won't be temperamental with you, throw the pit-free dates in and coarsely chop them up.  My ancient machine prefers I do that first before adding them into the mix.  

Mix dry ingredients with the dates and pulse together in food processor.  Then add in wet ingredients (p.b., honey and vanilla.) and mix together.

The mixture should be like a thick cookie dough.  (If it's too dry, the bars will fall apart on your run and you'll have a baggie full of crumbs.  If it's too wet, you'll have a gooey mess and be sucking the "fuel" off your fingers.  Eww.

Press the mixture into an 8x8 glass baking dish and refrigerate overnight.  I like to score the pressed mixture so that it's easier to cut the cold dough and pry out the bars for the next morning's run.

After they have refrigerated, store in air tight container in refrigerator.  I don't know how long you'd want to keep them around, but I usually eat mine up in about 2 weeks, depending on the miles covered in each week.  I like to eat one pre run and then again every 3 miles or every 30-40 minutes... which ever happens first, I suppose.)

It's a forgiving recipe that can have substitutions and lots of combinations, but this is the ratios that have worked for me and been easily transportable on a half marathon.  I put the bars in a zip lock baggie and carry them in my flip belt.

Mixture pressed into an 8x8 pan before being placed in the fridge. 

I hope you enjoy them!
Do you make your own fuel/running food?  I'd love to hear your recipes!

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