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How To Make This Year’s Golf Season The Healthiest With Your Own Low Sugar, High Fibre, Mouth-watering Protein Bars

As spring inches closer, it’s time to plan your attack on snacks.  Here’s the golf scenario . . .

As you pull into the parking lot everything feels familiar.
The buzz of excitement, the smell of spring, the birds,
and best of all – the sunshine.

 

Then halfway around your round, it’s time for a snack. Grabbing a couple of energy bars from your bag, you read the ingredients.

golf putter, shoes, snacks, hat and gloves
Spring golf checklist

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At first glance, the list seems healthy enough.
Sweetened oats
Almonds
Honey
Chia seeds
Sugar
Whole grain rice crisps made with sugar.

You ask yourself, who at home bakes with honey, sugar, and a pre-sweetened ingredient?
And now you’re curious. How much sugar did I just eat?

Shifting toward the nutrition facts you notice,
Calories: 190
Calories from fat: 130
Total fat: 22% of the daily value
Sugar 29g (that’s 7 teaspoons of sugar!)

Hopefully, by now, you’re wondering, is it that difficult to make my own?

As it turns out, making your own energy bars is easy.

How high energy bars became so popular

The idea of packaging high energy food in a wrapper came from our fascination with space.
And it happened as far back as the 1960s.
When astronauts in NASA’s space program travelled farther, they also needed meals.
They used U.S.  Army issued ration packs but soon realized there had to be a better way. The first solution was with freeze-dried food.

Always looking for improvements,  by 1973, NASA had announced their new high energy bar.
Together with Pillsbury, they had designed Space Food Sticks.
Astronauts chose between three types, chocolate chip, crispy, and flakey. The sticks also came in three different coatings: chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.

When Space Food Sticks were made available to the consumer our fascination for snacks on-the-go began.

Pillsbury no longer makes Space Food Sticks but they are quick and easy to make.
With high-calorie content, these snacks are still popular with hikers and campers. They may not look appetizing, (which is why there’s no photo!) but they come with three huge benefits.
They are made ahead, do not have a lot of chemicals, and don’t need refrigeration.

Here’s the basic recipe if you see a space-based theme in your future.

Space Food Sticks
1c unsweetened crunchy peanut butter
1c milk powder
2T wheat germ
2T unflavoured gelatin
2/3c honey
pinch of salt
Optional: raisins or granola

Method
In a large bowl mix all ingredients until well blended.
Roll into bite-sized balls then unsweetened coconut, hemp seeds, or crushed cereal to stop from sticking.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
If preferred, before packing, wrap each ball in wax or baking paper.

Freeze-dried space food is popular today, especially as an unusual gift!

And, ice cream, in particular, is a huge hit with campers and hikers.

Frozen to -40 degrees F, real ice cream is then vacuum dried, removing almost all moisture.
Just like life though, there are pros and cons to everything. Freeze dried ice cream has a long shelf life (3 years) but is easily crushed to, a still delicious, powder.

Protein bars

Do you remember Power Bars? It wasn’t until 1986 that space-related high energy bars linked with sports. And that happened because of Power bars which I was surprised to learn, are still available!

Why making your own high energy bars is the best 

The biggest reason for making your own low sugar, high fibre, high energy bars is the ability to substitute. And, you get to control how organic and clean you want to eat. You can work around any food sensitivity or dislike.
I am not a huge fan of some foods found in almost every commercial bar. Many have either flax, sesame or sunflower seeds, while others have peanuts and too much sugar for my taste buds. I love how these are customizable.

Simple and easy, make these bars to suit you, your family, and your golfing friends.
Don’t like the seeds in figs – chop up prunes!
Can’t eat sunflower seeds – add chia seeds!
Need to avoid peanuts – consider almonds!
Don’t need a lot of protein – skip the powder!
Not a fan of sweet food – add less!

Fruit and nut energy bars leaning against each other
These fruit and nut energy bars are amazing!

High Energy Spicy Fruit and Nut Bars

Ingredients:

2/3 c (100g) hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 c almonds, roughly chopped
2/3 c unsweetened flaked coconut
2/3 c lightly salted pistachios
2/3 c cacao nibs
1/3 c raw hemp hearts
2/3 c dehydrated cherries,* roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground chilli
1/3 c orange marmalade, melted
1/3 c honey, melted

*I dehydrate cherries each season but you can also substitute with prunes, apricots, mango – just check the sugar content as some brands are higher than others.
I’ve also added my own dehydrated apple pieces, grapes, pineapple, and orange peel for variety.

Dehydrated grapes, orange peel and pineapple on a blue and white tea towel

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees C

chopped prunes, almonds, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, coconut and cinnamon and chilli spices

In a large bowl combine roughly chopped ingredients and ground spices.

Heat orange marmalade and honey in a microwave until liquid and add to the mixture.

Stir until well mixed.Fruit and nuts mixed with spices ready to bake

 

Line a 10×16 tin tray with parchment paper and pour in the mixture.

With a spatula compress the mixture until level and firm. It should almost reach all edges of the pan.

 

 

 

 

Bake 30-40 mins at 325 degrees C

.Birds-eye view Fruit and nut mixture in a pan, ready to bake

Cool for 10 minutes before carefully lifting out on to a rack. Cool a further hour before slicing (or breaking) into bars.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

 

I hope you will love making my high energy bars, and if you are nearby, let’s go hit some golf balls!

~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~

Spicy High Energy Fruit and Nut Bars

Perfect for any diets as you can substitute any ingredients! Grab this snack to -go and enjoy the health benefits.

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword anti-inflammatory, easy, healthy, high-fibre, low-sugar, plant-based
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 30 pieces
Calories 129 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2/3 c 100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 c almonds roughly chopped
  • 2/3 c unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2/3 c lightly salted pistachios
  • 2/3 c cacao nibs
  • 1/3 c raw hemp hearts
  • 2/3 c dehydrated cherries * roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • 1/3 c orange marmalade melted
  • 1/3 c honey melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees C
  2. In a large bowl combine roughly chopped ingredients and ground spices.
  3. Heat orange marmalade and honey in a microwave until liquid and add to the mixture.
  4. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Line a 10x16 tin tray with parchment paper and pour in the mixture.
  6. With a spatula compress the mixture until level and firm.
  7. It should almost reach all edges of the pan.
  8. Bake 30-40 mins at 325 degrees C.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes before carefully lifting out on to a rack.
  10. Cool a further hour before slicing (or breaking) into bars.
  11. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

*I dehydrate cherries each season but you can also substitute with prunes, apricots, mango - just check the sugar content as some brands are higher than others.

I've also added my own dehydrated apple pieces, grapes, pineapple, and orange peel for variety.

Nutrition Facts
Spicy High Energy Fruit and Nut Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 129 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 123mg4%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 80IU2%
Vitamin C 0.5mg1%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Resources:

https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/apollo-to-the-moon/online/astronaut-life/food-in-space.cfm
http://spacefoodsticks.com/pdf/skylab.pdf
https://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/64/PowerBar-Inc.html

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has more information about life as an astronaut.

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Comments

  1. These energy bars look so good! And with a couple substitutions, like you mentioned, this will be a fun recipe to make with my daughter.

  2. Thanks yes, they have the right amount of crunch and chewy to satisfy. In fact, they’re so tasty you can get away without using the spices too. (I discovered that by accident- once they were baking and THEN I spotted the unopened spice jars)

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