How to make energy bars at home

Either if caught up in an emergency situation, either for a pleasant time spent in the woods, energy bars are a great addon to your diet.

The pros are solid: light to carry, easy and fast to eat, comfortable to place in your pockets, in your backpacks and even inside the smallest pouches.

Since several years, energy bars are in fact the real thing when it comes to have fast food at your immediate disposal and… at very easy reach!

Plus, they are healthier than candies or any other kind of sweet. They also have a considerable expiring date, so you don’t have to worry too much on their life.

You can purchase them quite everywhere, from big supermarket chains like Walmart to gas station, from Duty free shops inside airports till any vendor machine.

Surently they aren’t that expensive too, but what if you want to test your cooking skills and try to make them at home or… straight out in the woods?

In this manner you won’t only cut the expenses related to the packaging itself, but you will also have the possibility to produce them in large scale for you and for all the family members.

Make some calculations and think about it.

Benefits from making survival bars by yourself

The benefits are indeed severals:

  • you can select the ingredients of your choice
  • you can make a lot of baking sheets by yourself
  • you can cut them in the maner you prefer – square, rectangular.. so you can stuff them even in the most narrow parts of your gear
  • you can decide the best method to wrap them (kitchen film, aluminum, bamboo boxes…)
  • you save time from purchasing them somewhere else
  • you can involve all your family in making them

Investing on the right choices always means to invest in your health and in your future too.

Sounds very good, isn’t it?
In this article we will see how we can produce some survival bars with the best selection of ingredients in terms of energies and calories.

Additionally, we will learn how to bake granola bars at home and in the Great Outdoors.

energy bars rotated

Ingredients and energies

Be mindful when you select and pick up the ingredients you want to bake together in your survival bars.

As a matter of fact, they should be the result of careful thoughts about what you really need to when you find yourself on a lack of energies and proteins.

Vegetal proteins are indeed a great and precious resource once outside, and you actually need few of them to regain the vigour – either physical either mental – you must have in order to face different activities.

Let’s now dig out for more useful informations on some essential raw materials for our survival bars.

Nuts

Nuts are traditionally synonym of energy. This is because they contain a nigh level of fat.

In fact, all the existing types of nuts have all major macronutrients, like:

  • fat
  • protein
  • carbohydrate

Keep in mind that nuts contain a good amount of total protein, and vegetarians can get the most out of it.

Nuts are also a good source of:

  • phosphorus
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • folate
  • vitamin E

and they are extremely rich in fiber, which is absolutely beneficial for your digestion too!

Fruit

Basically you can add any kind fruit you want to.

Most popular are:

  • blueberries
  • blue raspeberries
  • currants
  • apple
  • pear
  • bananan
  • pineapple
  • figs

All of them should be in dried form.

Nonetheless, you can try new flavors by adding the fruit you love the most. Even orange, tangerine, citron, lemon, and lime can be very good.

Do not forget that to each single kind of fruit corresponds a specific vitamin.
So you can actually prepare some energy bars from scratch paying attention of what you want to get out of it.
Not only vegetal protein, I mean, but also Vitamin A, B, C.

By employing a good food dryer, you can process your fruit by cutting it in thin slices or tiny pieces (even better!) and mix them in the pastry.

My suggestion is to organize your food storage by dedicating a determined box to contain all the ingredients you need to make granola, and, consequentially, your survival bars.

In this manner you know exactly what you need to prepare, let’s say, “survival bars” with Vitamin C (with citrus, et cetera..).

Grains

You have plenty of choice when it come to go for some grains you want to add to your pastry.
The most used are surely:

  • oats
  • oat bran
  • puffed rice
  • puffed millet
  • puffed barley
  • puffed spelt
  • puffed kamut

Seeds

In recent years, some companies started to introduce some seeds inside the preparation of their energy bars.
My personal suggestion is.. do not over abuse them!
In fact, our digestive system isn’t fit for them.

Usually, chia seeds and black/white sesams are what you can find the most.

Thickener

In order to keep your pastry together and well blended, you definitely need a “Thickening agent”.
Far from getting some chemical stuff you don’t really need to, you can go 100% easy and… organic!

As in the case of grains we mentioned above, you have plenty of options, like:

  • Coconut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Maple Syrup
  • Honey – in all the different varieties
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Pistachio butter
  • Date Palm oil

You can also add some jaggery, which happens to be more fit for granola than processed cane sugar.

energy bars

How to make survival bars from scratch – at home!

“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Beside the nice amount of perks we covered in the previous paragraphs, you will also be surprised by how fast is the overall preparation of your granola pastry.
Beside the essential elements, you just need a fridge (or at oven) and… no more than twenty minutes of your time. And I am speaking for all the customizable receipes you have in mind!

Preparation

Put in a bowl all the ingredients of your choice respecting proportions between nuts, fruit, grains, thickener and seeds. They depends from the dimension – and numbers! – of bake sheet you have at your disposal.

Mix them together in order to create a pastry.
Press this inside a baking dish.
Then store inside the fridge for at least 3 hours. Later on, you can cut them into slices or small pieces, at your pleasure.
Energy bars can last up to five or even six days in the fridge. You can also freeze them!
In case you prefer to bake them, keep them in the oven at 356 F for no more than 10 minutes. Check their baking repeatedly and carefully, in order not to spoil them.
Once out of the oven, leave it cool for at least one hour.
This second preparation may turn them a little bit crispy… As I personally prefer them.

How to make survival bars from scratch – in the great Outdoors!

“You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.” – Unknown

What if you want to prepare your survival bars in the Great Outdoors? If you have a fire, you can definitely make it.
All you need to use is a collapsable bowl, a spoon, and…. an upper grill to make sure they won’t get burned.
Few minutes of preparation, and at least 60 minutes to cool down and… they are ready to be cut in pieces or broken with your own – clean! – hands!

Conclusion

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore

We don’t have to be super chefs to make these survival energy bars from scratch.

If you will go with a balanced amount of
nuts
dry fruit
sugar
fat

you will definitely have the essential elements to create some delicious, healthy and full of energies bars. You can also add some dark/milk or white chocolate chips.

Add creativity, and go for it! Making survival bars could turn out to be not only a good investment, but also a way to share your knowledge with the community of Preppers out there.

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Kyt Lyn Walken is the official European representative and instructor for Hull's Tracking School (Virginia, USA), and is a certified Conservation Ranger for C.R.O.W. (Conservation Rangers Operations Worldwide). She has been an outdoors and tracking enthisast since childhood. She is contributor as a writer for several magazines in U.S. and U.K.Kyt is author of the manuals "The importance of being a Tracker", "The Urban Tracker, "Tracking Compendium" (this one with Andy Martin), "Jungle Trackers: S.A.S. In Malesia and Borneo".

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