Making your own energy bars isn't difficult - and this recipe is delicious!
Every Spring at the West Side Y there's a Spin-a-thon to raise money for the Strong Kids Campaign to send inner-city kids to camp. It lasts about 8 hours and people get sponsors to donate a certain amount of money per hour they spend spinning. For the uninitiated, spin is a class on a stationary bike. Before I took spin I thought it was a class where you spun around, which seemed rather pointless and thinking about it made me dizzy. The classes typically last for 45 minutes to an hour and simulate a ride on a real bike covering all sorts of different terraines, from flat roads where you focus on speed, or mountains where the resistance is extremely high and you try to go fast but it's difficult. I wear a heart rate monitor that tells you how many beats per minute your heart is going and at the end it calculates your highest heart rate, the average and how many calories you've burned. My heart rate usually maxes out at 170, averages around 140 and I usually burn between 500 and 600 calories in a 45 minute class. On Saturdays I take two classes in a row an rack up1,100 to 1,200 carlories. Pass the cheese cake!
But I digress - the Spin-a-thon is a fun event for a good cause. There are door prizes (this year I won a pair of footies with De-Feet written on them), a variety of instructors and this year Linda, one of my favorite spin teachers, made delicious energy bars. They were so much better than the ones you buy at the store.
Linda is at center in the pink shirt with the black and white stripes. That's me in the red tank top looking like I'm about to keel over!
I'm a whiz at preparing savory dishes but sweets and desserts aren't my thing at all. But even I could do this recipe - so give it a shot and let me know how it goes!
WALNUT DRIED-CHERRY ENERGY BARS
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs, beaten (can use just egg whites for two of these, if you prefer)
1 1/2 cups chopped dried tart cherries
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup apricot preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, and eggs until well combined. Stir in the oatmeal mixture until well combined. Add the dried cherries and walnuts.
Coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the pr
epared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into bars.