One of my best friends is a triathlete. Actually, her whole clan competes in triathlons together – her, her husband and their children. She thinks we’re crazy to enjoy rock climbing so much, and we think she’s crazy for training for Half Ironman races (do you know how LONG those things are?!).
As different as rock climbing and triathlons are, both require good fuel for the body. While training for a sport, we turn to snacks that are easy to eat, easy to digest and hopefully help give the body the energy it needs.
This past Christmas she sent us two cookbooks as gifts, one of which was Power Hungry, a book filled with homemade energy bar recipes. If you’re looking for a protein bar, or a bar that will help to fuel a long endurance-training day, or food that doesn’t require an oven, this book has all those and lots more! The great part is that all the bars can be tucked away in the freezer until you need them, which makes planning food and snacks for training days a breeze.
I’ve earmarked many recipes to try in this book, but the first one that caught my attention was a Fig and Honey Lentil Granola Bar. The problem? Figs aren’t in season, and we were out of honey. Darn.
But fear not! I had raisins, dried cranberries and maple syrup, these grand substitutions worked out just fine 🙂
This bar recipe requires no baking, but the red lentils do need a quick simmer on the stove top to soften them up. Once everything is mixed together and pressed into a parchment-lined tray, it just needs to chill in the fridge for a few hours to set fully. Super simple!
After cutting into squares, I popped them into a few Tupperware boxes and into the freezer to store. We bring them to our climbing sessions, and they’re a great snack to have during or after working out. The red lentils (which don’t have a flavour, really) give these bars a huge boost of protein, fiber and vitamins, but all you taste is the fruit and nuts! I’m quite certain you could give these to a picky-eater (child or adult!) and they would be none the wiser 🙂
We’re heading over to Vancouver Island for our first-ever climbing competition next week, and I have a feeling this cookbook will be used for a few more bar recipes to make and bring along 🙂
- Serves: 16 bars
- Serving size: 1 bar
- Calories: 160
- Fat: 7.8 g
- Saturated fat: 1.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.1 g
- Sugar: 4.8 g
- Sodium: 40 mg
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- 95 g (1/2 cup) dried red lentils, rinsed
- 1½ cup water
- 30 g (1/4 cup) chopped pecans
- 30 g (1/4 cup) sunflower seeds
- 190 g (1¾ cup) large-flake oats (gluten-free, if needed)
- ½ tbsp melted coconut oil
- 80 g (2/3 cup) raisins
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ cup peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and lightly mist the paper with a cooking oil.
- Place the rinsed red lentils and water into a large pot on the stove top. Bring the lentils to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. The water should be absorbed and the lentils will look a bit mushy. This is okay!
- Mash the lentils up a bit and leave to cool, about 5 minutes.
- While the lentils are cooking, add the coconut oil to a large skillet, along with the rolled oats, pecans and sunflower seeds. Over medium heat, stir the mixture frequently and cook until golden and fragrant, about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Transfer the toasted oat mixture to a large bowl. Add the mashed lentils, peanut butter, raisins, maple syrup, cinnamon and sea salt. Mix together with a large spoon.
- Transfer the granola bar mixture into the parchment-lined tray. Spread and flatten the mixture using the back of a large spatula.
- Place into the fridge for about 2 hours, until the bars are firm and fully set.
- Remove the bars from the pan, using the parchment paper edges, and cut into 12 to 16 squares.