3 DIY Energy Bars

Before, during or after your run, quell your hunger and refuel with a delicious energy bar handcrafted in your own kitchen.


DIY energy bars Primal BarsPrimal Bars

THE CREATOR: Lizzy Marsh
27, nutrition coach at primal junction. Crossfitter, trail runner for 11 years

At Primal Junction (www.primaljunction.com) Lizzy works with a range of athletes that share a similar goal – they want to fuel their bodies with real food and learn to reduce inflammation, injury risk and stress. Depending on each individual’s training load, Lizzy promotes a paleo template to reduce systemic inflammation, but also aim to ensure adequate carbohydrate sources for glycogen replenishment, fuel and recovery. Lizzy’s primal bars are not only delicious, but a great source of complex carbohydrates and immediate fuel. The ingredients included help to reduce inflammation and improve performance.

Do it yourself:

  • 1/2 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, pre-soaked for at least 8 hours*
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, pre-soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 4 fresh Medjool dates, pitted
  • 4 tablespoons goji berries
  • 2 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himilayan salt
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 30g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 10g fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated

Steam the sweet potato for 10 minutes, or until soft and cooked through. Allow to cool completely. Add the nuts into a food processor with the sweet potato, goji berries, maple syrup, salt, coconut oil and cacao. Pulse until just mixed through.
Add the ginger and turmeric and pulse again until well combined. The mixture should start to stick together in your machine. Transfer the mix into a shallow dish, lined with baking paper or aluminum foil. Press down firmly with a spatula. If you’d like, at this point you can press coconut flakes, goji berries or cacao nibs into the top of the bars. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to set firmly. Slice into 12 even bars.

Nutrition per bar: 565 kilojoules, 7g fat, 17g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 2g fibre.

*It’s important to soak nuts before using or eating them, as this reduces the phytic acid content – a protective mechanism within nuts and grains that reduces our ability to absorb nutrients in the gut.


DIY energy bars PackFit BarsPackFit Bars

37, executive chef. Runner for one year.

As Will Artley’s career took off, his health declined. He ate and drank too much, and in early 2013, he weighed 154 kilograms. Looking to stop the slide, he ran his first kilometre that July. He tried gels for fuel, but they left him unsatisfied. So he created a bar packed with honey and dates for quick energy, and dried cherries to hasten recovery. Artley named the bars after his wife’s health business. “She’s been my biggest supporter in my quest to become healthy,” he says. He’s since lost 52 kilograms and run two marathons. “Food is my saving grace,” says Artley. “For a while, it was also killing me, but now I’m harnessing it to make a positive change.”

Do it yourself:

  • ½ cup linseed
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup raw chopped cashews
  • ¼ cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup dried tart cherries or roughly chopped dried apricots
  • 26 pitted dates or fresh figs, roughly chopped teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • ½ cup raw vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • Pinch of salt

Line a 20cm square baking pan with plastic wrap. Coat the inside with cooking spray.
In a food processor, combine linseed, chia seeds, oats, cashews, sunflower seeds, cherries, dates, cinnamon, coconut (if using), protein powder, cocoa powder, honey, and salt. Process ingredients for about 1 minute, or until nuts and fruit are broken into small pieces and the mixture starts to move around the blade in one mass.
Pour batter into the pan and press vigorously to compact. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into 16 bars. Leave refrigerated until ready to eat.
Makes 16 bars.

Nutrition per bar: 1076 kilojoules, 45g carbs, 7g fibre, 6g protein, 9g fat


DIY energy bars Kerryn BoogardNo-bake date, cashew and cocoa bars

29, accredited sports dietitian, nutrition consultant, blogger at kerrynboogaard.com. About to take on the marathon.

Kerryn knows too well the importance of being equipped with compact snacks that provide the right fuel for training and recovery. She has also found that many runners like her want to use as many wholefoods as possible when preparing their training eats. This is why she spends time in her kitchen creating easy to prepare snacks and meals for busy athletes. Her cooking mantra has always been to “keep it simple,” with a focus on fresh ingredients and basic nutrition principles. This date, cashew and cocoa bar is easy to prepare providing carbohydrate to help fuel your run.

Do it yourself:

  • 2 cups of pitted dates
(soak for about 1 hour to help with processing if you have time)
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • ½ cup of chopped dried apricots
  • 2 cups of cashew nuts
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. water
+ a dash of water for processing dates
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Pulse oats until finely ground then put aside. Pulse dates in a food processor with a dash of water until they become a smooth paste. Add ground oats, apricots, cashew nuts, cocoa powder, water and salt and pulse until everything is combined. Line a 20cm x 20cm tray with glad wrap, leaving enough overhang on one side to wrap over the top of the mixture once in. Pour the mixture into the tray. Wrap the mixture with the glad wrap and firmly press into the tray and flatten with the back of a spatula. Put into the fridge overnight and then cut them up into 16 squares. These will keep in the fridge for approximately one week. Try adding 1 tsp of orange essence or orange oil to the mix to change up the flavour.

Nutrition per bar: 918 kilojoules, 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 5g protein, 10g fat

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