How many different kinds of energy bars have you tried? Are there any that you really like? Ok, maybe there are because there are some really tasty ones out there but… When you make your own they have exactly the ingredients you want, the flavors you like the most, the nutrition and energy you need at the moment, be that loads of protein or a carbohydrate-rich instant-fuel bar, cut into the perfect size and shape for you to grab and head out the door. Phew, I tried to say it all in one breath…and I managed! I chose peanuts as a main ingredient for these ones to provide lots of protein and long-lasting energy, the chocolate is “just” to top it all, literally. : )
Peanut Nutrition Facts
The nuts that make up one of the most cherished foods in America (yes, I’m talking about peanut butter) are, in fact, legumes so no wonder they have a similar nutritional profile to beans and lentils, with some extra benefits that is. Yes, peanuts are much higher in fat but it’s fat from a whole food and with lots of fiber, which, even if you’re watching your fat intake, shouldn’t scare you. Peanuts will provide you loads of protein and are, in general, very rich in most all minerals, especially manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, potassium, iron, selenium, and calcium. They stand out in the vitamin department with high amounts of niacin (B3), folate (B9), vitamin E, thiamin (B1), pantothenic acid, and the list goes on. As expected, they come with a myraid of health benefits. The oleic acid rich goobers are a heart-healthy nut with a notable antioxidant capacity, and anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer qualities. They will not only help in the prevention of gallstones but snacking on a handful a day will provide protection against age-related cognitive decline, like Alzheimer’s disease. Thanks to their phytosterol content, they will help lower your cholesterol levels and their high mineral content will contribute to maintaining strong bones. Some claim that Jungle peanuts have an even more impressive nutritional profile but there’s a lot of controversy around the subject. One thing’s for sure, they are readily available in their natural, raw form while Valencia peanuts are usually sold dry roasted at the stores. Roasting makes some of the nutrition more bioavailable and help eliminate the aflatoxin that’s found on a lot of them, which, again, some claim Jungle peanuts are naturally lacking in. One way to have the best of both worlds is to consume Jungle peanuts raw and eat the roasted version of the others. Decide for yourself. Grab the peanuts of your choice because the recipe is next...
Raw Jungle Peanut Butter-Chocolate Energy Bars
(Makes ~8 bars)
2 cups jungle peanuts (or any other peanuts)
3 tbsp sesame seeds
2-3 pinches of salt
3 tbsp golden flax seeds
3 tbsp hemp seeds
optional: 2 pinches of ground vanilla bean or vanilla powder
4-5 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup (not raw!) or honey (not vegan!)
Grind the peanuts in a food processor until they start getting sticky on the way to becoming peanut butter. Add the sesame seeds and salt and process them just a bit longer. Put the mixture in a mixing bowl. Grind the flax seeds in a spice/coffee grinder and add to the bowl along with the hemp seeds and the vanilla. Mix well and add your choice of sweetener. Mix by hand and you will end up with a sticky mixture. Press the mixture into a flat-bottomed, plastic-wrap-lined dish and place it in the fridge while making the chocolate.
½ tbsp coconut oil or cacao butter
1 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 tbsp agave syrup (or other sweetener)
Melt the coconut oil (or cacao butter) and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle the chocolate over the peanut layer or if you have enough, smear it over the whole surface area. Place it back in the fridge for half an hour. Cut into bars and serve or leave it in the fridge so whenever you need a snack it’s there. Store them in the fridge for softer bars and put them in the freezer if you prefer them more solid. You’ve got your own energy bars to take to work or school. Cut a piece and wrap it into wax paper or put it in a container and off you go.