I was going to call these little cinnamon-y nuggets of goodness “awesome carb bars”… but for some people, “awesome” and “carb” don’t go together in the same sentence! And I’d so hate for you not to try these…
They came to be at the beginning of May, when Tommy and I both started running more, and needed higher-carb snacks to keep us fuelled up. I actually made them in a different flavour at first- peanut butter banana- also great! But now that it’s (supposed to be?!) getting towards fall, the warm cinnamon/applesauce/raisin combo just seems to fit the season.
But back to carbs, and how awesome they really are.
Social media would have us believe that we need to avoid carbs (or at least restrict them severely) to be healthy and lose weight (also 2 things that are portrayed as going hand in hand but really don’t.) But the truth is, carbohydrates are essential to our bodies. They fuel the brain, and are the preferred energy for working muscles. We need more carb than we think! Even when I was in the last stages of cutting/depleting for my bodybuilding shows, I still ate 180-200 grams of carbohydrate per day (about 3.5g/kg body weight.) And these days, my intake is closer to 300 grams per day (5g/kg) to keep me going. To give you a reference, 1/2 cup of uncooked oats contains 30g carb, an apple has 20g, and 1 cup of rice has 45g. It takes a lot of whole foods to get to 300 (or even 200!) grams. It’s true that foods like sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts are much higher in carb and low in other essential nutrients, making these foods fall in what I call the “fun-foods” category, and not the ones I base my diet on. But they don’t have to be banished entirely to have an overall healthy diet. And we can feel free to include pretty generous amounts of carb-containing whole foods such as grains, fruits, and vegetables; we’ll be healthy not in spite of them, but because of them.
Let’s get on to the carb bars!
These little gems contain both quick-acting carbs (raisins, applesauce, and honey) and long-acting (oats), making them an ideal snack or quick breakfast whether you’re working out or not. I love them with a swipe of almond butter and/or apricot jam!
The dough is quick to mix up: I grind my oats in my Nutribullet (feel free to buy oat flour, but I do like the coarser texture of home-ground), then combine the coarse flour with lots of cinnamon, a bit of vanilla protein powder, applesauce, almond butter, honey, and vanilla & almond extracts. Simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now. I put raisins in mine, but dried cranberries and/or chopped walnuts would also be delicious. These little bars are customisable, as are most of my recipes! I love it when you innovate.
These little bars are:
- Hearty and filling
- Full of both quick and slow-acting carbohydrate
- Sweet and chewy
- Sturdy enough to pack on a hike or in a lunchbox
- Quick and easy to make
- Perfect for breakfast or snacks
- Downright delicious
With all these attributes, maybe they should just be called “Awesome Carb Bars”! I hope you love them as much as we do. Enjoy, friends!