Yesterday I shared about an experiment that my sister-in-law and I conducted in the pursuit of learning how much we can save making homemade energy snack bars. We dubbed it The Energy/Snack Bar Experiment.
Here was what we came up with yesterday’s Kamut Dark Chocolate Energy Bars.
- Tastes like: Pamela Whenever Bars
- Yields: 20 bars
- Savings: 43%, or $9.36.
Today we tried our second bar recipe:
Experiment #2: Maca Energy Bars, (from mywholefoodlife.com).
Maca is a South American root with all sorts of health and nutritional benefits that you can read about here. I had never used it before, but my sis-in-law had the powder handy, so we got to work making these bars!
This energy bar recipe called for tons of seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia… Great for healthy fats and nutrients, but our husbands ended up dubbing these bars as “Birdseed!”
We made a few ingredient substitutions for cost-benefit reasons. Since we were doubling the recipe, things like 2/3 cup almond butter and 1 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) gets a little pricey. Here are the substitutions we made:
- 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) –> 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup maple syrup –> 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1/4 cup locally-made honey
- 2/3 cup almond butter –> 1/3 cup almond butter + 1/3 cup all-natural peanut butter
We also skipped the food-processing part, since we had almond meal already on hand.
After letting them set for awhile in the freezer, (instead of the fridge since I was leaving soon to take half of them home!), we ended up with 16 Maca-packed energy bars. We thought that taste-wise they were pretty comparable to Nature Valley’s Sweet & Salty Roasted Nut Bars, but nutrient and energy-wise, the ingredients more similarly matched Creative Nature’s Maca Bar.
So after about 30 min of bar-making fun, here’s what the numbers crunched down to:
- Time: about 30 min. With no baking involved, the longest part was just waiting for them to harden in the fridge!
- Comparison: Tasted like a Nature Valley’s Sweet & Salty Nut Mix, but nutritionally compared to Creative Nature Maca Energy Bars.
- Cost: With a whopping retail cost of $2.30 for one Creative Nature Maca Energy Bar, we were able to make these bars at home for $1.49/bar.
- Total Savings: 35% savings, or $12.90 per 16 bars.