The perfect runner's energy bar

All-natural DIY energy bars packed with nutrients to help you ace that race

Make sure your next race really bears fruit: these strawberry bars provide a perfect pre-event energy boost. ‘Making your own energy bars not only saves money but means you can use natural ingredients packed with nutrients – dried fruit, nuts and oats,’ says nutritionist Anita Bean. ‘Commercial bars contain processed carbs, like maltodextrin, glucose syrup and a host of other ingredients that you wouldn’t find in
your kitchen. More importantly, homemade bars taste better!’

The berries – which have a unique blend of polyphenols, minerals and vitamin C – might also help fight harmful cholesterol, according to a recent review of multiple studies, published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. Stick them in an airtight tin and they will keep for a week.

Makes 16 bars

Prep time 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

While the bars are relatively high in fat – 9g per slice – each has only around 186kcal, and a very high 11g of energy-delivering sugar

Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter 
  • 50g light muscovado sugar, unrefined 
  • 100g clear honey 
  • 100g dried strawberries
  • 60g mixed seeds
  • 40g chopped nuts
  • 200g oats
  • 50g plain flour
  • 5tbsp reduced-sugar strawberry jam

  

  1. Heat the oven to 170C. Line a 20x20cm baking tray or brownie tin with greaseproof paper. Heat the butter, sugar and honey in a pan until all melted together.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the dried strawberries, seeds, nuts, oats and flour. Stir in the butter mixture.
  3. Pour half the mixture into the baking tray and spread out evenly. Press with the back of a spoon to compact. Spread the jam over the flapjack. Pour the rest of the mixture on top and spread to the corners, compacting with a spoon.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes until golden on top and set aside to cool before cutting into squares or bars.

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and manganese – both needed for strong bones – and zinc, which helps keep your immune system healthy.

A special type of fibre called beta-glucan gives oats their own cholesterol-controlling powers.


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