The vast array of gels, bars and pouches for runners on long runs or hard sweat sessions is astounding. Flavors and infusions of chia, chocolate and caffeine is the norm now; it's come a long way from the days of a rock hard tasteless bar. What happens though, when you have food allergies and sensitivities?
It's hard to avoid traces of soy and corn and wheat even amongst the variation of flavors available. And a marathon is no time to risk stomach cramping or worse!
I'm a huge fan of creating my own energy bars or bites for runs. Not only do you know exactly what's in it, you'll know how you feel and perform on your own tried-and-true yumminess. That said, not all of us are certified in Sports Nutrition or award-winning bakers (heyyy! I'm proud of my accomplishments...no shame here!) Luckily, I'm here to do the dirty work for you. I've created and taste-tested many bars for runners, and this is one of my favorites. It's vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and corn-free. It's suitable for almost any dietary restraint and it's actually delicious and fueling.
Run Hard Bars
2 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 cup unsweetened dried apricots or raisins
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 TBSP maca powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water, as needed
1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper, only parchment paper) and spritz with high-heat safe oil (I love avocado oil spray) or coconut oil, and set aside.
2. In a food processor (I love this Cuisinart 8-Cup one for big batches!), mix all the ingredients.
2. Add as much water as needed until mixture comes together in a dough, but not mushy.
3. Press mixture flat onto the paper-lined pan and bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown at edges and slightly firm to touch. It will continue to firm as it cools.
4. When cool, transfer to a cutting board, cut into little rectangles and wrap individually in plastic wrap for easy bars to take along on workouts! Store at room temperature for up to 6 days or freeze extras.
Tuck the bars into your favorite run pouch for easy-access noshing. My newest fave accessory is my 18oz insulated handheld running bottle that fits my iPhone, and a thin Run Hard Bar.
Others rave about this running flip belt for phones, keys, and snacks, that won't flop or slide around on you; even with one of my bars tucked in.
You can bet I'll have my own bar on hand for the #EugeneMarathon, and I encourage you to have one, too! Use my code EMAMBMM18 at www.EugeneMarathon.com for $10 off your half marathon or full marathon race entry. I'd love to see you on the course, and if you're lucky, I'll share a bite with you!