Staying fit has become easier and hassle free with these small pocket-sized energy bars. A bar for health, I would like to call them, are your pocket buddy and come handy anytime anywhere. Tasty, crunchy and nutritious, these bars are easy, convenience foods you can munch while on-the-run.
Snack on a Healthy Bar
Earlier health bars or snack bars were a great hit with athletes and body builders and were mainly marketed as protein bars. However, there has been a paradigm shift in the market and a wide variety and types of bars are available. Amidst myriads of products hyped and publicized, selecting a perfect healthy snack bar is no easy task.
A healthy snack bar is one which offers adequate calories and proteins in addition to other nutrients i.e. vitamins and minerals. A healthy energy bar should essentially be made from natural ingredients with whole some nutrition. A Healthy energy snack bar makes you feel full, provides long lasting energy and a dose of quick nutrition to help you get through the day.
Which Energy Bar is Perfect for You?
Reading ingredient list and nutrition label helps you carefully sort through the healthy and unhealthy bars. It gives you an insight on the authenticity of the claims laid by the brand and the extent to which a particular bar meets your health requirements. Keeping in mind the following criteria helps you choose wisely.
Enough energy – The bar you choose should provide adequate calories (energy) to replace a meal or a snack. Calories in the bar should be well balanced from proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Protein power – Proteins are essential component of your bar. It helps build muscle, immunity and promotes feeling of satiety. Depending on the need as a post workout snack or weight loss aid, a bar with high to moderate amount of protein is ideal. The type of protein used in the bar is also a criterion for discretion- soy protein, milk protein or whey protein.
Sweet Treat – Bars sweetened with natural sugars like maple syrup or dates, raisin or apricots are healthy and recommended over bars with artificially added sugar and sugar alcohols.
Fend the Fats – Look out for unhealthy fats like Trans fat and hydrogenated fats, they are the main culprits. Healthy fats like omega 3 and MUFA are always welcome.
Natural ingredients – A bar which contains all natural ingredients like whole grains, cereals, nuts, fruits etc is always good a grab. Ingredients In the bar u select should be easily recognized and simple not exotic and unheard of. A natural snack bar made from real food is the bar to go for.
Tasteful Treat – Taste is one very important consideration. A bar which is healthy and tasty is a good enough snack or meal replacer that meets your health goals while caressing your cravings and taste buds.
Types of the Bar
There are many types of bars- high protein bars to low calorie meal replacers. A wide range of wholesome ingredients are used to make these bars as nutritious as possible. Different ingredients impart different texture, taste and flavor to the bar adding a delightful variety for your taste buds. Most commonly used ingredients and healthy snack bars are:
Granola bars – Granola is a type of cold cereal that is typically made from toasted rolled oats and other whole grain cereals. Granola along with other ingredient like dates, nuts fruit paste are ideal as a mid-meal bite or healthy breakfast bar. Granola bars provide energy and fiber that is filling and healthy.
Almond bar – The goodness of almonds in the bar along with other wholesome nutrients is best of the bars. This protein rich healthy energy bar is all you need while you try to lose weight as well as after a tiring workout.
Oatmeal bar – Oats bars are ideal as breakfast bar providing quick nutrition and lasting energy for the day’s activities. With healthful benefits of fiber, oatmeal breakfast bar are a great choice for people who are running from sun up to sun down. These low sugar energy bars are ideal for people with diabetes and obesity.
Date-based bars – Dates are rich in fiber, calcium, B-complex vitamins, iron and carbohydrates. In addition, they impart a delicious sweetness to the bar with enhances the taste of the bar. Dates are generally used as natural sweetener in many bars in place of artificial sugar substitutes making it healthier and tastier.
BAR IT YOURSELF
Healthy energy bars are available in varied forms and flavors but it is also fairly easy and simple to make them at home. The below recipe will help you make your bar at home.
Oats – 2 cup
Coconut desiccated – ½ cup
Honey – ½ cup
Creamy peanut butter – 2 tbsp
Vanilla extract – 1tsp
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
Spread the oats and coconut evenly across a baking sheet and toast them in the preheated oven for 10 minutes until brown.
Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
In a saucepan Add honey, peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt and cook over medium to low heat. Cook and stir until smooth.
Pour honey mixture over the oats and coconut mix and Stir it to coat it. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until it begins to dry. For about 15 minutes for crunchy granola bars and for less time if you like them chewy. Cool completely and cut them in to fine bars.
Try it yourself and bake yourself a healthful treat. You can experiment with different ingredients like nuts, seeds, fruits and other whole grain cereals.
Brands of the Bar
The market for energy bars in India has risen quite magnanimously is the last decade. This rise in popularity of energy bars can be attributed to the increase in awareness and health consciousness in the people of our country. Bar brands like Kind Bars, Quest nutrition bars are quite popular in USA and also a great favorite in India. Other brands like Eat Anytime nutrition bars are gaining admiration at a fascinating rate.