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Make your own energy bars to reduce calories

December 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
We all know how popular energy bars are - there's almost an entire aisle devoted in the store exactly for them. While they're fun to just stash and dash, you can save a bundle and get better nutrition if you make your own. If you take a look at some of the most popular brands, you will find they have some sort of crunch carbohydrate, some type of fruit and nut, and often an extra thrown in like chocolate. Why not take one from each category of cereal, dried fruit, and nuts, and then add an extra of your choice.

Start with cereals. Grab your favorite, like flakes, granola or some other grain. Then choose dried fruit, like cranberries, figs or pineapple - something small yet nutritionally sweet.

Next, get nutty, like almonds, peanuts, pistachios and such, and chop coarsely.

You'll also pick a petite treat like chocolate chips, coconut, seeds and even wheat germ if you're feeling fit.

To bind the ingredients together, use a bit of flour and egg white, vanilla extract and a bit sugar if desired.

They take no time to assemble and bake. The only thing you will miss is the clever packaging because making them at home, your options are endless.

Prevention magazine, which provided an energy bar recipe, says there's 18 bars in a batch at 19 cents apiece and just 77 calories.

You can make them just a little bit bigger, and you'll still going to save on the cost and the calories.