After sharing my tips for traveling with a restricted diet last week, I thought it would be great to share one of my favorite recipes for traveling. These Road Trip Energy Bars are one of my go-to treats to make and bring along on every trip. They travel well and they are super simple to make, plus you can really play around with the recipe to make these your own using what you have on hand.
The espresso powder is optional, but if you like coffee, you have to add it. It brings a nice subtle coffee flavor which compliments the chocolate and peanut butter perfectly, plus you get some of those great energy benefits of caffeine – perfect for a long day of travel!
I make these for almost every long road trip we take. They are so easy to make the night before you leave, and I love knowing that I always have something safe to eat. Have fun with this recipe by adding in your favorite dried fruit or nut, or if you are like me, these bars can double as the perfect way to clean out the pantry just before you hit the road, adding in anything and everything that is just hanging out!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Road Trip Energy Bars – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free
Makes 8 bars (you can also cut them into smaller squares to 16 or more)
1 ripe organic banana, mashed (try adding a second or third banana if you wish to make these sugar-free)
2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour (or just process some gluten-free rolled oats into a fine powder)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, vegan + gluten-free
1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (you could also use honey, coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, etc. – or skip and add extra bananas)
1/2 cup organic natural peanut butter, chunky or creamy (or any other nut or seed butter)
2 tablespoons organic baking cocoa
2 tablespoons chia seeds, (you could also use flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, etc)
1/4 cup almond slivers (or any other nut of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – 2 tablespoons espresso powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
*Note – Remember, you can easily make these energy bars your own, by adding, substituting and skipping ingredients as you’d like. To make these sugar-free replace the syrup with stevia or another banana. They could also easily be made nut-free by skipping the almonds and using sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. If you don’t like coffee, skip the espresso powder. Have fun with this recipe!
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ glass baking pan very well, or line it with foil, leaving some overhang on two of the sides so you can easily pull it out of the pan to make cutting even easier (this is what I did).
In a large mixing bowl, add all of your ingredients. Mix and mash up very well until it is all well combined. Get your hands in there!
Press the mixture firmly and evenly into your pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry if the bars seem a bit soft, they will firm up as they cool. After it has completely cooled, either lift the entire thing out of the pan and cut into bars or squares, or cut while it is in the pan.
These can be stored individually in the fridge or freezer. Since I made these two days ago, I stored them in the fridge and then wrapped each one individually in a little piece of parchment paper and a sandwich bag for easy eating in the car!
What is your favorite homemade snack to pack for a long road trip?
For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.
More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.