- Feb 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm #1325447
I have been toying with the idea of making my own "energy" bars as the store bought brands are getting a little tiresome.
I have seen lots of recipes on line and most say "keeps for 5 days in the fridge". Anyone have any exp with home made bars on the trail and how long they lasted (shelf life as opposed to eating)
I typically only do trips of about a week and usually in late summer so it will still be pretty warm.
I am toying with the idea of freezing them and then storing them in a pot cozy in the food bag….Feb 6, 2015 at 1:51 pm #2172018
I never refrigerate my squares of Logan Bread. I commonly consume the squares 1-3 months after baking. Occasionally I have let it go 6 months. I never throw any out unless there is mold growing on it, and that has become rare once I learned exactly how to bake it.
So, what is all of this talk about freezing?
–B.G.–Feb 6, 2015 at 2:33 pm #2172049
I A N ?BPL Member
My understanding is that water is your enemy here; the more of it you remove from the ingredients, the better. Hard to say what the shelf life is without knowing the ingredients of the bars. The honey in my pantry would outlive me if I didn't consume it.
Of the few foods I dehydrate on my own, like canned chicken for example, I throw them in the freezer and take them out just before the trip. I don't worry about keeping them cool for the trip itself since they are very dry. I'd probably be ok just leaving it in the cupboard but it really isn't a problem for me when they are in the freezer.
Short answer, I'd freeze them and consume within six months, more for keeping them from getting freezer funky than anything else.Feb 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm #2172061
"My understanding is that water is your enemy here; the more of it you remove from the ingredients, the better."
I agree. As an example, Logan Bread batter uses very little water. Then it is baked. Then it is cut and air-dried for a day before bagging it up. The flavor tends to get a little bland after 3 months or so. When I bag it, I have to put a date on it so that I remember when I baked it. No, not the month. I have to put the year on the label.
–B.G.–Feb 6, 2015 at 6:21 pm #2172119
Keep hearing so much about it….Feb 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm #2172120
I wonder if the only liquid agent was honey if that would increase trail (shelf) life….Feb 6, 2015 at 6:30 pm #2172123
Hmmm. I'm not sure. When it is baked, the honey probably just becomes different kinds of sugar crystals. Some of the moisture comes from a small amount of cooking oil. Oh, and then there is a little molasses, which probably mostly converts to more sugar crystals plus some stickiness. There is very little water in it.
–B.G.–Feb 6, 2015 at 10:40 pm #2172173
I have been making homemade bars for a while now. My trick is that it is pretty much raw ingredients so there is no shelf life or even refrigeration required.
My base is almond meal, sunflower seeds, cashews and organic roled oats.
From there I'll add vegan chocolate chips, chocolate protein, coconut oil or shreded cocanut and maybe some flaxseed or quinoa. Maybe even some peanut butter.
Sweetner is usually aguave or honey, but for the most part it's fine without. Put in a food processor and the motion heats everything up until it becomes a consistency that won't mix any more. Make them into bar sizes and wrap with wax paper. Once they get cold they harder back up. Best part about the bars is how easy they go down while being about 60% nut based. They also taste so much better than any other bar I have tried. Very caloric as well.Feb 9, 2015 at 10:21 pm #2173019
Aaron I'm interested in duplicating the bars you make. What would the difference be between using almond butter and almond meal? Also, how do you get them in bar shapes when they are still liquidy?Feb 10, 2015 at 1:03 am #2173027
Almond meal is just ground up almonds so it is much dryer. The almond butter would make the bars much stickier.
Not that that's all that bad, you would just need to put it in after you've ground up everything.
The only way you can mess up the bars are by putting nuts that have a bitter taste in the mix.
Most of the harder nuts will overshadow the flavoring, but almonds don't seem to.
They are nut liquidy at all.
You really need to process it for a while to have it start to loose it's form in the processor.
Even then, I usually have to add some liquid sweetner in to make it start to clump together.Feb 10, 2015 at 10:16 am #2173099
Dave HeissBPL Member
@daveheissLocale: Pacific Northwest
+1 to the request that you post the recipe for your nut barsFeb 10, 2015 at 11:31 am #2173129
+2 I promise I will refer to them as "Aaron Bars" to anyone I meet on the trail.Feb 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm #2173165
This one has both chocolate protein and chocolate chips. The protein powder is what turned it the chocolate color.
This bar contains:
2-tspn Agave 5 sweetener (put in at the end)
1/4 part- flaxseed and quinoa
Between 1/2 and 3/4 part- coconut, chocolate chips and chocolate protein powder
1 part- dates, raisins, sunflower seeds
1 1/2 parts- almond meal and cashews
I have a big processor so one part was about a big hand full.
About 60-90 seconds on high it starts to clump and is mixed up very well.
It takes a while because the grinding of the nuts slowly draws the oils out and it heats up from the blades, allowing everything to soften up which clump everything together.
Since most nut oils are hard at room temperature, putting it in the fridge makes them a very good consistency.
Putting the liquid sweetener in it at the end and the mix clumps up in just a few seconds.
Take out a hand full and shape into the form you want.
Each of my batches makes about 2 dozen bars.
I've never made them the same way twice, so they can be your own bar.
Stick with the basics I've mentioned and everything will work out fine.
If you want them a little soft and chewier, add more dates and raisins, (you don't even taste the raisins or dates that much).
Want it a little more chocolaty, add more.
If you only add just dates, or just raisins, you'll need to add at least 1 1/2 parts of the one.
The only batch I made that wasn't really good had to much flaxseed and too many bitter nuts with it.
The bitter nuts were hard and didn't break down that well, so each bite was bitter.
There was even some pumpkin seeds in it trying to use up everything. It was not good.
For the most part, you could just use the almonds, cashews, dates, raisins, and chocolate and make some really good bars.
If you have an expensive taste, macadamia nuts could replace any nut parts, or help make a bigger batch.
If you want it softer and add more raisins or dates, don't use any sweetener or it will clump up too much.
If you want a lot of chocolate, there is also no need for a sweetener. It just may take a little longer for the mix to soften up.Feb 20, 2015 at 7:13 pm #2176238
Thanks Arron SO much!!! Just made them last night and they are so delicious! Can't wait to calc the nutritional stats in my blend.
Thanks again!Oct 7, 2017 at 4:54 pm #3495285
Andrea FeuchtBPL Member
Water is definitely the enemy. One could make bars/cookies out of real ingredients without much if any water if enough liquid ingredients are used (oil and/or sugar, which is a liquid when baking): substitute ghee for butter, and whole dried eggs for fresh eggs. One other pastry chef “trick” is to buy and use “invert” sugar (basically liquid glucose) which is very shelf stable. Now you are in the vicinity of being able to make high-calorie shelf-stable brownies, cookies, bars, all kinds of things. I am pondering right now the best freakin’ brownie recipe ever (Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies) made with those substitutions. Yum yum and stupid dense.
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