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The Marine Corps Marathon: Homemade Energy Bars for Runners (and Others)

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Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon opened to the general public today at noon. Taking place on October 30th this year, it’s a popular marathon, open to the first 30,000 participants – last year it filled up in under a week. If you’re looking to register, you can do it here.

Whether you’re a marathon runner or run for a myriad of other reasons, you’ll need healthy snacks that are good to go and can replenish your energy while providing a nutrient boost. (A good thing for any of us to have on hand – not just runners!)

Many marathon runners have their own favorite snacks they bring along that are easy to digest and provide carbohydrates – this basic chewy granola bar recipe can be customized to suit your tastes and needs – the honey and maple syrup combined with the oats, seeds and dried fruit provide a mix of simple sugars and complex carbs.

White House Fruit and Oat Bars

Adapted from Bill Yosses, White House pastry chef, via the New York Times

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower, flax and sesame
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, blueberries, pears, figs and cranberries (use a few kinds, and chop them up if they’re big)
a shake of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9×9″ baking pan with parchment paper or foil, letting a few inches hang over side of pan. Spray with nonstick spray.

Spread oats and seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven just until golden and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes, shaking pan once.

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, oil, honey, maple syrup and salt over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until smooth and starting to bubble. Transfer the toasted oats and seeds to a mixing bowl. add the dried fruit and cinnamon and pour the hot sugar mixture overtop. Stir well with a heat-proof spatula, then spread into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using the overhanging foil or paper, lift out of pan and place on a cutting board; cut into squares or bars. Makes about 2 dozen bars.

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