Whether you’re caught up in an emergency situation or having a pleasant time in the woods, energy bars are a great addition to your diet.
The pros are solid: light to carry, easy and quick to eat, and comfortable to place in your pockets, your backpack and even the smallest pouches.
Energy bars are the real thing when it comes to having fast food at your immediate disposal… and in very easy reach! Plus, they are healthier than candy or any other kind of sweet. They also have a considerable shelf life, so you don’t have to worry too much about expiration.
You can purchase them just about anywhere, from big supermarket chains like Walmart to gas station, from duty-free shops in airports to vending machines.
They aren’t that expensive, but what if you want to test your cooking skills and try to make them at home… or straight out in the woods?
In this manner, you will not only cut the expenses related to the packaging, but you will also have the possibility to produce them on a large scale for you and your family members.
Make some calculations and think about it.
Benefits Of Making Your Own Survival Bars
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” – Bethenny Frankel
The benefits are indeed many:
- You can select the ingredients of your choice
- You can make many baking sheets’ worth by yourself
- You can cut them in the manner you prefer – square, rectangular, etc. so you can stuff them even in the most narrow parts of your gear
- You can decide the best method to wrap them (kitchen film, aluminum, bamboo boxes…)
- You save the time of purchasing them somewhere else
- You can involve your family in making them
Investing in the right choices always means investing in your health and your future too.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
In this article, we will see how we can produce some survival bars with the best selection of ingredients in terms of energy and calories.
Additionally, we will learn how to bake our bars at home and in the great outdoors.
Ingredients and Nutrients
“Healthy eating is a way of life, so it’s important to establish routines that are simple, realistically, and ultimately livable.” – Horace
Be mindful when you select and buy the ingredients you want in your survival bars.
As a matter of fact, your ingredients should be the result of careful thought about what you really need when you find yourself with a lack of energy and protein.
Plant-based proteins are indeed a precious resource once out in nature, and you don’t actually need much to regain the vigor – either physical or mental – that you must have in order to face different activities.
Now let’s dig into more useful information on some essential raw materials for our survival bars.
Nuts are traditionally synonymous with energy. This is because they contain a high level of fat. In fact, all types of nuts have all the major macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
Keep in mind that nuts contain a good amount of total protein, hence vegetarians can get the most out of them.
“In addition, nuts have a low lysine:arginine ratio, which is inversely associated with the risk of developing hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. Carbohydrates are the second highest macronutrient in nuts in terms of total calories provided. The fat fraction is characterized by a high amount of unsaturated fatty acids and a low content of saturated fatty acids. In conclusion, the high content in unsaturated fatty acids, the low lysine:arginine ratio, and the presence of other bioactive molecules (such as fibre, phytosterols, vitamin and other antioxidants, and minerals) make the addition of nuts to healthy diets a useful tool for the prevention of cardiovascular heart diseases.” (Nuts: Source of Energy and Macronutrients, published online by Cambridge University Press, 19 April 2007.)
Nuts are also a good source of many micronutrients:
- vitamin E
They are also extremely rich in fiber, which is absolutely beneficial for your digestion too!
Basically, you can add any kind fruit you want to.
Most popular are:
- black raspberries
All of them should be in dried form.
Nonetheless, you can try new flavors by adding the fruit you love the most. Even citruses can be very good.
Do not forget that each single kind of fruit corresponds to a specific vitamin. So you can actually prepare energy bars from scratch paying attention of what you want to get out of it. Not only vegetable protein but also vitamins A, B, or C.
By employing a good food dryer, you can process your fruit by cutting it in thin slices or tiny pieces (even better!) and mixing them into the pastry.
My suggestion is to organize your food storage by dedicating a box for all the ingredients you need to make your survival bars. This way you will know exactly what you need to prepare for the energy, nutrients and proteins you want.
You have plenty of choice when it comes to choosing grains to add to your pastry.
The most used are:
- oat bran
- puffed rice
- puffed millet
- puffed barley
- puffed spelt
- puffed kamut
In recent years, some companies have started to introduce seeds into their energy bars. My personal suggestion is do not overuse them! In fact, our digestive system isn’t fit for them.
Usually, chia seeds and black/white sesame are what you can find most often.
In order to keep your pastry together and well blended, you definitely need a thickening agent. Far from getting some chemical stuff you don’t really need to, you can go 100% easy and… organic!
As in the case of grains we mentioned above, you have plenty of options, like:
- Coconut oil
- Sesame oil
- Maple syrup
- Honey – in all the different varieties
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Pistachio butter
- Date palm oil
You can also add some jaggery, which happens to be more fit for granola than processed cane sugar.
How to Make Survival Bars from Scratch – At Home!
“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Besides the several perks we covered in the previous paragraphs, you will also be surprised by how quick it is to prepare your granola pastry.
Besides the essential elements, you just need a fridge (or an oven) and no more than twenty minutes of your time. And I am speaking for all the customized recipes you have in mind!
In a bowl, put all the ingredients of your choice, respecting proportions between nuts, fruit, grains, thickener and seeds to turn out a bar with the properties you want (and one that will stick together!). The actual amounts depend on the dimensions – and number! – of baking sheet you have at your disposal.
Mix them together in order to create a pastry.
Press this inside a baking dish.
Then, store inside the fridge for at least 3 hours. Later on, you can cut them into slices or small pieces as you please.
Energy bars can last up to five or even six days in the fridge. You can also freeze them!
In case you prefer to bake them, keep them in the oven at 350 F for no more than 10 minutes. Check them repeatedly and carefully, in order not to burn them.
Once out of the oven, leave them to cool for at least one hour.
The baking method may turn them a little bit crispy… as I personally prefer them.
How To Make Survival Bars from Scratch – In the Great Outdoors!
“You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.” – Unknown
What if you want to prepare your survival bars out in the woods? If you have a fire, you can definitely make it. All you need to use is a collapsible bowl, a spoon, and an upper grill to make sure they won’t get burned.
A few minutes of preparation, and at least an hour to cool down and… they are ready to be cut in pieces or broken with your own (clean!) hands!
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore
We don’t have to be super chefs to make these survival energy bars from scratch.
If you will go with a balanced amount of nuts, dry fruit, sugar, and fat, you will definitely have the essential elements to create some delicious, healthy and energizing bars. You can also add some dark/milk or white chocolate chips.
Get creative and go for it! Making survival bars could turn out to be not only a good investment but also a way to share your knowledge with the community of preppers out there.