I love nutrition bars, or at least, I love the idea of them. I’ve always struggled to find one that genuinely has a low sugar and carb content. Most nutrition bars on the market cater to creating sugar-induced quick energy spikes pre- or post- training, and for someone who is insulin resistant this is less than ideal. As a result, I have very limited choice when selecting one from the supermarket or store to try.
Thus far, there have been only two brands of bar that have almost met my low sugar, low carb requirements: Kind bars and Fulfil bars. Kind bars are on the higher end of my ‘acceptable amount of sugar’ scale, averaging around 16g carb and 6g of sugar per bar. Fulfil bars are significantly lower, averaging around 11g of carbs and less than 3g of sugar.
I was convinced that Fulfil bars were the post-training snack of my dreams, especially with their high protein content. However, on closer inspection I was not fully happy with the ingredients list. In particular, I was suspicious of the presence of erithrytol in the bars as the main source of sweetness. At the time I hadn’t heard of erithrytol, but after some research I found that it has fuelled some contentious discussion in the health and fitness community.
Erithrytol politics aside, I just wanted a good nutrition bar that I could rely on, particularly after training. And then I had a light bulb moment – why don’t I just make my own? I could make a batch every Sunday and take one out with me every morning before work. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since.
- 80g roasted hazelnuts
- 80g almond flakes
- 80g almond flour
- 1 1/2 apples
- 96g xylitol
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 130g salted butter
- 1 cup of water
Serves 10 (60g per bar)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes – Oven setting: 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
Total time: 40 minutes
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
- Remove the skin of the apples with a peeler or knife, and cut them coarsely.
- Put the apples in a large pot with the cup of water and bring to the boil.
- Put the butter in with the apples and water and stir until melted.
- Put the lid on the pot and reduce to a medium-low heat to allow the apples to soften. If bubbles rise to the lid of the pot, you will need to reduce the flame.
- Pour the xylitol into the pot and stir in for a few minutes until dissolved.
- When the apples have softened, use a masher to mash the apples until it becomes a thick sauce. It doesn’t have to be smooth, I liked leaving mine with chunks of apple in it.
- Leave the apple sauce to cool in the pan.
- Use a pestle and mortar or grinder to grind the hazelnuts until it has a crumb-like consistency.
- Add the crumbled hazelnuts, almond flakes and almond flour to the apple sauce mixture.
- Add the cinnamon powder to the mixture and stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Divide the mixture into measured portions and shape on a baking tray with baking parchment. Remember, the more accurate the weight of each bar, the better you can calculate the macros!
- Bake until golden for around 20 minutes. And then eat them. All of them (I’m joking, kind of).
Nutritional information per 60g serving:
Fat (g): 25.3
Carbs (g): 14.8
Protein (g): 5.6
Sugars (g): 2.6
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