I recently got to work with The Peanut Institute on their campaign to promote peanuts as a superfood, and I was SO stoked because I can’t remember the last time I went a single day without having peanuts/peanut butter in some form or another. They’re truly a staple in my diet, from peanut butter protein shakes, to peanut m&m’s, drizzled PB on my smoothie bowls, with apples… I could go on and on!
I was only tasked with creating an Instagram Reel, but I wanted to share the recipe from that video on here as well. I chose to showcase my Biker’s Peanut Butter Bars, which are an excellent source of fuel for my training, both mid-ride and post-ride!
With ingredients like oats, peanut butter, sugar, and a touch of chocolate, these bars are a perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats that provide the sustained energy I need for long rides.
I typically aim for 90 grams of carbs per hour for my bike rides, primarily fuelled by Clif Blocks and my own maple syrup/water/sodium mix. But sticking to this guideline on pure sugars can be pretty tough, particularly on rides that are 4+ hours long. I kinda just stumbled upon the solution to this (for me; fuelling is very individual) when we did a coffee shop stop on one of our long rides and I had an oatmeal cookie. It still had lots of carbs, but also some fats and proteins that I think gave my tummy and GI some much needed balance. So basically, I learned the hard way that the best solution for me is a combination of quick sugars and more whole-food carbs, for both rapid and sustained energy.
I use a range of treats now to supplement my fuelling, including the classic oatmeal raisin cookie, my peanut butter protein bites, and these Biker’s Peanut Butter Bars. So, why do they work so well?
Oats are rich in complex carbohydrates, making them a slow-burning fuel source that provides a steady release of energy. Peanut butter is an excellent source of healthy fats and protein, which helps muscles recover and keeps hunger at bay. This one is huge for me, as I found that despite crushing gels and drinks, I would get hungry on long rides. For rapid-release energy (and deliciousness), we’ve got sugar and chocolate. It’s a simple, but well-rounded bar that will fuel your body while still tasting wonderful.
In today’s world of health-conscious eating, there’s often a debate about the role of sugar in our diets. A LOT of people tend to shy away from it, and get super weird about it online, associating sugar with negative health effects. While it’s true that excessive sugar intake can have detrimental consequences, it’s important to recognize that our bodies need sugar to fuel our cells, especially when exercising!! Personally, I don’t shy away from sugar at all, ever… but especially not when it’s part of a balanced and well-rounded snack like these energy bars. The carbs in these babies come from the oats and peanut butter, yes, but also from the brown sugar!
As for the prep, it doesn’t get much simpler. Mix everything in one bowl, press it into a pan, bake, drizzle with toppings, and enjoy! A few notes: watch my video (down below) for a tip on getting parchment paper to fit nicely in the pan; bake to golden brown at the edges; peanut butter and chocolate drizzles are optional, but highly recommended!
Lastly, on a practical note… I choose to cut my bars into long rectangles so they fit into my bento box! But you may, of course, slice them however you’d like. Just remember to adjust the nutritional info if you’re straying away from the 27 bars/pan.
Here’s the nutritional break-down per bar:
Fat: 12 grams
Saturated Fat: 5 grams
Cholesterol: 30-35 mg
Sodium: 200 mg
Carbohydrates: 28 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sugars: 20 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Here’s a short video showing the process:
Happy baking, and happy biking!
Biker’s Peanut Butter Bars
- 3/4 cup butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate for melting and drizzling on top, optional
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter for melting and drizzling on top, optional
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the room-temperature butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
- Mix in the 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter until the batter is smooth and well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, all-purpose flour, and old-fashioned rolled oats.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until you have a uniform dough.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared 9×13-inch pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the bars turn golden brown.
- If desired, melt the peanut butter and the chopped dark chocolate in two separate microwave-safe bowl in 20-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth. Drizzle them each over the baked bars.
- Allow the bars to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then cut them into long rectangles for easy on-the-go snacks.
- Pack them into your bento box and take them along on your bike rides for a delicious and energizing snack.
- Storage: To keep your homemade energy bars fresh, store them in an airtight container or zip-top bag. You can refrigerate them for up to one week. For longer storage, freeze the bars individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper and keep them in a resealable freezer bag for up to three months. Freezing is an excellent option if you like to prepare batches in advance.
- Customize Your Bars: Feel free to get creative with these bars. You can add a variety of mix-ins such as chopped nuts, dried fruits, or seeds to suit your taste preferences and nutritional needs. Experiment with different types of nut butter or flavoured extracts to create unique flavour profiles.
- On-the-Go Snacking: The long rectangular shape of these bars makes them perfect for on-the-go snacking during outdoor activities like cycling, hiking, or picnics. They are designed to fit conveniently in your bento box or any small backpack pocket, providing a quick and easy energy boost when you need it most.
- Optional Chocolate Drizzle: The drizzle of melted dark chocolate on top is entirely optional. It adds a touch of indulgence to the bars, making them even more tempting. You can skip this step if you prefer a simpler, less sweet option or are looking to reduce the sugar content.
- Nutritional Information: For precise nutritional information per bar, consider calculating based on the specific brands and measurements of the ingredients you use.