Date and Cranberry Energy Bars
I have never been able to fathom why so many cyclist eat branded energy bars. I love to ride my bike, and I love to eat but the thought of sating my pedaling-induced appetite on a jaw-aching, over-priced piece of flavored Plastecine is not my idea of a satisfying reward after hours in the saddle.
Sadly until my trip to The Holy Land any previous contact with this small, desert fruit was limited to the dusty capsule-shaped box, decorated with camels, palm trees and lurid sunsets, that were unearthed from a dark cupboard every Christmas.
But sweet, fibrous and packed with sugary energy, while cycling in Israel and Egypt I fell in love with dates and loaded up with kilos of this wonderful fruit which I discovered was the perfect desert cycling food. Whether they were given as gifts, picked up from the desert sand or purchased from the local shouk (market), bag of dates always hung from my handlebars, allowing my route through the Sinai to be easily tracked, like Hansel and Gretel through the forest, by a reliable trail of stones spat by the road side.
- 1 cup of chopped dates (stones removed)
- 1 cup of walnuts (soaked for 8 hours)
- 1 cups of plain almonds
- 3 tablespoons of golden syrup or natural honey
- 1 cup of desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
- 1 cup of raisins
- 1 cup of dried cranberries (can be replaced with sultanas to keep the cost down)
- The zest of one lemon
- A little extra coconut for dusting on top the energy bars if you feel creative.