This year I’ve been testing out some different recipes for “on the go” cycling fuel. Finding a healthy homemade slice/bar that tastes good, is easy to make and that can survive longer rides is tricky. Previously I’d been a fan of the Lazy Cyclist’s Flapjack, but they’re not the healthiest option! These Vegan No-bake Oat Bars tick all the boxes and as long as you get the final consistency right, hold up pretty well when stuffed into a jersey pocket.
There’s no cooking or heating involved, simply chuck it all in a food processor, chop till it’s mixed, then spread into a tray! Okay, so there’s a little more to it than that, but this is one of the easiest slices I’ve ever made. Here’s what you’ll need:
100g Rolled oats
100g Natural almonds
75g Nut butter of choice
25ml Maple syrup
2 tbsp LSA or flax seed powder (optional)
The first step is to weigh out your dates. If the variety you’ve bought are a little too dry, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes prior to adding to the mix. Put your dates aside while you prepare the rest of the mixture.
Throw your rolled oats, almonds and LSA powder into a mixer and give it a good whiz until the almonds are chopped into little pieces. Drain the dates and chuck these in next, then give it another whiz. My processor pictured above is only just big enough for this recipe. I really need to invest in a better one!
Now add your nut butter. Peanut butter is fine of course, but I love ABC Nut Butter, it’s a combination of almonds, brazil nuts and cashews. To be honest, I use whatever happens to be in my cupboard at the time. Anything will do, it’s job is to help hold the bars together.
Next, grab your favourite shot glass and pour yourself a nip of
whiskey maple syrup. Drizzle that over the top and whiz until the mixture is combined evenly. Your final mixture needs to be in the “Goldilocks” zone – not too sticky/wet but also not too dry! You should be able to squeeze it into a ball and not have it crumble apart or be a sticky mess on your fingers. Add more oats if too wet, or more nut butter if too dry.
When you’re happy with the consistency, spread it into a baking paper lined tray and pat it down. Once you’re done patting it down, pat it down again! The better you compact the mixture into the tray, the better it will hold up once you cut it into slices and the more likely it will stay in shape in your jersey pocket. Pop the tray into the fridge for at least two hours to set.
After a couple of hours, carefully lift out your slice onto a board and cut into bars using a sharp knife. If you’re feeling enthusiastic you can wrap the bars individually in cling film, baking paper or aluminium foil. You may need to experiment with different wrapping techniques that are easy to handle while cycling. Foil works well for me, baking paper secured with a little tape is also an “easy access” option.
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge these bars will keep fresh for around two weeks (you’ll eat them ALL before they go off, believe me). Alternatively, pop them in the freezer for a couple of months!
Disclaimer: Yes, these are vegan. No, I am not. If you have something against eating vegan food, switch the maple syrup for honey and the almonds for bacon… (okay maybe not the bacon)