Let’s face it: A store-bought snack bar is usually just a distant cousin of the candy bar. You know, the long-lost relative with a crunchier-than-thou attitude that’s really just covering a host of insecurities about all that refined sugar and those weird preservatives. Why not skip the imposters and bake up one of these truly healthy alternatives?
The Granola Bar (above)
Alton Brown’s granola bars seem to have every wholesome food on the face of this planet: Old-fashioned Oats? Check. Wheat Germ? Check. Almonds? Check. Yet they manage to prove a granola bar can be fun and flavorful and not the same old snoozefest.
The Protein Bar
These bars are packed with powerhouse sources of protein: Tofu, eggs, peanut butter and soy protein powder all make appearances and add up to a total of 8 grams of protein per 167-calorie square. Dried super fruits like cherries and blueberries add an antioxidant punch and there’s a hint of sweetness from unfiltered apple juice.
The Energy Bar
Whereas most energy bars will “fuel” you with a host of sugar-coated ingredients no normal person can pronounce, these ones bring things back to basics with a simple mix of oats, dried fruit and nuts — all sweetened with maple syrup and dates.
The Cereal Bar
One last case for making your own snack bars: Here, bran cereal and oats get a gourmet makeover with dried figs, walnuts, and a bit of spice from cinnamon and ginger. Healthy fiber has never tasted so great. Plus, the bars only take 20 minutes to bake, so you might as well make a double batch: They can keep in the freezer for up to three months.