Guest Blog: Samantha Hagness

I love my Vitamix!

My boyfriend and I splurged and bought ourselves a Vitamix for Christmas last year. We went with the refurbished one so we could justify how frivolous we were being. As it turns out, it was absolutely worth every penny (all 28,500 of the them to be exact) because I am pretty sure that I have used it at least 239 out of the last 240 days. Needless to say, I am always willing and ready to blend anything and everything I can find in our kitchen.

In fact, on our last backpacking trip I decided to blend dates, nuts, chocolate, and chia seeds.  Sounds good, right?  Except when I “carefully” picked out my chocolate of choice, I apparently missed half the description that said, “dark chocolate flavored melting chips,” so what I got instead of actual dark chocolate was a slab of sugar and oil.  As it turns out, “melting chips” still melt after you blend them into energy bars.  After 3 hours in our backpacks my infamous energy bars were dubbed “grease balls.”  Every time we ate them our fingers were covered in a sugary, oily mess that made us the perfect target for pesky bugs as we trekked through the wilderness.

Becoming a Better Bar Maker

My energy bar-making ability has definitely improved since the “grease ball” fiasco. I promise. My latest challenge was to figure out how to blend up 10 lbs of dried fruits and nuts from a never-ending care package that had taken over our kitchen table. Luckily, sugar, salt, and protein are just what I’m looking for when I’m on a long run, and the ingredients blended together perfectly to create a solid running energy bar. Not only are they delicious, they are packed with calories, incredibly easy to throw into your pack, and surprisingly convenient to eat on the run. Watch out for the Chia seeds, though. They will get stuck in your teeth, but hey, who are we trying to impress out there on the trails?

Here’s what you’ll need: *makes about 12 bars

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • ½ cup *banana chips
  • Juice from half a lemon or lime
  • 1 cup *Cashews
  • ½ cup dried pineapple
  • ½ cup dried mango
  • ½ tablespoon chia seeds
  • extra chia seeds
  • An incredibly powerful blender (Clearly, I’m pro Vitamix.)
  • Parchment paper
  • Aluminum foil

*You can soak the cashews and banana chips beforehand if you want your end product all be one texture.  If you don’t mind some crunch, I’d skip the soaking step.

  1. Mix your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Throw all (Note: you may need to just put in half or even a fourth, depending on the size and power of your blender) ingredients into your incredibly powerful blender. You can play around with the ratios depending on your preferences.
  3. Blend on 1/3-to-1/2 speed, pushing ingredients into the blade as needed. (Note: My Vitamix got a little angry with me after a few batches and started to overheat. I gave it a little rest, and everything was fine.  But, if it starts to get hot, I’d suggest a lower speed.)
  4. Pour an extra tablespoon of chia seeds onto the parchment paper and spread them out in a thin layer.
  5. Empty your contents from the blender onto the chia seeds and spread them out evenly in a quarter inch layer.
  6. Coat the top of your mixture with another tablespoon of chia seeds.
  7. Cut the bar into squares. I like to make bars of all sizes so I can take the bigger bars on longer runs.
  8. Wrap the squares up in aluminum foil.
  9. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to run.

Wrapped Energy Bars

Samantha’s Bio & Website

Nutrition: (per bar)

Calories- 180
Fat- 7g
Sugar- 8g
Carbs- 17g
Protein- 3g

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