by Jannette Rho, Peaks Coaching Group Nutritionist

We all know how important nutrition is on the bike. Hundreds of energy bars, gels, drinks, gummies, and beans are on the market trying to fill that crucial need. Over time you find a favorite type, brand, and flavor; you become loyal; and you purchase a lot of it.

As you grab your favorite form of nutrition, do you take the time to read the ingredients, check out the macronutrient profile, and analyze the source of those nutrients? A number of bars are not suitable for those with gluten or soy sensitivities, and that nagging feeling in your gut should not be ignored, not to mention the sudden crash you can experience from processed sugars.

Even if you read all the ingredient lists, the only way to know for sure what you’re taking into your body is to make it yourself. It may sound time-consuming and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. To prove it, here is an easy, no-bake recipe for a more natural source of energy on the bike using real food. You might even find that you save a few dollars by making your own.

Grab a mixing bowl and click through for the recipe….


½ cup dried figs
½ cup dried dates (or apricots)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup rolled oats
2 cup crisp brown rice cereal
2 tablespoons protein powder (or flaxmeal)
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cherries (for variety, also try blueberries or cranberries)


  1.  Soak figs and dates in water for two hours, then place fruit in a food processor and puree into a paste, using soaking water as needed to loosen. Add salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the rolled oats on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Combine the toasted oats with the other dry ingredients. Add to the fruit paste and mix thoroughly.
  4. Press firmly into an 8×8″ pan. Chill overnight and cut into bars.

Makes 9 servings.

Nutrition facts (per serving):

kcal 214.0
fat (g) 5.5
Sodium (mg) 36.7
Carb (g) 36.8
Fiber (g) 4.4
Sugar (g) 18.9
Protein (g) 6.4


Jannette Rho is a nutritionist with Peaks Coaching Group, holding a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Chicago. It is her goal to find the right fuel for training and events and to assist athletes with nutritional challenges while working within their individual capacities. Jannette can be contacted directly through


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