Being a frugal road biker is tricky. At times, it’s near impossible. So when I started training for LOTOJA last spring I instinctively shielded my wallet when the realization struck me of how much I would be eating, let alone pedaling, on my long training rides. Armed with the sum of human wisdom (Google) and a tough set of intestines, my homemade energy bars recipe experiment ended with this tasty number. At less than $.20 per 200 calorie bar, it satisfied my hunger and my budget.

Energy Bars Ingredients List
1 1/4 cups store brand Crisp Rice (Rice Krispies)
1 cup uncooked quick oats
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/4 cup chopped raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Step One
Stick your oats, flaxseed meal, raisins, cinnamon, and Rice Krispies in a semi-large mixing bowl. Stir them together a bit so when you add the peanut butter mixture you don’t inhale balls of cinnamon that throw you into a coughing fit at mile 65 this weekend.

Step Two
On the stove, warm up the peanut butter and syrup. Heat and stir until they form a nice, smooth mixture. After you take it off the heat, add the vanilla. Why you do this, I have no idea, but one cooking blog insisted. Who am I to argue.

Step Three
Pour your peanut butter goop into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix until everything is coated in peanut-buttery, syrupy goodness.

Step Four
Spray a small cooking sheet with PAM or whatever non-stick cooking spray you fancy. Dump your mixture onto the sheet, cover it with wax paper, and use a rolling pin to mash it down hard into the pan. Stick the whole thing into the fridge to chillax for a bit.

Step Five
Take it out of the fridge (unless you have a special talent for wielding a pizza cutter among milk and eggs) and slice your concoction into 8 bars.

Step Six
Wrap each one in wax paper (you can do plastic wrap, but wax paper is much easier to unwrap when riding), tape it up, and throw a few in your jersey pocket for your next ride.

Nutrition Facts
So, here’s how it goes, for the recipe above you’ve got a total 1670 calories, 214g of carbs, and 48g of protein. If you cut it into 8 bars, you’ve got bars that have 209 calories, 27g of carbs, and 6g of protein a piece for about $0.19 a bar. Not too shabby.

Ugrades
If you like nuts. You can add those. I’m not a big fan of nuts in bars so, obviously, my version is nut-free.

Maple syrup isn’t the healthiest option. If you’re picky about that stuff, some of the recipes I looked at recommended brown rice syrup. I had no idea what that was, so Kroger brand flavored corn syrup was my fuel of choice.

I’ve tried other dried fruit like craisins, dried pineapple, etc., but you can’t really taste a difference so stick with trusty, cheap raisins.

If you like protein powders or whatever GNC had on sale this week, can’t hurt to give ‘em a try.