Easy to consume on the go, energy bars can fuel your workouts and office hours. Our pick of the city’s best
Perfect for the busy but health consious, these compact bars promise to up your energy and your nutrition level. However, off-the-shelf nutrition bars raise concerns of preservatives and hidden sugars. So we thought we’d track down products that pack in all the goodness, and are peppered with heartening terms like gluten-free, no sugar and preservative free.
Breakfast in a bar
A weekend in Pondicherry need not necessarily mean pigging out on rich food. The cafe at Auroville’s visitor’s centre has a bunch of healthy options. Like Tamar Azulay’s gluten-free bars. “I bake an oats-sorghum flour bar that is chockfull of nuts, seeds, raisins, dates, apricots, dried coconut powder, and a little bit of chocolate—as we shouldn’t take health too seriously,” says the Aurovillian, who is originally from South Africa. Up next at her bakery: a jumbo-sized (100g) muesli cookie that will be a full meal in itself. `40 per bar.
Shelf life: 10 days. Details: facebook.com/pages/Tamarind-bakery
Taj Coromandel may be an unlikely place to go for your protein fix, but their granola bars have many fans. Made with corn, soya protein, almonds, raisins, oats and a variety of seeds, the bars are flavoured with cocoa or honey. “It is a very compact source of energy,” says executive chef Alok Anand, adding that it’s “pretty balanced—with proteins, fibre, carbohydrates and vitamins.” They also customise the bars, from flavours to ingredients—with options like walnuts, apricots, figs and dried cranberries. `200 for a 70 gm bar (minimum order of 10 bars). Shelf life: three to five days. Details: 66002827
JoAnne Saldanha bakes two fun yet healthy varieties. Her most popular bar is the flapjack—oats and atta bars with a fruit compote centre (plum and strawberry). Her apricot-seed bars (with sunflower/pumpkin seeds and oats) are another healthy option. “I make sure everything is jam-packed with all the good stuff,” says the home baker. `80 per bar. There is no minimum order. Details: facebook.com/MojoMostlyOrganicByJo
Do the dates
The people at Fabindia had got on to the health wagon years ago. Their date bar with lime and apricot raisin bar are great to have around for those days when you are too busy to fix a snack. Loaded with nutrition and the goodness of dates, organic almonds, honey, raisins, walnuts and more, they come in 30 gm packets. `70 for a bar. Available at most of the Fabindia outlets. Details: 43515208
Burst of flavour
“I have a basic health bar that I make with oats, seeds like flax and sunflower, and dried fruits and nuts. These can then be customised in any way you want,” says home baker, Kuki Ravindran. Popular options include almonds, walnuts, raisins, apricots, dates, figs and currants. “I sweeten the bars with brown sugar, honey or jaggery,” she says, adding that nut butters like peanut and almond are also available. While she has kid-friendly options like chocolate and caramel, for adults, she is going to introduce a batch of new options: cranberry-almond, coconut-apricot and banana nut granola bars. Protein bars will soon be up for sale on her Facebook page, too. `1,200 for a batch (12 large ones or 15 medium). Details: facebook.com/TheKukiJar
Her apple cinnamon bars have been flying off the shelves at Anna Nagar’s Piece of Cake for years. “Made with fresh apples and an oatmeal-atta base, I make gluten and sugar free varieties, too,” says owner Shalini Padmanabhan. She also makes museli bars — a baked one for adults with dried fruits and nuts like almonds, cashews, raisins and dates, and an unbaked version for children with a mix of cereals like cornflakes, chocos and rice krispies. “I use chocolate to bind the kids’ bars,” says the home baker, adding that she is working on converting the bars into pops for easy snacking. `50 for a bar.
Details: 43500129 / 9940489976
Three years after the launch of their suji-based health mix, Splendid Food Company, city-based catering company, has a new offering — an oats and prunes health bar. “The benefits of oats and prunes are well-known. The bars also have wheat germ, which is good for digestion, and sesame seeds, a great source of calcium,” says Gibran Osman, actor-entrepreneur. Gluten, sugar and preservatives free, the bars will be available in stores like Brown Tree and Nuts ‘n’ Spices this month. `50 for a 45 gm bar. Also available as a box of 24. Details: 9445427566
Surya Praphulla Kumar