Before SHTF, preppers know that they need to stock up on survival rations so they can keep their energy up when disaster strikes. But not all energy bars are good for you, especially if they're full of added sugar and harmful chemicals like high-fructose corn syrup.
Energy bars should contain macronutrients like carbohydrates, fat and protein and micronutrients like essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Store-bought energy bars are often displayed near candy bars, and for a good reason. Despite claims that they're good for you, commercially made energy bars come in artificial flavors and contain mostly sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
HFCS and sugar contain fructose and glucose. Since you metabolize fructose differently than glucose, consuming too much fructose can cause health problems.
HFCS can cause increased liver fat because it's full of fructose which is metabolized differently than other carbs. In the long term, liver fat accumulation can cause serious health problems like fatty liver disease and Type 2 diabetes.
According to studies, high-fructose corn syrup and sugar are linked to obesity. It can also add visceral fat, a "bad" type of fat that surrounds your organs.
Consuming too much HFCS may cause insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, two key contributors To type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
Eating too much food that contains HFCS is linked to a greater risk of numerous diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Like other added sugars, HFCS contains "empty" calories without essential nutrients. Consuming HFCS decreases the total nutrient content of your diet since the more HFCS you consume, the less room you have for nutrient-dense foods.
Store-bought energy bars are full of carbs that are digested and absorbed quickly into your bloodstream. This is ideal if you're hiking to your bug-out location, but not if you just want a light snack for lunch.
Survival energy bar recipe with steel-cut oats
These homemade survival energy bars taste just as good as store-bought bars, but minus the harmful chemicals, HFCS and added sugars.
3 Ounces of dried fruit powder (Lemon, orange, or your preferred flavor.)
Combine the oats, dry milk and sugar in a bowl.
Mix the honey, dried fruit powder and water in a saucepan. Stir constantly and bring to boil. Remove from heat and combine with the dry ingredients. Mix well.
The resulting dough will be stiff, so use a food processor or heavy-duty mixer. If the dough is too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time and mix it in thoroughly until you can pat the dough into the pan or a cookie sheet.
Cut into bars before baking at 200 to 250 F for 1.5 hours. If you're using a dehydrator, process for 150 F for four to five hours. Use different dried fruit powder flavors, add fruits or nuts, or use molasses instead of honey to make different flavors of energy bars.
Package the bars depending on your needs. If you're adding the survival energy bars into bug-out bags (BOBs), vacuum-seal them.
You can also wrap each bar in plastic and store them in cookie or candy tins in your car.