Raspberry Energy Bar and Cross Country Running

It takes a certain type of young man to run cross country, I think.  Not only does it take a good bit of physical strength and endurance, but mental tenacity while training and running for miles in hot, humid Savannah weather, too.   Under the passionate dedication of Coach MacKay, my two older boys had the amazing opportunity to run on the Savannah Arts Academy team this year. The team won the regional title and will be heading to the State meet in a few weeks.  Go Panthers!

These homemade whole grain raspberry energy bars made with wheat germ, oats, flax seeds and berries are a wonderful nutritious filler before the race.  And they taste wonderful, too!

Raspberry Energy Bar

Cooking oil spray
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened (2 tablespoon divided)
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
3/4 cup sugar-free raspberry jam
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil by spreading two sheets of foil perpendicular to each other over the pan, with extra foil hanging over the edges. Grease the foil with cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, wheat germ, granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat in 14 tablespoons of butter with an electric mixer on low until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 1½ minutes. Reserve 1¼ cups of the mixture for the topping and put the rest into the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it into an even layer. Bake the crust until the edges begin to brown, about 14-18 minutes.

Mix the reserved flour mixture with the oats, nuts, brown sugar and flax seeds. Add the remaining butter and pinch the mixture with your fingers into small clumps. In a separate bowl, lightly smash the raspberries, jam and lemon juice together. Spread the berry mixture over the hot crust and sprinkle the crumb streusel on top.

Bake until golden brown, about 22-25 minutes. Let the bars cool completely in the pan. Remove bars from pan by lifting up the foil edges. Cut into 24 squares.