Winter weather … cold, crisp and clear.

When the sun shines, get outside. Ski, snowshoe, sled or run your dog to get that sun full on your face. The sun can help immensely in lifting your spirits as well as getting much-needed Vitamin D.

When travelling in cold temperatures, make sure you pack lots of liquid (preferably hot in Thermoses) as well as high-energy snacks.

Here is a recipe that is abundant in protein, moderate in fat and very high in flavour.

These bars can be made ahead, individually wrapped and frozen till you need them (on or off the snowmobile or ski pulk). These have the advantage of being even better when eaten in the near-frozen state so they work very well for our Northern travel.

Experiment with the nuts … both in the bars and with whom you enjoy the outdoors.


Winter Energy Bars

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons soft butter

1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate

2 tablespoons cream, evaporated milk or low-fat milk

¾ cup whey protein (buy in a health food store)

1 cup finely chopped nuts (use a variety: pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, filberts)

½ cup unsweetened coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

warm water (about 2 tablespoons)

PREPARATION

Place butter, chocolate and cream/milk in a large heat-proof bowl.

Microwave until melted (about two minutes on medium-high power).

Stir till very smooth.

Add in the whey (protein) powder, nuts, coconut and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add in warm water and continue stirring until the mixture sticks together.

Plastic wrap the inside of a 9″ x 9″ glass or metal pan (or larger pan if you want thinner squares).

Dump the mixture into prepared pan pressing down with plastic wrap to smooth surface.

Cover and chill several hours or overnight.

Cut into squares and wrap individually.