This is a post I have had on Weelicious for years. I make them all the time, but realized that I hadn't updated the images in years. The recipe is still spot on and now it has some new pictures to hopefully inspire you to make them as we head into the back to school season!
Several years ago I went through a major "bar phase". No, I wasn't getting smashed all over town, I was consuming Luna, Lara and other similar types of protein bars at a rapid rate. It became such an obsession that two of my girlfriends and I actually set out to form our own bar company -- just imagine getting to cook one of your favorite foods all day, every day. We had a name, a mission statement, and developed recipes for every flavor of bar under the sun and they were delicious (I think). But unlike the majority of bars on the market that are jam packed with additives and sugar, our goal was to make something completely organic, packed with protein, devoid of sugar, and full of flavor. The bigger goal was to do all this using as few ingredients per bar as possible. The bar business became a casualty of our busy lives, but I still produce them for my friends and family.
Which got me thinking. Breakfast can be a real challenge when you're trying to get your entire family out the door and sending your little one to school with a healthy snack can be just as hard. This bar recipe is a treat that everyone (over the age on 1 and no history of nut allergies) in the family will love and since the recipe makes 16 bars and they stay fresh for weeks. You're set!
We used these to make this recipe_
Protein Bars (Makes 16 Bars)
- 1 Cup Cashews, raw and unsalted
- 1 Cup Almonds, raw and unsalted
- 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries or Chocolate Chips
- 2 1/4 Cup Dates (about 20)
- 3/4 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp honey or agave
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (or put your oven on it’s lowest setting and adjust the cooking time).
2. Place the nuts in a bowl and cover with COOL water and soak for 1 hour.
3. Cover the dates with HOT water and soak for 30 minutes. After soaking, drain off the water and pit the dates.
4. Place the oats in a food processor and grind to a powder. Place in a separate large bowl.
5. Drain the water off the nuts, place on a towel to remove excess water. Place the nuts in a food processor with the dried cranberries (chocolate chips) and pulse until nuts are in small pieces (the nuts will be uneven pieces which is fine. Just make sure they are all chopped.
6. Place the nuts in the bowl with the oats.
7. Place the dates, vanilla and honey (agave) in food processor and pulse until it makes a puree.
8. Place the date mixture with the oat mixture and thoroughly combine all the ingredients (mixture will be thick and sticky).
9. Place the date nut mixture on a silpat on a cookie sheet. Spread out using a spatula or even your hands.
10. Shape into a long rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and measuring about 10X13 inches. Make sure the rectangle is flat and even.*
11. Bake for 4.5-5 hours or until the log is firm, but not hard (If the lowest setting on your oven is 200 degrees, cook for 4 hours).
12. Cool, cut into bars and wrap individually.
* If using a dehydrator, heat at 135 degrees and dehydrate for 6-8 hours