If you want to make one of the easiest, most nutritious snack bars around, these Protein Bars are for you!

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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).

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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.

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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 Protein 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!

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Wrap them individually and toss them in snack bags or bring them along for an easy, on-the-go treat that you and your family will love. They’re the perfect thing to be sending along with your kids to school as well! 

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Protein Bars

If you want to make one of the easiest, most nutritious snack bars around, these Protein Bars are for you!
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Servings: 16
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours

Ingredients  

  • 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 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees (or put your oven on it’s lowest setting and adjust the cooking time).
  • Place the nuts in a bowl and cover with COOL water and soak for 1 hour.
  • Cover the dates with HOT water and soak for 30 minutes. After soaking, drain off the water and pit the dates.
  • Place the oats in a food processor and grind to a powder. Place in a separate large bowl.
  • 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.
  • Place the nuts in the bowl with the oats.
  • Place the dates, vanilla and honey (agave) in food processor and pulse until it makes a puree.
  • Place the date mixture with the oat mixture and thoroughly combine all the ingredients (mixture will be thick and sticky).
  • Place the date nut mixture on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. 
  • Shape into a long rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and measuring about 8 x 10 inches. Make sure the rectangle is flat and even.*
  • 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).
  • Cool, cut into bars and wrap individually.
  • * If using a dehydrator, heat at 135 degrees and dehydrate for 6-8 hours

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 20mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

Comments

  1. hi, ws going through the recipe of protein bars, i want to ask you that its written that we ll have to bake it fir 4 hours, is it?

  2. You can definitely soak the nuts overnight… I do that when I make almond milk. I wouldn’t soak the dates for too long because they could get too waterlogged and end up mushy!

  3. I’m going to make these later today – thanks for the great idea and recipe! I spend a small fortune on the Kit’s Organic bars for my children. I have a question regarding soaking the nuts and dates: is it okay to soak them longer than the respective 1 hour and 30 minutes called for? Like overnight even?

  4. So far my favorite recipe! Thanks so much. Big hit with everyone! Thanks for the freezer tip! Next time ill try a nut free version so I can send to school. I really prefer sweetening with dates and honey over stevia and the rice malt so this works out so great for us.

  5. That should work out just fine. I would keep it to about 1 tablespoon so that you don’t affect the texture of the bars!

  6. Hi Catherine,
    My husband is a big fan of whey protein. Can I add a scoop of vanilla whey protein when mixing things up? Is there any downside to this?

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have 4 kids and they all love them, do did I and my hubby. I didn’t have cashews today and wanted to make them so I subbed in Pumpkin seeds and they worked great. Yum! Yum!

  8. Yes! They freeze beautifully! I freeze them for about 30 minutes on a flat surface, and then transfer to a ziploc baggie. I pack them in school lunch at night, then by lunchtime the next day they are thawed. Freeze for up to 4 months!

  9. Thanks Catherine. These look great! But I’m wondering if I could freeze them and use little bites for the kids’ lunch boxes over several weeks. Ever tried freezing them?

  10. Just made these today. They are delicious!! Thanks for all the great recipes. I just bought Weelicious the cookbook and like it very much.

  11. Hi Catherine. I think you do a wonderful job coming up with great recipes. I really appreciate your efforts. I’m eager to try your protein bar recipe. I think the recipe, the ingredients and the nutritional information all look great. I think sometimes people fail to consider the actual nutritional needs for a small child. For instance, healthy 1-to-3-year-old children need 0.55 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, which means the average 29-pound toddler needs 16 grams of protein each day. The RDAs for older children are 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight for 4-to-6-year-olds; 0.45 grams for 7-to-14-year olds; and 0.4 grams for 15-to-18-year-old boys. The RDA for girls over 15 and boys over 18 is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, the same as for adults (https://www.bcm.edu/research/centers/childrens-nutrition-research-center/consumer/archives/proteinchildren.htm). Your protein bars are spot on as far as the amount of protein a child should be eating for a snack. Keep up the great work!

  12. My daughter is allergic to cashews, but almonds are okay. Can I just use all almonds and no cashews?

  13. Hello my daughter love dates so I
    will try them soon.I want to know how to store them and for how long?

  14. My children will be attending a nut free school this fall. I feel as though my options are so limited!!! Recipes please!

  15. I was also wondering how these are ‘protein’ bars w/only 4 grams of protein. Could you add peanut butter or something to bump up the protien?

  16. Hi Catherine, and all. Any suggestions on nutritional substitutions for a nut-free home? Thank you.

    Estee

  17. You can totally eat them raw! They won’t really hold their shapes as bars, but you can try rolling them into balls instead!

  18. Thanks for the recipe, Catherine! They look delicious.

    I’m not “food literate” at all; my husband and I have a very simple diet, only cook with a rice cooker, and never use the stove or oven. Perhaps this is a silly question, but- Can these bars be eaten raw? Do they need to be put in the oven?

    Thank you so much!

  19. I’m always looking for healthy and delicious bar recipes, and these look perfect! Your photos are beautiful!

  20. They sound delicious! How can you call them Protein bars though when they only have 4g protein & 35 g Carbs … not much protein for 220 calories. 🙂 They look like they’d make a great carry along for an intense hike though. THANKS FOR SHARING!

  21. Can you use another dried fruit instead of dates? Such as cherries, mixed berries etc.

    Thanks,
    Niccole

  22. Use 1 cup if they’re already chopped. Use them in place of the dates called for in the recipe!

  23. hey catherine , i was wondering if it’s possible to use a parchment paper intead of a silpat as i don’t have it on hand. will it work ?

  24. I found that I needed more than 20 dates to get to the 2 1/4 cup. I must have gotten small dates. In the dehydrator now, looking forward to eating them.

  25. I made these last night and they came out perfect! I had a bit of trouble figuring out how many dates to use, because I bought pitted, dried dates. I stuck to the 2 1/4 cups and ignored the (about 20) part because 2 1/4 cups was almost 50 of the pitted dried ones. Recipe still worked out fantastic, and my Lara Bar lover of a husband is very happy today! Thanks for yet another great recipe Catherine!

  26. learning maths,math tricks…

    […]Protein Bars | Weelicious ™ – Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food and recipes for the entire family![…]…

  27. I know several people have asked about the nutritional info. I tried to do the math myself and with the ingrediants I used it came oot to 165 Calories, 4g Protein, and 2g Fiber per bar.

  28. Mine burnt too and I only baked them for 3 hours on my oven’s lowest setting. What’s the secret?

  29. Mine burnt on the bottom? I only cooked for 3.5 hours on my lowest oven setting. Any thoughts as to why they burnt? I followed the instructions and used a silpat on a cookie sheet. The flavor is good but the burn is a bummer…

    Thanks!

  30. Not all oats are gluten free! They must be grown and processed in dedicated fields and facilities. Regular oats you buy at your grocery store are highly contaminated with wheat. If you have celiac or a gluten intolerance you must buy certified gluten free oats. Bobs red mill brand is great!

  31. I don’t have a silpat…would a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray work? Or would that make them too greasy on the bottom?

  32. Thanks for reposting this today, Catherine! Now I have to go buy a silpat so I can make them 🙂

  33. Any suggestions on replacing the oats to make these gluten free? Would love to be able to make this kind of bar for my daughter so it would be more affordable and healthy.

  34. Extremely nice posting. I just bookmark your blog and also would like to be able to say that I have really appreciated while reading your content. Thank you for spreading the information with all.

  35. These are delicious!! The kids loved them. I think I undercooked mine a bit because I was afraid of them getting too hard for my 1 year old, but they still taste yummy! I even crumbled some up and mixed into some vanilla greek yogurt for breakfast today. With 3 kids, it’s nice to know I will have a healthy/easy breakfast for all of us this week. Thanks!

  36. My son is allergic to most tree nuts as well. I find that pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds and soynuts work great as substitutions. They give the same nutty taste and crunch with loads of high protein nutrition.

  37. I have a hard time finding bars my nut-allergic toddler can eat – I realize the nuts are important for the texture, nutrition, etc… any ideas on substitutions for kids allergic to peanut and tree nuts?? I am always looking for nutritious, make-ahead foods!!

  38. My first comment/review ever for anything! These bars are absolutely 100% AMAZING! I can’t wait to give a piece to my 21 month old tomorrow morning for breakfast. Thank you thank you.

  39. Hey! I love, love, love these bars! I try to always have them on hand; my husband is crazy about them, too. I really need to get the nutritional information. How can I do that? Thanks so much!

  40. […] when you need to feed the little people, but also for when you need to keep yourself going!  Her protein bars (a Lara Bar knock off, but WAY more affordable when you have the time to make them) are […]

  41. Back-To-School Lunch Ideas | Weelicious ™ - Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food (and now for big kids too!) says:

    […] Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Bites Vegetable Sticks with Red Beet & White Bean Hummus Tropical Fruit Salad Protein Bars […]

  42. Love your site! I was just checking out this protein bar recipe and I wondered if you have a good source for unsweetened dried cranberries. I have never been able to find them. Thanks!

  43. Lara Bars | Weelicious ™ - Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Baby Food Babyfood Recipes and now Toddler Food too! says:

    […] That’s one of the reasons I love Lara Bars. If I had my way, everyone would make their own protein bars, but sometimes that’s not possible. There are tons of bar companies on the market, but most […]

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