I love having grab & go foods in my fridge! It minimizes lunch prep time in the evenings and provides convenient work snacks when I’m busy or in the car. Bars and muffins are perfect pre- or post-workout snacks and even make a good bedtime treat. Since most store bought grab & go fare is full of additives and preservatives, I try to make a batch of protein bars or muffins when I prep for the week.
I should have named these the Boyfriend Bars because they’re the first homemade protein bar my boyfriend actually liked! I tweaked a recipe I found from Passionate Homemaking to suit what I had on hand and the results were amazing. I devoured one of these babies every morning for a week straight 😉
Cranberry Almond Power Bars
Makes 16 bars
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1/4 pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup medium unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted*
- ¼ cup agave
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 squares dark chocolate, melted with 1 tbsp almond milk for topping
- In small sauce pan, begin heating the coconut oil on low to melt it.
- In a food processor, combine almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cranberries, coconut and almond butter. Pulse for ~30 seconds.
- When oil is melted, add agave and vanilla to the sauce pan and mix completely. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until a coarse “batter” is formed.
- Press the batter into an 8 x 13 baking pan or a couple of glass containers. I used two of my 8 x 5 salad containers. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until batter is “set” (i.e. hard enough to not crumble when adding your chocolate topping)
- When the batter is set, melt your chocolate with almond milk in a double boiler or microwave. Spoon over the bars and spread evenly.
- Refrigerate for at least another 20 mins before cutting. Makes ~16 squares depending on what size satisfies your morning snack attack 😉
*NOTE: Do not skimp on coconut oil! I used 1/3 cup for my first batch and it seemed too oily. I cut back to 1/4 cup the second time and the bars were crumbling apart when I tried to cut them. I measured this before melting.
Estimated Nutrition Stats (16 bars): Calories: 275, Fat: 22 g, Protein 6 g, Carbs: 15 g
This sounds like a lot of fat but compared to most store bought bars the carb content is half! Keep it mind it’s all healthy fats and this is a complete whole foods source. Healthy fats are good for weight loss, brain and heart function, and protect against numerous illnesses and ailments. But we’ll save that rant for another day 😉