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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Back To School Bars


Feed these home-made protein bars to kids for breakfast on the go, pack them into school lunches, and hand them out as a healthy snack.

They're a healthy alternative to store-bought granola bars full of sugar, corn syrup, inflammatory fats, preservatives, and processed grains. In fact, these bars don't have any grains at all so they're naturally gluten-free. They don't contain any added sweeteners but they are full of protein, fiber, healthy fat, and antioxidants.

Use a high quality protein powder for this recipe. I used PureLean natural vanilla protein powder, a combination of rice and pea protein made by Pure Encapsulations.

½ cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes  
½ cup  cacao nibs
½ cup raw Brazil nuts, soaked for several hours or overnight, and drained
½ cup raw walnuts, soaked for several hours or overnight, and drained
½ cup dried unsweetened cherries
½ cup chopped dried unsweetened peaches (about 4 halves)
4 pitted dates, roughly chopped
¼ cup freshly ground flax seeds
Pinch sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
½ cup protein powder
2 eggs, well-beaten
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup raw almond butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a 7- by 9-inch oven-safe glass dish with parchment paper. Set it aside. 
  3. To a food processor add the coconut flakes, cacao nibs, Brazil nuts, walnuts, cherries, peaches, and dates. Pulse until all of the ingredients are finely chopped.
  4. Add the ground flax seeds, salt, cinnamon, and protein powder. Pulse to combine.
  5. Add the well-beaten eggs, coconut oil, and almond butter and process until the mixture starts to stick together.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared glass dish, then to the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center has cooked through, then cool the bars completely. Do not over-bake them. Coconut oil may separate during processing or baking. This is normal and it will be reabsorbed as the bars cool.
  8. Use a sharp knife to cut the bars. Serve them immediately or cover with an air-tight lid and store them at room temperature for future use. If you're taking the bars to go, wrap them individually in wax or parchment paper.

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