As I mentioned when I posted that sweet potato veggie burger recipe, I’ve been on a kitchen mission lately to recreate things I regularly buy. It saves money, and it means I know exactly what is in everything I’m eating—always a nice bonus. I try to eat as little pre-packaged food as possible, but it can be tough to avoid the convenience of granola and protein bars when I’m running around in between teaching classes, getting in my own workout, and working on the blog. There are some wholesome, real-food bars out there, but for the most part, reading the ingredient labels on those things is like reading a chemistry equation. Why not just make my own? Can’t be that hard, right? Right! These are super easy.
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup protein powder (I used Healthy Skoop)
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup almonds (I used roasted almonds but raw would be perfect, too!)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Crush the almonds into little chunks--I did this by pulsing them in the food processor a few times. Put the dates in a food processor and blend until chopped into a big gooey, sticky ball.
- Mix the oats, protein powder, dates, crushed almonds and dried cranberries in a bowl.
- Place the almond butter, vanilla and honey in a small skillet and heat over low heat until fully combined and runny. Pour it over the dry mixture and stir together. Use your hands to make sure it’s fully combined.
- Line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper and press the mixture evenly into it.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
- Lift parchment paper from the pan and cut the mixture into 8 equal bars.
Store in a Tupperware container for a couple days. If you want them to last longer, store in the refrigerator. These are a little sticky, so I’d recommend placing a small piece of parchment paper in between them when stacking for storage.
As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a huge animal-product consumer. The protein powder I used in these bars was introduced to me by a BTone client—Healthy Skoop is plant-based, and I’m really liking it! I admittedly don’t supplement my diet very often, but when I do make a morning smoothie or a recipe like this, the vanilla Healthy Skoop has been great. If you want to try it out, you can use the code PUMPS15 to get 15% off any purchase through 2/28/15 (excludes the super sampler).
Do you use plant-based protein powder or stick to whey? What’s your go-to brand? How about protein bars—what brands do you like?
Hope all you Northeast readers are staying warm and enjoyed the snow day yesterday!