Soft, chewy protein bars that taste like a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, yet are free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar. These bars are perfect for a nutritious breakfast on-the-go, a mid-afternoon snack or even dessert. Not to mention a fantastic pre and post-workout snack!
New year means new snacks! Snacks with simple, wholesome ingredients that are rich in fiber and protein and guaranteed to keep you satiated and satisfied. We’ll just call them “feel good” snacks. One of my mid-afternoon vices for not only giving me an extra jolt of energy, but also curbing my stubborn sweet tooth, is to eat a protein bar. My current favorites are Luna Protein bars and Quest bars. The downside is that a lot of these pre-packaged bars have a rather unappetizing ingredient list.
Anything from refined sugar and syrups, artificial sweeteners, soybean and/or palm oil and preservatives. Of course none of the mentioned ingredients have a negative impact if consumed in moderation, but I always feel better feeding my body more natural, wholesome foods. Consuming these bars on a frequent basis can also get quite pricey!
Hence why making homemade protein bars seems like the obvious alternative.These bars are incredibly simple. Especially if you have an efficient food processor. My current one is the pits. It does the job, but only after turning it off, scraping down the sides and re-blending the contents 20 or so times. I finally broke down and ordered a new (and much improved) one through Williams-Sonoma this weekend. And you better believe I will be singing it sweet symphonies when it arrives.
…While making ALL the homemade nut butters!
To amp up the protein content of these bars, I added my go-to protein powder, Sunwarrior Classic Plus. This plant-based, vegan powder is made with a powerful superfood round-up including brown rice protein, pea protein, chia seeds, quinoa and amaranth. The consistency is ideal for both baked goods and smoothies, and the vanilla flavor is light and subtle with a hint of sweetness. You could substitute the peanut butter for almond or cashew butter, and the add-ins are yours to customize. Flax or chia seeds, walnuts and dried fruit would all be delicious. I’m just the ultimate fan of anything chocolate peanut-butter.
And the ultimate fan of healthy snacks that taste like cookies.
This post is sponsored by Sunwarrior, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
- 2 cups rolled oats (use certified GF oats if making gluten-free)
- ¼ cup Sunwarrior Classic Plus Vanilla Protein
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 7 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life brand if making dairy-free)
- In a food processor, blend the oats into a fine meal.
- Add the protein powder, dates and peanut butter; blend for 30-45 seconds.
- Add the water in 2-3 tbsp increments, pulsing until combined.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in chocolate chips.
- Line an 8x8 (or 10x6) inch baking pan with parchment paper. Transfer ingredients to pan and press down firmly with a spoon or spatula until it is in a smooth, compact, even layer.
- Freeze for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Slice into 12 bars and serve!
- Refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to 10 days