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Easy Protein Bars

Whew what a whirlwind year it has been so far!  SO many life changes and I got away from my passion for cooking – well I am back!!  Always striving for new ideas to have healthy snacks at hand instead of store-bought convenience!  These simple to make protein bars fit the bill nicely!  Nice easy grab and go energy!  I experimented with a few different combinations and this one was my first go.  I have changed the nut combinations and seed combinations too.  This is where it gets really fun!  Be Creative!  Try new combos!   This one goes out especially to my friend Tammy – these bars are GLUTEN FREE!   XO

Ingredients:

•    1/3 cup raw whole almonds
•    1/2 cup raw whole cashews
•    1/8 cup golden raisins
•    1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
•    1/4 cup cooked quinoa
•    1 tbsp raw hemp seeds
•    1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
•    1 tbsp raw agave nectar
•    1 tsp raw cacao powder
•    1 tbsp ground flaxseed
•    1 tbsp water
•    3 tbsp almond flour

Instructions:

Soak flaxseed in water.

Combine all other ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Pour mixture along with soaked flaxseed into a food processor and pulse until mixture combines but is still slightly chunky.

Form mixture into small rectangles (or squares if you prefer) and place in a coated baking dish.

Preheat oven to  170° F and bake bars for one hour.  Turn bars over after 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Chewy Crispy Chocolate Almond Butter Bars

So here is another easy bar recipe.  I got the original recipe ideas from Clean Eating magazine nutrition edition 2006.  I have made a few changes to the original recipe to suit my tastes and experiment with “raw”ingredients.  I decided to make these over the weekend and they were a big hit.  Pretty sweet due to the agave nectar which is sweeter than honey but you could always use the honey if you can’t find agave nectar.  Coconut nectar is another raw option which is really sweet!  These bars rival any candy bar and so much healthier for you!  Get creative add any dried fruit mixture or use peanut butter or cashew butter instead!  The beauty of cooking is getting to create and then play around with different ingredients!  So much fun and so yummy to eat!

Ingredients:Crispy Almond Butter Bars

•   3 cups crisped rice cereal
•   1 cup oats
•   1 cup chopped dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cherries)
•   1/3 cup sliced raw almonds
•   2 tbsp ground flaxseed
•   1/3 cup cacao nibs
•   1/4 cup brown sugar
•   1/3 raw agave nectar or raw coconut nectar
•   1/2 cup raw almond butter
•   1/2 cup raw cacao powder
•   cooking spray

Instructions:

Coat a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and add first five  ingredients except brown sugar, agave nectar, and almond butter; stir to mix well.  Combine brown sugar, agave nectar, and almond butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and stir in cacao powder.  Pour chocolate almond butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly.  Press mixture into a 9x 13 pan than has been coated with cooking spray.  Place in refrigerator to cool completely.  Cut into bars.

Enjoy!

Agave Energy Bars

A little pick me up after your workout or for an afternoon sweet treat!  Healthy and so much better than a candy bar!  Even my 16 year old likes to snack on these bars.

Ingredients:Agave Energy Bars

•   1 cup crushed wheat flakes (or your favorite cereal)
•   1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
•   1/2 cup sesame seeds
•   1/3 cup sliced raw almonds
•   2 tbsp ground flaxseed
•   1 tsp lucama powder
•   1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
•   1/3 raw agave nectar or raw coconut nectar
•   cooking spray
Instructions:

Coat a medium mixing bowl with cooking spray and add all ingredients except agave nectar; stir to mix well.  Bring agave nectar to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 6 minutes.  Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly.  Press mixture into a 8×8 pan than has been coated with cooking spray.  Place in refrigerator to cool completely.  Cut into bars.

Enjoy!

Coconut Almond Macaroons

So another “raw” creation taken from Preserve It Naturally and the use of my Excalibur dehydrator.  This recipe is altered slightly by the addition of the chia seeds which I love to use whenever I can.  The chia seed is so versatile and packed with lots of Omega fatty acids and protein, both vital ingredients for the body.  These macaroons are even more tasty that the “traditional” version with a softer texture.

Ingredients:

•    2 cups raw almonds
•    1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
•    1 tbsp almond extract
•    8 – 10 pitted medjool dates
•    2 tbsp chia seeds

Instructions:

Soak almonds for 8 hours in water and drain.  Soak dates for 2 hours in water and drain, reserving the water. Chop almond in a food processor until fine.  Add 1/2 cup of the reserved water, almond extract, dates, shredded coconut and chia seeds, ensure the dough is thick.  Drop by spoonful or form into cookies and place on dehydrator trays lined with a Paraflexx sheet.

Dry at 105°F for 12-24  hours, turning over when dough is firm.

Enjoy!

Almond Maple Bars

Almond Maple BarsIngredients:

•    1 cup rolled oats, divided
•    1/2 cup unsalted raw almonds
•    4 scoops vanilla protein powder
•    1 ½  tsp cinnamon
•    ½ tsp Celtic sea salt
•    ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
•    ½ tsp vanilla extract
•    4 tbsp pure maple syrup
•    2 tsp raw agave nectar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

Place ½ cup rolled oats into blender and process until oats are now oat flour, about 1 minute.  In a large bowl combine oat flour, rolled oats, almonds, protein powder, cinnamon and salt.  In a separate bowl mix applesauce, vanilla, maple syrup and agave nectar; add to dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.

Cut 8 squares of aluminum foil and spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Spoon out the mixture equally onto the aluminum squares and shape into bars.  Fold the aluminum at the ends to ensure that the mixture does not spill out.

Place bars onto a baking sheet and bake for 20– 22 minutes.  Do not overcook.

Enjoy!

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