Friday, January 28

Power-Packed Treat

I stumbled across a blog that deals with traditional diets (something I'm learning about and incorporating into our own family) and she had a recipe for homemade protein bars.  They have almonds (yum!), chocolate (double yum!) and flaxseed (SO good for you!)  Do you know just how good flax is for your body?  Check out this link.  It's amazing...it can boost your immune system AND help regulate your hormones. 

So how does this recipe rate?  Easy?  Check.  Delicious?  Check.  Real ingredients (not processed junk)?  Check.  This recipe is a winner, one I'll go to again and again.  I'm sharing the recipe here, but this is where I originally found it:  Get Well. Live Well. Be Well.  This blog is well worth checking out.  Lots of recipes and all made to be nourishing for your family.  She even has recipes for stuff like chicken quesadillas and pumpkin roll.  What's not to love?
  
Protein Bars
 
2 cups almonds
1/4 cup flax seeds, chia seeds or pumpkin seeds (ground in a coffee grinder or blender)
½ cup dried prunes, dates or raisins
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup unsalted peanut or almond butter
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut oil (melted)
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dark chocolate (in chips or bar form)

Place almonds, flax meal/seeds, dried fruit, shredded coconut, almond/peanut butter and salt in a food processor. Pulse briefly for about 10 seconds. Mix melted coconut oil, sweetener and vanilla and add to the food processor. Pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste.
 
Grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with butter.  Press bar mixture into pan. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture hardens. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously. Spread melted chocolate over bars; return to refrigerator for 30 minutes, until chocolate hardens. Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars and serve. Makes about 12-15 bars. Store in refrigerator or freeze.
 
Notes:
  1. I had a large bag of salted almonds, so I used those and omitted the sea salt.  I think mine were still a little salty and I'm wondering if my "all-natural" peanut butter has salt added and I didn't know it.
  2. I bought ground flax seed instead of grinding my own seeds.  It was on the baking aisle at Wal-Mart.  Since it's already ground, it will be easier to add to other recipes I find.
  3. I used dates for the dried fruit. They look like bugs. It kind of grossed me out, but in the end, you don't even know they're in there.
  4. If you're a local, I found unsweetened coconut at the Indian Market on Main Street for only $1.99 a bag!  Sa-weet!
  5. I sweetened mine with honey.
  6. I did not have to melt the coconut oil because my kitchen is warm enough to keep it liquified. However, if you need to melt yours, do so in a small saucepan over very low heat. It won't take long at all.
  7. Claudia at Get Well said she used mini chocolate chips and stirred them into the bar mixture before pressing it into the pan. This is a much better idea than spreading chocolate over the top, which is what I did. I will use mini chips next time.
  8. Tomorrow, I plan to wrap the bars individually, so they're ready to go when I need a snack or when I'm leaving the house.  This is a much better way to snack than grabbing a bag of chips from the vending machines on campus.
  9. It's dark now, but I'll try to post a pic of them tomorrow.  They aren't pretty, but they sure are delicious!
Hope you enjoy!
 Photobucket

1 comment:

Erin said...

I saw that post, too. She has some really awesome recipes. I'm gonna make some if those bars as soon as I kick this flu or whatever it is.