Raw Superseed Protein Energy Bars
I can never come up with a good snack for my daughter's lunch (and sometimes a good pre-workout snack for me is tough to come by as well!). I struggle to keep it healthy, filling and tasty all at once. So how excited was I to come across a recipe for a homemade superfood bar that I could adapt and make my own!
Without much further ado, here's what you need and how you make it (short recipe at the bottom of this post).
1. Buy and prepare all the ingredients.
2. Delegate! Put your child to work and have her/him deseed about 20 medjool dates . I cut them open for my daughter to prevent any mishaps and let her go at 'em. For the record, she did a great job.
3. If you're using sesame seeds (not my personal fave, but you may want to try and determine what your taste buds prefer), toast them up. This is an optional step. If you prefer 100% raw or the taste of raw sesame seeds, then skip this. I like that it adds a little smoky flavor to the mix, so I toasted them in my toaster for about 4 minutes, or until they turned golden brown.
4. Start mixing the ingredients.
5. Dump out the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients and...
6. Start mixing! Again, feel free to wrangle your children into helping you. I have no doubt that they will LOVE getting their hands dirty... unless you have my child, who complained the entire time that her hands felt "icky." Of course, this was the same child that wouldn't go on the beach, because she didn't like the sand getting her feet dirty.
7. Add your optional ingredients, such as
- 4 tablespoons rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- dark chocolate chips (to taste) <-- these were my daughter's idea
I made three batches, all three of which contained the oats and chia seeds, and then:
- The first one had slivered almonds, because my husband and I love almonds, but our daughter is allergic to tree nuts.
- The second had dried cherries. I got the unsweetened ones, which tasted great on their now, but in the end, I thought they added a little too much sourness to the bars. If you like a little bit of sour, this might work great for you, but I'm going to skip it next time.
- And the third batch, I made exclusively for my daughter, although admittedly, it was the best tasting one of all. We added dark chocolate chunks to this batch and I have to say, it was deeeeelicious! I had to stop myself from noshing on them, because they are going right into my daughter's lunch box tomorrow for snack... and she couldn't be more excited about it.
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8. Press the mixture evenly into a 11 x 7-inch baking dish. I lined mine with parchment paper to minimize sticking. Press down until the mixture becomes compacted to the greatest extent possible. I covered it with another piece of parchment paper and first flattened it out with a spatula. Then I put a twin 11 x 7 inch baking dish on top of it and pressed down on it for a while with all my weight. In all honesty, I should have stood on top of it, because it was still a bit looser than I'd have liked in the end.
Once it was flattened, I left the sheet of parchment paper of it and stuck it in the fridge for about an 30-60 minutes.
9. Remove from the refrigerator and cut into bars (makes about 16). Wrap each bar individually in paper (I just used parchment paper, nothing fancy), and store in an air-tight container, where it will last around a week. I kept mine in the refrigerator, just because I prefer them slightly cooler and denser
Makes about 16 bars
Optional Add-Ins After Blending (Choose only 2-3 to avoid a mish-mosh of conflicting tastes)**
1/2 cup sesame seeds
4 tablespoon organic rolled oats
2 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
* I left the amount of coconut oil up to you. If you use closer to 6 tablespoons, the mixture is creamier. I use closer to 4, because it ends up a little too rich for me at 6. Although the mixture does turn out slightly more crumbly (to help congeal it, just add a dash of water), it's less calories and fat (not that coconut oil is a bad fat, but if you're watching your weight, you don't need extra).
** You don't have to add any optional ingredients, and you don't have to add all of the optional ingredients. You can choose which ingredients work best for you and your family. I always add in organic raw cacao nibs, because my daughter loves them (and they really do taste great!).
- In a food processor or high speed blender, pulse the dry ingredients a few times (about 10-15). Keep a close eye on the mixture. You want to make sure that it's crumbled, but not over-processed, as you will lose that yummy crunch factor. (If you do not have a high speed blender, BUY ONE! It's really an incredibly versatile and necessary appliance. If you're still not into it, then this is going to take a while. :) Place your pitted dates on a plate and mash them with a fork until they are sticky and smooth as caramel, it’ll take a few minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients one by one and kneed it by hand until well combined.)
- Set the mixture aside in a bowl.
- Add half of the dates and the rest of the wet ingredients to the food processor.
- Run the processor for about 20-30 seconds, and then add the rest of the dates, one at a time, while the machine is still running.
- Continue to run the processor until the mixture is smooth. If it gets to doughy and dry, you can add a few dashes of water or coconut milk.
- When totally smooth, pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the bowl you set aside and add your optional ingredients. I made three batches (see full explanation above). All three contained the oats and chia seeds, one had slivered almonds, the second dried cherries, and the third, organic raw cacao nibs (at the insistence of my daughter).
- Get your hands dirty and mix up all the ingredients really well, as if you were kneading dough.
- Then press the mixture evenly into a 11 x 7-inch baking dish (you can see how I did mine above) and make sure it becomes as compact as possible.
- Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Remove and cut into bars (makes about 16).
- Wrap them in paper (I used parchment paper) and store in an air-tight container, where they will keep for about a week in the fridge.
Macros below are per bar (assuming there are 16 equal portions) without any optional ingredients:
- Calories: 233
- Fat: 17.9
- Carbs: 8.4
- Protein: 11.3
Recipe adapted from: Green Kitchen Stories