I’m often asked what my “secret” to staying slim is. Sometimes I really wish I had a lovely little pre-packaged potion to share with people. No-one really likes the message eat less, exercise more, it seems. It’s a little too boring!
But, the quick fix solution, although in hot demand, is usually not effective long-term.
One survival tactic I use, is to keep my kitchen well stocked with healthy food. It’s not a very glamorous ‘tip,’ but it certainly works.
Who wants to head out to the shops late at night when a craving hits and you’ve no chocolate or ice cream to scoff? I certainly don’t.
So, I suppose you could say healthy eating really starts at the supermarket.
I do love to cook and bake, though, and I love cake and cookies, just like anyone else. But, I find it’s best not to have a lot of sweet, tempting foods in my home all of the time, otherwise I go for those foods more than the healthier options in my kitchen.
So, in an effort to find something ‘healthier’ that satisfies a sweet craving, I’ve tried a lot of recipes for granola-type bars. Some were okay. Most were pretty rough.
That was until I discovered the recipe I’m sharing with you today.
These protein bars are fantastic for mid-afternoon snacking, as a post workout snack, for picnics in the park, lunchboxes, beach days, hikes, traveling, breakfast, dessert. Okay, you get the picture… they are good for whenever.
They are delicious, filling, and packed with whole foods. And, they don’t contain a smidgen of refined sugar or natural sweeteners, although you’d never guess.
Believe me, this is the best ever protein bar recipe. In fact, it’s the last protein bar recipe you’ll ever need. Pinky promise! ;-)
They even freeze beautifully, too, so you could make a double batch, cut them up and freeze for smart snacking any time – just take them out half and hour or so before eating. Simple.
Okay, enough! Here is the recipe…
Protein Bar Recipe
2 cups almonds
1/4 cup flax seeds or chia seeds (I used a flax seed mix)
1/2 cup dried dates
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup nut butter (like peanut or almond)
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil (that is 1/2 cup when solid)**
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
**Make sure you are using extra virgin coconut oil, not a cheaper, refined version. See my linked article on coconut oil for more details on why this is so important. If you can’t justify the cost of an extra virgin oil, just substitute with 1/2 cup of butter.
- Place almonds, flax seeds, dates, coconut, and nut butter in a food processor. Pulse briefly, until everything is evenly chopped.
- In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and honey together over a very low heat. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.
- Add the coconut oil mixture to the food processor, and pulse again until the ingredients come together.
- Press the mixture into a cake tin or glass baking dish, and chill in the fridge for about 1 hour, until the mixture hardens. These bars are best stored in the fridge until you want to eat them.
Makes about 12 bars (2″ long).
If you don’t like the taste of most protein bars on the market, their ingredients, or their prices, give these a go. Once you try this recipe, I know you’ll be just as hooked as I am.
If you think your protein bar recipe is even better, I’d love to try it, so please share the recipe with me in the comments section below.