May 16, 2017
My family, in particular, my kids, lead very active lives. We are often rushing from one sporting event to the next. I believe that it is important to refuel the body with whole, nutritious food.
Over time, I have played around with various recipes to create a healthy protein bar that both kids and adults will love!
The best part about the version that I am posting is that they are school safe!! What better way to refuel their little minds and bodies, then by a healthy yet tasty, protein packed snack! (or as I sometimes refer to this bar when packing it in their school lunch, “treat”!!)
Nut Free Protein Bar
- 2 c. of organic pumpkin seed butter (you can also use sunflower butter for a nut free version or peanut or almond butter for a nut version)
- 3/4 c. of natural honey
- 1 c. of protein powder (I like to use a chocolate flavoured protein powder, and sometimes will mix it half and half with vanilla protein powder)
- 1.5 c. of organic rolled oats
- 2-3 tbsp of cold milled flax seeds (not necessary for this recipe but I like to add in a few tbsp for added fibre)
- 2/3 c. of seeds: I like to mix in pumpkin and sunflower seeds when making a nut free version. If I’m making a “nut” version, then I’ll mix together chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- 1/2 c. of dried fruit: I like to add in some goji berries as they are rich in antioxidants, and contain all 8 essential amino acids as well they are high in fibre and rich in Vitamin E and the B vitamins. In addition to goji berries, I also will add in dried wild blueberries, cherries and cranberries. **Try to make sure that whatever dried fruit you use, that it is organic and sulphite free**
- 4-5 tbsp of cacao (this is not necessary but I like to add it in. Cacao has many health benefits but a few worth mentioning are that it is a good source of magnesium which is an important mineral to help relax workout induced sore muscles. It contains chromium which helps to maintain the balance of blood sugar and it’s also a good source of fibre. Cacao helps to increase blood flow to the brain which enhances brain function, making it an ideal school snack!).
- 1/2 c. of dark chocolate chips
- In a medium pot over medium heat, warm the pumpkin seed butter and honey until soft and blended. Mix well and remove from heat.
- Mix in protein powder and flax seeds. (if it’s too thick, add a bit of water until you get a smoother consistency)
- Mix in seeds and dried fruit.
- Mix in the oatmeal and cacao
- Press mixture into a lightly greased (I like to use a bit of coconut oil) 9×13 glass baking dish and press firmly down with moistened hands. (sometimes I will divide the recipe into two 9×9 baking dishes and freeze one)
- Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and press in firmly
- Refrigerate for an hour before cutting into squares.