I’m not sure how many of you buy protein bars, but I do know that I’m one person who likes the convenience of having them on hand. Protein bars are perfect to snack on, but the “store bought” ones tend to be really expensive (especially plant-based). Making your own bars is actually pretty dang easy. The best part? There’s no preservatives, artificial colors, or any “questionable” ingredients in these.
This past weekend, I actually made a batch of my own and you know something? They were so delish I can’t even think of buying them again.
I’m so pumped to share this recipe with all of you! A perfect grab-and-go treat to have in the fridge for those mid-morning craving attacks or to curb that afternoon sluggish feeling which usually hits around 3 p.m.
Now, these bars might look like a decadent dessert, but they’re actually packed with all the things you need for a fairly healthy snack. I started by processing the whole shebang in the food processor, freezing it, then dipped each bar into melted dark chocolate. I mean, the dipping part is my favourite, but you can definitely curb your enthusiasm by only dipping the top or bottom of these to save a few calories. I say, dippity do away because Y.O.L.O. (you only live once)
Just so you know, I LOVE recipes that use a food processor or blender. From start to finish, this recipe only takes a few minutes to do (not counting the setting time in the freezer). I made these when I woke up, popped them into the freezer, went to exercise and by the time I was finished these were ready to be cut and coated. During my entire workout all I could think about was sinking my teeth into one of these babies.
These chocolate covered protein bars are a wonderful treat to start or end your day! Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free. Not gonna lie. You can’t get better than this.
Quick tip: These bars should be stored in the fridge, as they will remain soft and chewy. You can keep them fresh for up to 1 month and freeze leftover bars to enjoy at a later date. Just wrap up each bar in a piece of parchment paper and place in a zippy bag. The frozen bars will keep for up to 6 months!
Be prepared for these vegan bars to rock your world. I MEAN IT. In fact, I brought them to work with me to dole out to my girls and I did witness a few doing a “happy dance” in the hallway after eating one. The peanut butter, dates and coconut make them slightly chewy. The tahini gives them a earthy, nutty flavor from the sesame seeds. And the peanuts and sunflower seeds add depth and crunchiness to the entire bar. The best part? You won’t need to add sugar, or maple syrup, or whatever the heck you usually use, unless of course you like SUPER sweet bars.
Make these and let me know what you think. If I was a betting kind of gal , I would say that you’re going to love them.
- 8 oz pitted medjool dates (make sure that the dates are plump and not dry - if they are dry, just place them in a bowl with boiling water for 10 minutes to plump, then drain off water)
- ½ cup raw shelled peanuts (you can toast or roast them if you like)
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
- DIP AND TOPPINGS
- 300g of dark chocolate, melted
- Assorted toppings: Fleur de sel, dried raspberries, chopped pistachios, dry apricots, sesame seeds, shredded coconut and cacao nibs
- Blend all ingredients except for coconut in a food processor or high speed blender for 3 -4 minutes. Add coconut and pulse a few times just to incorporate it.
- Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper and leave an overhanging edge to be able to lift out the bars when frozen.
- Place mixture into baking pan and press down with your hands until firmly packed.
- Freeze for at least one hour (2 hours is ideal)
- Remove from freezer and cut into bars. I cut mine into 12 equal portions. Work with 6 bars at a time and place the other 6 back into the freezer while you are dipping and topping them.
- Melt chocolate in microwave or in double boiler until nice and shiny.
- Dip each bar quickly to coat on all sides, place on parchment lined baking sheet and top with desired garnishes. You need to top each one quickly because they will firm up really fast as they are frozen. Repeat with remaining 6 bars that are in the freezer. Let set in fridge for one hour and enjoy!