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The Best Protein Bars Ever

Put that $2.59 energy bar back on the store shelf. You won't need that anymore. Instead, all you need is coconut, seeds and nuts, almond butter and honey and a few minutes to whip up these tasty energy bars that will be your favorite travel companion. Whether you are in the car or on a plane, toss one (or two or ten) of these in your purse, carry-on and/or briefcase so it's there when you need it.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword protein bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from mindbodygreen.com

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecans walnuts or almonds, chopped (replace with another seed if you want to make these nut-free)
  • 1/3 cup sesame or hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened fruit of choice raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, blueberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey use maple syrup if you want to make it vegan
  • 1/4 cup almond butter or other butter such as sunflower, cashew or peanut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 glass dish with parchment paper and grease very lightly with coconut or olive oil.

  2. To a large frying pan, add the coconut, pecans, sesame or hemp seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Place over medium-low heat and stir occasionally, cooking for about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. 

  3. Remove from the heat and place toasted mixture in a large bowl. Let cool for a few minutes and add in the ground flax and dried fruit.

  4. In a small bowl (please note the turmeric-stained plastic bowl I won't throw away), add the honey, almond butter and salt and mix well with a spatula so the salt dissolves.

  5. Then pour liquid over the toasted mixture and mash everything together to distribute evenly and coat thoroughly.

  6. When everything is combined, transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined dish and press down evenly. Using the back of a measuring cup or the palm of your hand and/or knuckles (if you do use your hands, rub them with a touch of coconut oil first to moisten), pack the bars into the pan. Take your time with this step, as the bars will crumble if not pressed down firmly enough.

    Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden on the edges.

  7. Remove from the oven, set aside and let cool completely. After 1 hour, lift parchment paper and bars out of the pan. With a sharp knife, slice into 8-10 bars and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

If you want to be Martha Stewart-y about this, you can wrap each bar in a strip of parchment paper and store them all in a single container. Or layer them in a container with parchment paper so they don't stick together.

When traveling long distances, these will keep at room temperature for 3-5 days. If at home, keep them refrigerated, frozen or at room temperature.